It’s no secret that Americans love their pets. In California, it’s not unusual to see dogs chasing each other at the beach, a dog in a shopping cart or a couple enjoying a restaurant on an outdoor patio with their loyal pup by their side.
But frankly, in some cities, it’s just easier to enjoy time with your pet thanks to more dog-friendly environments and animal-focused amenities.
So if you’re a dog lover and you’re looking for the best city for you and your best friend, you might want to make sure you find a place that is considered to be “dog-friendly.”
But what exactly makes a city dog-friendly? There’s no perfect answer, but according to SmartAsset, an online hub for consumer finance information, there are a few ways to figure out which cities might be best (and worst) for you and your furry friend.
SmartAsset looked at dozens of cities and analyzed a few factors, including the total number of dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants, concentration of pet stores and veterinarians, and walkability — because your pooch needs exercise.
Cities were evaluated, population was taken into consideration and then they were ranked by a cumulative score. In California, only one city made the top 10.
Here are the 10 most dog-friendly cities in America, according to SmartAsset.
|Rank||City||Dog Parks1||Dog-Friendly Restaurants||Dog-Friendly Shopping Centers||Pet Stores and Vet Offices2|
|1||St. Petersburg, FL||2.3||134||18||84.5|
|6||Las Vegas, NV||3.8||223||3||57.4|
|9||San Francisco, CA||4.5||202||4||34.9|
|10||St. Louis, MO||2.3||157||6||38.2|
St. Petersburg, Florida took home the top spot thanks to a large number of dog-friendly shopping centers and lots of pet stores and veterinary offices. There are two dog-friendly beaches in St. Petersburg and many more nearby, according to BringFido.com.
San Francisco was the highest ranking California city, boosted by a healthy amount of dog parks per 100,000 residents and plenty of dog-friendly restaurants.
So which Southern California city is the best for dog lovers?
The city known for the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Port of Long Beach came in at No. 16 on the list. According to SmartAsset, Long Beach has 2.3 dog parks per 100,000 people and more than 140 dog-friendly restaurants.
It’s a sizeable gap between Long Beach and its big brother city, Los Angeles.
L.A. came in at No. 58 out of 97 cities, dragged down by a lack of dog parks, housing prices and a dearth of dog-friendly shopping centers. The city does have more than 400 dog-friendly restaurants, though, which is near the top.
Still, the ranking isn’t very favorable for the City of Angels. Los Angeles finished behind San Francisco, Sacramento, Long Beach, San Diego, Anaheim, Bakersfield and San Jose among California cities on the list. It did, however, edge out Fresno.
Irvine and Riverside were the two least dog-friendly cities in California, according to the study.
So if you’re looking for a place to live and the comfort of your dog is near the top of your list, you should beware of cities that just aren’t up to snuff — or, in this case, sniff.
To see the complete list and read more about the methodology used in the ranking, click here.