5 Best Cities for Dog Lovers and Their Pooches

When moving to a new city, you consider everything from the cost of living to the local food scene. Shouldn’t you think about how man’s best friend will fit in, too? We’ve scoured dozens of cities that claim to be dog-loving locations, but only a few truly make the cut for Fido. Check out these puppy hot spots before you choose the new city for you and your four-footed friend.

Charleston, South Carolina

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Photo by Ron Cogswell/Flickr
Southern charm and gracious manners await new residents in historic Charleston, S.C., and that polite etiquette extends to the four-legged community. Voted as the most dog-friendly city in the Southeast in 2014 by Dog Fancy magazine, Charleston hosts a bevy of events for pet owners, including the much-loved Yappy Hour. Bring your dogs along to this pup-friendly version of “happy hour” for live music and great beverages, held one Thursday in each month from May to October.

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Photo by North Charleston/Flickr

For the self-proclaimed “foodies” considering a move to Charleston, come to Parson Jack’s Café, where the motto – “A Great Place to Wag Your Tail!” – is more than just a happy thought. While you relish delicious Southern barbecue or some of the homemade hot wings, your pup can chow down on gourmet dog food, available upon request at no extra charge.

Seattle, Washington

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Photo by Jonathan Miske/Flickr
If you are looking to call the Pacific Northwest home, Seattle has plenty of fun options for pet owners. Spend Sundays with a cool treat and your fur babies on the downtown Seattle Ice Cream Cruise, a ferry tour of Lake Union that is fun for both you and your pups. Stay in shape and work off that ice cream at Fetch Fitness, a fitness club that shows you how to train alongside your dog.

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Photo by Wonderlane/Flickr

When that notorious rainy Seattle weather starts to get in the way of your puppy playtime, visit the city’s indoor dog park, K9 Fun Zone. Use the K9 Fun Zone online scheduling tool and set aside a 25- or 55-minute time slot to bring your dogs for some indoors exercise. If your four-legged friend needs a little extra attention, the Fun Zone offers private training classes and group classes to improve their behavior.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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Photo by Massachusett’s Office of Travel & Tourism/Flickr
Dog owners find plenty of outdoor adventures in Cape Cod, Mass. Exercise your pooch on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 22-mile pathway that provides a rich history of the New England railway system. Along the trail, you will discover several beaches that welcome your furry pets. Take a break from your hike and let your pup romp in the surf!

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Photo by dee & tula monstah/Flickr

In addition to the beaches along the Rail Trail, many other beaches in the Cape Cod area allow dogs all year round. Your pup can play in the sand and chase seagulls while you enjoy the sound of waves on sand and relax in the sun.

Chicago, Illinois

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Photo by Bert Kaufmann/Flickr
We know you love your pet, but do you also love baseball? The Chicago White Sox hosts their Dog Day baseball game each year in May, letting dog owners experience America’s pasttime with their pets.

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Photo by Matt Stratton/Flickr

If you live an active lifestyle with your pup, Chicago is the perfect city for you. Take your dog for leisurely walks along the popular Chicago Lakefront Trail. The paved lanes span 18 miles along Lake Michigan and lead to other pet-friendly destinations, including Navy Pier. Chicago also boasts a total of 23 off-leash dog parks for residents and their pups. For some surfside activity, check out the Northwest part of Montrose Beach, where dogs are allowed to be off-leash and encouraged to take a refreshing dip in the water with owners.

Napa Valley, California

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Photo by James Daisa/Flickr
You may think of Napa as a wine-lovers paradise, but for dog lovers considering a move to the California coast, this scenic city should be at the top of the list. Over 100 of the world-famous Napa Valley vineyards allow dogs in designated areas — and sometimes in the tasting rooms, as well. Bring your pet along to Mutt Lynch Winery to taste excellent California wines. You can feel good about drinking a glass of vino at this winery, too. They donate to more than 50 nonprofit animal organizations around the United States.

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Photo by Ruth Lozano/Flickr

Have some fun during the Halloween season in Napa and dress up your pooch for the Pet Parade at St. Helena’s Annual Harvest Festival. Proceeds benefit local animal shelters, and if you are looking to add to your furry family, you can even adopt a dog at the event.

Don’t forget to think of your pup when planning your next move. Finding the right city for both you and your furry family members may take some time, but starting with these pet-friendly places will help you choose. Do you think your city should be on this list? Tell us what makes your city a dog lover’s dream!

About the author

Jonathan packed his whole life into a backpack and two years later needed an entire moving truck for everything. He enjoys traveling, getting lost and laughing way too hard. Contact him at jonathan.deesing@imove.com.

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