Room to Run and Play – an Excerpt from the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ 2019 Annual Report

Pets and people need pet-friendly green space.

Being active outdoors supports health, whether you have two legs or four. Dog walkers typically get more exercise than those without dogs. They’re also five times more likely to know their neighbors. Still, fewer than half of our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ survey respondents said their city has enough pet-friendly green space.

Leading cities are finding creative ways to add green space and make it pet-friendly.

Many cities recognize the importance of green space and are planning to add more, but installation of healthy amenities, like drinking fountains, is lagging.


Pet-friendly parks and public spaces are located throughout our city.
93% Often/Always
7% Sometimes
0% Rarely/Never



More off-leash parks and pet-friendly spaces are planned in our city.
74% Yes
20% No
3% Don’t know



We have easy-to-find pet relief areas with waste bags and trash receptacles.
43% Often/Always
50% Sometimes
7% Rarely/Never



We have easy-to-find drinking fountains for pet hydration.
17% Often/Always
60% Sometimes
23% Rarely/Never

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

woman kissing puppy at park

From Parklets to “Barklets”

While the number of parks has significantly increased in the last decade, many communities don’t have space to spare. Here’s how some cities are getting creative.

New Ways to Green

As they reclaim urban areas like street corners as parklets, cities are taking the next step and innovating with “barklets” — pet-friendly mini green spaces.

60% of cities say they’re now taking pets into account in their green space planning.

Amenities & Signage

From apps and websites to signage, 67% of cities are expanding how they support people and pets in public spaces.

49% of citizens named pet amenities among top 3 ways to make cities more pet-friendly.

83% of cities say their parks have clear signage about responsibilities like picking up waste.

See a full list of data sources here.

Best Practice Spotlight

The Nashville barklet

Some cities have ample green space for pets, like Laguna Niguel, California, a BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ certified city with 80 miles of pet-friendly trails. But every city can be creative. Nashville, Tennessee, another certified city, recently launched the country’s first “barklet” designed specifically around dogs and their owners.


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.