Monday, July 9, 2007

The most pet-friendly cities in Florida? has come out with their 2007 list of Top 10 dog-friendly vacation spots in North America. A Florida city didn't make the list until Orlando screeched in at number 8 - whew! I was beginning to worry our sunshine state wasn't going to get the recognition it deserves. And actually, I think a couple of other Florida cities should get similar recognition.

People from other states ask me a lot, "What are the top three pet-friendly cities in Florida?" My answer isn't based on a scientific poll. It's based on what people tell me, what I read, my experience during past visits and most of all, if they have in place a pet-friendly emergency shelter for hurricanes and other disasters, and how many dog parks, pet-friendly beaches and places to dine outdoors with pets the city offers.

Oh, let me add one more thing to that list - I pay attention to just how much of a big deal a city makes about designating stuff pet-friendly. For example, some cities started doggie dining without a much as a woof and a fee and a few others took three months, and at least that many public hearings, to decide to charge restaurants an outrageous $150 to apply for a permit to offer doggie dining. So yes, the city's attitude is important as well.

So...without further adieu, let me say in my opinion, the Top Three Pet-Friendly Cities in Florida are: 1) Orlando, 2) Miami and 3) Jacksonville. The Greater Tampa Bay area is getting there, sort of. And the Panhandle, well, let's just say there's room for improvement.

What do you think? Do you agree with my choices? Or do you disagree or think I left someone out? Let me know by leaving your reply below.

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