America’s Most Dog Friendly Cities That Need A Splash and Dash

Finding the Most Dog Friendly Cities to Open a Small Business

A few years ago, most pet owners had to withstand only having access to big-box pet stores. Now, pet businesses are blossoming. With 85 million households owning a pet, most major dog friendly cities are welcoming the luxuries of designful business models helping to meet the demand.

So, what cities make a good location?

Finding the best city to open a Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique depends on pet friendliness. Of course, with more dogs, comes more business. With the help of WalletHub, we’ve narrowed the most dog friendly cities in America down to ten. These are great places to own a dog, or open a pet franchise. Variables like veterinary costs, pet businesses per capita, and dog parks per capita are taken into consideration to rank each city. You could be living in a pet gold mine right now and not even know it!

Here are the top ten dog friendly cities in the United States of America.

10. Las Vegas, Nevada

Pet Budget Rank: 63

Pet Health & Wellness Rank: 15

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 9

Total Score: 56.73

Believe it or not, the Entertainment Capital of the World comes in 10th place in the ranking of the most dog friendly cities.

Vegas has 20 dog parks and its position in the Mojave Desert makes for warm weather year-round. The city also has two hiking trails for your dogs to explore, where you can escape the allure of gambling, for awhile at least. 45 restaurants have identified themselves as dog friendly, like the Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar where you can get an awesome brunch without feeling the guilt of leaving your dog at home.

9. Atlanta, Georgia

Pet Budget Rank: 24

Pet Health and Wellness Rank: 5

Outdoor Friendliness Rank 75

Total Score: 56.73

Atlanta has a draw for tourists which makes the city a fun place to visit or live as a pet owner. There are 343 parks, nature preserves, and gardens that cover 3, 622 acres of the city. Of this, there are 8 huge off-leash dog parks with amenities like a pool in Renaissance Dog park. Getting local grub is easy with your dog as with 241 restaurants where dogs are good-to-go.

On top of this, Atlanta hosts some pretty cool events like PUP culture Festival and Puglanta PugFest. Food trucks, live music, and even a Pug kissing booth bring Atlanta natives and their doggies in for the fun.

8. Cincinnati, Ohio

Pet Budget Rank: 24

Pet Health & Wellness Rank: 27

Outdoor Friendliness Rank: 28

Total Score: 57.19

Representing for the Midwestern states, comes Cincinnati with the second most veterinarians per capita and strong numbers of pet businesses per capita. Coney Island might have the hot dog eating contest every fourth of July, but September 15th is the annual Running of the Wieners in Cincinnati. Dachshunds in hot dog costumes run the streets of downtown kicking off “Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati.”

The Ohio city also has eight dog parks, five hiking trails, and 26 restaurants where dogs of all breeds can participate.

7. Austin, Texas

Pet Budget Rank: 54

Pet Health & Wellness: 3

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 54

Total Score: 58.26

Austin is becoming known as the hip cousin of Dallas, adopting the “Keep Austin Weird” motto to contend with the country’s rebellious places like Santa Cruz. Austin has definitely earned its rank as one of the most dog friendly cities. Bars like the Dog House Drinkery, which is a bar inside a dog park, and 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op encourage pet owners to bring their dogs down for a drink.

In total, there are 315 dog friendly restaurants in Austin. The sunny weather makes this possible with outside-seating being an option almost everywhere. The Texas city also has 15 dogs parks, five hiking trails, and three dog friendly walking tours. For shoppers, there are seven pet friendly stores. If that’s not enough, Austin Doga is yoga studio dedicated to both humans and dogs to stretch out and get centered.

6. Birmingham, Alabama

Pet Budget Rank: 54

Pet Health & Wellness Rank: 21

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 50

Total Score: 59.37

Birmingham is an extremely affordable place for pet care. Pet insurance is cheap and access to a veterinarian is a smooth process. The southern city is also home to Bruster’s Real Ice Cream with delicious sundaes, tasty for the doggos and you. If you’re hankering for something savory,  Pub 261 is another dog friendly place that serves up southern dishes from fried catfish to pot roast.

Birmingham hosts 64 pet friendly restaurants, three dog parks, and five hiking trails to explore. Dogs of BHAM, a community for dogs in the area, help facilitate rescues and connect local dog lovers.

5. Orlando, Florida

Pet Budget Rank: 27

Pet Health and Wellness Rank: 4

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 47

Total Score: 59.81

Yes, Orlando has Disney, Universal Studios, and Seaworld. The Sun Belt tucked city also fetches the fifth-best place to own a dog. With more veterinarians per capita than any other U.S. city, Orlando is the big dog for pet health.

Orlando also ties for most animal shelter per capita and most pet businesses per capita. Dog friendly restaurants are as common as sandals here with over 228 places to get a bite with Fido. To work it all off, there are nine dog parks and four hiking trails that are off-leash.

4. San Diego, California

Pet Budget Rank: 85

Pet Health & Wellness Rank: 2

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 6

Total Score: 60.56

Another Disney and doggie city, San Diego is the kind of place where dogs surf and pet boutiques are so common they’re yesterday’s news. Events like Paw-Micon—dogs dressed as superheroes—and Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon put a Cali twist on the pet owner lifestyle.

Ready for some Baja tacos? San Diego has over 326 dog friendly restaurants where you and your dog can get everything from a kale salad to BBQ. California’s beautiful scenery offers 17 dog parks, four hiking trails, and a myriad of dog boutiques to peruse.

3. Tampa, Florida

Pet Budget Rank: 10

Pet Health & Wellness: 9

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 19

Total Score: 61.48

The Sunshine state makes the list again, this time further down. Budgeting for your dog is water under the bridge, as Tampa is the 10th best city for pet ownership costs, and one rank lower in health and wellness. It’s also right across the bridge from another ranking pet city, St. Petersburg.  If you keep driving, you’ll hit a third—Miami.

It seems sunshine and dogs go hand-in-hand. Doggie eats are good in this city too, with 109 restaurants like Mad Dogs & Englishmen opening their doors to the canines. Tampa also has 10 dog parks including one dog beach where dogs can cool off in the surf. Since the weather is always permitting, dog festivals happen year-round in this tail-wagging city.

2. Phoenix, Arizona

Pet Budget Rank: 12

Pet Health & Wellness Rank: 6

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 10

Total Score: 63.54

Phoenix, dubbed The Valley of the Sun, keeps the sunny themes going as second in rankings of most dog friendly cities with 85 percent of daylight hours filled with the sun’s rays.

With over half of Arizona’s yearly visitors’ destination being Phoenix, the city makes some pawesome accommodations for dogs. Events like Strut Your Mutt and the Annual Doggie Street Festival help raise money for homeless pets and provide some fun too. Fashion is huge in the pet world in Phoenix, with 13 pet friendly spots like the Biltmore Fashion Park.

Mountain ranges like the Guadalupe and North Mountain make beautiful scenery for 16 dog friendly hiking trails in Phoenix. There are also nine dog parks and a tour for residents and tourists alike.

1. Scottsdale, Arizona

Pet Budget Rank: 80

Pet Health & Wellness Rank: 1

Outdoor Pet Friendliness Rank: 2

Citizens of Arizona love to participate in dog-centric culture. The citizens of Scottsdale reap the most benefits of this as the number one place healthiest place for a pet to live. Meaning, access to the highest number of caretakers, pet businesses, pet meetups, animal protection laws and more. Scottsdale is also the second in outdoor pet friendliness! Although the city does rank 80th in costs, Scottsdale is still dogtopia U.S.A. this year.

There are six off-leash dog parks in Scottsdale and nine hiking trails cresting the Sonoran Valley. 116 restaurants like 5th and Wine or Snooze an Am Eatery welcome the pooches. Chase Field, home of the MLB Diamondbacks, even has a patio to bring your dogs to summer games. Also, the Lisa Sette Gallery offers art exhibits that welcome all four-legged aesthetes.

This just scratches the surface (or the dog’s ears) of things to do with your dogs in Scottsdale. Explore for yourself and see why this the best dog city in the America!

*All Ranking and Key Metrics provided by WalletHUB



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Current Pet Industry Statistics That Will Make You Want an SD Franchise

Walking into a Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is a unique experience. A bright eye-pleasing color palette and a clean smell are the first things customers notice—an inviting, upscale ambiance. Preferential dog owners looking for the healthiest all-natural foods and treats for their dogs know they’re in the right place.The toys are eco-friendly. The haircuts are adorable. Remarkably, the prices are affordable. Best of all, members get unlimited bathing and brushing services and discounted prices on spa treatments. Unprecedented grooming salons like Splash and Dash are rising up to meet the demands of American pet industry statistics.

Currently around 85 million U.S. homes, or 68% of the country report to have at least one pet. The number of pet owners has been steadily rising for the past few decades. Pet spending has also increased over 10% since 2015. Projections for this year are expected to reach almost $70 billion. This is amazing news since pet spending was at only $17 billion in 1994 when the American Pet Products Association first starting reporting pet industry statistics. From 2007 to 2009—the crux of the financial crisis—pet business actually grew more than 10%, showing the industry to be recession-proof. In times of hardship, people turn to their pets.

Pet Trends Rise

The reason pet industry statistics are continuing to grow is because of a cultural transition. At the center of this societal change is how we view our pets. 76% of pet parents state their pets as “beloved members of the family, according to a recent Fortune-Morning Consult Poll, while only 19% of respondents stated their pets were “well cared for, but still considered animals.”

Americans are treating their pets no different than human children.  

Harold Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University, cites the demand luxury services and products as the spark for growing pet industry statistics. “If you look at the amount of money per capita we spend on pets, it’s absolutely stunning,” he tells Fortune Magazine. Millennials, the U.S’s primary pet owners, favor having a dog over kids with 42% stating that pet ownership is the key factor to entice them to buy property over having children or getting married.  

This makes sense. When last surveyed, 28% of Americans are living alone in 2014, over the 17% in 1970. Advancements in medicine have paved the way for many to live longer and adopt pets in their golden years. This cultural merging explains why these market trends are occurring—the majority of the population has the emotional space, money, and time to devote to their dogs. The evidence is even found in social media. Nationwide, one in 10 pets has its own social media account, according to Mintel, a market research agency.

The population driving pet industry statistics like these have prompted many animal lovers to forge a new and exciting career alongside animals.

Breaking Down the Pet Industry Statistics


Of the $66.75 billion spent in 2016, nearly half went toward food. For anyone who has a pet, this is not surprising. Food costs account for 42% of the national pet parent’s budget. Another reason this spending surge is occurring is that more consumers are interested in holistic foods. As humans became more concerned about the ingredients in their food, the trend naturally translated into food trends affecting pet industry statistics. Grain-free, all-natural, human-grade, and organic foods provide more nutrients and a diet more typical of ancestral-wild dogs. Higher-quality food began proliferating the market in 2015 sustained by dozens of pet business start-ups that opened that year like TurboPup and Swifto.

The opportunity to be able to provide healthy and affordable choices is why Splash and Dash shops are equipped with grooming services and retail space. Customers dropping off their dogs for grooming can take advantage of a one-stop-shop. On top of this, any leashes, collars, or other pet supplies are available too.

Pet Services

Pet Services accounts for $5.76 billion of pet spending. This number is projected to rise to $6.11 billion in 2017. Upscale services like ‘pawdicures and doggie facials’ complement the gluten-free snacks that a more informed and willing-to-spoil pet parent wants for their dogs these days.

Offering luxurious spa treatments that gratify owners and provide care for a pet is a needed specialty. This is why Splash and Dash offer services like Aromatherapy, Pawdicures, Facials, DeShedding, and more. The health benefits can be seen in a dog’s coat, owners are happy because their houses and dogs are cleaner, and pet franchise owners are excited to be able to profit by providing these services.

Why You Should Consider Splash and Dash

The Splash and Dash grooming franchise is unique in the industry. The signature service  membership only exists at Splash and Dash grooming salons. The membership program  equips franchise owners. With the recurring revenue from the membership program, owning a grooming salon has more financial stability. Members pay for the monthly signature membership and can take their pets in for bathing & brushing any time they want—convenient and affordable. Membership is a recurring revenue that makes up one source of revenue for Splash and Dash owners.

A recurring revenue stream combined with opportunities to educate customers on health benefits in the retail space is why many investors are choosing a brick-and-mortar location over mobile grooming. Also, for those who are business-minded but have limited experience in grooming, the Splash and Dash franchise business model caters to individuals with any professional background. Many current owners worked in an industry outside of pets like Wanda Camper in Gaithersburg, Maryland—who worked in government contracting before opening her shop. The pet franchise trains shop owners thoroughly for success with on-site training and support with terminal software that makes operations much easier. This allows owners to focus on customers.

For more information on how Splash and Dash can launch you into owning a small business in the pet industry, click here!


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