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Is Your City Dog-Friendly?

April 3, 2011
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      Look for off-leash dog parks, hiking trails that allow dogs and designated dog beaches if you are by the ocean. Any pet-friendly town worth its salt should have at least a few of these scattered around. Women have their Curves; men have their 24 Hour Fitness and dogs should have a park with a fence around it, a sandy beach or a good hike to get that cardio working.

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      Observe the selection of pet-related business such as veterinary hospitals, after-hours emergency vet clinics, pet supply stores, grooming salons, doggie daycares and boarding facilities including dog or cat “hotels.” The more prevalent these are–you guessed it–the more pet friendly the area.

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      Search for pet-friendly rental properties including apartments and private homes that allow pets for an additional and reasonable deposit. Look for realtors that specialize in pet-friendly properties, as well as websites dedicated to pet-friendly rentals. Observe whether “No Pets” is included in “For Lease Signs” around town.

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      Check any pet-related businesses for free pet magazines. Los Angeles, for instance, offers several popular pet publications including “The Pet Press” and “Dog’s Life.” If these magazines are readily available, it’s generally a good sign that there are pet-loving citizens out there reading them. The number of advertisements should give you a general idea of the pet-related businesses and services in your area, such as professional pet sitters.

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      Look around for restaurants and cafes with pet-friendly patios. This is something you can observe just by passing by. The even more pet-welcoming establishments will kick it up a notch with “yappy hour,” a happy hour for pooches and their people (water without the scotch for the pooches).

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      Search for mobile clinics that offer low-cost pet vaccinations as well as other animal health services. Also, check over the weekend for adoption events that are held at places like pet supply stores and parks. Be on the lookout for fliers advertising other outdoor pet-related events like pet fairs and check if outdoor human events allow pets.

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