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Best states for dog owners? Here’s where Utah, Idaho rank

Vermont ranks No. 1, while several states in the West round out the top 10

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Sydney Gillies and Jo Jo Pack walk their dogs in the 9th and 9th area of Salt Lake City.

Sydney Gillies and Jo Jo Pack walk their dogs in the 9th and 9th area of Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. Do Utahns draw high marks as dog owners?

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Some states are more Fido friendly than others, but a new ranking is full of Western states all considered among the best places to live if you’re a dog owner.

The insurance comparison site InsuranceRanked recently weighed metrics including access to parks and nature, dog-friendly rentals, veterinarians per capita, number of dog sitters and the state’s crime rates to rank the top 10 best states to live in if you own a dog.

Of all the states, Vermont rose to the top as the best state for dog owners, ranking high for access to veterinarians and dog sitters (with 62 veterinarians per 100,000 residents, 56.5% above the state average) and ranking No. 4 for the highest number of dog sitters per 100,000 residents with 16.73. Vermont received the highest total score for all five factors, according to the ranking.

Colorado placed second for having the highest dog sitter score (with 24 registered dog sitters per 100,000 residents, which is over 251% higher than the state average of seven).

Next came Wyoming thanks to its number of dog sitters, but scored higher than both thanks to its open spaces, with 9.8 citizens having to share one kilometer of parks and wildlife areas, which is over 6,838% lower than the state average of 680 citizens, according to InsuranceRanked.

Further down the list, Utah and Idaho ranked No. 7 and No. 8, respectively, for the best states for dog owners because of their high scores in nature points. That’s not surprising considering the West’s outdoor recreation offerings.

Here’s the ranking:

  1. Vermont — Scores of 7.2 for nature, 4.51 for dog-friendly rentals, 10 for veterinarians, 9.4 for dog sitters and 7.93 for safety.
  2. Colorado — 8.4 for nature, 8.18 for dog-friendly rentals, 6.44 for veterinarians, 10 for dog sitters, 4.95 for safety.
  3. Wyoming — 9.8 for nature, 5.01 for dog-friendly rentals, 5.58 for veterinarians, 10 for dog sitters, 7.2 for safety.
  4. Oregon — 8 for nature, 5.1 for dog-friendly rentals, 5.85 for veterinarians, 10 for dog sitters, 6.52 for safety.
  5. Washington — 7.8 for nature, 5.72 for dog-friendly rentals, 4.25 for veterinarians, 10 for dog sitters, 6.49 for safety.
  6. Montana — 9.6 for nature, 4.69 for dog-friendly rentals, 8.04 for veterinarians, 4.75 for dog sitters, 4.39 for safety.
  7. Utah — 8.8 for nature, 6.82 for dog-friendly rentals, 2.61 for veterinarians, 5.1 for dog sitters, 6.89 for safety.
  8. Idaho — 9.4 for nature, 6.12 for dog-friendly rentals, 4.16 for veterinarians, 2.96 for dog sitters, 7.1 for safety.
  9. Maine — 6 for nature, 4.21 for dog-friendly rentals, 6 for veterinarians, 4.47 for dog sitters, 8.7 for safety.
  10. Arizona — 8.4 for nature, 9.48 for dog-friendly rentals, 3.28 for veterinarians, 3.85 for dog sitters, 4.21 for safety.