AUSTIN, Texas — As a dog owner, the quality of your pup’s life can weigh heavily on where you live. Dogs thrive in environments with fresh air, wide open spaces, and amenities like dog parks where they can run free and play with other furry friends.
In honor of July being National Lost Pet Prevention Month, LawnStarter compared 98 of the biggest U.S. cities to determine the spots with the best dog parks in the nation based on access, quality, and climate.
The most dog-friendly city is Boise, Idaho, with the best access to pooch-friendly green spaces. The City of Trees is followed by San Fransisco, California and Henderson, Nevada, to round out the top three.
The cities where you won’t find quality dog parks are Garland, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Researchers say this was due to poor access to dedicated spaces for pets to play and unfavorable climates.
You can find the best-rated dog parks in Toledo, Ohio, which boasts the highest average consumer rating at 4.75 out of five dog bones. Corpus Christi, Texas, and Buffalo, New York tied in second place for this category.
However, New York City boasts the most top-rated dog parks. The city’s 17 praised parks are almost double the number in Houston and Chicago, tied at nine each. Despite placing 18th for having the best access to dog parks, Laredo, Texas, placed fourth worst overall and second-worst in quality.
A sunny climate encourages owners to visit dog parks with their pooches more often. Among the 20 cities with the highest number of reviews, 16 are in the Sun Belt, a region of the U.S. known for its warm, sunny climate.
Where does your city fall? Let us know in the comments!
First, LawnStarter determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Best Dog Park Cities. Then, a weight was assigned to each factor based on its importance and grouped those factors into three categories: Access, Quality, and Climate.
For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, data was gathered on each factor. Scores were calculated (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank in each factor, each category, and overall. A city’s Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories. The highest Overall Score ranked “Best” (No. 1) and the lowest “Worst” (No. 200).