Best in Show: The UK’s Most Dog Friendly Cities

While Brits have been in lockdown, the desire to own a four-legged friend has never been stronger. Google UK searches for ‘puppies for sale’ have increased a huge 233% (from Feb to Jun 20). Likewise searches for ‘dog rescue near me’ have grown 232% since February.

And if you already have a pooch – you’ve probably never appreciated them more. So, it’s never been a better time to visit somewhere with your dog, or even move to a dog-friendly area in the UK.

With this in mind, lifestyle and interior specialist, Blinds Hut, analysed the number of dog friendly businesses and services in 20 cities and compared this to the dog population in the area, to reveal the most canine-friendly cities in the UK.

Read on to discover our key findings...

Key Findings:

  • Southampton is the most dog friendly city, thanks to its high number of dog friendly pubs, groomers and vets.
  • Edinburgh is the second-best city for pup welcoming pubs - with one pub for every 497 dogs.
  • London, Manchester, and Sheffield are the top three cities for pooch friendly eateries.
  • Surprisingly, London scores paw-fectly for the number of open spaces for dogs - at one open space for every 97 canines.
  • Barking up the wrong tree: Exeter is the least dog friendly city. The location scores the lowest for vets, groomers and dog walkers.

 Top 10 Most Dog Friendly Cities In The UK

Southampton Scores Best in Show as Most Dog-Friendly City

Southampton is noted for being the cruise ship capital of Europe but, now Southampton has another title under its belt: the most dog friendly city in the UK. According to Blinds Hut research, Southampton scored well on most metrics but received top marks for the ratio of dog friendly pubs, groomers, and vets across the city.

Southampton Gains Paw-fect Marks for Dog-Friendly Pubs and Groomers

Southampton has the top ratio of pooch friendly pubs, across the 20 British cities analysed. You’ll be able to find one dog friendly pub for every 350 pups – perfect for thirsty owners.

The city scored the best for the ratio of groomers, which can be a necessity if you have a long-haired dog. There is one groomer for every 589 dogs in Southampton. Comparatively, the city with the lowest number of groomers is Exeter, with one groomer for a whopping 26,869 dogs.

Southampton is the Best City for Vets

It’s vital we look after our pooches with the help of vets. Thankfully, Southampton gains top grades out of the 20 cities for the ratio of vets. There’s one veterinary practice for every 699 dogs in the city. On the other hand, the city with the second-lowest number of vets, Carlisle, has one veterinary practice for every 6,555 pooches.

The city also fares well for the ratio of open space and dog walkers, gaining second place with 422 ratio and 355 ratio, respectively.

 

Hair of The Dog: These Cities Have The Most Dog-Friendly Pubs

Being able to take your pooch wherever, especially a pub is certainly great. Scott McGlynn who lives in a city with his five dogs, even goes so far to say: “The best thing about a Sunday is that me and my partner can go out to a bar with our five dogs.”

So, with that in mind, Blinds Hut has uncovered the cities with the best ratio of pup welcoming pubs. The results are as follows:

  1. Southampton – one dog friendly pub for every 350 dogs.
  2. Edinburgh – one dog friendly pub for every 497 dogs.
  3. Sheffield – one dog friendly pub for every 722 dogs.


Edinburgh is the UK’s Second-Best City for Dog Friendly Pubs

Despite Edinburgh scoring 15th place in Blinds Hut’s dog friendly city ranking, the Scottish capital is second best for pooch friendly pubs. There’s a whopping 153 pup friendly pubs in Edinburgh, and with over 76 thousand dogs in the city - that’s one dog friendly pub to every 497 canines. 

Sheffield Places Third for Pooch Welcoming Pubs

Thirdly, we have Sheffield, otherwise known as ‘steel city’, and the 9th most dog friendly city. Sheffield has 225 more pups to dog friendly pubs than Edinburgh, meaning it may be a little harder to find a pub that welcomes canines. However, at one dog friendly pub for every 722 dogs in the city, it shouldn’t be difficult to grab a drink with your four-legged friend.

In contrast, Birmingham has the lowest number of pubs out of 20 cities analysed. Birmingham has just one dog welcoming pub for every 10,253 Birmingham pooches. Likewise, Exeter and Carlisle are the second and third lowest cities for canine friendly pubs - with one pub to every 10,076 and 8,740 pups, accordingly.

 

The Top Three UK Cities for Dog Friendly Eateries

When you’re out exploring with your four-legged friend, you’re certain to work up an appetite. But, which cities are the best for dog friendly places to eat?

  1. London – one dog friendly eatery for every 1,589 dogs.
  2. Manchester – one dog friendly eatery for every 1,849 dogs.
  3. Cambridge – one dog friendly eatery for every 1,859 dogs.


Blinds Hut research has revealed London not only gained 2nd place as the most dog friendly city, but has also scored top marks for the ratio of canine friendly eateries. You’ll be able to find one dog friendly eatery for every 1,589 pooches here.

Pooches are not far from a treat in the 3rd most pup friendly city, Manchester, either. The city hosts one dog friendly eatery for every 1,849 dogs. That makes this northern city the second-best for places to eat with your canine.

Cambridge didn’t quite make the top 10 dog friendly cities, with a rank of 11. However, the city scores top three for pup friendly places to eat. This university town has 1,859 dogs per dog friendly eatery, so you’ll have no problem grabbing a bite to eat with your pup.

 

London Scores Paw-fectly for Parks and Open Space

Parks and open space are certainly important for our pooches and for us, especially given the current climate. We, therefore, uncovered which cities have the most parks for our canines: 

  1. London – one open space for every 97 dogs.
  2. Southampton – one open space for every 422 dogs.
  3. Swansea – one open space for every 547 dogs.

Surprisingly, the built-up capital, London, has the highest number of parks of the 20 cities analysed - there’s an astonishing 3,000 located in the city. Blinds Hut has calculated that there is an area of open space for every 97 dogs in the city – better than any other location analysed. In fact, the second-best city for open space, Southampton, has 325 more dogs than London for every open space.

However, if you’re looking for open spaces in Wales with your pup – Swansea may be your best bet. Swansea has a dog friendly rank of 15 and scores third place for open space. This city is home to a total dog population of 239,023 and with 111 open spaces, there’s one park for every 547 dogs here.

 

Uncovered: The Top 3 Cities for Dog Walkers in the UK

One thing that may put people off owning a pooch is the amount of attention they need, which can especially be a problem if you work most of the day. Luckily, we’ve analysed the number of pups and dog walkers in 20 cities to reveal which city has the best offering of dog walkers.

  1. Manchester – one dog walker for every 251 dogs.
  2. Southampton – one dog walker for every 355 dogs.
  3. Glasgow – one dog walker for every 368 dogs.

Walk this way…to Manchester, if you want to be in the top city for dog walkers. There are 29,580 canines in Manchester and 118 dog walking services. This works out at one dog walker for every 251 dogs in the northern capital.

Not only did Glasgow gain fifth place overall in the dog friendly city rank, this city also scores third place for the number of dog walkers. The city is home to 78,371 pooches and 213 dog walking businesses – that’s one dog walker for every 368 dogs.

Comparatively, Edinburgh, Carlisle and Leeds are the second, third and fourth lowest cities for dog walkers - with 6,555, 1,142 and 1,014 ratios respectively.

Dr Heather Venkat, veterinarian consultant for VIP Puppies, believes dog walkers and parks are especially necessary for cramped city life. She adds: “pet owners should look for ways to give their dogs an outlet for their energy. Weekend getaways to the beach or hiking trails should also be considered to keep your pup healthy, even when you live in a city.”

 

 

Barking up the Wrong Tree: Exeter is the Least Dog Friendly City

In addition to unveiling the most dog friendly city, our research has revealed the least pooch friendly city. Out of the 20 cities analysed, Exeter scored the lowest - placing 20th with a 92,773 ratio.

For starters, Exeter has the lowest number of veterinary practices - one vet for every 8,956 canines. Not only that, but the city also scores bottom for dog walkers and groomers. With one of these services for every 8,956 and 26,869 pooches, accordingly.

You may also find it difficult to seek a dog sitter in this coastal city, with Exeter scoring the second lowest for dog sitting services.

Well, there you have it. If you’re looking for the most dog friendly city to live in or visit with your pooch, then travel to Southampton.

However, if you live in a city and are planning on getting a pooch, it’s good to consider your lifestyle and house size first. Veterinarian consultant for VIP Puppies, Dr Heather Venkat, says “consider how much space you have and if you can tend to that breed’s needs. For example, a small Shih Tzu will adjust to life in a smaller apartment more easily than a giant Great Dane.”

You can read more interesting facts around life and the home on the lifestyle blog.

Methodology
Blinds Hut studied 20 cities across the UK, analysing:

  • Population and dog population in the city
  • Number of dog friendly pubs
  • Number of parks and open spaces
  • Number of dog walkers
  • Number of canine sitting services
  • Number of groomers
  • Number of veterinary practices


Blinds Hut then calculated the ratio of each metric to the dog population in the city. The ratios were totalled up to reveal the most dog friendly cities.

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