Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eight Great Dog-Friendly Cities in America

By Tamara L. Waters

Whether you are planning a permanent move or a vacation, knowing which cities are friendly and welcoming toward your pooch can make things easier for you and Fido. Before you go, it pays to do a little research, and the site has made it easier for you. They've  compiled a list of cities in America that are the most dog-friendly, which you can read here

When you’re looking for a city or town that is dog-friendly, you hope to find a number of businesses and attractions that will welcome not only you but also your pet. Whether the businesses allow you to bring your pet shopping or visiting with you, or they simply provide kennels or other amenities to your four-legged friend, being dog-friendly comes in many forms.

According to, eight of the best dog-friendly cities in the United States are: San Diego, California; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; San Francisco, California;  Boston, Massachusetts; Orlando, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah and Charleston, South Carolina.

What makes these cities so dog-friendly? It's a combination of things. These cities feature hotels and other accommodations (like resorts and vacation home rentals, as well as RV parks and campgrounds) that allow you to bring your pets on vacation.

If you are planning a longer stay in these cities or even a relocation, there are plenty of other things that make them dog-friendly. There are attractions like Sea World in San Diego that provide kennel services for guests who are vacationing and visiting with their dogs. Other attractions that welcome dog visitors include Ziker Botanical Gardens in Austin, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Barbary Coast Trail in San Francisco, and the Freedom Trail in Boston.

When it comes to dining and shopping, many of these dog-friendly cities have outdoor restaurants as well as shopping centers, stores and public transportation that allows your pooch to tag along.

Whether you are just visiting or you plan to become a permanent resident, visiting the beach and local parks for fun and recreation with the family can turn into a great day with your dog as well. Many of these dog-friendly cities have beaches that are open to canine beachgoers, and parks that welcome four-legged friends. Some cities even have off-leash dog parks that will provide an opportunity for fun, frolic and socialization.

If you plan to visit a vineyard or winery, there are a few that will let you bring your dog with you. Check the site for each individual city to get the pertinent information.

What else makes these areas dog-friendly? Some of these cities have events (check out Portland's Dogtoberfest, the Bark and Wine Ball in San Francisco, and a whole list of dog-friendly attractions in Boston) and rescue groups which show that the residents of these cities love dogs! In addition, dog-friendly cities have emergency veterinary hospitals available in case there is a medical issue with your dog.

Be sure to make a phone call or two to verify all information and ask about any policy changes regarding pets. Check out the following related articles on our blog: Dog-Friendly Beaches; Pet Friendly Businesses and Fun Destinations; Dog Parks: What to Know Before You Go; and Camping With Dogs. You might also want to ask your veterinarian for tips and recommendations when traveling with your dog. After all, you want your visit to a dog-friendly city to be enjoyable for everybody!

Photos by David Shankbone

Read more by Tamara L. Waters

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