Of 100 large U.S. cities, Omaha ranks 34th in pet friendliness

By on August 11, 2017

WalletHub, a website dedicated to consumer finance, recently alerted us of its yearly pet-friendliest cities research which is, as always, very interesting. Data on myriad pet-related costs in 100 U.S. cities are available and we’d like to share some highlights with you here- especially stuff concerning Omaha.

WalletHub published its in-depth look at 2017’s most pet-friendly cities given that National Homeless Animals Day approaches and the cost of owning a pet ranges from $227 to more than $2,000 annually, depending on the type of animal. If you are in the market for a new pet, consider the financial cost up front and going forward. One reason many animals find their ways to shelters is owner-surrender stemming from incomplete preparation and overlooking monetary concerns, so take note!
In order to determine where Americans’ furry and slimy companions can enjoy the best quality of life without breaking the bank, WalletHub’s analysts compared the creature-friendliness of the 100 largest cities across 21 key metrics. The data set ranges from minimum pet-care provider rate per visit to pet businesses per capita to walkability.

Here are the top-10 pet-friendly cities in the U.S.:

1. Scottsdale, AZ

2. Phoenix, AZ

3. Tampa, FL

4. San Diego, CA

5. Orlando, FL

6. Birmingham, AL

7. Austin, TX

8. Cincinnati, OH

9. Atlanta, GA

10. Las Vegas, NV


Conversely, here are the bottom-10 or least pet-friendly cities in the country:


91. Charlotte, NC

92. Anchorage, AK

93. Philadelphia, PA

94. Buffalo, NY

95. Santa Ana, CA

96. Boston, MA

97. New York, NY

98. Honolulu, HI

99. Baltimore, MD

100. Newark, NJ


Key Stats

Columbus, Ohio, has the lowest average veterinary care costs (per visit), $33.25, which is 2.5 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $84.47. Miami, Florida, has the most veterinarians (per square root of population), 88 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest. St. Paul, Minnesota, has the lowest monthly dog-insurance premium, $33.71, which is 2.4 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $80.78. San Francisco, California, has the most pet businesses (per square root of population), 23 times more than in Laredo, Texas the city with the fewest.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit Wallethub here.

So, where does Omaha fit in this study? Officially, Omaha is the 34th most pet-friendly city in the U.S. The good news- 34th of 100 is above average. The bad news- last year, the same study found Omaha was the 30th most pet-friendly city. So, we’re going backward.

Why the slide? The study considers amenities, opportunities to bring your pets along, vet costs, the number of vets, and much more. Of the big three measures (overall pet cost index, pet well-being, and outdoor friendliness), we’re 17th in terms of lowest cost to own a pet. That makes sense as the cost of living in general is low here. Well-being and outdoor friendliness seem to be dragging us down, ranking 54th and 66th respectively.

And how can we improve? Quite simply, the cost part is pretty much out of our hands, but the pet wellness and outdoor friendliness parts are completely up to us. Improve your health and improve your pets’, too! Talk to local businesses, parks, government officials and other decision makers about how we can incorporate more animals in our time on the town.

We’re, on average, better than two out of every three cities in terms of pet-friendliness. That’s nice. But, it would be nicer to be closer to the top, yes?


Photo credit: Aubree Sweeney

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