husky sitting with its tongue out along the lakefront with city skyline in the background

Best U.S. Cities for Dogs

Looking to move to a dog-friendly city? With tons of dog parks, pet-friendly businesses, and other amenities your furry friend will love, these best U.S. cities for dogs should be at the top of your list!

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Austin, TX
  • Bozeman, MT
  • Chicago, IL
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • New York City, NY
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Tucson, AZ

Albuquerque, NM

terrier sitting on a wall wearing a harness with albuquerque skyline in the background photo by Instagram user @gunnerthejack
Photo via @gunnerthejack
  • Population: 556,859
  • Home Price: $185,400 median purchase price; $816 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 1% of U.S. cities

Albuquerque is an excellent place to live in the Southwest! This New Mexico city was recently named one of America’s best small cities, thanks to its wide range of outdoor activities, growing arts scene, incredible cuisine, and job opportunities in STEM. One of the biggest draws for people—and pets—moving to ABQ is its weather. Though summers can be extremely hot and dry, temperatures in the fall, winter, and spring are mild, with averages falling between the low 40s and the low 80s. In other words, it’s the perfect place for dogs and their owners to spend time outdoors at parks, hiking trails, and more!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Albuquerque

Take your furry friend to one of 15 dog parks in ABQ to meet other dogs, stretch their legs, and play fetch. Visit Petroglyph National Monument, where you can hike with your dog through Piedras Marcadas Canyon. Go for a long walk with your four-legged pal through Sandia Foothills Open Space. Head to Rock and Brews, where they’ll bring your dog their own water bowl while you chow down on a Rio Grande Green Chile Pie. Enjoy Tex-Mex favorites with margaritas on the pet-friendly patio at Sadie’s of New Mexico. Chill out with your pup at Marble Brewery, where you can try local craft beers like the Double White and Desert Fog. Or hang with your pooch in the outdoor section at Canteen Brewhouse while you sip on a High Plains Pils or Pecos Trails Brown Ale.

Austin, TX

golden doodle laying in the water fountains at Barton Springs in Austin photo by Instagram user @lincolnthegoldendoodle
Photo via @lincolnthegoldendoodle
  • Population: 907,779
  • Home Price: $257,800 median purchase price; $1,106 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 22% of U.S. cities

Not only is Austin one of the best big cities in the U.S. and one of the best U.S. cities for jobs, but it’s also the Live Music Capital of the World, featuring more than 250 live music venues throughout the city! With friendly locals, delicious street food, and a trendy culture that’s all about keeping it weird, it’s no surprise that the Texas capital is a hot spot for young adults looking for a fun place to live—especially those who want to bring their dogs along, too! Austin has 12 off-leash dog parks and a variety of pet-friendly restaurants, bars, and shops that make the city ideal for pet owners.

Things to Do with Your Dog in Austin

Spend some time playing with your dog in the water at the off-leash Red Bud Isle Dog Park. Take your four-legged friend on a hike through Barton Creek Greenbelt. Practice your Downward Dog pose along with your pup at pet-friendly yoga studio Austin Doga. Experience a dog park, bar, and eatery all in one at the unique Yard Bar, where you can even order snacks like Meatballs & Gravy or Good Dog Ice Cream for your pet. Enjoy an ice cold beer during happy hour while your dog munches on a treat on the patio at Austin-Terrier. Or listen to live music in the outdoor space at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer with your dog in tow.

Bozeman, MT

yellow lab sitting in the snow in a field in Bozeman photo by Instagram user @getting.into.mischief
Photo via @getting.into.mischief
  • Population: 41,761
  • Home Price: $278,700 median purchase price, $901 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 39% of U.S. cities

Bozeman may be a small town in Montana, but it’s been named one of the best places to live in America, thanks to its affordable housing, economic health, and quality of life. The city offers a gorgeous mountain backdrop and tons of local hiking trails—and it’s just under six hours away from Yellowstone National Park—making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts and their dogs! Keep in mind that winters in Bozeman can get pretty cold, so you’ll need to be careful with your pup during cold-weather activities. But the rest of the year has fair temperatures, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Bozeman

Hit the easy 2.2-mile roundtrip Drinking Horse Hiking Trail with your furry pal, or go for a more moderate hike along the 4-mile roundtrip Sypes Canyon Trail. Bring your best friend cross-country skiing with you at the Lindley Park Dog Ski Loop. Check out one of Bozeman’s off-leash dog parks at Bozeman Pond Park, Cooper Park, and Burke Park. Visit Nova Cafe, where you can order scrambles, omelettes, and other breakfast favorites in the dog-friendly outdoor seating area. Hang out on the patio with your pooch while enjoying pizza, burgers, and more at The Club Tavern & Grill. Or try a local brew like the Bozone Amber Ale or Plum Street Porter at pet-friendly Bozeman Brewing Company.

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Chicago, IL

mini golden doodle walking along the lake in downtown Chicago photo by Instagram user @oskee.the.goldee
Photo via @oskee.the.goldee
  • Population: 2,714,017
  • Home Price: $225,200 median purchase price, $987 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 5% of U.S. cities

Want to live in a big city with your four-legged pal? You can’t go wrong with Chicago! More affordable than coastal competitors like NYC and LA, this enormous Midwest metro frequently tops the list of best cities in the U.S. because of its world-class arts and entertainment, high-end shopping, ever-expanding culinary scene, and thrilling nightlife. And with tons of pet-friendly bars and restaurants, as well as a number of dog-friendly parks and beaches, it’s no wonder why Chicago was named among the 20 best places for dogs in America!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Chicago

Go for a run or play in Lake Michigan with your furry friend at Montrose Beach Dog-Friendly Area. See Chicago’s waterways and incredible views of the skyline with your pup on Mercury’s Canine Cruise. Head over to Wiggly Field, named after Chicago’s famous Wrigley Field, where you can run your dog through agility equipment or just let them explore in off-leash areas. Spend an afternoon with your best friend at Navy Pier, which offers several patios that allow dogs. Sit at a pet-friendly outdoor table while enjoying Fried Chicken Tacos and margaritas at Broken English Taco Pub. Or meet up with friends for a drink at one of the many dog-friendly bars in Chicago like Ludlow Liquors and DryHop Brewers.

Colorado Springs, CO

australian shepherd sitting in front of the Siamese Twins rocks in Colorado Springs, CO photo by Instagram user @kuzy.the.aussie
Photo via @kuzy.the.aussie
  • Population: 448,759
  • Home Price: $222,100 median purchase price, $958 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 16% of U.S. cities

Colorado Springs is one of the most affordable cities in America, and it’s one of the best places for families, retirees, and military! Located next to Pike National Forest, residents get incredible views of the mountains—including the well-known Pike’s Peak—and have a wide array of outdoor recreation opportunities with hiking trails, ski resorts, and camping destinations all close by. This also makes Colorado Springs an amazing place to live for adventurous dogs who like to be outdoors!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Colorado Springs

Explore Pike National Forest with your dog along the easy out-and-back Hilltop Mine Trail or the more difficult Devils Playground from the Crags, which is an 8.5-mile roundtrip trail. Enjoy a picnic or a long walk with your furry friend at Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Check out a reconstructed model of ancient Anasazi homes at Manitou Cliff Dwellings in nearby Manitou Springs, where your dog is more than welcome to join you. Bring your pup to dog-friendly restaurant Pub Dog Colorado, which offers an enclosed play area for your dog to play in while you dine. Or grab a Dos Lunas or Box Car craft brew while hanging out on the patio with your pet at Phantom Canyon Brewery.

Dallas, TX

chihuahua wearing a jean shirt in dallas photo by Instagram user @stella_chihuahuavibe
Photo via @stella_chihuahuavibe
  • Population: 1,278,433
  • Home Price: $142,600 median purchase price, $880 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 8% of U.S. cities

If you want to live in an affordable big city that’s also dog-friendly, give Dallas a look! The weather stays nice throughout the year, making it easy to get out and about with your family and your pets. Those looking to buy homes in Dallas will find tons of new construction, spacious yards ideal for dogs, and safe neighborhoods. And there are plenty of things to do—including things to do with your dog! The Big D has nine off-leash dog parks and a handful of pet-friendly restaurants throughout the city.

Things to Do with Your Dog in Dallas

Visit off-leash spots like Wagging Tail Dog Park or White Rock Lake Dog Park, where both large and small dogs are welcome to burn off some energy. Check out the dog run at Main Street Garden Park in Downtown Dallas. Go for a long stroll or a jog with your pet along the 3.5-mile Katy Trail. Bring your dog to MUTTS Canine Cantina, a combination eatery-dog park that serves up delicious hot chicken for you and pupsicles for your pal. Hit up dive bar Lee Harvey’s, where you can sit on the patio with a beer and your four-legged friend. Or make a reservation at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, a dog-friendly brunch spot in Dallas that has Quiche, Avocado Toast, and DIY Mimosas.

Denver, CO

golden retriever puppy sitting on a corner in Denver, CO photo by Instagram user @st.iggy.smalls
Photo via @st.iggy.smalls
  • Population: 663,303
  • Home Price: $292,700 median purchase price, $1,035 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of U.S. cities

Denver is about as perfect as they come among big cities in the U.S. With an affordable cost of living, a huge craft beer scene, plenty of pro sports, and a continuously growing job market, Colorado’s capital city is the go-to place for entrepreneurs, young professionals, and outdoor enthusiasts. To make it all better, Mile High City is an excellent place to live for dog owners, thanks to it being one of the best cities for outdoor recreation. You’ll never run out of options for outdoor activities here, rain or shine!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Denver

Catch a Colorado Rockies baseball game during Bark at the Park, a dog-friendly event held every summer at Coors Field. Visit one of Denver’s 12 dog parks, where you can play with your pooch and meet other local dog owners. Support local animal shelter Dumb Friends League and aid in their fight against pet homelessness during their annual Furry Scurry charity walk. Grab a bite to eat at one of Denver’s best dog-friendly restaurants, The Watering Bowl, which also has a Yappy Hour—where 22oz beers are just $5—and an enormous fenced-in dog park! Or try the Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch or the Graham Cracker Porter with your dog by your side at pet-friendly Denver Beer Co.

Las Vegas, NV

small dog standing in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign photo by Instagram user @winstonthedtladog
Photo via @winstonthedtladog
  • Population: 613,295
  • Home Price: $184,900 median purchase price, $985 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 13% of U.S. cities

Like most Southwest cities with warm weather, Las Vegas is a favorite among snowbirds, retirees, families, and young professionals seeking a place to live where there’s plenty to do and see year-round! And while Sin City might be better known for its casinos and shows on The Strip, it’s surprisingly the top most dog-friendly place to live in the U.S.! What makes this Nevada city a great place for pooches? It’s the beautiful weather, pet-friendly businesses, and number of dog parks per resident!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Las Vegas

Bring your pup with you to experience outdoor art installation Seven Magic Mountain. Make your way to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, where you’ll find a slew of trails fit for you and your four-legged pal. Spend some time in the dog run at Desert Breeze Dog Park—or if it’s too hot outside for your furry friend, pop over to Barx Parx‘s indoor play area. Take your dog with you to brunch at Park on Fremont, where you can order Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Sip on a Leglifter Light or Tailwagger Wheat and enjoy some quality time with your best friend on the patio at Big Dog’s Brewing Co. Or wake up in the morning with a Tiramisu Cold Brew while your dog snacks on treats at Sunrise Coffee.

New York City, NY

doberman, labradoodle, and golden doodle standing in downtown New York City with One World Trade Center Tower photo by Instagram user @purrple_paws
Photo via @purrple_paws
  • Population: 8,461,961
  • Home Price: $508,900 median purchase price, $1,294 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 22% of U.S. cities

New York City might not seem like a dog-friendly city because of its skyscrapers, busy streets, and sheer volume of residents, but The Big Apple has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to world-class entertainment, unique dining experiences, and cutting-edge businesses—that includes being among the first dog-friendly cities in America! With tons of local green spaces, restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops that allow pets, moving to NYC might just be worth it for both humans and their beloved canines!

Things to Do with Your Dog in New York City

Go for a jog with your dog or play fetch in the fields of the famous Central Park—or check out smaller areas like Hillside Dog Park, Stuyvesant Dog Run, and Pier 84 Dog Park if your pet gets scared easily by big groups. Take a trip to Prospect Park Dog Beach, which offers a great swimming area for water-loving pooches. Hang out at D B A, where you can bring your four-legged friend inside with you while you enjoy happy hour specials. Head over to Boris & Horton, one of the original pet-friendly cafes in NYC, where you can sip on espresso drinks and grab small bites for breakfast. Or try the Lobster Mac & Cheese or Backyard BBQ Ribs at The Barking Dog, which has an outdoor water fountain available for dogs.

Portland, OR

husky laying on a log at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland photo by Instagram user @huskymax_pugmolly
Photo via @huskymax_pugmolly
  • Population: 620,589
  • Home Price: $319,400 median purchase price, $1,025 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 10% of U.S. Cities

Portland is one of the best places to live on the West Coast! With its thriving startup culture, trendy coffee shops and food trucks, huge array of outdoor activities, and no sales tax to worry about, it’s no surprise that this hip Oregon city is popular among young adults and outdoor enthusiasts. And with its wide range of off-leash dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants and bars, and pleasant year-round weather, this Pacific Northwest hot spot is also ideal for dog owners and their best friends!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Portland

Get out for an afternoon and hit the trails or visit the off-leash dog park at Mt Tabor Park. Explore the nearly 80 miles of trails at Forest Park with your furry friend. Take your pup to one of Portland’s best off-leash spots, Willamette Park Dog Park. Experience some of the city’s best street food with Portland Food Carts, which are dog-friendly and located throughout the Portland area. Go for a weekend stroll and pick up fresh produce at Portland Saturday Market, a pet-friendly farmers market. Or sample some local Pinot Noir or Chardonnay with your best friend by your side at Plum Hill Vineyards!

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San Diego, CA

corgi wearing a harness standing in front of the ocean in San Diego photo by Instagram user @noodleboymarlowe
Photo via @noodleboymarlowe
  • Population: 1,374,812
  • Home Price: $488,600 median purchase price, $1,427 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 35% of U.S. Cities

Sunny San Diego has everything you could ever want for living a West Coast lifestyle—year-round mild weather, outdoor recreation opportunities, ocean views and beach access, a diverse dining and nightlife scene, and plenty of arts and entertainment to check out! But this California haven isn’t just paradise for humans. San Diego is also one of the best places for dogs to live, thanks to its variety of pet-friendly activities, businesses, parks, beaches, and more!

Things to Do with Your Dog in San Diego

Take a dip in the Pacific Ocean at Del Mar North Beach (also known as “Dog Beach”), which even hosts the Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon competition every year. Get some energy out for non-swimmers at San Diego dog parks like Nate’s Point and Canine Corners, both of which have large open areas for your dog to play. Sit on the dog-friendly patio at Fred’s Mexican Cafe, where you can enjoy margaritas while your dog samples dishes from the Doggie Menu. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, or happy hour at Herb & Eatery, where your pup is more than welcome to join you. Or check out the monthly wine specials at The Wine Pub, which has a dog-friendly patio.

Tampa, FL

belgian malinois sitting down near the Tampa Bay photo by Instagram user @leozmalinois
Photo via @leozmalinois
  • Population: 361,477
  • Home Price: $172,100 median purchase price, $983 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 27% of U.S. cities

Tampa is a top destination in Florida for singles, young professionals, families, and retirees alike! With its wonderful tropical weather, affordable living, beach access, and popular attractions like Busch Gardens and The Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Bay Area offers a little something for everyone—that includes dogs, too! The city has an array of off-leash parks, pet-friendly beach spots, and dog-friendly businesses that allow people to enjoy Tampa life with their pets in tow.

Things to Do with Your Dog in Tampa

Visit some of Tampa’s local dog parks, where you can get in some dog socialization time. Hit the beach and let your dog play in the water at Picnic Island Park Dog Beach. Get in some shopping and bring your four-legged friend along with you at Hyde Park Village. Go for a nice long walk with your dog at the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. Head to Sweet Sage Cafe, where you can order burgers, wraps, and sandwiches for lunch and even get your pet something from the dog menu. Find your new favorite dog-friendly hangout at Brown Boxer Pub & Grille, which offers incredible pub food and drink specials. Or sit right on the water with cocktails at The Sail during “Yappy Hour” on the pet-friendly patio.

Tucson, AZ

dalmation sitting down in a desert area with cactus nearby photo by Instagram user @louisonchewison
Photo via @louisonchewison
  • Population: 527,586
  • Home Price: $132,200 median purchase price, $722 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of U.S. cities

Want to live somewhere warm with your pet? Consider Tucson! This Arizona city was named the most dog-friendly city in 2018, thanks to its incredible year-round weather, number of dog parks, and wide range of local attractions, restaurants, and bars that allow dogs to tag along with their owners. Of course, living in Tucson isn’t just a good choice for pet lovers—it’s also a smart option for anyone seeking affordable housing, as Tucson’s cost of housing is 25% lower than the national average!

Things to Do with Your Dog in Tucson

Explore Tucson hiking trails like the easy Canyon Loop Trail at Catalina State Park or the more difficult Agua Caliente Hill Trail, both of which are popular spots for locals and their dogs. Visit the beautiful Tucson Botanical Gardens, which allows pups to tag along with their owners. Take your four-legged friend to burn off some energy in the dog run at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park. Sample local brews like the Crime in the City Stout or Don’t Get Mad IPA at Arizona Beer House on the dog-friendly patio. Or enjoy a slice of the Roman or Mexicali pizza at 1702 Pizza—and bring your best friend with you!

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City statistics from AreaVibes

Pinterest Graphic: Best Cities for Dogs: 13 Most Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities

Want to move to a dog-friendly city with your four-legged friend? Check out this list of the top 13 best cities for dogs in America! via @extraspace