Is Portland Really More Dog-Friendly Than SF?

May 20 at 9am

By Janine Kahn

Wait, this can’t be right. Every year, NerdWallet calculates the best cities for dogs in the U.S. and last year, we came in second to Portland. And we grinned and bore it because we knew better. How could we fail to be the best when we are home to Fort Funston, Alamo Square, and Stern Grove? How, when we have an entire newspaper dedicated to our canine citizens, and when our city birthed the best-designed social network for pup-obsessed people AND the first ever doggie fitbit?

NerdWallet said it itself last year: “San Francisco is a city for dog lovers. With 27 total dog parks, there are plenty of options. Many parks even have breed-specific events, such as Pug Sunday at Alta Plaza Park in Pacific Heights.”

And yet, in the 2014 version of its Best Cities to Have a Dog list, SF doesn’t make the top 10. Or even the top 20! Norfolk, VA, of all places takes the second spot while the bastards in Portland continue to claim top dog status. And to add insult to injury, even bloody Sacramento makes the cut, coming in at number 20. No, really. Look at this fucking list. At least Oakland gets some love:

1. Portland, OR

2. Norfolk, VA

3. Jersey City, NJ

4. Madison, WI

5. Las Vegas, NV

6. Miami, FL

7. Washington, DC

8. Milwaukee, WI

9. St. Louis, MO

10. Long Beach, CA

11. Baltimore, MD

12. Seattle, WA

13. Oakland, CA

14. Pittsburgh, PA

15. Tampa, FL

16. Chicago, IL

17. Cincinnati, OH

18. Newark, NJ

19. Buffalo, NY

20. Sacramento, CA

Apparently the criteria included veterinarian costs, the number of off-leash dog parks per 100,000 residents, and each city’s walk score. You know, instead of important things, like the number of dog-centric apps generated by local developers, or the number of breed-specific meet-ups or dog-friendly happy hours scheduled within city borders (Monday dog nights at Zazie, anyone?).

One dog lover seems to have a sense of where these numbers came from, though: “It may be a combination of the facts that SF has also become ‘Best city for your dog to find a poisoned meatball,’ and ‘Best City to Be Rejected For an Apartment Rental If You Make Under $100,000,’” snarked columnist Chris Hall in a comment posted on Dogster.com.

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