Top 10 Most Dog-Friendly States in the Country

Posted by Amber King
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From dog parks to pet-friendly housing, there's a lot that goes into being a dog-friendly state.

Safewise sat down and looked at information from the Bureau of Labor, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and other online pet-related resources. They specifically looked for high-percentages of no-kill shelters, strict anti-cruelty laws, pet-friendly public areas like dog-friendly restaurants and off-leash dog parks, and housing restrictions to compile this list of the top 10 most dog-friendly states in the country.

10. Washington

two dogs

While there are some cities in Washington that ban pit bulls, the northwestern state is largely dog-friendly. They have the 13th best anti-cruelty laws, and it's not hard to find restaurants, shops, and hotels where dogs are welcome.

9. Rhode Island

bulldog and lighthouse

The smallest state in the nation is a big supporter of animal rights. It's also one of the best places to enjoy the outdoors with your dog. Their eastern border is all coastline, and there are 27 beaches that allow dog owners to frolic in the waves with their furry best friends.

8. Kansas

sibirian husky

The biggest attraction in Kansas for dog lovers is the shelter system. About 30 percent of all shelters are no-kill. Rescue animals are well taken care of, but the state's prejudice toward pit bulls and Rottweilers prevents them from climbing higher in the rankings.

7. Massachusetts

woman kissing her dog

Dog abusers in Massachusetts beware, this state has strict laws regarding animal welfare. Those charged with animal abuse face stiff consequences, and lawmakers are proud of the work they've done in animal advocacy. If only they didn't ban pit bulls, they might be higher in the rankings.

6. Oregon

hiking with dog

There are over 200 dog-friendly trails crisscrossing the lush landscape that is Oregon, and there are also plenty of pet-friendly businesses to choose from. But once again, breed-specific legislation holds them back from being the perfect place for dogs and dog-loving people.

5. Colorado

Corgi dog in a life jacket

With some of the most striking views in the country, active dogs enjoy hiking, boating, camping, and general adventuring in the many areas that allow dogs in Colorado. Even visitors get to bring their dogs thanks to the 1,000 pet-friendly hotels. There are, however, seven cities that ban pit bulls, American Bulldogs, and other dogs incorrectly deemed "dangerous."

4. Oklahoma

dog park

Oklahoma has been waging battle against breed specific legislation for years. As of today, there is only one city still holding on to its outdated ban on pit bulls. In general, the state of Oklahoma is home to dog parks, pet-friendly trails, and restaurants. All they need now is a few more no-kill shelters.

3. Arizona

Dog sleeping in hotel room

Arizona boasts 629 pet-friendly businesses, and that's not even including the over 900 hotels that welcome dogs. They're the 10th best state in terms of no-kill shelters, and their strict anti-cruelty laws are more than enough to make a potential animal abuser rethink their actions. Overall, it's a safe place where dogs can accompany their owners out in public and live fulfilling lives.

2. Virginia

veterinarian and dog

Runner up for the most pet-friendly state is Virginia. The state isn't exactly large, but there are 2,500 veterinarians working hard to keep dogs healthy. Dining out with your dog is easy with so many pet-friendly restaurants, but dogs who already have loving homes have it much easier than rescues. Only 15 percent of shelters are no-kill.

1. Maine

boy runs with dog along beach

Topping the charts as the most dog-friendly state in America is beautiful Maine. The northeastern state has 76-dog friendly beaches, hiking trails, and dog parks. Thirty percent of the shelters are no-kill, and there are over 1,000 pet-friendly hotels. The best part about Maine is there are absolutely no breed restrictions. Dogs of all breeds have a chance to live happy, healthy lives.

Pet owners, rejoice. These are the top places for you and your furry friend to live in the United States!


Do you live in one of these dog-friendly states? Let us know in the comments.

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Top 10 Most Dog-Friendly States in the Country