Best cities for dogs in 2022

Are some cities better for dogs (and their owners) than others? We crunched the data to find the best cities for dog in 2022.

Logan SachonDerek Silva

By

Logan Sachon

Logan Sachon

Senior Managing Editor, Life Insurance & Research

Logan Sachon is the senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius, where she edits life insurance content and leads life insurance surveys and data studies. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.

&Derek Silva

Derek Silva

Senior Editor & Personal Finance Expert

Derek is a former senior editor and personal finance expert at Policygenius, where he specialized in financial data, taxes, estate planning, and investing. Previously, he was a staff writer at SmartAsset.

Updated|8 min read

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More than 69 million American households include a dog, making dogs the most popular pet in the U.S. [1] To find the best cities for dogs in 2022, we investigated the factors that make a good life for dogs and their people: Space to move around at home and outside, businesses and places devoted to our canine companions (like pet stores, dog beaches, and dog-friendly restaurants), and of course, abundant veterinary care. 

From basics like median income, cost of living, and median housing costs as a percent of income (so dog owners can make more money to take care of their dogs, afford more house, and yard to share) to the number of parks, dog parks, trails, pet-related businesses, and veterinarians. We pulled the data, crunched the numbers, and found the best cities for Americans with a furry friend to make a home. Our biggest surprise? New York, San Francisco, and San Diego didn't make the cut!

The top 25 cities for dogs in 2022

1. Henderson, Nevada

The best city in America for dogs is Henderson, NV. Median income is $81,505, well above the average of $65,203 for the 99 cities we looked at. Housing costs as the percent of your income is lower than average: 20.4% vs. 23.6%. Cost of living is also below average. Per 100,000 residents there are five dog parks, 56.7 trail miles, 21 parks, 63 pet-related businesses, and 48 veterinarians. 

2. Boise, Idaho

The second-best city for dogs and dog lovers is Boise, ID. At $65,463, median income is just about average for the 99 cities we looked at and housing costs as percent of income are low at 20.2%. Per 100,000 residents there are 59 parks, 6.4 dog parks, 92.5 trail miles, 28 pet-related businesses, and 24 veterinarians.

3. Chandler, Arizona

Chandler, AZ is the third-best city for dogs. Median income is high at $83,709, and housing costs as a percent of income are just 19.9%. Per 100,000 residents there are: 24 parks, 1.4 dog parks, 18.1 trail miles, 152 pet-related businesses, and 157 veterinarians. 

4. Madison, Wisconsin

Coming in at number four is Madison, WI, where you won't have to go far to find a dog park. Median income is just above average at $66,846, and housing costs as a percent of income are low at 22.3%. Per 100,000 residents there are: 106 parks, 4.1 dog parks, 30.2 trail miles, 30 pet-related businesses, and 36 veterinarians.

5. Scottsdale, Arizona 

You have to go out west for the fifth-best city for dogs. Median income is high at $86,097 and housing costs are below average at 20.5% of income. Per 100,000 residents there are 17 parks, 1.2 dog parks, 18.6 trail miles, 174 pet-related businesses, and 179 veterinarians. 

6. Fremont, California 

Number six on our list of best cities for dogs is Fremont, CA. Median income is twice the average for the 99 cities we looked at at $144,118, and housing costs are 21.5% of income. Per 100,000 residents there are 30 parks, 2.2 dog parks, 93.3 trail miles, 60 pet-related businesses, and 49 veterinarians. 

7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Number seven on the list of the best cities for dogs (and the closest geographically to New York) is Pittsburgh, PA. At $53,799,  the median income is below the average for the 99 cities we looked at, but housing costs are still low, at 21.1% of income. Per 100,000 residents there are 53 parks, 2.3 dog parks, 13.5 trail miles, 52 pet-related businesses, and 27 veterinarians. 

8. Plano, Texas

Plano, TX is eight on our list of the best cities for dogs. Median income is high at $93,321 and housing costs as a percentage of income are low at 20%. Per 100,000 residents, there are 30 parks, 1.1 dog parks, 36.8 trail miles, 46 pet-related businesses, and 42 veterinarians. 

9. Seattle, Washington

Beautiful Seattle, WA is ninth on our list of best cities for dog owners. Median income is high at $102,486 and at 22.2% as percent of income, housing is lower than the average of the cities we looked at. Per 100,000 residents there are 69 parks, 1.9 dog parks, 15.6 trail miles, 45 pet-related businesses, and 33 veterinarians. 

10. Raleigh, North Carolina 

Coming in at number 10 on our list of the best cities for dogs is Raleigh, NC. At $69,33, median income is higher than the average for the cities we looked at, and housing costs as a percentage of income are low at 21%. Per 100,000 residents, there are 35 parks, 1.5 dog parks, 34.6 trail miles, 30 pet-related businesses, and 32 veterinarians. 

11. Cincinnati, Ohio

A dog owner will find a lot to love about Cincinnati, OH, where the median income is lower than average at $46,260, but housing costs are also low at 22.3% of income. Per 100,000 residents there are 87 parks, 1.6 dog parks, 52.4 trail miles, 30 pet-related businesses, and 35 veterinarians. 

12. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, KY has a median income of $54,853 and housing costs at 20.6% of income on average. Per 100,000 residents there are 52 parks, 2.1 dog parks, 54 trail miles, 17 pet-related businesses, and 23 veterinarians. 

13. Irving, Texas

Median income is $67,263, and housing costs are 22.1% in Irving, TX. Per 100,000 residents there are 40 parks, 1.2 dog parks, 18.3 trail miles, 71 dog-related businesses, and 67 vets. 

14. Tampa, Florida

Median income in Tampa, FL is $57,709, and housing costs are high at 25.1% of income on average. Per 100,000 residents there are 51 parks, 4.2 dog parks, 50.7 trail miles, 43 dog-related businesses, and 37 veterinarians. 

15. St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg, FL has a median income of $61,631 and average housing costs of 22.6%. Per 100,000 residents there are 80 parks, 2.3 dog parks, 59 pet-related businesses, and 61 veterinarians. (There are no trail miles per 100,000 residents.)

16. Des Moines, Iowa

A median income of $53,859 and housing costs of 21.7% of income on average put Des Moines, IA at number 16. Per 100,000 residents there are 41 parks, 1.9 dog parks, 88.3 trail miles, 25 pet-related businesses, and 27 veterinarians. 

17. Mesa, Arizona 

Mesa, AZ has a median income of $63,836 and average housings costs of 21.2% of income. Per 100,000 residents there are 45 parks, .6 dog parks, 12.3 trail miles, 83 pet-related businesses, and 86 veterinarians. 

18. Glendale, Arizona

Glendale, AZ has a median income of $57,1173 and housing costs of 22.7% of income on average. Per 100,000 residents, there are 38 parks, 1.2 dog parks, 8.9 trail miles, 169 pet-related businesses, and 174 veterinarians. 

19. Gilbert, Arizona

Gilbert, AZ has a high median income at $102,793 and low housing costs at 18.7% on average. Per 100,000 residents there are 15 parks, 157 pet-related businesses, and 161 veterinarians. (There are no dog parks or trail miles for 100,000 residents) 

20. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Median income is $65,889 in Minneapolis, MN, and housing costs on average are 22.2% of income. Per 100,000 residents there are 42 parks, 1.6 dog parks, 45.1 trail miles, 33 pet-related businesses, and 27 veterinarians. 

21. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Median income is $70,527 and average housing costs average 21.7% of income in Colorado Springs, CO. Per 100,000 residents there are 51 parks, 1.7 dog parks, 56.6 trail miles, 18 pet-related businesses, and 21 veterinarians. 

22. St. Louis, Missouri 

Median income in St. Louis, MO is $47,176, and housing costs average 22.1% of income. Per 100,000 residents, there are 37 parks, 2 dog parks, 11.9 trail miles, 43 pet-related businesses, and 33 veterinarians. 

23. Long Beach, California 

Long Beach, CA has a median income of $67,803, and on average people pay 27.5% of their income for housing. Per 100,000 people there are 36 parks, 2.1 dog parks, 8.8 trail miles, 178 pet-related businesses, and 136 veterinarians. 

24. Irvine, California

Irvine, CA has a median income of $111,574 and an average housing cost of 26.7% of income. Per 100,000 people there are 26 parks, .3 dog parks, 136,8 trail miles, 107 pet-related businesses, and 113 veterinarians. 

25. Chula Vista, California 

Median income is $87,876 in Chula Vista, CA, and housing costs average 27.1% of income. Per 100,000 residents there are 24 parks, 2.5 dog parks, 135 pet-related businesses, and 121 veterinarians.


The best cities for dogs, summed up

Rank

City

Median income

Housing costs as a percent of income

Parks per 100k residents

Dog parks per 100k residents

Trail miles per 100k residents

Pet-related businesses per 100k residents

Veterinarians per 100k residents

1

Henderson, NV

$81,505

20.4%

21

5.0

56.7

63

48

2

Boise, ID

$65,463

20.2%

59

6.4

92.5

28

24

3

Chandler, AZ

$83,709

19.9%

24

1.4

18.1

152

157

4

Madison, WI

$66,847

22.3%

106

4.1

30.4

30

36

5

Scottsdale, AZ

$86,097

20.5%

17

1.2

18.6

174

179

6

Fremont, CA

$144,118

21.5%

30

2.2

93.3

60

49

7

Pittsburgh, PA

$53,799

21.1%

53

2.3

13.5

52

27

8

Plano, TX

$93,321

20.0%

30

1.1

36.8

46

42

9

Seattle, WA

$102,486

22.2%

69

1.9

15.6

45

33

10

Raleigh, NC

$69,333

21.0%

35

1.5

34.6

30

32

11

Cincinnati, OH

$46,260

22.3%

87

1.6

52.4

30

25

12

Louisville, KY

$54,853

20.6%

52

2.1

54.0

17

23

13

Irving, TX

$67,263

22.1%

40

1.2

18.3

71

67

14

Tampa, FL

$57,709

25.1%

51

4.2

50.7

43

37

15

St. Petersburg, FL

$61,631

22.6%

80

2.3

0.0

59

61

16

Des Moines, IA

$53,859

21.7%

41

1.9

88.3

25

27

17

Mesa, AZ

$63,836

21.2%

45

0.6

12.3

83

86

18

Glendale, AZ

$57,137

22.7%

38

1.2

8.9

169

174

19

Gilbert, AZ

$102,793

18.7%

15

0.0

0.0

157

161

20

Minneapolis, MN

$65,889

22.2%

42

1.6

45.1

33

27

21

Colorado Springs, CO

$70,527

21.7%

51

1.7

56.6

18

21

22

St. Louis, MO

$47,176

22.1%

37

2.0

11.9

43

33

23

Long Beach, CA

$67,804

27.5%

36

2.1

8.8

178

136

24

Irvine, CA

$111,574

26.7%

26

0.3

136.8

107

113

25

Chula Vista, CA

$87,876

27.1%

24

2.5

0.0

135

121


Insurance tips for dog owners

Expert advice on protecting yourself and your pet, from Policygenius experts.

Homeowners: Ensure your homeowners insurance company covers your dog’s breed

Whether you live in New York City, San Diego, or Scottsdale, if you own your home, your standard homeowners insurance policy offers coverage for injuries your dog may cause others under the personal liability and medical payments to others parts of the policy — if the breed isn’t excluded. Many insurers exclude dog breeds associated with a large number of dog bite claims from coverage, including Pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, and more. 

Renters: Get renters insurance 

Renters insurance often isn’t required, but you should get it anyway to protect your belongings — and you should definitely get it if you have a dog. In addition to personal property coverage, renters insurance includes personal liability coverage and medical payments to others, both of which could save the day if your dog bites someone. 

Everyone: Get pet insurance

The average pet insurance policy for a dog is $18 to $50 per month, depending on breed, age, and where you live — on average, pet insurance is much more expensive in New York than in smaller cities like New Orleans. Wherever you live, pet insurance is the best way to ensure that you can take care of your furry best friend in the event of major and unpredictable health expenses. 


Methodology

To find and rank the best cities to invest in real estate in 2022, we looked at the top 614 largest cities in the United States over six data points: 

  • Home value: Typical home value from Aug. 2021 (Zillow data)

  • Home value appreciation: Percentage increase in home value in the last five years, Aug. 2016 to Aug. 2021 (Zillow data) 

  • Effective property tax rate: Median annual property taxes divided by median annual home value (Census data) 

  • Rent to home value ratio: Median annual rent divided by home value (Zillow and Census data) 

  • Rental vacancy rate: Percentage of the city’s rental inventory that is vacant for rent (Census data) 

  • Rent to income ratio: Median annual rent divided by median household income (Census data)

Weighing each of the six data points equally, we ranked and scored cities based on these factors. Top rankings are based on low home values (you want to be able to afford property there); high home value appreciation (you want your house to go up in value, making your investment worth more both for future sale and future rental value); low effective property tax rate (lower taxes mean better margins); high rent to home value ratio (you’ll recoup your money sooner because rents are high compared to what you’ll spend on the house); low rental vacancy (so you can definitely find tenants at the price you want); and low rent to income ratio (because tenants who can better afford rent are probably less likely to default or miss payments). 

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References

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  1. American Pet Products Association

    . "

    Pet Industry Market Size, Trends & Ownership Statistics

    ." Accessed February 16, 2022.

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Authors

Senior Managing Editor, Life Insurance & Research

Logan Sachon

Senior Managing Editor, Life Insurance & Research

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Logan Sachon is the senior managing editor of life insurance and research at Policygenius, where she edits life insurance content and leads life insurance surveys and data studies. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Business Insider, CNN Money, BuzzFeed, Money Under 30, VICE, New York Magazine, and elsewhere.

Senior Editor & Personal Finance Expert

Derek Silva

Senior Editor & Personal Finance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Derek is a former senior editor and personal finance expert at Policygenius, where he specialized in financial data, taxes, estate planning, and investing. Previously, he was a staff writer at SmartAsset.

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