If these are the brutal dog days of summer, someone forgot to give Austin the memo. According to a new study, the capital city is the fourth most pet-friendly among the nation’s 100 biggest municipalities and No. 1 as it relates to the number of pet-friendly restaurants per capita.
That’s according to the personal finance site WalletHub, which surveyed cities across the country to achieve the reckoning. Austin’s showing is an improvement from last year when WalletHub researchers found the city to be merely the seventh-friendliest pet city.
To achieve its rankings, WalletHub analyzed myriad factors such as health and wellness, pet budget, outdoor amenities and more. Things like the number of dog-friendly trails available, cost of veterinary care and animal-protecting statutes also went into the formulation.
In Texas overall, the report indicates Austin was far and away the most friendly to pets. The Dallas suburb of Dallas came closest in the 15th ranking. Fort Worth was 24th; Arlingon 30th; San Antonio 34th. The Dallas suburbs of Garland and Irving landed in the 54th and 58th spot, respectively.
The cities two largest cities leave a lot to be desired in terms of affection for their pets, if the study is to be believed. The state’s largest city, Houston, was ranked 61st among the studied cities. Dallas fared worse, in the 72nd position.
The country music singer Mac Davis once had a hit with his song that contained the line “I though happiness was Lubbock, Texas, in my rear view mirror.” If dogs could drive (alas, no opposable thumbs), they likely would make a run for it south to Austin, judging from the rankings. The northwest Texas town of Lubbock known mainly as being the birthplace of Buddy Holly, ranked 77th in terms of its pet friendliness.
El Paso has less affection toward its furry friends as Austin does, landing in the 84th spot. Bordering on outright animal neglect (again, strictly judging from the rankings) is cellar-dweller Laredo in the 97th position.
But our furry friends fared less well in the category focusing on budgets allotted for their quality of life, with Austin landing in the 17th slot among most expensive cities in which to own a dog. The city’s ever-increasing cost of living seemingly has impacted our four-legged friends, it would appear.