Having a dog is a wonderful experience, but for those of us who live in a major metropolitan area, the spatial constraints of city life can make dog ownership seem like a far off fantasy. While there are certain dogs that are able to acclimate themselves to apartment living more easily than others, it can still be less than ideal to keep a pooch cooped up in a dinky studio with nothing to do all day but pine for greener pastures.
It's a good thing, then, that there are more and more cities realizing the importance of being accessible not only to man, but to his best friend as well. Here are a few urban areas that are quickly becoming meccas for dog lovers:
This small city has been getting press for being a family friendly city, but what often gets overlooked is the way they care for their furrier family members. With three off-leash dog parks, 23 dog friendly restaurants, 31 dog friendly hotels, and a number of annual pet celebrations, Raleigh is a great city for resident dog owners or just dog lovers passing through.
2. Portland, OR
With the most dog parks per capita of any major city in the United States, Portland has some dog loving stats that are hard to top. With a large amount of pubs, restaurants, and other establishments in Portland adopting a dog-friendly policy, it's easier than ever to keep your dog right where they want to be -- by your side. Portland is also the home to a number of doggie spas, as well as PDXdog, its own social networking platform dedicated to dog lovers. So if you love to pamper your pooch, Portland is your place.
3. San Diego, CA
A city known for their year round gorgeous weather, San Diego makes it easy to maintain an active lifestyle with your pooch. Not only that, but with the dog-friendly beaches, this city is really making some waves. If you don’t believe me, check out the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon competition, which is exactly what it sounds like. San Diego has plenty of dog parks, dog friendly restaurants, and a ton of dog sitters for when you need to get away.
4. Austin, TX
A city that is cropping up on all sorts of trending lists, Austin makes the grade yet again for their love of dogs. With 11 dog parks, plenty of dog-friendly establishments, and Bow-Wow Chow, a food truck specifically for puppy treats, Austin is bringing city dogs into the 21st century. Austin even has its own dog celebrity -- Kramer, “Austin's Famous Rock Dog.”
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes their love of dogs. Houston has tons of high-end dog amenities, from puppy boot camps and spas to a whopping 149 dog friendly restaurants. Houston also has special events all year long for their puppy population, as well as magazines, blogs, and websites dedicated to the city's love of its canine companions.
6. Seattle, WA
This city might be known for being cloudy, but from a dog's perspective, Seattle is nothing but a sunny safe haven, with more dogs per capita than children. Because of their heightened canine population, Seattle comes equipped with dozens of dog-lover groups, like Monday Afternoon Walks, KDOG General Membership, or the AdventureWeiner Club, as well as some dog friendly businesses. Also, dogs are allowed on most Seattle public transportation, so taking your pooch to one of the many parks in the surrounding area is easy as pie.
The city with the largest population in America, New York has a little something for everyone. And while it may not boast the same kind of spacious living as some of the other cities on this list, NYC has all sorts of wild amenities for dogs that can’t be found anywhere else. From dog spas, holistic pet stores, and eco-friendly pet boutiques, to entire parks where dogs are free to roam unencumbered by leashes, NYC is proof that even the most metropolitan of areas can be dog friendly if they make an effort.
What do you think?
Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments below about any cities or activities we missed! What do you think makes a city great for dog lovers?
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