Most Pet-Friendly U.S. Cities

April 21, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

Traveling with pets can be tough, but not if you’re visiting a city that accepts pets with open arms and offers lots of adventures for pets and their people.

With travel ramping up as the weather grows warmer, many pet owners are considering taking their four-legged family members along for the ride. You’re in luck if your plans include Tampa, Florida or San Francisco, California, two of the most pet-friendly cities in the United States.

RewardExpert — a blog that offers tips, tricks, reviews and news about getting the maximum value for your points, miles and credit card spending — compared 53 of the largest metropolises in the United States to find out which were the most and least pet-friendly among them.

They evaluated each city on 10 metrics broken down into three categories: pet needs, pet recreation and city profile. These data were then used to create a list of the most pet-friendly cities in the country and identify the best cities for taking a hike, playing catch, eating, and enjoying other adventures alongside your pet.

1. Tampa, Florida

Score: 92.6

As the number one most pet-friendly city this year, Tampa really shows its love for your furry friends. The city has more pet-friendly hotels per capita than any of the other analyzed cities, with 32 hotels that allow dogs per 100,000 residents. Tampa also has 50 dog parks to visit with your pup.

2. San Francisco, California

Score: 84.3

At number two on the list, San Francisco allows travelers to choose among 15 different dog-friendly beaches. There’s no more leaving your pooch behind when you’re trying to catch a wave or soak up the sun.

3. Miami, Florida

Score: 79.4

Miami has more pet stores and veterinarians per capita than any of the other analyzed cities, giving it a top ranking when it comes to what a pet really needs. According to RewardExpert, the city has 74 pet stores and 141 veterinarians per 100,000 residents.

4. Washington, D.C.

Score: 57.5

Coming it at number four on the list, Washington D.C. earned great scores across all three categories. Our nation’s capital offers a host of dog-friendly restaurants, cafes, hiking trails and other pet-related events.

5. Atlanta, Georgia

Score: 56.3

Also scoring well across the board was Atlanta, which has a high density of pet-related businesses and a high concentration of pet-friendly restaurants.

Continue to the next page to see the best cities for hiking, eating and romping around with your pet.

Best Cities For…

Taking a Hike with Your Pet: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Explore 18 dog-friendly hiking trails per 100,000 residents when you visit Pittsburgh. The city had the most trails of all analyzed cities.

Eating with Your Pet: Miami, Florida

While Miami is the third most pet-friendly city to travel to, it is also the best city to chow down with your furry friend. Miami boasts the most pet-friendly restaurants and cafes per capita — over 780.

Playing Catch with Your Pet: Portland, Oregon

If you’ve been wanting to visit Portland, your pet will love to come along and explore one of the numerous dog parks throughout the city. Portland shines when it comes to green space, with eight dog parks per 100,000 residents.

Having Fun with Your Pet: Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Louis has 81 pet-inclusive tourist activities to do with your pet. These range from pet-friendly wineries to sculpture parks. You won’t have to leave your pet at home while you enjoy all this city has to offer!

Continue to the next page to see the least pet-friendly cities.

Runts of the Litter

51. Wichita, Kansas

Wichita is home to only nine pet-friendly restaurants and four dog parks — extremely low numbers compared with other analyzed cities. The city has no hiking trails and earned a walkability score of only 34.3 of 100.

52. Memphis, Tennessee

If you’re visiting Memphis, you won’t be able to find much you can do alongside your pet. Memphis has only one-third of Washington D.C.’s pet-friendly accommodations and activities despite the cities’ similar population sizes.

53. El Paso, Texas

Last on the list is El Paso, which ranked at the bottom in the pet needs and city profile categories. The city is severely lacking when it comes to pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants and recreation activities.