2016 Bark-a-bility Score

Best cities for dog owners

Top Metro Areas

  1. 1. Vallejo Fairfield Napa CA 100
  2. 2. Boston MA NH 99
  3. 3. Monmouth Ocean NJ 97
  4. 4. Boulder Longmont CO 97
  5. 5. Nassau Suffolk NY 96
  6. 6. Medford Ashland OR 95
  7. 7. Oakland CA 93
  8. 8. Portland Vancouver OR WA 93
  9. 9. Bridgeport CT 92
  10. 10. Austin San Marcos TX 92

What's a Bark-a-bility Score?

We crunched the numbers to determine the most dog-friendly cities in America. Using census statistics, local business information and our own data, we rated communities on a 100-point scale — creating the Bark-a-bility Score. Top cities earned gold, silver and bronze status.

This top tier scored 80 or higher, ideal for life with canine companions.


These places earned 60 to 79 points, giving pets and pet parents lots of options.


These communities scored a 50 to 69 and still do a solid job.

How did we calculate the Bark-a-bility Score?

At DogVacay, we love taking care of pets. But we also enjoy some number crunching. So we decided to figure out which cities, large or small, could be considered the most dog friendly.
To start, we chose 4 major categories that are important to pet parents. Then we broke the categories into several, distinct data points. We assigned a value to each data point, adjusting for population. Here are the main categories and data points we used:

Veterinarian Availability & Healthcare

  • Number of emergency & 24/7 veterinarians available
  • Number of regular veterinarians & specialists
  • Average premium for dog insurance

Pet Services

  • Number of groomers available
  • Amount of dog trainers in the area
  • Adoption and breeder availability
  • Count of Dogvacay Hosts & dog-boarding options

Parks & Fun

  • Number of hotels that allow dogs
  • Amount of dog-friendly restaurants
  • Dog parks nearby
  • Average number of sunny days

Quality of “Dog” Life

  • Overall dog population
  • House vs. apartment ratio
  • Average yard size
  • Number of dog-friendly property rentals