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Five Dog-Friendly Cities in the U.S.

Lisa Tabachnick
April 25, 2008

How Colorado Springs, Portland, Albuquerque, Seattle and Austin welcome pets.

You love your dog. You want your dog to be happy. But, are you willing to move to another city just to make his life better? Probably not. However, if you're going to be traveling with Fido or need to move and want to know where to go, these five U.S. cities are "top dog" in our books. Interestingly, research finds most of the winning cities in the West or Southwest of the United States.

If you don't have time to enjoy these parks yourself but want your dog to enjoy himself there, hire a Colorado Springs Dog Sitter to take him there for you!

Too busy to get to the Shemanski Fountain with your dog? Hire a Portland Pet Sitter to bring your pup there for you!

Albuquerque is a great place to have a pet and really cares for "man's best friend". There's a great selection of Albuquerque Dog Sitters in this area. Find one that works for your family!

Want your pup to enjoy The Pink Door and other great Seattle restaurants, but don't have time to take him out? Hire a Seattle Pet Sitter to take your dog out to lunch!

Going away to Austin but not to a pet-friendly hotel? Hire a Austin Dog Sitter to give your pet the lap of luxury while you're away!

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: With numerous hiking, camping, and trekking spots across the region, Colorado Springs offers plenty of fresh air for you and your dog. Most locations where dogs are welcome specify that Rex be "on-leash" but there are many exceptions: Pet-friendly trails in Colorado Springs, including the Red Rock Canyon Open Space, provide a great way to get out and enjoy some exercise with your pup in the two off-leash dog "loops." The uniquely titled Garden of the Gods nature center and park also allows dogs to explore (with certain restrictions). A few local restaurants and retail outlets, including Poor Richard's; La Petite Maison and the local Whole Foods allow dogs to sit at the venues' outdoor tables.
  • Portland, Oregon: This tree-huggin', animal-lovin' city is welcoming to dogs. A Catholic shrine and botanical garden, The Grotto, is a popular destination that allows leashed dogs to roam with their human companions on its main level. The Grotto also offers special events, including a Blessing of the Animals each July. Portland also boasts the Shemanski Fountain, with its three pet-level drinking fountains in addition to three people-level fountains. Coffee and microbrews are popular with Portland natives. If you can' bear to leave your pooch behind when you're guzzling your fave beverage, check out the Berlin Inn which offers organic doggie treats to canine companions on the patio.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: Apart from its natural beauty, this city has a pet-friendly attitude. Albuquerque's official city website has an excellent pet section which offers tips on how to avoid surrendering your pet to the pound, information on the new laws on sterilizing your companion animal, and descriptions of pets that are available for adoption. In terms of enjoying time with your canine, check out the amazingly detailed listing of dog parks in the Albuquerque area. Every year, the Animal Humane Society of New Mexico puts on several pet-oriented events such as the Doggie Dash & Dawdle.
  • Seattle, Washington: A great deal of history, parkland and dog-friendly attitude keeps Seattle on many "best cities for dogs" lists. Seattle's official government site offers web cams of animals waiting to be adopted, info on the annual Furry Fun Run & Walk which raises money for abused or injured animals and a map of the 11 off-leash parks in the city. Other furry-friendly attractions include numerous doggie daycares like The Barking Lounge. A number of retail venues and restaurants allow dogs on-site. The very cool-looking Pink Door restaurant apparently allows canines on the patio as well.
  • Austin, Texas: Showing up on almost every "dog-friendly city" list, Austin stands out due to its 15 accredited animal hospitals and 12 off-leash dog parks. Other featured sites with dogs in mind include: The Zilker Botanical Garden which allows pets on leash to enjoy the foliage along with their human companions. Many hotels and motels in Austin, such as the Candlewood Suites Arboretum Hotel, also allow pets to stay in the facility. And, a huge number of Austin restaurants promote canine company, including B B Rover's Cafe and Pub, which advertises its "dog-friendly covered patio."

Lisa Tabachnick Hotta writes about families and pets for Care.com and other publications.

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