Pets Welcome in More Places – an Excerpt from the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ 2019 Annual Report

People want to have their best friend by their side.

Trendsetting cities are well aware that people want pets with them. “Pets-on-patios” legislation is on the rise, and more workplaces than ever allow pets. In our national survey, 67% of pet owners said they’re more likely to spend money at businesses that welcome pets. Yet, many businesses lack clear signage about their pet policies.

Businesses that miss out on the pet trend may be missing out on profits, too.

Businesses are taking steps to make pets welcome, but there’s room to do more, particularly when it comes to communication and transportation.


Restaurants in our city welcome pets (inside or on patios).
30% Often/Always
63% Sometimes
7% Rarely/Never



Businesses post clear signage indicating where pets are welcome.
20% Often/Always
70% Sometimes
10% Rarely/Never



Public transportation allows pets regardless of size or breed.
30% Yes
43% No
27% Don’t know



One or more departments of our city government allow pets at work.
40% Yes
47% No
13% Don’t know

The above charts at right reflect data from BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ certified cities. See all data sources here.

Family at outdoor cafe with dog

Open for Business

Respondents to our surveys shared a big appetite for more pet-friendly places.

Only 32% said their city has enough pet-friendly businesses

…yet people want to take their pets with them to restaurants: 32%

…and to run errands: 42%

So far, 11 states plus the District of Columbia allow pets in outdoor dining areas (white). Five more states let local municipalities decide about pets on patios (striped).

People – and especially millennials – want to work with pets, or they won’t work for you

59% of people would choose a dog-friendly employer over one that’s not

87% of employers think dog-friendly policies help attract and keep talent

See a full list of data sources here.

Best Practice Spotlight

Dog at outdoor cafe

BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ certified city St. Petersburg, Florida, makes it easy for people to find pet-friendly places with its St. Pete PAWS program and website. Participating businesses are listed on the city’s map of pet-friendly places and receive a window decal to indicate pet-friendly policies. The city also has a Dog Dining permit process for restaurants to allow pets on patios.


See how else cities are working to make life better for people and pets, and the seven trends that are driving them. Check out the full BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ 2019 Annual Report here or download a PDF version below.

Cover of the 2019 annual report

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With the Playbook for Pet-Friendly Cities, you’re on your way to a happier, healthier place for people and pets alike.