If you have a furry friend, you know just how important it is to live in a pet-friendly community. Whether it’s safe sidewalks for walking, dog-friendly parks and beaches, or even pet-friendly restaurants, bars, and stores, residing in a pet-friendly area makes you and your pet’s life easier.

A study published by SafeWise found the most and least pet-friendly states in the U.S. Here we’ll go over the top 10 most pet-friendly states and the metrics used to rank them.

The Most Pet-Friendly States

This study found that the most pet-friendly states were the following:

  1. Indiana
  2. Tennessee
  3. North Carolina
  4. Nevada
  5. Vermont
  6. Oregon
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Missouri
  9. Colorado
  10. Washington

These states were picked as the top 10 most pet-friendly based on a number of factors including, pet population, pet-friendly rentals, and animal laws.  

Pet Population

The overall percentage of pets in a state is an important factor when considering pet-friendliness. The more pets, the more likely local businesses and public areas are pet-friendly. The top 10 states each have a pet population of 59% or more. Out of the top 10 states, Oregon has the highest pet population overall at 70%.

Pet-Friendly Rentals

Every dog and cat owner knows the struggle of trying to find pet-friendly rental housing. Many apartment complexes do not allow pets at all or have breed restrictions. Out of the top 10 states, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Indiana have 44% or more pet-friendly rental options.

Animal Laws

In determining the most pet-friendly states, animal safety laws were analyzed. The types of animal safety laws that helped to rank each state included: laws relating to leaving animals in the car, vet reporting laws, tether laws, anti-cruelty laws, and animal fighting paraphernalia laws.

  • Leaving Animals in the Car

As many of us know, leaving a dog in a hot car without air circulation, water, or food can be extremely dangerous. That’s why 31 states have put laws in place to protect animals from being left in the car.

  • Vet Reporting Requirements

Veterinary reporting requirement laws require vets to report signs of animal cruelty or abuse. Half of the states in the U.S. have these reporting laws in place.

  • Tether Laws

22 states currently have laws regarding abusive and negligent tethering practices. These could include dogs left out in harsh weather conditions, tied up for long periods of time, or the use of constricting collars.

  • Anti-Cruelty Laws

Animal abuse is an unfortunate reality. Anti-cruelty laws are put in place to protect animals and ban convicted abusers from owning animals in the future. 

  • Animal Fighting Paraphernalia Laws

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, half of all U.S. states have laws in place that criminalize the possession of animal fighting paraphernalia. This paraphernalia could include items used to train fighting animals, breaking sticks (used to pry open a dog’s jaw), and gaffs (blades that attach to a rooster’s legs).

Other Interesting Considerations

Other interesting things to consider that were not analyzed in this study include how a state ranks in relation to its animal shelters, as well as, dog attack statistics

Although North Carolina was ranked as the 3rd most pet-friendly state in the country by SafeWise, the state is ranked as the 3rd worst state for shelter animals and as the state with the 4th highest amount of dog bite fatalities

Although not all encompassing, this study did uncover vital information for pet owners when it comes to picking a pet-friendly state to reside in. All things considered, these are extremely important factors for your dog’s health and safety and can help you and your pet live a fulfilling life.

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