Barking up the right tree

Austin collars top spot among America's most pet-friendly cities

Austin collars top spot among America's most pet-friendly cities

Dog Austin skyline
The Capital City is the fourth-best place in America for our furry friends. Photo by Katie Friel

There's no doubt pet owners in Austin love their four-legged friends, and a new ranking of the most pet-friendly cities in America says just as much.

WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities in terms of pet budget, pet health and wellness, and outdoor pet-friendliness, to determine the best and worst places for our furry friends. The Capital City ranks fourth-best in the nation, nabbing the same ranking it had in 2018.

Austin impresses as the second-best city for a pet’s health and wellness, which the study digs into by tallying up the number of veterinarians, animal trainers, caretakers, dog-friendly restaurants (Austin ties for first place thanks to its many options), and more per capita. The study also scores health and wellness in terms of home sizes, pet-friendliness in the rental market, and welcoming hotels.

The Capital City slips a bit, to No. 31, in pet budget, which considers such items as veterinary care costs and dog insurance premiums.

Despite our exceptional trails, dog parks, greenspaces, and hiking areas, Austin surprisingly is a middle-of-the-road town for outdoor pet-friendliness, ranking 54th nationally. Austin’s weather (No. 81); walk score (No. 63); and dog shows per capita (No. 36) factor in.

While Austin is definitely tops in Texas, the Lone Star State boasts other pet-friendly spots, including San Antonio (No. 22), Fort Worth (No. 25), and Houston (No. 35). Dallas, however, comes in at No. 59.

At the top of the list is Scottsdale, Arizona. The least pet-friendly city, though, is Fresno, California.