These cities lead the pack in providing a great quality of life for urban dogs and the people who love and care for them.

By Kit Bernardi
March 11, 2021
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Beach swims and woodsy walks. Snuggles by brewery firepits. Salon manicures and blowouts. Boutique shopping sprees for custom-fit fashions. Train travel, sailing, surfing, wine tastings. 

Oh, to be a city dog! 

These are some of the experiences urban dogs enjoy every day in Daily Paws' favorite dog-friendly cities worldwide. While each city has its own rules and regulations regarding dog life, generally speaking, our picks share these standards:  

• Restaurants, cafes, and bars welcome dogs in outdoor seating areas, a pawful allow them indoors. Call and check establishments' websites.

• Dogs are not allowed in food stores and outdoor markets.

• On public transportation, small dogs in carriers travel free. Large dogs must wear muzzles, be leashed, and have a ticket to ride (usually half-priced or child's fare). Some cities don't allow dog travel during rush hours or on regional trains. Check transit websites for details.

 Here are our picks of cities considered a dog's best friend.

Woman sits with two dogs on her lap at a cafe
Credit: kriss75 / Adobe Stock

Portland, Oregon, USA

Barks and brews, that's Portland—the eco-conscious city with the most off-leash dog parks and breweries per capita in the United States.   

Dogs can run trails in Forest Park and then hang out at Hillsdale Brewery and StormBreaker Brewing

Willamette Valley wineries encourage patrons to bring dogs. Keeler Estate's Pinot & Puppies club membership includes organic treats and vineyard playdates.

Woman in elegant outfit walks her dog by Paris river
Credit: visualspace / Getty

Paris, France

The city of love's affection for its 300,000 dogs has few bounds. 

Chiens (that's French for "dogs") frequent outdoor cafés and restaurants, ride public transportation, and enjoy canine chauffeur services. Leashed dogs walk in parks sans playgrounds. Dogs cannot enter museums, food markets, and major attractions.  

Pooch-watching is a Parisian pastime. Salon-coiffed pups strut sidewalks flaunting fashions from bark boutiques such as Moustaches, Petochic, Two Tails, and Dog in the City.

Dog on lease stands on street
Credit: Wesley Martinez Da Costa / EyeEm / Getty

Rome, Italy

Roman dogs are always on holiday pouncing into fountains, roaming archaeological sites, traveling by train, and going to the beach. 

The Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese gardens, and Tiber River banks are pleasant leashed strolls. Off-leash, dogs dash around Circus Maximus, an ancient chariot racing stadium. Restaurants allow dogs in outdoor seating areas. 

On the seashore, Bau Beach charges an entrance fee covering the dog's umbrella, water, and treats.

Dog on beach with Seattle skyline in the background
Credit: Brian Enright / 500px / Getty

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle's 153,000 dog residents still outnumber kiddos. 

Tails wag at 14 off-leash dog parks. Warren G. Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Area encompasses Lake Washington's shores. Olympic Sculpture Park and Myrtle Edwards Park leashed walks promise Elliott Bay views. Dogs ride public transportation.

Indoor-outdoor Dogwood Play Park serves beer and Seattle Barkery dog treats. Their bakery truck visits dog parks. Locals call nearby Redmond's Marymoor Park "Doggy Disneyland" for its woodsy trails and swimming beaches.

Puppy-themed fountain in Toronto's Berczy Park
Credit: Simon / Adobe Stock

Toronto, Canada

Toronto dogs are party animals.The city's bi-annual Woofstock—North America's largest outdoor dog festival attracting 150,000 dogs, 200,000 people, and pet exhibitors—celebrates canine culture through pet talent shows, contests, music, and fashion parades. Year-round, Toronto dogs socialize at more than 70 off-leash areas. Count on swim pawties at harbor-front Cherry Beach.

Pet dog with rain jacket walks through crosswalk in New York
Credit: Sisoje / Getty

New York City, New York, USA

New York City loves dogs. A statue of Alaskan sled dog Balto graces Central Park. Battery Park's Sirius Dog Run is named after an NYPD dog killed during 9/11 search and rescue operations.

Specialty shops such as Canine Styles, Wagwear, and Dog & Co. coif and dress pups to the ca-nines. Costumed dogs strut their stuff in the popular Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade.

Dogs sit—some dine—at many restaurants' outdoor areas. At Wilson NYC, they woof down steaks. Shake Shack serves pooch-inis. 

Standard poodle dog on a beach in Melbourne, Australia
Credit: nilsversemann / Adobe Stock

Melbourne, Australia

Down under dogs love living in Melbourne.

Best leashed strolls are the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and World Heritage Site, Carlton Gardens. Gourmet Pawprints hosts dog-centric neighborhood walking tours, Yarra River cruises, and winery tasting tours.

Brighton, Altona, St. Kilda, Port Phillip Bay, and Cyril Curtain Reserve dog beaches have seasonal hours. Southbank restaurants and Chapel Street shops welcome dogs. Pups ride metropolitan trains.  

Young couple with Beagle dog wearing in collar and leash walking in the summer park.
Credit: Maria Sbytova / Adobe Stock

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Take it from Trip (Butler University's bulldog mascot), Indy is a dog's dream town.

Chow-down choices come from Three Dog Bakery, City Dogs Grocery, and the menu at Petite Chou Bistro.

Dogs exercise at Eagle Creek Park's lakeside trails and sprawling off-leash spaces. Trip's choice walk: Central Canal Towpath.

Dog Carrying Toy In Mouth While Walking At Beach
Credit: Alett Lewis / EyeEm / Getty

Huntington Beach, California, USA

Rad dogs hang in Surf City USA riding waves and fetching Frisbees on Huntington Dog Beach, site of the pawsome Surf City Surf Dog ComPETition.

Dogs chill at Surf City Dog Spaw, and snack on Top Dog Barkery's pup pastries.

Fred's Mexican Café hosts Monday Doggie Date Night. Sandy's Beach Shack serves dogs grilled meat. Sit Stay Café is a mile from Dog Beach

Two dogs on beach
Credit: Cavan Images / Getty

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Canines live the California dream in this sunny Central Coast town.

Dogs chase waves leash-free at the beach between Arroyo Burro Beach and Shoreline Steps, hike bluff-tops at Douglas Family Preserve, and sail aboard Sunset Kidd yacht. 

Dog-friendly restaurants, brewpubs, and wineries abound in Funk Zone arts district. Spa resort Camp Canine charm schools pups at "Coffee Shop Dog" training.

Portrait Of Dog Sticking Out Tongue While Standing On Field in front of mountain
Credit: Brooke Glandt / EyeEm / Getty

Denver, Colorado, USA

Dogs live it up in the Mile High City.

Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard and Ugly Dog Sports Cafe serve dogs pupsicles, custard, bacon, and burger patties.

Pooches sit around fire pits at Great Divide and Blue Moon breweries. The Watering Bowl and Romero's K9 Club & Tap House are dog park taverns. 

Denver dogs love walks around Washington Park, Confluence Park, and leash-free zones in Sloan's Lake Park and Cherry Creek State Park.

Small dog gazes at water while riding on ferry
Credit: Kerkez / Getty

Geneva, Switzerland

A bark out to the Swiss for animal welfare laws.

Pet parents must apply for a license documenting their dog's health and are required to pass dog-owner behavioral training. 

Geneva's leash-free green spaces flank the Rhone River. Pups ride trains and Lake Geneva's public ferries servicing shoreline cities in Switzerland and France. So, these dogs are multi-barkal.