Ranked: Best cities to live in for pet lovers
Pets in the US and worldwide
A home without a pet is just a house – and it seems the majority of people agree. 70% of US households own a pet, and it is estimated that, globally, there are 470 million dogs kept as pets worldwide. For those around the world that aren’t self-proclaimed ‘dog people’, there are 370 million cats and millions of pet rabbits, hamsters, aquatic creatures, and other loveable animals that fill our homes and hearts.
Owning a pet comes with a lot of responsibilities and considerations, differing from animal to animal. From having the time to commit to daily walks to costs of food, vet bills, and grooming, raising a pet is no small feat, and their needs are just as important as our own. So, where are the best cities to live with your furry friend?
What makes a city pet-friendly?
Pets are a certified member of the family, and whether it’s sharing a bed (or, more accurately, having your four-legged friend take over the bed – we’ve all been there), or treating them to a slice or two of chicken from your roast dinner, we love to spoil our pets. So, how do you choose where to travel to on your next vacation or move to permanently, that will keep every family member happy – furry ones included?
Travelling or moving to a different city, state or country with a pet can be a huge decision. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of the best cities to move to for pet lovers to make the decision as easy and stress-free as possible!
We’ve considered multiple factors that make for the purr-fect place to live, including:
🏥 Number of vets
🛍 Number of pet stores
🍽 Number of pet-friendly restaurants
💸 Average annual costs of owning a dog
🏨 Number of pet-friendly hotels
🎟 Difficulty to get the animal into the country
The top 10 US and European cities for pets
The cat’s out of the bag – here are the top cities for pet owners. From the highest number of pet-friendly hotels, whether you need a pet passport to travel there and the number of pet stores, we’ve thought of it all. Make your next vacation or house move pawsome!
1.Los Angeles, California, US
The city of angels is also the city of animals as LA tops our ranking of hotspots for pet lovers. With 196 vets, 240 pet stores and 303 pet-friendly hotels, the Californian city has countless things for you and your pet to enjoy. Take a stroll across the golden dog-friendly beaches or visit parks such as Arts District Dog Park – with eco-friendly pooper scoopers available for you to use, rather than plastic bags. Who knows, take a walk around Hollywood and you may even bump into the pup-arazzi!
2. Milan, Italy
Great news for lovers of Italian food and pets alike, Milan is the second-best city for you and your animals. If you choose to visit Italy from the US, you don’t require a pet passport (providing all other requirements are met). With numerous dog-friendly parks, 882 hotels that welcome pets and 99 pet-friendly restaurants to choose from, you can finally find out if your feline friend loves lasagna as much as Garfield…
3.New York City, New York, US
If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, but still want to ensure your pet can live happily, look no further than NYC. The Big Apple also provides big adventures for your four-legged friends, as they can enjoy countless dog-friendly parks (Central Park and Madison Square Park to name a couple). There’s an average cost of $775 a year to own a dog, and 240 pet stores to explore to your heart’s content – it’s clear to see why New York City claims third place.
4. Rome, Italy
The Italian capital takes fourth place thanks to its stunning dog parks including the Area Cani Villa Borghese hosting a stunning botanical garden, ponds, fountains and activities such as cycling, so every member of the family can be entertained – including your pooch! 467 of the restaurants in the city are dog-friendly, so you can enjoy delicious food and admire Roman architecture, all with your furry friend in tow!
5. Florence, Italy
Known for its culture, monuments and Renaissance art, Florence is as beautiful as it is pet-friendly, coming in fifth. With 51 vets and 33 pet stores, your fur-babies will be spoiled for choice. Not to mention, with 9% of all restaurants in Florence being pet-friendly, you could even grab some spaghetti and recreate ‘Lady and the Tramp’… (we wouldn’t recommend this).
6. Madrid, Spain
The second European country to feature in the top ten is Spain, with the capital, Madrid, taking sixth place. The second largest city in the EU is home to the most successful soccer club of the 20th century, and is also one of the best places for your pets. Revel in glorious weather whilst exploring one of the 85 pet stores, or enjoy a stay at one of the 494 animal friendly hotels. It’s fair to say that Madrid has plenty of pet-tential!
7. Houston, Texas, US
Houston may have a problem, but being pet-friendly isn’t one of them! Coming in as the third best American city and seventh overall, Houston is home to 72 vets, 81 pet stores and 295 pet-friendly hotels. With one of the lowest annual costs for a dog ($775 a year), a thriving cultural scene and that southern social charm, Houston is a place that any pet-lover should consider relocating to ASAP.
8. Turin, Italy
Italy clearly knows its stuff when it comes to pets, as yet again they enter our top 10 pet-friendly cities. Aptly named ‘little bull’ in Italian, Turin undoubtedly has animals at the forefront of their hearts as they host 147 pet-friendly restaurants – which is 5% of all the restaurants in the city! You will need to obtain a pet passport to visit, but with the countless museums, incredible architecture and 77 veterinarian practices, moving would be a great op-paw-tunity.
9. Naples, Italy
The birthplace of pizza, home to the infamous Mount Vesuvius and one of the biggest passenger ports in Europe, Naples is a city bursting with history and culture. There’s plenty for your four-legged companions too, including 108 pet-friendly restaurants, countless dog parks and a whopping 1,212 pet-friendly hotels! So, if you want to be surrounded by natural beauty that you and your pets can enjoy, Naples is the city for you.
10. Phoenix, Arizona, US
Calling all sun-worshippers, if you can stand the heat then Phoenix may be the best place for you and your pooch. Thanks to low annual costs ($775 on average), 88 pet stores, 82 veterinarian practices and even doggy baseball games, the city lands tenth on our list. Not to mention, a signature dish in Phoenix is called the Sonoran dog, so it’s clearly meant to be.
The 15 pet-friendly cities in Europe
The 10 pet-friendly cities in the US
Considering a move stateside? Or perhaps you fancy changing cities or going on a pet-friendly vacation? Here’s the ranking for the top 10 pet-friendly cities in America – does yours make the list?
New Yorkie, New Yorkie! NYC is the most pet-friendly state in the country
With four cities in the top ten, New York City comes in as the hotspot for pet lovers in America. Thanks to an abundance of restaurants, cafes and bars that welcome your pup with open arms, countless parks (some with off leash hours) and even a museum, this is the perfect place to enjoy a pet-friendly trip Take your dog on a ride on the Staten Island Ferry or for a shopping spree in Sak’s: in New York, most places you go, your pet can come too!
Texas takes two of the top 10 cities
Texans can rejoice as they are the second most pet-friendly state overall, with both Houston and San Antonio in the top ten. From dog-friendly state parks and countless pet-welcoming restaurants in most Texas cities, the majority offer patio seating for you and your fur-baby – perfect to enjoy the sunshine in the summer months. With Houston hosting dog-shows and swimming clubs for you and your pup, there really is everything to do and more for you and your pet in Texas.
Fancy a move down under? Here’s the 5 top pet-friendly cities in Australia
Famous for its beautiful beaches and other natural wonders, it’s no surprise that 1,000-4,000 Americans are moving to Australia each year. Coming out on top for Oz was the city of Brisbane (or should we say, Brisbone), with stunning natural parks and a whopping 141 vets within five miles of the city centre, it’s easy to see why.
Top 5 dog-friendly cities in Canada
If you’re considering moving to Canada with your fur-babies then Toronto should be your first choice. With 114 pet stores in the city, you could wander around all day shopping for the essentials (and treats!) for your pet. Home to a dog-friendly amusement park, designated off leash dog beaches and countless parks, it’s clear to see why Toronto takes top spot.
So, if you’re looking for a holiday for the whole family, or perhaps a total pet-friendly lifestyle change by moving permanently, why not get My Baggage to do the hard work for you? We’re sure with the stunning locations in our top 10 it won’t take too much purr-suasion…
My Baggage was looking to find the best cities to relocate to for people with pets. Using a combination of factors, cities were individually ranked and concluded with a final ranking to crown the most pet-friendly city in the world.
Multiple factors were analyzed in each city that were agreed to benefit a pet owner. This included:
- Number of veterinarian practices
- Number of pet stores
- Number of pet-friendly restaurants
- The percentage of restaurants that were pet-friendly
- The number of pet-friendly hotels
- The average annual cost of owning a dog
- Whether a pet passport was required
The most pet-friendly cities were determined by scoring each of the above factors and combining them to create a score out of 675.