Pet-Friendly Cities for Renters and Travelers

Whether you're moving or just looking for a vacation, consider these pet-friendly cities first.

Pet-Friendly Cities for Renters and Travelers Photo (cc) by Wonderlane

Forbes recently ranked San Francisco as the worst city in the country for cost-conscious renters. However, it scores much higher in another rental category.

The City by the Bay came out on top when real estate website Trulia ranked the 25-largest rental markets based on pet friendliness. The study was done in conjunction with National Pet Month, which is in May.

The other top-five markets are also in the West.

The rankings are based on the following factors:

  • Percentage of rental listings that allow cats or dogs
  • Average fees associated with having pets
  • Proximity to pet stores and services

The top cities are:

  1. San Francisco
  2. Seattle
  3. Denver
  4. Oakland, California
  5. Portland, Oregon
  6. Chicago
  7. St. Louis
  8. New York
  9. Dallas
  10. San Diego
  11. Phoenix
  12. Philadelphia
  13. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  14. Boston
  15. Newark, New Jersey
  16. Los Angeles
  17. Riverside-San Bernardino, California
  18. Atlanta
  19. Orange County, California
  20. Minneapolis-St. Paul
  21. Miami
  22. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida
  23. Houston
  24. Washington, D.C.
  25. Baltimore

If you’re a renter who wants to become a pet owner, consider a cat or small dog.

In the above rental markets, 20 percent of rentals explicitly allow cats and 18 percent allow small dogs, Trulia found:

Unfortunately, if you’ve got a St. Bernard or a Great Dane, you’re barking up the wrong tree: Nationwide, just 4 percent of rental listings say your big dog is welcome.

Dallas is the most pet-friendly market in terms of the percentage of rentals that allow cats or dogs of any size.

Even if you find a place that allows pets, however, find out if there are fees associated with having pets before adopting a four-legged friend.

Few rentals charge pet-related fees, according to Trulia’s analysis. But when they do, they can be steep.

Washington, D.C., is the most expensive place to rent with a pet, with an average pet deposit (a refundable upfront fee) of more than $350, an average pet fee (a nonrefundable upfront fee) of more than $425, and an average pet rent of nearly $45 per month.

If instead of moving you’re simply looking to get away on a trip with Fido, consider one of the following cities, which One Green Planet dubbed the most pet-friendly for vacationers:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Bal Harbor, Maine
  3. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  4. Carmel, California
  5. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  6. Chicago
  7. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  8. Key West, Florida
  9. Portland, Oregon
  10. Sonoma Valley and Napa, California

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Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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