The Top 10 Pet-Friendly Cities to Move to in 2024

Posted by Billy Francis

Whether it’s choosing Fido’s forever home based on the biggest and best dog parks, sniffing out the place with the most delicious dog menus, or finding a city that plays host to the coolest events for pets, most devoted dog owners want to raise their furry best friends in an up-and-coming-city with a thriving canine community at its heart.

We’ve taken key factors like liveability, growth, job opportunities and most importantly, paws-on-the-ground reports from canine locals to create our list of the top 10 pet-friendly cities to move to in 2024.

Kansas City, MO

“I told you - I’m not a Shuttle-Cocker Spaniel!” Photo by

It’s not just Taylor Swift who will be heading to Kansas City in the new year. The home of the Kansas City Chiefs is a great hub for sports fans, it provides a more affordable cost of living than the national average, and it has plenty of jobs thanks to big companies based in the city like Hallmark Cards and H&R Block. Of course, that’s all great news for humans, but what’s in it for Fido?

Learn all about your new home and see sights like Union Station, Historic City Market and The River District on a guided pet-friendly tour with Kansas City Fun Tours. Hop off the bus and explore trails that wind around 1,805 acres of woodlands and grassy meadows at Swope Park Off Leash Dog Park, or drive a short distance north of the city to one of the world’s largest dog parks, Shawnee Mission. For a slice of culture, sniff out the best sculptures at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Then, spend an afternoon in the sun meeting your new neighbors at Bar K Dog Bar, a raucous restaurant with two fenced dog parks.

Before you put down roots, get a taste of KC with a stay at Hotel Indigo Kansas City Downtown. This popular hotel in the heart of downtown boasts pet-friendly rooms with hardwood floors for easy cleanup.

Houston, TX

“Houston - we don’t have a problem.” Photo by @goodboychuck

There are more Fortune 500 companies based in Houston than anywhere else outside of New York, which means there are many job options in The Bayou City. Movers from other big metropolitan cities will find lower house prices and day-to-day living costs here, too. Once you’ve found a job to afford fresh kibble and a house with a big fenced backyard, it’s time to use some PTO to explore beyond the doggy door.

Fuel your four-legged friends' first day in the big city with ground beef or scrambled eggs from the Puppy Menu at Baby Barnaby’s. After breakfast, it’s time to visit a selection of Houston’s 20+ dog parks (and even more in the surrounding suburbs), including local favorite Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park which features a pond, agility equipment and shady trees. Next, slip on your pup’s leash and head to Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, a 155-acre nature sanctuary with five miles of walking trails that wind through forest, meadow and wetland habitats. As you watch the Texas sunset from the dog park at Powder Keg with a drink in your hand and live music playing, you’ll be thankful you freshened things up and made the move.

Stay around the corner from Powder Keg at Sonesta Simply Suites Houston CityCentre. As part of Pets Are Welcome At Sonesta (PAWS), beds, bowls, waterproof mats, and treats are provided at check-in.

Nashville, TN

“Gnashing in Nashville.” Photo by @marlinmonroe_sheepadoodle

If he’s ever spent a weekend in dog-friendly Nashville, Fido may be “paw-suaded” to pack his bags and move to Music City permanently. This bustling city is one of the fastest growing in the U.S., has a booming tourist industry and plenty of job opportunities in and out of the music scene.

Learn about some of the legends who shaped the golden era of country music on the Walkin’ Nashville Music City Legends Tour, a 2-hour walk with a music guru to famous landmarks like the Ryman Auditorium and Printer’s Alley. Afterward, head over to Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, just east of Nashville. Dogs are welcome to explore the outdoor grounds of the presidential estate while learning about Andrew Jackson’s life and home. Nashville is known for wild nights, so stop by The Stage on Broadway, one of the few pet-friendly honky tonks in town. Find a seat on the lower level or head to the rooftop patio for views of Lower Broadway and more live tunes.

Virgin Hotels Nashville in the heart of Nashville’s Midtown neighborhood, dishes out treats and lots of pets at check-in, as well as dog beds and feeding bowls for pups to use during their stay, and Virgin Hotels bandanas to remind them of the first visit to their new home.

Raleigh, NC

“We’re rallying for Raleigh to be the top city!” Photo by BringFido/Brent

Planning on moving to the Tar Heel State with your pooch? Be sure to add Raleigh to the shortlist. The capital of North Carolina has a pleasant climate most of the year, plenty of recreational activities, high employment rates and lots to keep the canine community busy, too.

First, visit one of the city’s popular recreation spaces for pups like Dog Park at Dorothea Dix Park, Dog Park at Millbrook Exchange Park or Dog Park at Carolina Pines Park which all have separate fenced areas, shady areas and grass. Or, if the weather isn’t cooperating, get the scoop from local Labs at one of three West Street Dog locations around Raleigh which feature an indoor dog park, doggy daycare, grooming services and a bar where humans can grab a drink and meet new friends. Then, take a walk down memory lane at Historic Oak View County Park and see what life would have been like if you and Fido had lived in Raleigh during the 19th century. Afterward, you can go for a stroll on the paved trail that weaves around the sculptures on display at the North Carolina Museum of Art which features waste stations and water fountains along the way. In the evening, grab dinner at the lively Raleigh Beer Garden. While you dig into wings or a pizza, your pooch can savor a plate of bacon or a puppy patty.

Get a taste of what Raleigh is really like when you stay with Fido at this charming bungalow in a downtown neighborhood. The bright home features hardwood floors and a fenced backyard.

Sarasota, FL

“I’m driving.” Photo by BringFido/Kim

Retirees will find excellent dog-friendly communities to move to in Sarasota, but snowbirds aren’t the only ones heading here in search of sun. Sarasota County is one of the fastest-growing regions in the U.S., and it features some of the best schools in Florida, pristine beaches, walkable neighborhoods and plenty of places to spend time with your Terrier.

Explore the crystal-clear waters that surround your new town with Sarasota Boat Tours. This pet-friendly company offers sunset sails and longer cruises throughout the day. When you’re back on dry land, head up the coast to Bayfront Park and Marina for a shady stroll along the paved pathway. Then, admire the bay from a different angle at Bird Key Park, and toast your successful move at Boo's Ice House & Dog Bar, an off-leash dog park, restaurant and bar in the iconic Rosemary District. Later on, check out the winding pet-friendly trails at Red Bug Slough Preserve, a 72-acre protected space with a pond at its center. At dinnertime, you and your pooch can enjoy something to eat at Old Salty Dog, a restaurant with a view and a dog menu.

Relocating can be expensive, so enjoy a budget stay before your big move at Comfort Inn and Suites Sarasota I-75. This popular hotel offers pet-friendly first-floor rooms with hardwood floors and easy access to relief areas outside.

Lexington, KY

“Wild horses couldn’t stop me from coming to Lexington.” Photo by Gatsby The Lab

With a thriving job market, a lower cost of living than the national average and ample opportunities to get outside, it’s time to take the leap to Lexington.

Dogs aren’t the only four-legged residents who receive the 5-star treatment in Lexington. Kentucky Horse Park is the city’s must-visit attraction and is a great place to learn all about your adopted home’s love of all things equine. Leashed dogs are welcome at the working horse farm, educational theme park and equine competition facility. Fido will be itching to trot off leash after seeing all the horses enjoying the pastures. Drive to nearby Masterson Station Dog Park, where he can run like the wind on the grass, chill under shady trees and rehydrate at the water fountains provided, or call in at Coldstream Dog Park for a game of long-distance fetch in the 12-acre fenced space. Pups who prefer swimming can go for a dip in the indoor pool at Yappy Place and get a fresh cut afterward. Then, your adorable pooch can help you meet new people during dinner at Double Dogs.

Share a relaxing stay at the Horse Farm Creekside Cabin, located just minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park. There’s room for dogs to roam outside and a cozy fireplace to gather around in the evening.

Madison, WI

“We’re mad about Madison!” Photo by BringFido

Make moves with your mutt to Madison, a beautiful Midwest gem in The Badger State. Mad City, as it's affectionately known by locals, has a great job market with low unemployment and close proximity to big cities like Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago. This college town is built for long strolls with your dog thanks to the walkable downtown, but there’s much more than just sidewalks on offer for canines relocating here.

Before you find a house or job in Madison, you’ll want to secure your pup’s annual dog park permit to give him access to amazing recreation spaces like the Dog Park at Sycamore Park or the enormous Dog Park at Prairie Moraine County Park in neighboring Verona. This incredible park spans more than 79 acres full of trails, grassy meadows with big hills, prairie grass, beautiful wildflowers and open space. Afterward, swing by Wisconsin Brewing Company, which will soon become Fido’s favorite brewery thanks to the spent grain treats, pond outside and grassy spots. If you decide to play at Sycamore Park instead, The Boneyard and their “Barktenders” are nearby to provide off-leash fun and a Biergarten.

As you’re enjoying a fresh start in Madison, give your dog’s wardrobe a refresh at Bad Dog Frida, too. Then, check in for a night or two at Hotel Indigo Madison Downtown with stylish rooms and green space outside.

Bellingham, WA

The pawfect place to call home. Photo by

Do you hear bells ringing for a change of scenery in the Pacific Northwest? Bellingham is the up-and-coming option for families searching for outdoor adventures, good schools and a close-knit community of canine owners. New residents and their Retrievers won’t be restricted to Bellingham either. This awesome city in The Evergreen State is situated between Seattle and Vancouver, and you and your pooch can hop on a pet-friendly ferry to Alaska from here, too.

It won’t take long for you to reach natural beauty from downtown. Arroyo Park is a popular spot for trail runners, mountain bikers and dog owners alike. Dog Park at Lake Padden Park welcomes pups to play in the fenced space and wander by your side along beautiful trails through the woods without a leash. Fido can make a splash at Bloedel Donovan Beach, and make new friends during a meetup with local dog owners held daily. On rainy days, curl up with a good book at Village Books, then toast a day well spent at nearby Paws For a Beer. This popular pub and dog park welcomes pups to roam off leash inside and out, hosts training sessions for members and is the “pawfect” place to make new four-legged friends.

Gaze out across the water from your pet-friendly room with a bay view at Chrysalis Inn & Spa. Pooches receive treats, pets and bowls at check-in, and the South Bay Trail is nearby.

Boulder, CO

“Where will your Boulder adventure take you?” Photo by Boulder Colorado

The People's Republic of Boulder has been on our radar for a while now, but it remains one of the top pet-friendly cities to move to in the new year, too. Families with young children who want to relocate to the pet-friendly Rockies will be stoked to know that Boulder’s schools are of a great standard, downtown is walkable and there are ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

Boulder is a small city brimming with adventure just beyond your new back door. With 300 days of sunshine a year, Fido has plenty of time to hike the beautiful Flatirons Vista and Doudy Draw Trail and meet the local canine community at Foothills Community Dog Park or East Boulder Dog Park. Sign your pup up for a Boulder Voice and Sight Tag for off-leash access to designated trails. If you’re just as interested in the beer scene, swing by one of the city’s many dog-friendly breweries like Finkel & Garf Brewing Company or Avery Brewing Co. For a dog-centric experience with brews on tap, head to nearby Lafayette for off-leash fun at Romero's K9 Club & Tap House.

Leave your old stressful life behind and discover why people are flocking to Boulder with a few nights at Foot of the Mountain Motel. Pups who come to stay can use bowls and beds provided and burn off steam on the lawn with a zipline dog run.

Pittsburgh, PA

“Paws in the air for Pittsburgh!” Photo by BringFido/Cherie

While the industries that Steel City was built on have since slowed down, Pittsburgh has revitalized its reputation by promoting the arts, being the headquarters of tech companies like Duolingo and having a great school system. It’s also one of the most affordable cities on our list, featuring house prices way below the national average and a relatively low cost of living.

Pittsburgh is having a moment among dog lovers, too. Fido can see his new hometown from a unique perspective while scaling Mt. Washington on the funicular Duquesne Incline near Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood. Then, drive just outside the city and check out Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, a pet-friendly botanical garden that showcases regional flora adjacent to winding trails. Settlers Cabin Park is on the same parcel of land and features an off-leash area. The city is also home to the Pittsburgh Pirates MLB team, which hosts annual pet-friendly events at PNC Park. Winters in Pittsburgh can be tough, so book a lane and escape the evening chill at Pins Mechanical Co., a pet-friendly arcade with duck-pin bowling.

Good impressions are vital when you’re deciding if you want to move somewhere, and you can guarantee one if you book a room at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh. This boutique hotel welcomes dogs to join their owners at happy hour to meet other newcomers.

Did Fido’s favorite city make the list? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by Getty Images/Zview.