Sure, Philly is notorious for its under-dog, somewhat abrasive “atty-tude.” We can take a little warming up to. But one thing I know for sure is that we LOVE our dogs. A quick walk down any city block and you’ll see a dog walking happily on a leash or playing in the park.
So you can imagine my surprise when a representative from financial website WalletHub reached out to tell me Philly ranked as one of the LEAST pet-friendly cities in the U.S.
In order to identify the most pet-friendly cities, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 most populated cities (excluding surrounding metro areas) across three key dimensions: 1) Pet Budget, 2) Pet Health & Wellness and 3) Outdoor Pet Friendliness.
Data was obtained from sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Yelp.com, Zillow, Apartmenlist.com, WalkScore.com, TripAdvisor, and Pets Best Insurance Services, to name a few. The three dimensions listed above were evaluated on 19 weighted metrics. Each metric was graded on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 representing the best conditions for pet owners. Overall scores were then calculated by taking the weighted average across all metrics.
Here’s how Philly ranked:
PET-FRIENDLINESS OF PHILADELPHIA (1=BEST; 50=AVG.):
- 90th – Veterinary Care Costs
- 39th – Dog Insurance Premium
- 89th – Number of Veterinarians per Capita
- 94th – Number of Pet Businesses per Capita
- 31st – Number of Pet-Friendly Restaurants per Capita
- 83rd – % of Pet-Friendly Hotels
- 86th- Number of Dog Parks per Capita
- 72nd – Number of Animal Shelters per Capita
- 49th – Number of Pet Caretakers per Capita
So, which city was the most pet friendly? Why, Orlando, Florida. (Of course, how could you now know that?) Orlando was followed by Birmingham, Alabama, Tampa, Florida, Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky (how many of those shelter dogs from the south are getting shipped up to our rescues?) and Scottsdale, Arizona.
I decided to dig a little deeper and reached out to WalletHub for some definitions:
Question: How is the term “animal shelter” defined? Is it defined as intake shelters (city-funded), no-kill only, rescues that use foster parents?
Answer: The data for the number of animal shelters was obtained from Yelp.com and is mostly based on pet rescue and adoption facilities.
Question: I didn’t see data for Philadelphia in the block for Pet-friendliness of the rental market. How is “pet-friendly” defined and determined? Is there a penalty if the rental does not rent to particular breeds? Does the number of pets allowed in the rental factor in? Pet deposit required?
Answer: The Pet-Friendliness of Rental Market key metric measures the percentage of pet-friendly rental units and it’s composed of two sub-metrics – 1. Percentage of Apartments that allow Dogs – 21 percent in Philadelphia (ranking 57th) and 2) Percentage of Apartments that allow Cats – 34 percent in Philadelphia (ranking 65th). For the Pet-Friendliness of Rental Market key metric, Philadelphia ranked 66th overall. We did not factor in the number of pets allowed or the pet deposit required.
Youse Got it All Wrong
Um, yeah. So that’s real scientific. Then again, New York, New York ranked the worst, so maybe there is a grain of truth in all of this. You can take a closer look at the the full report and decide for yourself.