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Tampa named most pet-friendly city in WalletHub survey; St. Petersburg No. 26

Lots of veterinarians, dog parks and pet-friendly restaurants propelled Tampa to the top among 100 U.S. cities in a new survey by the personal finance website.
Tampa rates high in outdoor fun for dogs in a new survey by personal finance website WalletHub. This one takes to the water at Picnic Island park.
Tampa rates high in outdoor fun for dogs in a new survey by personal finance website WalletHub. This one takes to the water at Picnic Island park. [ JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ | Times ]
Published Aug. 5, 2020

TAMPA — What makes a pet-friendly city?

Lots of veterinarians, dog parks and pet-friendly restaurants, to start, and that’s what propelled Tampa to the top of a list of 100 U.S. cities in a new survey by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Tampa edged out Austin, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Orlando as the most pet-friendly U.S. city in the survey released Wednesday.

Tampa rates high in veterinarians per capita according to a new survey by personal finance website WalletHub.
Tampa rates high in veterinarians per capita according to a new survey by personal finance website WalletHub.

St. Petersburg is No. 26, Miami is No. 16 and Jacksonville No. 62. The list includes six Florida cities. The bottom three cities are in California — Santa Ana, San Bernardino and Fresno.

The list was released in time for National Homeless Animals Day on Saturday.

WalletHub compared the pet-friendliness of the 100 largest cities across 25 metrics, including pet-care provider costs, pet businesses per capita and walkability.

Tampa rated No. 1 for veterinarians per capita and No. 8 for both dog parks per capita and dog friendly restaurants per capita.

Related: Tampa Bay pets awaiting adoption

The metrics were also combined into three broad categories, with Tampa ranking No. 4 in outdoor pet friendliness, No. 7 in pet health and wellness, and No 26 in pet budget. The city’s overall score was 59.83, compared to 59.61 for Austin, 59.19 for Las Vegas and 58.78 for Orlando.

“Animal companionship is a great stress reliever, especially during the social isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” WalletHub said in releasing the survey. “Naturally, the nearly 85 million households in the U.S. that own pets want to live places where their beloved companions can enjoy long, healthy lives without breaking the bank.”

Adding an animal to the family roster can be hard on the wallet, the website said. Expenses including licenses, grooming and medical care can cost from $230 to more than $2,000 annually, depending on the type of animal.

The American Pet Products Association projects that in 2020, pet ownership will cost Americans $99 billion.

Most Pet-Friendly Cities

  1. Tampa
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Orlando
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. St. Louis, MO
  7. Atlanta, GA
  8. New Orleans, LA
  9. Birmingham, AL
  10. San Diego, CA
  11. Cincinnati, OH
  12. Scottsdale, AZ
  13. Boise, ID
  14. Portland, OR
  15. Lexington-Fayette, KY
  16. Miami
  17. Nashville, TN
  18. Houston, TX
  19. Corpus Christi, TX
  20. Oklahoma City, OK1
  21. Tulsa, OK
  22. San Antonio, TX
  23. Columbus, OH
  24. Denver, CO
  25. Raleigh, NC
  26. St. Petersburg
  27. Phoenix, AZ
  28. Pittsburgh, PA
  29. Albuquerque, NM
  30. Fort Wayne, IN
  31. Colorado Springs, CO
  32. Lincoln, NE
  33. Fort Worth, TX
  34. Plano, TX
  35. Louisville, KY
  36. Lubbock, TX
  37. El Paso, TX
  38. Omaha, NE
  39. Tucson, AZ
  40. Sacramento, CA
  41. Chesapeake, VA
  42. North Las Vegas, NV
  43. Chicago, IL
  44. Henderson, NV
  45. Kansas City, MO
  46. Winston-Salem, NC
  47. Hialeah
  48. Memphis, TN
  49. Philadelphia, PA
  50. Virginia Beach, VA
  51. Baton Rouge, LA
  52. Los Angeles, CA
  53. Indianapolis, IN
  54. Wichita, KS
  55. Durham, NC
  56. Irvine, CA
  57. Cleveland, OH
  58. Garland, TX
  59. Jersey City, NJ
  60. Minneapolis, MN
  61. New York, NY
  62. Jacksonville
  63. Arlington, TX
  64. San Jose, CA
  65. Madison, WI
  66. Reno, NV
  67. Milwaukee, WI
  68. Irving, TX
  69. Glendale, AZ
  70. Boston, MA
  71. Anaheim, CA
  72. St. Paul, MN
  73. Washington, DC
  74. Toledo, OH
  75. Stockton, TX
  76. Dallas
  77. Oakland, CA
  78. Charlotte, NC
  79. Greensboro, NC
  80. San Francisco, CA
  81. Chandler, AZ
  82. Norfolk, VA
  83. Gilbert, AZ
  84. Riverside, CA
  85. Long Beach, CA
  86. Anchorage, AK
  87. Fremont, CA
  88. Aurora, CO
  89. Detroit, MI
  90. Baltimore, MD
  91. Newark, NJ
  92. Chula Vista, CA
  93. Mesa, AZ
  94. Buffalo, NY
  95. Laredo, TX
  96. Bakersfield, CA
  97. Honolulu, HI
  98. Santa Ana, CA
  99. San Bernardino, CA
  100. Fresno, CA