The Top Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities for 2021, According to Rover and Zillow

More than 1 in 10 Americans say they moved in the past year, often driven by shifting family priorities or increased flexibility while working remotely.

But one group flies under the radar: Pet parents making a move for their dogs’ sake.

Dogs are increasingly seen as part of their families, so it follows that they factor heavily into moving decisions — and may even be the catalyst for some, especially as pet adoptions have boomed during the pandemic.

According to a new survey from Rover and Zillow, 24% of dog owners in the U.S. have moved into a new home since March 2020, and 62% would consider moving to a new home to better accommodate their dog.

With that group in mind, Zillow and Rover have teamed up to introduce a list of the Top Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities for 2021. 

To create the list of Top Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities for 2021, Rover looked at new dog accounts on their platform, whether from dog owners new to the area or longtime residents with a newly adopted dog, and Zillow dug into cities where dog-friendly rentals and listings mentioning home features dog owners covet are on the rise.

Top 15 Emerging Dog-Friendly Cities, according to Zillow and Rover:

1. Denver, CO

2. Orlando, FL

3. Anaheim, CA

4. Charlotte, NC

5. Birmingham, AL

6. Atlanta, GA

7. Boston, MA

8. Glendale, AZ

9. New Orleans, LA

10. Tampa, FL

11. Fayetteville, NC

12. Fort Worth, TX

13. Miami, FL

14. Nashville, TN

15. Saint Petersburg, FL

Denver takes the top spot, largely because of the number of new Rover accounts created, followed by Orlando and Anaheim. 

Orlando saw strong growth (4%) in the number of rentals listed as dog-friendly during the pandemic, and has one of the highest shares of for-sale listings mentioning dog parks. Anaheim has among the highest share of for-sale listings that feature a dog run.

A large majority of dog owners surveyed (86%) say dog-friendly features — things like a home with a dog door or living near a dog park — are an important factor in their moving decision, and 84% are willing to spend more for these features. 

A fenced-in outdoor space is the most-desired home feature for dog owners Rover and Zillow surveyed.

The good news for home shoppers is that the share of listings mentioning fenced yards and outdoor spaces grew more during the pandemic than any other dog-friendly feature Zillow analyzed.

But interested buyers should strike quickly when a home with a yard for their dog catches their eye — homes sold 5 days faster than expected last year when the listing mentioned a fenced yard.

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