Beach swims and woodsy walks. Snuggles by brewery firepits. Salon manicures and blowouts. Boutique shopping sprees for custom-fit fashions. Train travel, sailing, surfing, wine tastings. These cities lead the pack in providing a great quality of life for urban dogs and the people who love and care for them.
Toronto dogs are party animals. The city’s bi-annual Woofstock—North America’s largest outdoor dog festival attracting 150,000 dogs, 200,000 people, and pet exhibitors—celebrates canine culture through pet talent shows, contests, music, and fashion parades. Year-round, Toronto dogs socialize at more than 70 off-leash areas. Count on swim pawties at harbor-front Cherry Beach.
Cool dogs hang in Surf City USA riding waves and fetching Frisbees on Huntington Dog Beach, site of the pawsome Surf City Surf Dog Competition. Dogs chill at Surf City Dog Spaw, and snack on Top Dog Barkery’s pup pastries. Fred’s Mexican Café hosts Monday Doggie Date Night. Sandy’s Beach Shack serves dogs grilled meat. Sit Stay Café is a mile from Dog Beach.
Over 300,000 dogs call Paris home and frequent outdoor cafés and restaurants, ride public transportation, and enjoy canine chauffeur services. Leashed dogs walk in parks and playgrounds. Dogs cannot enter museums, food markets or major attractions. Pooch-watching is a Parisian pastime. Salon-coiffed pups strut sidewalks flaunting fashions from bark boutiques such as Moustaches, Petochic, Two Tails, and Dog in the City.
Roman dogs are always on holiday pouncing into fountains, roaming archaeological sites, traveling by train, and going to the beach. The Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese gardens, and Tiber River banks are pleasant leashed strolls. Off-leash, dogs dash around Circus Maximus, an ancient chariot racing stadium. Restaurants allow dogs in outdoor seating areas.
New York City loves dogs. A statue of Alaskan sled dog Balto graces Central Park. Battery Park’s Sirius Dog Run is named after an NYPD dog killed during 9/11 search and rescue operations. Specialty shops such as Canine Styles, Wagwear, and Dog & Co. coif and dress pups to the ca-nines. Costumed dogs strut their stuff in the popular Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Dogs can sit and din at many restaurants’ outdoor areas.
Down under dogs love living in Melbourne. Best leashed strolls are the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and World Heritage Site, Carlton Gardens. Gourmet Pawprints hosts dog-centric neighborhood walking tours, Yarra River cruises, and winery tasting tours. Brighton, Altona, St. Kilda, Port Phillip Bay, and Cyril Curtain Reserve dog beaches have seasonal hours. Southbank restaurants and Chapel Street shops welcome dogs. Pups ride metropolitan trains.
Seattle’s 153,000 dog residents still outnumber the children. Tails wag at 14 off-leash dog parks. Warren G. Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Area encompasses Lake Washington’s shores. Olympic Sculpture Park and Myrtle Edwards Park leashed walks promise Elliott Bay views. Dogs ride public transportation. Indoor-outdoor Dogwood Play Park serves beer and Seattle Barkery dog treats. Their bakery truck visits dog parks. Locals call nearby Redmond’s Marymoor Park “Doggy Disneyland” for its woodsy trails and swimming beaches.
A shout out to the Swiss for animal welfare laws. Pet parents must apply for a license documenting their dog’s health and are required to pass dog-owner behavioral training. Geneva’s leash-free green spaces flank the Rhone River. Pups ride trains and Lake Geneva’s public ferries servicing shoreline cities in Switzerland and France. So, these dogs are multi-barkal.
Canines live the California dream in this sunny Central Coast town. Dogs chase waves leash-free at the beach between Arroyo Burro Beach and Shoreline Steps, hike bluff-tops at Douglas Family Preserve, and sail aboard Sunset Kidd yacht. Dog-friendly restaurants, brewpubs, and wineries abound in Funk Zone arts district. Spa resort Camp Canine charm schools’ pups at “Coffee Shop Dog” training.
Dogs live it up in the Mile High City. Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard and Ugly Dog Sports Cafe serve dogs pupsicles, custard, bacon, and burger patties. Pooches sit around fire pits at Great Divide and Blue Moon breweries. The Watering Bowl and Romero’s K9 Club & Tap House are dog park taverns. Denver dogs love walks around Washington Park, Confluence Park, and leash-free zones in Sloan’s Lake Park and Cherry Creek State Park.