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Omaha’s Rank Among “Pet-Friendly” Cities in the U.S. Dropping

By on August 15, 2018

With National Homeless Animals Day approaching and over 85 million U.S. pet-owning households projected to spend $72 billion this year, the personal finance website WalletHub recently released an in-depth report on 2018’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities as well as accompanying videos.

In order to determine where Americans’ animal companions can enjoy the best quality of life without breaking the bank, WalletHub compared the creature-friendliness of the 100 largest cities across 24 key metrics. The data set ranges from minimum pet-care provider rate per visit to pet businesses per capita to walkability.

In order to determine the most pet-friendly places in America, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across three key dimensions: 1) Pet Budget, 2) Pet Health & Wellness and 3) Outdoor Pet-Friendliness.

Here’s a breakdown of the report’s methodology for stat nerds:

Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for pets and their owners. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available at the state level only. For metrics marked with an asterisk (**), the square root of the population was used to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.

Finally, WalletHub determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. The sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

Pet Budget – Total Points: 25
Veterinary Care Costs: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
Minimum Pet-Care Provider Rate per Visit: Half Weight (~5.00 Points)
Dog Insurance Premium: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)

Pet Health & Wellness – Total Points: 50
Veterinarians per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Pet Caretakers per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Animal Trainers per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Pet Businesses per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Dog-Friendly Restaurants per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Share of Pet-Friendly Hotels: Quarter Weight (~0.88 Points)
Dog-Friendly Shops per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Pet Meetup Groups per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Doggie Daycare & Boarding Establishments per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Pet-Friendliness of Rental Market: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of pet-friendly rental units.
Average Home Square Footage: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Share of Single-Family Detached Homes: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Share of Homes with One or Fewer Occupants per Room: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Animal Shelters per Capita**: Full Weight (~3.51 Points)
Strength of Animal Protection Laws: Full* Weight (~3.51 Points)
Note: This metric is based on the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s “Best & Worst States for Animal Protection Laws” ranking.

Outdoor Pet-Friendliness – Total Points: 25
Weather: Full Weight (~4.55 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Cities with the Best & Worst Weather” ranking.
Dog Parks per Capita**: Full Weight (~4.55 Points)
Parkland as Share of City Area: Full Weight (~4.55 Points)
Walk Score: Full Weight (~4.55 Points)
Dog-Friendly Trails per Capita**: Full Weight (~4.55 Points)
Dog Shows per Capita**: Half* Weight (~2.27 Points)

Key Stats

  • Columbus, Ohio, has the lowest average veterinary care costs (per visit), $37.26, which is 2.1 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $79.30.
  • Miami has the most veterinarians (per square root of population), 0.3360, which is 88.4 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0038.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota, has the lowest monthly dog-insurance premium, $34.84, which is 2.4 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $83.50.
  • San Francisco has the most pet businesses (per square root of population), 0.8546, which is 23.8 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0359.

Now, we’re sure you’re interested in Omaha and its ranking! We attained a detailed report from WalletHub revealing the results for Omaha relating to all the metrics measured. Find them below with the ranks behind.

Veterinary Care Costs – Omaha Ranks 6th in the country

Minimum Pet-Care Provider Rate per Visit 10th

Dog Insurance Premium 26th

Veterinarians per Capita 35th

Pet Caretakers per Capita 85th

Pet Businesses per Capita 45

Dog-Friendly Restaurants per Capita 61

Share of Pet-Friendly Hotels 57

Dog-Friendly Shops per Capita 13th

Pet Meetup Groups per Capita 82nd

Doggie Daycare & Boarding Establishments per Capita 59th

Pet-Friendliness of Rental Market 27th

Average Home Square Footage 46th

Share of Single-Family Detached Homes 19th

Share of Homes with One or Fewer Occupants per Room 30th

Animal Shelters per Capita 90th

Strength of Animal Protection Laws 61st

Weather 75th

Dog Parks per Capita 86th

Parkland as Share of City Area 29th

Walk Score 41st

Dog-Friendly Trails per Capita 15th

Dog Shows per Capita 85th

Overall Rank 40th

 

So. In terms of how we rank relative to the rest of the country, it’s easy to gauge our pet-friendliness. We are 40th best. Meh.

Our veterinary costs are relatively low. So is our cost of living, so there’s that. We also rank highly in the number of pet-friendly shops per capita and dog-friendly trails. Outside of that, Omaha is behind the curve. And let’s remember that Omaha was ranked 30th and 34th in the past two years. In 2018, Omaha is not only falling behind the rest of the country, it is less pet-friendly than it has been previously?

If you’d like to be part of the positive change that could happen in Omaha, study these metrics, see what’s happening around the country, as do what you can to make the city more pet friendly!

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