These Are the 5 Best U.S. Cities for Dogs, According To Forbes Advisor

We all want the best for our dogs—aka our slightly furrier children—and that means picking a place to live where both person and pup can live their best lives in harmonious delight.

With that in mind, Forbes Advisor this week issued a list of the five best United States cities for dogs in 2021. Picking from the country’s 100 largest cities, Forbes based its rankings on five main factors.

The most important one—40 percent of the score—was the city’s number of dog parks per 100,000 residents. The second consideration, worth 30 percent of the score, was based on weather, particularly whether the city is prone to extremely hot or cold weather. (Sorry, northern cities. You did not do well here.)

For the remaining 30 percent of the score, Forbes Advisor looked at living situations: the number of apartments in the city that allow pets (20 percent of the score); the percent of apartments that have pet play areas (5 percent); and the share of apartments that require tenants pay pet rent (5 percent).

Mariia Vorona / Shutterstock

OK, enough about the scoring, let’s get to the list.

No. 1: Henderson, Nev. (Score: 81)

Pros: The Las Vegas suburb has 20 dog parks! Dang! Plus, as Forbes Advisor also notes, more than 90 percent of the apartments in the city allow pets.

Cons: It’s certainly not cold in southern Nevada, but, man, every summer is Hot Girl Summer. You’re gonna see 100 degrees come July and August.

No. 2: Tampa, Fla. (71)

Pros: More than eight out of 10 apartments allow dogs, Forbes Advisor says, and you don’t have to worry about snow. Also: beaches.

Cons: Certain apartment complexes may ban certain larger breeds of dogs and pit bulls. Also you’re a couple hours from Walt Disney World.

No. 3 (tie): Las Vegas (69)

Pros: There’s something about these Nevada cities and their dog parks. Vegas has 11—roughly one for every 15 casinos. Forbes Advisor says 82 percent of apartments allow pets.

Cons: We already mentioned how hot it can be, and Forbes Advisor warns of breed restrictions for certain apartment complexes. And we all know about the holes in the desert.

A group of young adult friends dining al fresco on a patio with Golden Retriever
Fat Camera / Getty

No. 3 (tie): Portland, Ore. (69)

Pros: Wow, Portland has more than 30 off-leash dog park areas? Plenty of options there. Also it’s not as hot as the other cities on this list.

Cons: Only 62 percent of apartments allow pets, Forbes Advisor says, and that seems a little low. Because of that, you might want to secure some housing before you opt to adopt a dog.

No. 5 (tie): Nashville, Tenn. (67)

Pros: The main selling point here is the roughly 86 percent of apartments in the city that allow pets. That, plus the mild weather and plenty of places to take your dog, earns the Tennessee capital a coveted spot on the list.

Cons: The better barbecue (might?) be a few hours down the road in Memphis. Not that it matters. The best barbecue is on the other side of the next state over. Facts only here at Daily Paws.

No. 5 (tie): Norfolk, Va. (67)

Pros: Another city on the water, and Forbes Advisor notes it has normally nice weather for walking your pup. The cost of living isn’t bad.

Cons: Only 68 percent of apartments allow pets, according to Forbes Advisor, so you might have to spend a little more time than usual looking for an apartment for you and your pooch.

Forbes Advisor rounded out the top 10 with four more southern cities:

  • Irving, Texas (65)
  • Austin, Texas (64)
  • Richmond, Va. (64)
  • Scottsdale, Az. (64)

Remember, this is just a list based on only a few factors. The most important thing is that you’re committed to the well-being and happiness of your dog. If you love and provide for your dog, it doesn’t really matter where you live.

An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to the publication that produced the “best cities” list as Forbes rather than Forbes Advisor. The errors have been corrected.