Your House Search: How to Find a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood


Your dog is a member of your family. It’s an oft-cited fact that most owners would agree with emphatically.

As such, you want to make sure your new neighborhood is right for your four-legged companion, as well as your human family members.

There are key features of a dog-friendly neighborhood, whether it’s in a suburb or a city, that you should look out for.

5 Key Features of a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood

Finding a home that will also be perfect for your dog can be tough. Look at the neighborhood and evaluate based on these clues.

1. You See Lots of Dogs Out and About

If you’re wandering through your prospective neighborhood and you see dogs here and there – walking with their owners, playing in their yards – that’s a great sign.

A dog-friendly area is a place where people want to get out and enjoy the fresh air with their pooches. If the streets are bereft of this clue, be wary. It could just be the time of day, but it could also mean the area isn’t ideal for dogs.

2. There’s a Dog Park Close By

A dog park in your neighborhood is a great amenity for happy dogs and owners – but not all of these parks are created equally.

Check out the park and make note of a few details. Is it a deserted patch of dirt? Is it too small for dogs to run around and stretch their legs? Are the fences around the park sturdy? Are there watering areas and waste areas?

If it looks like a green, lush, well-kept area regularly visited by happy, relaxed dogs, you’re golden.

3. There Are Nearby Vets, Shelters, or Pet Stores

For a truly dog-friendly neighborhood, you shouldn’t have to drive across town to get all the services you need to take care of Fido.

Make sure there’s a vet nearby that’s convenient, plus a pet store, or a store that has a nice selection of pet supplies. A nearby shelter is a good indication of pet-friendliness. A place to board your dog, or take them for doggy daycare, is also a good sign if one is close enough.

4. The Streets Are Walkable

Dogs require lots of walks and exercise. If the streets in your prospective neighborhood aren’t great for walking, that might make your life harder. Look at the width of the sidewalks and the streets in general. Look at the through traffic – a quieter street is better for walking. Finally, check for waste bag stations along possible walking routes.

Also, don’t forget to check the area for places to go to walk, like trails, large parks, beaches, or hiking areas.

5. The Neighbors Like Dogs

This one is a little harder to judge, but it can greatly influence how well your dog gets along in the neighborhood.

If the neighbors are dog-wary or animal-averse, you may end up getting complaints about barking, digging, or some other behavior. If you can, take your dog on a test-spin through the neighborhood on a weekend. Do people you see look friendly? Do other walkers smile or inquire about your dog?

Finding a dog-friendly neighborhood on your house search may not be easy, but it will be worth it. Your dog will be happy and comfortable in your new place, and that will make you rest easier, too.