North Carolina had little to brag about from a study ranking the most pet-friendly of the 100 largest cities in the country.
None of the five N.C. cities on the list ranked in the top 25, and Charlotte ranked near the bottom – mostly because of how poorly it scored in one category.
The WalletHub study ranked the cities based on health and wellness, how much people spend on health care for their pets, and what outdoor opportunities a city has to offer four-legged friends.
Creators pulled data from a variety of sources for the study, including the U.S. Census Bureau and pet-relevant sites such as Walk Score, Sitterccity, BringFido and InfoDog.
The health and wellness category – which included factors such as animal shelters, veterinarians and dog-friendly shops per capita – accounted for half of the overall ranking.
Charlotte came in about the middle of the pack (52nd) for health and wellness and for pet budget (57th). But the Queen City ranked 96th for outdoor pet-friendliness – which considered dog parks per capita, park space, walkability and dog-friendly trails.
Despite those findings, “Charlotte is a dog-friendly city,” according to a 2017 living guide by The Charlotte Observer. The guide listed multiple Charlotte businesses and eateries open to dogs even as the Mecklenburg County Health Department cited state code forbidding them in brewery taprooms.
The highest-ranked pet-friendly NC city was Raleigh, coming in at No. 33. The City of Oaks got its best mark (21st) in the health and wellness category.
Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Durham claim spots 69-71, respectively. The cities’ most pet-friendly qualities were in the pet budget category.