To add to the list of reasons of why our city is so great, New Orleans is ranked as the eighth most pet-friendly city in the U.S.
Wallethub.com revealed that owning a pet, which over 80 million American households do, can be pretty pricy, depending on where you live. The American Pet Products Association believes that in 2020, Americans will spend about $100 billion dollars on pet ownership.
Looking back on how pet-friendly businesses were, Petco and PetSmart were the two best-known animal-service and -supply stores. Now, the pet food industry has reached over $95 billion in global value. New businesses like Chewy.com have options for monthly subscriptions that supply food, toys, treats, and more.
Although pets can be great companions and can also help relieve stress, they can be tough on the wallet. Licenses, grooming, and medical care can cost around $200 to $2,000 annually. Some question if health insurance for pets, which can run nearly $200 a year for a dog, is even worth it. On top of that, pet fees in houses or apartments are extremely pricy, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Luckily, WalletHub was able to compare the pet-friendliness of America's 100 largest cities. Their data "ranges from minimum pet-care provider rate per visit to pet businesses per capita to walkability."
To determine the scores, they compared three key dimensions across the cities: 1) Pet Budget, 2) Pet Health and Wellness, and 3) Outdoor Pet-Friendliness.
"We evaluated those dimensions using 25 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," WalletHub explained.
Pet Budget —Total Points: 25
- Veterinary Care Costs: Full Weight (10.00 Points)
Pet-Care Provider Rate per Visit: Half Weight (5.00 Points)
- (Dog Insurance Premium: Full Weight (10.00 Points)
This system continues for the other two key dimensions. Lastly, they determined "each city's weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order [their] sample."
New Orleans ranked eighth, with a total score of 55.38. Out of the 100 cities evaluated, our pet budget was ranked 20th. Pet health and wellness came in at 27th, and we were the 26th city for outdoor pet-friendliness. Another positive note for our great city is the fact that we do not fall into the "worst city" ranking for categories such as highest vet care cost or for fewest dog-friendly restaurants.
Other rankings for New Orleans that show the city's pet-friendliness, according to WalletHub, include (1=Most Pet-Friendly and 50=Average):
- 28th- Dog Insurance Premium
- 14th - Dog-Friendly Restaurants per Capita
- 18th- Percentage of Pet-Friendly Hotels
- 27th- Walk Score
- 50th - Animal Shelters per Capita
- 18th - WalletHub "States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions" Score
Although we are not first on the list, it is safe to say that, with the number of pets we see around the city and the many businesses and locations that cater to them, New Orleans is pet-friendly.