Four in 10 American families own at least one dog, and while they live anywhere from New York City to Los Angeles, there are some cities that cater more to having a pet. On Monday, U.S. News & World Report released a list of the Top 10 U.S. cities with the most to offer your furry best friend – from the best beaches to the best climate.
Taking into account weather, population density, availability of green space and veterinary care, the magazine tapped Dogfriendly.com cofounder Len Kain, Dogpark.com cofounder Vicki Kung and Humane Society executive Adam Goldfarb to weigh in on their top picks. Here’s a breakdown of what they found:
Ellicott City, Md. This Baltimore suburb is great for outdoor-oriented pets. The town offers four miles of green space and temperatures generally stay below 85 degrees in the summer.
Rocky Point, N.Y. Surf’s up! Located on Long Island, this oceanside community features numerous dog-friendly beaches.
Auburn, Ala. With a luxe dog park that has a lengthy walking trail, this southern town is a great place to raise a dog. Another bonus: Winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing. Perfect for the posh pooch!
Butte, Mont. Ready those hiking boots – and doggie booties! Surrounded by mountains, this spacious spot has plentiful hiking paths and nearly 10 miles of green space surrounding the city limits.
Yankton, S.D. Brrrr. Winter temperatures may drop to nearly zero degrees in this city by the river, but in the fall dogs are vital for assisting during hunts for waterfowl, small game and big game.
Lewiston, Idaho Ahh, this city is like doggie heaven on earth: Copious green space and more than 20 public parks make this northwestern town a haven for pooches. Leashed pets are also welcome to join families for hikes and picnics at Kirkwood Historic Ranch, a former sheep farm that now serves as a public park.
Glasgow, Ky. Northeast of Nashville, this city boasts comfortable temperatures year-round, plus some pet-friendly hotels for out-of-town visitors. How convenient!
Aiken, S.C. A temperate climate – plus a lot of parks – make this landlocked city a fun retreat for dogs. In 14-acre Hopeland Gardens, leashed pups can roam through the flowers and walking paths with their owners. It’s a great place to smell the roses!
Flower Mound, Texas Not too far from Dallas and Fort Worth, Flower Mound offers nice weather – less than 80 rainy days a year, on average. The animal services department here is not to be messed with: They stay on task, making pet adoptions swift and easy.
Wolf Trap, Va. Across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Wolf Trap is rich with advocacy groups that regularly push for off-leash parks and other pet-friendly amenities. A local performing arts center also welcomes pups to walk its grounds when concerts aren’t in progress. Now that’s something to howl about!
Any cities that they missed? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!