The BARK Index by Paws.com reveals the best cities for dogs based on a range of factors, from quality of green spaces to dog-friendly pubs.
Newcastle, Preston and Bournemouth have been revealed as the best cities for dogs in England, according to the new index that looks at the quality of life for the nation’s favourite pets.
The inaugural BARK (Best Places of Residence for K9s) Index, created by pet wellbeing experts at Paw.com, ranks the nation’s 25 largest cities based on environmental and social factors that affect a dog’s life.
The index takes into account the number of dogs in each city, quantity and quality of urban green space, traffic congestion, pollution, litter levels and the number of dog-friendly pubs to create a definitive list of the best places to be the top dog about town.
Top 10 cities for dogs:
Newcastle ranks highly across most factors, with excellent air quality, expanses of green space and tidy environment with low litter levels.
Second place goes to pup-friendly Preston, which boasts the highest number of dogs per capita, offering plenty of opportunities for doggy socialising; it has also been praised for vast areas of good quality local parks. Preston is followed by Bournemouth, Plymouth and Manchester, with Nottingham coming sixth place.
However, when it comes to the best city watering holes, Middlesbrough comes out on top with the most pup-friendly pubs per capita. London comes a close second, followed by Nottingham, Manchester and Bristol, where drinking with man’s best friend is well accommodated.
While London performs well with its high proportion of dog-friendly drinking establishments and the quality of its parks, it is particularly let down by poor air quality and high levels of traffic congestion, pushing it down to number 21 in the list.
Stephanie Wenban, Paws.com vet and dog wellbeing expert commented on the findings: “The UK is known as a nation of animal lovers and increasingly we are seeing more dog-positive changes to our lifestyles. The benefits of pet parenting are well documented, including reducing stress levels, encouraging us to exercise and improving sociability. Perhaps it is no surprise we are seeing a move towards more dog-friendly cities – but we have found this research that location really does matter.”
Anyone wanting to find out how their city ranked this year can use Paws’ interactive map, available here: www.paws.com/learn/articles/bark-index-2019.