Surprising Cities That Are Great Places For A Dog To Live

There are some cities in the country in which it’s simply more fun to own a dog. That’s not to disparage other cities, but some cities work really hard in order to accommodate dog owners (and even draw them in). In our previous article we discussed four of the best big cities to have a dog, and they were all in the western part of the United States. We detailed how two California cities, San Francisco and San Diego, are excellent options because of the number of dog-friendly restaurants and shopping areas they have. Las Vegas was the surprise entry, but we discovered that it has a great number of dog parks per capita (the fifth highest in the nation), and the excellent weather means that you’ll be able to get out for a walk 350 days a year without the fear of returning home with wet dog smell. Finally, we talked about our hometown of Denver, where we created our dog car temperature monitor. With walking and hiking trails galore, Denver turns out to be one of the healthiest cities in the nation for both humans and dogs.

You might notice that all of those cities are in states out west, but as it turns out there are three specific cities back east that you could consider if “making the dog happy” is at the top of your list when it comes to places to live. Let’s take a look at four cities that are, we have to say, surprisingly dog-friendly.


Find out how Denver played a part in PuppComm's creation 

New York City

Perhaps the most surprising city that is dog-friendly is New York City. NYC is the typical concrete jungle, and when most of us think about it we imagine nothing but man-made structures everywhere. On top of that, there aren’t nearly as many traditional backyards that a dog can run around in as you might find in other cities. 

The primary reason it shows up on dog-friendly lists is that it is a very walkable city. If we’ve learned anything from Seinfeld (and who hasn’t?), it’s that many people in New York City don’t even own cars, which to be honest will make it one of the toughest cities for us to sell our dog car temperature monitors!

Of course, New York City also has its share of neighborhood parks. There’s also Central Park, 843 acres that is dog-friendly as long as you keep your dogs on a leash. (Here’s a guide for Central Park if you’re taking your dog anytime soon.) So while New York City might seem like a strictly human environment, it’s also a fine place to walk your dog and get some exercise yourself.



Another surprise on the list, Chicago turns out to be quite dog-friendly. Much like New York, walkability is good. But Chicago doubles down on dog friendliness by posting big numbers of shopping centers and restaurants that will happily welcome your pup.

Chicago does have its downsides, of course. Weather isn’t great, so there will certainly be days on which you won’t feel like getting out and walking with your pup. Also, Chicago hasn’t kept up with dog parks, as it has less than one per 100,000 residents. Of course, it all depends on your location within Chicago; if your new house is two blocks away from a great dog park, that percentage won’t really affect you!



Who would have thought that Minneapolis would rank so high on a list of dog-friendly cities? But it's true! Minneapolis is easy to get around in on foot, meaning that you can get out for more walks with your dog and not worry about the traffic as much. The primary concern? The cold, snow, and ice in the winter. But at least you’re more likely to have a backyard than if you lived in New York City or Chicago! With a yard, you’ll be able to avoid that cold walk if you can convince your furry friend to just head out to the backyard so that they can do their business!

Cold weather aside, Minneapolis has some great options when it comes to dog-friendly restaurants. It also boasts as many dog-friendly shopping areas as Las Vegas or Portland, two larger cities. On top of that, you’ll almost certainly find it more affordable to live in Minneapolis than most other large cities. Maybe you can even get a bigger yard for those cold winter days!



There’s no doubt that Tampa is an eastern city in the United States, but even more than that it’s a southern city. The fact that it’s in the South and still makes it high on a list of dog-friendly cities makes it quite unique.

Tampa is on the list for a couple of reasons. First of all, they really like their dog-friendly restaurants, and their walking score isn’t half bad. They also really excel with dog parks, with nearly three per every 100,000 residents (that means it beats every other city on this list by a considerable margin, and also has more than Denver). So when someone heads to the dog park and then wants a bite to eat on the way back, they have two options: find a dog-friendly restaurant, or use our dog car temperature monitor and leave the pup safely in the car for a short time. It does rain quite a bit in Tampa, though, so make sure you stay close by to roll up the windows and turn on the AC.

How Will You Choose?

It’s unlikely that your access to dog-friendly shopping or off-the-leash dog parks will play a huge role in where you decide to move — job opportunities and cost of living will probably play a larger part — but if everything else is equal it’s always possible that Fido’s vote might have some extra sway!

No matter where you are, if you own a vehicle you’ll want to consider a dog monitoring system so that you can spend more time your dog and keep them safe. Find out more about it right here!