Website ranks St. Petersburg, Tampa as top 'pet friendly' cities in the U.S.

A dog climbs out of the water during Dog Swim Day at Fossil Park pool in St. Petersburg. Zumper ranked St. Petersburg as the most pet friendly city in the U.S. [Times files]
A dog climbs out of the water during Dog Swim Day at Fossil Park pool in St. Petersburg. Zumper ranked St. Petersburg as the most pet friendly city in the U.S. [Times files]
Published July 25 2016
Updated July 25 2016

A new ranking by the real estate site Zumper calls St. Petersburg the most pet friendly city in the country, with Tampa following closely behind.

The ranking calculated scores for 95 American cities in three categories: ease of owning a pet, places to play and the number of home rental listings that allow animals.

Ease was based on the number of pet stores, veterinarians and pet-friendly restaurants listed on Yelp, as well as the cost of pet insurance. Play scores were based on the number of dog parks per capita, the percentage of each city's area set aside for parks in general, pleasant weather and a city's walkability according to WalkScore.

"St. Petersburg topped our ranks of pet friendly cities due largely to the fact that it was in the top 10 percent of cities with cat friendly listings," the website wrote. "St. Petersburg also scored very well in the ease of owning a pet category because of the high density of veterinarians, pet stores and pet restaurants in the area."

Tampa came in at No. 5 in the ranking, behind Seattle, Portland, Ore. and Arlington, Va., making it the second-most pet friendly city in Florida, according to Zumper..

St. Pete had a better score in the play and ease categories, but Tampa scored higher in pet apartments, since it had one of the "highest proportions of pet friendly listings," the site said.

Dogs have become an increasingly common sight in bars, restaurants and breweries around Tampa Bay. Earlier this year, The Dog Bar, which combines a dog park with beer, wine and a full-liquor bar, opened on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Restaurants such as Cassis American Brasserie in St. Petersburg, and Besa Grill in Clearwater have been offering a menu specifically for dogs for years

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