The sheer number of dog-friendly patios in Austin supports the claim that it's one of the best cities in the country for pets. WalletHub named it exactly that last summer, and this year we've jumped even higher in the rankings put together from another site.
Realtor.com identified the top 10 cities for dogs and their owners, and Austin comes in at No. 6. The real estate website points to the city's 265 dog-friendly restaurants as evidence of its "pawesomeness," as well as the fact that 61 percent of Austin households include at least one dog.
Those Yelp and Nielsen stats are part of the criteria Realtor.com used to form its top 10, along with the number of dog parks, trails, and beaches (from BringFido.com); Yelp's number of pet stores, trainers, groomers, boarding services, and vets per capita; and the number of dog walkers and their average hourly rate, courtesy of Care.com.
But for Austin, it all keeps comes back to those restaurants. "There’s even a food truck dedicated to your foodist Fido," touts Realtor.com. "Bow-Wow Bones offers dogs treats in eight flavors, including peanut butter, salmon, and cheesy apple. Groovy Dog Bakery, a gourmet pet bakery, serves signature Pup Pies, Puppy Ice Creams made with real yogurt, and 'Yappy Barkday' cakes."
Letting Fluffy take a dip in Red Bud Isle or getting Zen together at Doga, a dog-centered yoga studio, are also on the list.
The only quibble we have with Realtor.com's findings is that it lists Austin's median home price as $450,000. Yes, Austin has the most overvalued home market in the country right now, but nearly half a million bucks seems oddly high.
Charleston, South Carolina, is crowned the best city for dogs, thanks to its plethora of beaches and the ability to take your four-legged pal along to concerts and on tours.