If you own a pet specialty store in a major metropolitan city, chances are many of your clients—two- and four-legged alike—are renters. As I can attest, finding an affordable pet-friendly apartment in New York City proved challenging. Though I do not currently own a pet, I had to forgo the likelihood that I could become a pet owner in the immediate future by singing a lease on an apartment with a strict no-pets policy. Finding an apartment was stressful enough; I can’t imagine the added worry of trying to find a place to meet the needs of a furry friend.
On a related note, realtor.com—the official website of the National Association of Realtors that helps connect people with the content, tools and expertise they need to find the perfect home—recognized that with the majority of U.S. households owing a pet, finding a rental that welcomes animals can be difficult. With that in mind, the website scoured its listings, searching for cities with the most pet-friendly rentals, comparing the results with the number of dog parks in the city to present the top five pet-friendly rental markets in the nation.
The five best places for pet-friendly rentals are:
1. Houston—The Texas city boasts 1,381 pet-friendly rental listings on realtor.com, as well as 22 dog parks.
2. Chicago—The Windy City has 1,012 pet-friendly rentals, in addition to 21 off-leash dog parks.
3. Miami—Realtor.com listed 897 pet-friendly rentals in the South Florida city, which features 16 parks for Fido to roam leash-free.
4. Austin, Texas—The largest U.S. state makes the list again, boasting 623 pet-friendly rentals and 18 dog parks.
5. Charlotte, N.C.—Though the city is home to more pet-friendly rentals than Austin, Texas—793—the lack of dog parks (just eight) puts the North Carolina city in the fifth spot.
Interestingly, only one of these cities appears on another list for city-dwelling dog lovers. Miami ranked fourth on NerdWallet.com’s recently released 10 Best Cities to Have a Dog list. Does that make Miami the top dog overall?