The Magic City: a pet-friendly city?

When we made plans to start Bham Pets more than a year ago, we did so in part because we believe Birmingham and its surrounding communities are especially pet-friendly. Those who love animals fit into every demographic across our area, so it comes as no surprise that Wallethub, a personal finance website, has ranked the Magic City as one of the most pet-friendly cities in the United States.

On any given weekend, pet lovers can easily find events built around their four-legged friends, such as this “Yoga With Furbabies” class held recently at Beer Hog in Pelham.

In its rankings, released August 6, Birmingham ranks as the 13th most pet-friendly city, and it ranks second in the Deep South behind just Atlanta. The rankings take into consideration several factors. Their methodology is explained as follows:

In order to determine the most pet-friendly places in America, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across three key dimensions: 1) Pet Budget, 2) Pet Health & Wellness and 3) Outdoor Pet-Friendliness. We evaluated those dimensions using 24 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for pets and their owners. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available at the state level only. For metrics marked with an asterisk (**), the square root of the population was used to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities. Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

Dog parks are a growing trend across the country, and Birmingham is no exception. Mountain Brook recently opened its new dog park, and other parks are in the planning stages in Vestavia Hills and in downtown Birmingham as part of the CityWalk BHAM park beneath the new I-59/20 bridges. As more public spaces are devoted to animals, the city’s pet-friendly status only stands to improve.


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