The Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the World
Beach swims and woodsy walks. Snuggles by brewery firepits. Boutique shopping sprees for custom-fit fashions. Train travel, sailing, surfing, wine tastings.
Oh, to be a city dog!
These are just some of the experiences urban dogs enjoy every day in Daily Paws' favorite dog-friendly cities worldwide. Whether you're looking to relocate or take a vacation with your pooch, these cities have everything dogs need and more. While each city has its own rules and regulations regarding dog life, generally speaking, our picks share these standards:
* Restaurants, cafés, and bars welcome dogs in outdoor seating areas, and a pawful allow them indoors. Always call and check establishments' websites in advance.
* Plenty of public parks and trails, including off-leash dog parks.
* Dogs are not allowed in food stores and outdoor markets.
* Dogs can ride public transportation. In most, small dogs in carriers travel free and 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.
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 also experience Portland's outdoors on one of their many dog-friendly hiking trails and then hang out at Hillsdale Brewery or StormBreaker Brewing.
But Portland's not only for beer lovers! Willamette Valley wineries encourage patrons to bring dogs and Keeler Estate's Pinot & Puppies club membership includes organic treats and vineyard playdates.
The city of love's affection for its 300,000 dogs has few bounds—and it's not only for Frenchies.
Most Parisian pups live in small apartments with little garden space, so locals are known to take their pooches out and about on their everyday activities. Because of this, most Parisian cafés and restaurants welcome chiens (that's French for "dogs") and many parks allow leashed pups. The Metro is also pup-friendly; dogs who can fit inside a carrier bag or on your lap ride free, while large dogs must be leashed and require a child's fee to ride. If you take your pup on a Parisian vacation, plan to stay away from typical tourist activities, as dogs can't enter museums, food markets, or major attractions.
Luckily, your pup doesn't need to see the Mona Lisa to experience all Paris has to offer. People and pooch-watching is an exciting Parisian pastime. Salon-coiffed pups strut sidewalks flaunting fashions from bark boutiques such as Moustaches, Petochic, Two Tails, and Dog in the City.
Roman dogs are always on holiday pouncing into fountains, roaming archaeological sites, traveling by train, and going to the beach. Dogs are also allowed in most shops and restaurants, making it the perfect city for regular outings with your pooch.
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. On the seashore, Bau Beach charges an entrance fee covering the dog's umbrella, water, and treats.
There's a lot to explore, so thankfully dogs can ride on Rome's public transport as long as they're crated or leashed and muzzled.
Seattle, Washington, USA
They say dogs are the new babies, and Seattle takes it seriously: The city's 153,000 dog residents still outnumber kiddos.
Seattle pups socialize at 14 off-leash dog parks, including one with beach access to Lake Washington at the Warren G. Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Area. If dog parks aren't for you, Olympic Sculpture Park and Myrtle Edwards Park leashed walks promise gorgeous Elliott Bay views. Locals call nearby Redmond's Marymoor Park "Doggy Disneyland" for its woodsy trails and swimming beaches. Washington Park Arboretum is also a popular walking destination, with 230 acres of free breathtaking gardens and walking trails.
Once you've explored Seattle's outdoors, treat your pooch—and yourself! Seattle Barkery serves gourmet dog treats (and their bakery truck frequents dog parks). At the indoor-outdoor Dogwood Play Park, you can sip on cider, beer, or wine while your pup plays.
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 (one in almost every neighborhood!). Count on swim pawties at Rock Point Provincial Park and harbor-front Cherry Beach. Then, enjoy a brew at Black Lab Brewery, which is named after the owner's very own black Labrador mix, Snoopy.
New York City, New York, USA
New York City loves dogs. In fact, a few of the city's most famous pups are memorialized: A statue of the hero Siberian husky Balto graces Central Park and Battery Park's Sirius Dog Run is named after an NYPD dog killed during 9/11 search and rescue operations.
Small dogs in carriers are welcome on the subway and New York City Transit buses at no extra cost. If you're traveling throughout the boroughs with a large pup, a taxi or ride-hailing service is your best bet.
Specialty shops such as Canine Styles, Wagwear, and Dog & Co. coif and dress pups to the ca-nines. In the fall, costumed dogs strut their stuff in the popular Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade.
Dogs sit—some dine—at many restaurants' outdoor areas. Wilson NYC even offers an entire dog menu, so your pup can choose if he'd rather woof down steak or grilled chicken. If you're in need of a quick bite, stop by Madison Square Park to visit the original Shake Shack, which serves pooch-inis.
Down under dogs love living in Melbourne. Take your pooch window shopping through Chapel Street, which is home to dozens of vintage boutiques, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Many of the businesses also allow pets inside and are marked with a paw on the door.
Melbourne is full of green space for your pooch, too. Some of the best leashed strolls take place at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and World Heritage Site, and Carlton Gardens. And nearly half of Edinburg Gardens is dedicated to an off-leash dog park! If you'd rather hit the beach, Brighton, Altona, St. Kilda, Port Phillip Bay, and Cyril Curtain Reserve dog beaches have seasonal hours.
Your pooch is allowed on metropolitan trains, trams, and buses, as long as they're in a carrier or leashed and muzzled. But if you and your pooch are new to the city, let the professionals guide you around! Gourmet Pawprints hosts dog-centric neighborhood walking tours, Yarra River cruises, and winery tasting tours.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Take it from Blue (Butler University's bulldog mascot), Indy is a Midwestern dog's dream town.
The city's top chow-down choices come from Three Dog Bakery, City Dogs Grocery, and a year-round patio at Petite Chou Bistro. You can also bring your pup along on an afternoon on Mass Ave, where there are dozens of eclectic dog-friendly shops.
Dogs looking to get some exercise can take a trip to Eagle Creek Park's lakeside trails and sprawling off-leash spaces. Or, socialize with other pups and pet parents at Broad Ripple Park's dog park, which keeps everyone safe by requiring proof of your pup's vaccines before entering.
Huntington Beach, California, USA
Rad dogs hang in Surf City USA riding waves and fetching Frisbees on Huntington Dog Beach, site of the Surf City Surf Dog competition. Yes, you read that right: You can spectate as dozens of talented dogs surf to raise money for charity each September. But dogs don't have to hang ten to enjoy the beach—Huntington Dog Beach is a popular destination for pups to simply stroll, swim, and soak up the sun.
Besides lounging by the shore, dogs in Huntington Beach chill at Surf City Dog Spaw and snack on Top Dog Barkery's pup pastries. If you're looking for a meal, Fred's Mexican Café hosts Monday Doggie Date Night and Sandy's Beach Shack serves dogs grilled meat.
Santa Barbara, California, USA
Canines can live the California dream in this sunny Central Coast town. Dogs chase waves leash-free at Arroyo Burro Beach, Shoreline State Park, and Thousand Steps. While not all of Santa Barbara's beaches allow pups on the sand, the paved trail between them is a great spot for a leashed stroll. Pups can also hike bluff-tops at Douglas Family Preserve, or sail aboard Sunset Kidd yacht.
After getting all your pup's energy out exploring the outdoors, you can check out tons of dog-friendly restaurants, brewpubs, and wineries in the Funk Zone arts district.
Denver, Colorado, USA
Dogs live it up in the Mile High City. The city offers 12 off-leash dog parks, including zones in Sloan's Lake Park and Cherry Creek State Park. If you'd rather walk your pooch leashed, Denver has over 200 public parks to choose from! Washington Park and Confluence Park are two of the most popular, both offering tons of paved walkways and grassy areas. For more active pups, a quick drive outside the city to Red Rocks Park offers gorgeous sunset hikes.
After getting some exercise in, treat your dog with a burger and a pupsicle at Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard or Ugly Dog Sports Cafe. You and your pup can socialize at Denver's dog park taverns, Watering Bowl and Romero's K9 Club & Tap House. Pooches can also sit around fire pits at Great Divide and Blue Moon breweries.
Switzerland was one of the first countries to recognize animals as beings instead of property, so it's no surprise Geneva is a great place for pups to be. All Swiss dogs are required to be microchipped, and it's illegal to crop ears, dock tails, or use shock collars. Geneva's leash-free green spaces flank the Rhone River.
There are over 20 off-leash parks throughout the city, including Parc Bertrand, which offers two off-leash zones. Pups can also ride trains and Lake Geneva's public ferries servicing shoreline cities in Switzerland and France. Small dogs can typically ride free, while larger dogs often require a reduced-price ticket.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Albuquerque is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, so there's no shortage of things to explore. Luckily, you and your leashed pooch can both ride the ABQ Trolley Company's open-air trolley tour to learn all about the Duke City.
Get outside with your pooch by visiting the Petroglyph National Monument and walk one of its hiking trails lined with prehistoric petroglyphs. Albuquerque also offers 15 dog parks throughout the city for all your pup's exercise needs.
Albuquerque's Nob Hill is home to a part of historic Route 66, Central Avenue. This retro neon-lit neighborhood is full of pet-friendly shops and restaurants, including Gecko's Bar and Tapas, where all pups are given a treat and ice water while dining. Dogs are also welcome at the Albuquerque-based chain Flying Star Cafe, which offers outdoor "petios" at half of its locations, complete with canine hitches, complimentary water, and treats for your pup.
A previous version of this story including reporting by Kit Bernardi.