“Love where you live,” they say. For us here at Atlas Pet Company, that means finding a home with easy access to trails, beautiful weather, and proximity to a few decent microbreweries. Most importantly, though, it means being able to spend as much time with our four-legged best friends as possible.
We asked the experts and did our research to find the best towns in America for dog lovers - we think you’ll agree that the five spots we discovered sound like canine heaven.
Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Golden Colorado is Atlas Pet Company's home. We have it at number 1 because, well, we love it here. And dog lovers will too! Dogs accompany their people everywhere, from hiking the trails to running daily errands. You are hard pressed not to see a dog with their head out the window along your regular commute.
The historic village of Golden is incredibly dog friendly, allowing your pup to shop and dine with you along Washington Ave. Water bowls and treat givers line the streets here. There are dog parks, paved trails, cafes and breweries abound. Looking for a more relaxing stroll outdoors? Head for the paved trails along Clear Creek through the heart of town.
When you live in Golden, outdoor adventure is just out your back door. The vast majority of hikes are open to leashed dogs. Check out Peaks to Plains Trail or Matthews Winters Trails just south of Golden, which has nine miles of trails in this Jefferson County park. If you are looking for off-leash, Tony Grampsas Park is the place for you and your pup. This 2.5 acre off-leash dog park even hosts a stream, allowing your dog to cool down on warmer days.
Each of Golden's breweries offer unique outdoor settings that allow your pups to join you. Head to Golden City Brewery, where your dog can accompany you to the brewer's very own backyard. Or, head over to Mountain Toad Brewing, where there are often as many dogs as dog owners. The options are truly endless here in Golden, making it number 1 on the list!
San Diego, CA
Some coastal towns just aren’t so hospitable to dogs when it comes to their beaches (we’re looking at you, Los Angeles). Not sunny San Diego, though - this SoCal city boasts eight stretches of sand for your pup to chase waves on.
There are plenty of other reasons pups and their people love living in San Diego. Want to work in a place where your dog can help you file TPS reports and snooze by your feet during board meetings? The city is brimming with dog-friendly offices (link to office article), like Petco and The Honest Kitchen.
With so many options for water activities, San Diego is the perfect city for your pooch to get his sea legs. You can take your dog for a Saturday cruise on a SUP board or train for the Imperial Beach Surf Dog competition that happens every July.
Pup prefer the sidelines? Make one of the local dog-friendly breweries or restaurants your regular spot - San Diego has the most in the country per capita. With 201 days a year of over-70 degree weather and one of the top-ten climates in the US, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, there’s no shortage of sunny days to while away on a patio with your pup.
Texas is known for its Southern Hospitality, and in Austin, that warmth extends to its canine residents, too. With countless dog-friendly businesses, social events, and scenic hikes, you and your pup are bound to fall in love with this hub of barbecue, music, and art.
So your dog likes off-leash parks? Fantastic - Austin has 12 of them. But how does your pup feel about an island just for mutts to roam free, smack in the middle of the city? With 13 acres of dog wonderland, we’re pretty sure that Red Bud Isle will be your your go-to Saturday spot. Too hot for Spot? Cool down in one of the area’s dog-friendly swimming holes.
Every Austin local has a favorite barbecue spot, and your pup should be no exception - heck, we think a bib is rather fetching when paired with our Lifetime Collar. Luckily, some of the best joints in town - like Franklin Barbecue and Banger’s - make it easy to tuck into some smoked meat with an eager pup at your feet. En route to an adventure? Fuel up at P. Terry’s drive-thru for a burger and a free, homemade dog treat.
The best way to tell how much a town loves its dogs is by how it treats its pets in need. For the past seven years, Austin has been the largest no-kill city in the country, with a “save rate” of 98%, thanks to their partnership with Austin Pets Alive! Show your support by bellying up to the dog-friendly bar at the spacious Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, where $1 from every pint of their APA series sold supports the organization’s mission. You’ll officially be a local when you sniff out and make friends with the ABGB regular who makes dog treats from spent brewing grain.
San Francisco, CA
It’s official: the City by the Bay has gone to the dogs. According to the US Government’s American Community Survey, there are more pups than children in San Francisco, and it’s easy to see why dog lovers flock to the foggy metropolis.
Ranking at #2 in the country for walkability, San Francisco offers an abundance of urban adventures to take with your dog. Even better than the accessible sidewalks are the many dog-friendly beaches, parks, and nearby hikes to enjoy with your furry friend. We suggest you make Fort Funston Beach and Bernal Heights Park two of your regular haunts.
Nailing the work-life balance can be tough in fast-paced SF, which is why many companies in the Bay Area welcome dogs with open arms. In fact, Bark magazine mentions the NorCal city 13 times on its list of best dog-friendly companies. Looking to further your career with a tech juggernaut? Google, Zynga, and Salesforce are just a few of the industry powerhouses that allow polite pups in the boardroom.
Coffeehouses, scenic bridges, great music, and 33 dog parks - the most per capita of any city in the nation - make Portland a mecca for dog lovers. Not only that, but Oregon’s dedication to animal rights laws moved the Humane Society of the United States to name it the second most animal-friendly state in the country (right after California, which made our list twice!).
For adventure pups, Oregon’s diverse landscape can’t be beat. At 5,200 acres, Forest Park is a favorite spot for locals get wild without leaving Portland city limits. Just remember to pack your Lifetime Leash - dogs are required to stay close to their people at this preserve. Pup more of a salty dog? The epic scenery at mutt-centric Cannon Beach is just a little over an hour away by car.
Portland is known for its socially-conscious residents, and it shows in the abundance of creative fundraisers put on by locals. As a Portlander, you’ll be able to join fellow pup-lovers at events like Canines Uncorked, a wine tour of the Tualatin Valley where your dog is welcome and all proceeds benefit the Oregon Humane Society.
Home is where the hound is.
No matter where you live, the place your dog will be happiest is wherever he is with you. Did we miss your hometown? Tag us on Instagram @atlaspetcompany and let us know what makes your city a terrific place for pups.