Best Pet Friendly Communities and Cities

Res Beach Dog

According to the National Pet Owners Survey published every year, an estimated two thirds of American households have a pet and prefer to live in pet friendly cities. This equates to over 70 million homes. Why? Most agree, pets are comforting providing us unconditional love and are great companions. Do pets actually make us happier?

In a 2008 behavioral study conducted by Frederick J. Gravetter and Larry B. Wallnau about whether singles are happier with or without pets - tails up, it has been confirmed. Pets make us happier.

Real estate developers and revitalization plans in historical cities are taking notice of people’s growing interest in pets. Is it because real estate developers and land planners see retailers like Three Dog Bakery who make all natural decorative cookies and treats just for dogs opening stores in hip locations - downtown Asheville North Carolina, Richmond Virginia, Las Vegas, Sedona Arizona and more? Or is it the swanky dog spas in urban downtowns? People spend over $50 million dollars annually on their pets from day spas, grooming, doggie day care, and gourmet dog food. So why not create a community amenity just for pets? Real estate developers have done just that. We visit the hundreds of the best master planned communities in the Southeast searching for ideal places to share with people looking to relocate at retirement.  Take a look at four pet friendly master planned communities in the Southeast where we’ve found dog parks inside their gated entrance.

Rarity Bay built a dog park in Eastern Tennessee called Rusty's Place was a vision of six residents at Rarity Bay, to create a safe place to exercise their dog which came to life and was opened in 2010. Rusty’s Place has a website informing pet owners of events, a photo gallery, stories and rules for the park. Coming soon, Rarity Bay plans to post a web page with photos of each resident dog member at Rarity Bay called Rare Furry. Rarity Bay loves dogs as you can see. Rarity Bay is a 960 acre golf and lake community on Lake Tellico in Eastern Tennessee.

Hampton Lake opened its dog park in Bluffton South Carolina named Dog Paddle Park in 2008. The park has sandy areas, picnic tables, watering holes, fire hydrants and places to hang out while watching your dog play. Hampton Lake Dog Paddle Park was the first pet park opened in a gated community in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Savannah Dog Park, Tybee Island Dog Park, Best Friends Dog Park on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton Bark Park are all in the area. Dog Park trends are on the rise. Hampton Lake is 900 acre award winning community on the largest manmade lake in Bluffton South Carolina. Hampton Lake was voted Best Community in America in 2008 by The National Home Builders Association (NAHB). These awards are considered the Oscar's of the homebuilding industry.

The Reserve at Lake Keowee built a dog park in South Carolina called Turkey Ridge Park. Annual events like the Pooch Parade take place at Turkey Ridge Park at The Reserve at Lake Keowee. Lake Keowee is a stunning 18,372 acre man-made lake operated by Duke Power Company. Lake Keowee has 300 miles of shoreline. The Reserve at Lake Keowee has 5 miles of improved hiking trails and 1,400 acres of green protected space for pets and owners to explore. The Reserve at Lake Keowee is nearly 4,000 acres and is an award winning golf lake community in close proximity to Greenville South Carolina.

Long Cove Club is another golf community with a one acre dog park in Hilton Head Island we plan to visit soon. An estimated 150 dogs reside in the gates of this 630 acre master planned community in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

You can find dog parks across America at DogParkUSA.com. Pet friendly cities we know of are:

Asheville North Carolina

Athens Georgia

Charleston South Carolina

Chattanooga Tennessee

Greenville South Carolina

Orlando Florida

Nashville Tennessee

Palm Coast Florida

South Beach Florida

DogParkUSA.com also lists 12,000 pet friendly hotels.

We expect as a large percentage of the Baby Boomer generation begins to relocate to avoid harsh winters, find a lower cost of living, gain a higher quality of life, more people will have time and make time for pets. When you think about it, pets go hand in hand with natural amenities such as lakes and hiking trails.

We anticipate a pet movement is on the rise and you will have more choices of master planned communities in the Southeast with dog parks as real estate developers pay attention building them in the community master plans. 

Watch the diversity of options appear for pet lovers. Who would have thought? In Miami, the Florida Marlins allow fans to bring their four-legged best friends to national league baseball games, at various times throughout the year.

Paws down, pets improve the quality of our lives. Happy trails in dog friendly cities!

Margie Casey Founder

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