[Top 10] Most Dog Friendly States In The US

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Finding the perfect place to live in the United States with your canine companion can take some research and browsing on the internet.

You have to consider the location, climate and access to parks and living quarters.

It really is a big decision and you want to do what’s right for your and your pet. 

The good thing is, I’ve got you covered!

If you’re looking for the ideal state to live in with your precious pup, then keep reading to find out what places in the US are the best for dogs and their owners.

By Allison Salonko.

Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.

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#1 Maine

Maine has bounced around the top of this list for many years, but finally it has reached #1.

This state has no breed restrictions (or BSL – breed specific legislations) that dictate what breed of dog that can live there.

This is particularly important if you have a Pit Bull, as they are one of the breeds that are most discriminated against.

Not only is their lack of breed discrimination a great selling point, but they also have over 76 dog-friendly beaches and 1000 pet-friendly hotels!

One downside is that due to Maine’s smaller size, more than half of their shelters are “kill shelters” because of overcrowding.

#2 Indiana

The Hoosier State really loves their animals as over 49% of households have dogs and over 38% have cats, making a total of 69% of Indiana residents with pets in their homes!

That’s huge and is statistically one of the highest numbers of pet ownership in the US.

Besides the pet ownership number, Indiana is also known for their animal-rights laws and advocacies when it comes to abuse and neglect.

If you decide to mistreat an animal in Indiana, you will end up paying the price!

This state also includes numerous dog-friendly parks, businesses and housing.

Over half of Indiana’s apartments and rental properties approve dogs and have very limited breed restrictions.

#3 Colorado

Being one of the US’s more progressive states, it’s no surprise that Colorado makes it to the top 3 of this list.

This is another area that has zero breed specific legislations and very strict animal abuse and neglect laws and policies in place to protect our precious pets.

Colorado also has over 1000 pet-friendly hotels, 200 hiking trails and almost 2000 different practicing veterinarians to choose from.

What a selection!

You certainly can’t go wrong with living in Colorado with your four-legged friend.

#4 Oregon

For many years, Oregon has been a top contender for the list of best states in the US for dog ownership.

This state has zero BSL rules and very strict laws against animal abuse and neglect.

There are hundreds of pet-friendly businesses, hotels, housings and parks for pet owners and their dogs.

Portland has over 300 hundred dog-friendly restaurants just by themselves!

There is a huge number of veterinarians to choose from as well and thankfully, they have very few no-kill animal shelters in Oregon.

#5 California

California is much like Colorado in the sense that being progressive and animal-friendly is a big personal highlight of theirs.

Cali is another state that has no BSL’s, has strict laws against abuse and a large number of no-kill animal shelters.

You won’t have a hard time finding a veterinarian for your dog in California – this state has the highest number of practicing vets out of the entire US!

In 2018, there were over 7000 practicing DVM’s.

#6 Vermont

Another state with a high pet ownership number, Vermont, can easily be your new home for you and your canine companion.

There are over 200 dog-friendly restaurants, 1000 pet-friendly hotels and more than 75 dog parks.

Not only that, but you can even find the appropriately named place, Dog Mountain, which is a huge farm that includes numerous pools, ponds, hiking trails and other super awesome dog activities!

Vermont also hosts other dog-specific events such as the August Dog Party and October Dogfest.

#7 Washington

The beautiful green forests and hiking trails as well as incredible beaches make Washington another great state for dog enthusiasts and owners.

There are hundreds of doggy-approved hiking trails, parks and other super fun destinations for you and your pup to explore.

Thankfully, Washington state has a very small number of kill-shelters, strong animal protection laws and a very high percentage of pet ownership.

You certainly can’t go wrong with making the breath-taking state of Washington your home for you and your dog.

#8 Florida

Florida is another state that proudly touts their number of dog-friendly restaurants and businesses, dog parks, beaches and hiking trails.

Did you know that in Florida, there are 4 dog-friendly parks per 100K residents!

That’s a pretty staggering number compared to other surrounding states.

This state does not have any restrictions on breeds and is one of the top 5 states for veterinary employment.

It certainly wouldn’t be hard to find a vet for your pup if you lived in Florida!

The one downside to the Sunshine State is that it still has a larger number of kill-shelters and it’s also full of heartworm spreading mosquitos.

#9 Tennessee

Tennessee is another state that ranks highly with their limited breed restriction laws and number pet-friendly hotels and businesses.

Tennessee is also not a difficult place to find a rental when you own a dog thanks to their lack of breed specific legislation.

#10 Massachusetts

Another state that is extremely strict regarding their animal abuse laws is Massachusetts.

They even use a “good samaritan law” (much like Florida) where you can break someone’s window if there is a dog left in a hot car.

Not only are our pet’s protected well, but there is a huge number of pet-friendly businesses, restaurants and hotels in the state of Massachusetts.

Top 10 Dog Friendly States In The US

Finding that perfect place for you and your dog can be tricky, so it only makes sense that you’d want to live somewhere that appeals to your lifestyle and beliefs.

You can’t go wrong with any of these top ten states on this list, as your dog is sure to be protected and welcomed at many different parks, homes and businesses.

Photo by Anna.