No matter where your next trip may be, it’s likely that your dog would like to tag along. Dogs love to be by their owner’s side throughout a journey and arguably make the best and cutest companions.
A new survey of 10,000 American dog owners by Forbes Advisor revealed that 82% of dog owners sometimes travel with their dogs by car and 33% travel with their dogs by plane. When asked what annoys dog owners the most about having a dog, 37% of respondents said that having to find a sitter when traveling out of town and being unable to bring their dog is their top annoyance.
Whether you’re flying or driving to your next travel destination, the study found the top cities to visit when bringing your pup along for the ride.
Forbes Advisor analyzed the 98 most populated U.S. cities with available data across 10 pet- and travel-related metrics to uncover the best cities to travel to with your dog. They considered pet-friendly accommodations, the number of pet-friendly restaurants, the number and quality of pet clinics in each city, the percentage of dog-friendly hiking trails, dog parks and other metrics to reveal the best cities in America to travel to with your dog.
The density of pet-friendly restaurants is significantly higher among the top-ranking cities. The top 10 cities to travel to with your dog average 21 pet-friendly restaurants per 100,000 residents, compared to an average of four pet-friendly restaurants per 100,000 residents across the bottom 10 cities.
Three of the top 10 cities overall (Washington, D.C., Long Beach and San Francisco) also placed in the top 10 for pet clinic quality. Pet clinics in these cities average 4.3 stars out of 5—in case of an emergency during your vacation with your pooch.
Overall, the U.S. has great options for hitting the trails with your dog, with 71% of outdoor trails being dog-friendly across all 98 cities that were analyzed.
BEST CITIES TO TRAVEL TO WITH YOUR DOG
- Sacramento, California
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco, California
- Bakersfield, California
- Long Beach, California
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- Washington, D.C.
- St. Louis, Missouri and Albuquerque, New Mexico (Tie)
WORST CITIES TO TRAVEL TO WITH YOUR DOG
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Mesa, Arizona
- Corpus Christi, Texas
Traveling with dogs can be challenging at times, but bringing your pup along on vacations can also be rewarding. Of the 10,000 dog owners Forbes Advisor surveyed, traveling with dogs in a car was more popular than traveling by plane. But some dog owners said they preferred to bring their pups with them when flying.
Eighty-two percent of dog owners said they at least sometimes travel with their dog by car. Only six percent said they never travel with their dog by car. A third of dog owners (33%) said they at least sometimes travel with their dog by plane and eight percent said they always travel with their dog when flying.
More than half (55%) of dog owners said they never travel with their dog by plane. Forty-one percent of dog owners said they’ve brought their dogs with them on vacation.
How dog owners celebrate the winter holidays
Many people consider their dogs to be family members, and bringing your dog with you wherever you celebrate the holiday season can be a joyous endeavor. Whether celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, some dog owners said they bring their dogs along with them for the holiday celebrations.
More American dog owners who travel out of town for winter holidays said they bring their dog with them, than said they have a sitter, family member or boarding organization watch them.
Ninety-one percent of dog owners who celebrate Thanksgiving said they do so with their dog, with 10% saying they celebrate the holiday out of town with their dog. Ninety percent of dog owners who celebrate Christmas said they do so with their dog, with 11% saying they celebrate the holiday out of town with their dog. The majority of dog owners who celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa said they do so with their dog, with an average of 7% saying they celebrate either holiday out of town with their dog.
With a little bit of preparation, traveling with a dog can be a smooth journey. Here are a few tips so you and your best buddy can have the trip of a lifetime.
You probably budgeted for hotels, restaurants, gas and highway tolls, but did you budget for an unexpected veterinary emergency? Your dog could encounter new dangers such as toxic plants, poisonous animals and aggressive dogs. An emergency like a bite wound or an ingested foreign object could cost you thousands of dollars at an emergency vet clinic.
Pet insurance is a good way to pay for unexpected veterinary costs. A typical policy pays for veterinary expenses for accidents (like broken bones) and illnesses (like vomiting or an infection). And pet insurance companies allow you to go to any licensed vet in the U.S., so you don’t have to wait to see a vet until you get home from your trip. Worried about the cost of pet insurance? It may be cheaper than you think. The survey found that the average cost of pet insurance for a dog is $44 per month (for a policy with $5,000 of annual coverage, a $250 deductible and 80% reimbursement).
Produced in association with SWNS Research
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