Personal Finance

The Best Cities for Dog Lovers in 2021

Woman with her dog
4 PM production / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Our dogs love us unconditionally, but how well do our local communities reciprocate that warmth and devotion to our BFFs (Best Furry Friends)?

LawnStarter ranked the 200 biggest U.S. cities to sniff out 2021’s Best Cities for Dog Lovers.

We measured the puppy love in each city based on 22 key factors — from access to dog walkers, groomers, and trainers to the share of canine-friendly rental properties and the favorability of dog laws.

Check out the leaders of the pack in our ranking below, followed by our methodology.

1. Hollywood, FL

Hollywood Florida
Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 47.6

Housing rank: 191

Community rank: 12

Care rank: 1

Services rank: 4

Businesses rank: 71

2. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Fort Lauderdale Florida
GagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 47.33

Housing rank: 185

Community rank: 7

Care rank: 9

Services rank: 2

Businesses rank: 6

3. Orlando, FL

Orlando, Florida
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 45.65

Housing rank: 78

Community rank: 125

Care rank: 68

Services rank: 1

Businesses rank: 2

4. Pasadena, CA

Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 43.21

Housing rank: 138

Community rank: 2

Care rank: 5

Services rank: 36

Businesses rank: 80

5. Alexandria, VA

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 41.23

Housing rank: 150

Community rank: 1

Care rank: 19

Services rank: 20

Businesses rank: 24

6. Torrance, CA

Torrance, California
KevinKim / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 41.1

Housing rank: 179

Community rank: 3

Care rank: 2

Services rank: 65

Businesses rank: 122

7. Orange, CA

Orange, California
Felipe Sanchez / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 41.08

Housing rank: 136

Community rank: 40

Care rank: 3

Services rank: 21

Businesses rank: 109

8. Tempe, AZ

Tempe Arizona
AevanStock / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 40.65

Housing rank: 101

Community rank: 18

Care rank: 17

Services rank: 11

Businesses rank: 47

9. Fullerton, CA

Fullerton, California
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 40.35

Housing rank: 133

Community rank: 20

Care rank: 4

Services rank: 44

Businesses rank: 117

10. Savannah, GA

Savannah Georgia riverboat.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 38.98

Housing rank: 54

Community rank: 81

Care rank: 32

Services rank: 38

Businesses rank: 1

11. Baton Rouge, LA (tie)

Baton Rouge Louisiana
CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 38.07

Housing rank: 3

Community rank: 142

Care rank: 76

Services rank: 7

Businesses rank: 35

11. Fort Collins, CO (tie)

Fort Collins,
marekuliasz / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 38.07

Housing rank: 36

Community rank: 78

Care rank: 31

Services rank: 13

Businesses rank: 22

13. Huntington Beach, CA

Huntington Beach California
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 38.04

Housing rank: 130

Community rank: 11

Care rank: 14

Services rank: 27

Businesses rank: 106

14. Lakewood, CO

Lakewood, Colorado
Sean Xu / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 37.81

Housing rank: 56

Community rank: 56

Care rank: 11

Services rank: 22

Businesses rank: 110

15. Garden Grove, CA

Garden Grove, California
TonelsonProductions / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 37.52

Housing rank: 155

Community rank: 19

Care rank: 6

Services rank: 48

Businesses rank: 192

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

We ranked the 198 biggest U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 198) based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all the weighted metrics listed below.

  • Average Home Square Footage
  • Share of Dog-Friendly Rental Properties
  • Average Yard Size
  • Dog Events per 100,000 Residents
  • Dog Meetups per 100,000 Residents
  • Animal Shelters per 100,000 Residents
  • Walk Score
  • Dog-Friendly Laws
  • Pet Stores per 100,000 Residents
  • Veterinarians per 100,000 Residents
  • Emergency Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals per 100,000 Residents
  • Animal Hospitals per 100,000 Residents
  • Dog Walkers per 100,000 Residents
  • Pet Trainers per 100,000 Residents
  • Median Per-Visit Dog Sitter Rate
  • Dog Sitters per 100,000 Residents
  • Pet Groomers per 100,000 Residents
  • Dog Boarding Offers per 100,000 Residents
  • Kennels per 100,000 Residents
  • Pet-Friendly Hotels per 100,000 Residents
  • Dog-Friendly Restaurants per 100,000 Residents
  • Dog-Friendly Shopping Centers per 100,000 Residents

Sources: BringFido, Emergency Vets USA, Homes.com, LawnStarter, Meetup, PetSitter.com, Rent.com, Sittercity, TripAdvisor, VCA Hospitals, Yellow Pages, and Yelp.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.