Dog parks, also known as “off-leash dog areas,” are among the fastest growing park amenities in America’s cities, according to research by the Trust For Public Land. There are currently 810 dedicated dog parks in the 100 largest cities, an increase of 37 over last year.
That’s just as well because dog ownership is also increasing, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Even people who are allergic to most dogs can find a hypoallergenic four-legged friend. These are the best dogs for people with allergies.
The ratio of dog parks to residents reflects a place’s attitude toward dogs and their owners, and was used by 24/7 Tempo to identify the 20 most dog-friendly cities in America.
The list is dominated by Sunbelt states, with six entries for California, and two each for Florida and Nevada. Virginia isn’t a Sunbelt state but has a nice climate and obviously loves dogs, with three entries. These are the best states for dog lovers.
It stands to reason that cities with good climates offer more opportunities for outdoor recreation and thus have more dog parks. There’s also been significant economic growth in Sunbelt states in recent years, which would contribute to cities in these states ability to invest in such amenities.
To identify the 20 most dog-friendly cities in America, 24/7 Tempo used data from the Trust for Public Land’s annual City Parks Survey about the ratio of dog parks per the population. Many of the cities on this list were tied. We used total dog parks as a tiebreaker.