The 12 Metro Areas Where People Love Dogs The Most

Cute dog

At least online, Knoxville, TN, has gone to the dogs.

Based on research by LawnStarter, Knoxville collars the No. 1 ranking for web-driven interest in Buddy, Bella and other four-legged friends.

For our ranking, we reviewed Google search activity from June 2013 to June 2018 for the term “dogs.” Fetching a Google Trends score of 91, Knoxville emerged as the U.S. region with the most “dogs” search activity on Google during the five-year period. Data was available for 210 metro areas.

Google Trends analyzes a percentage of all searches for a term such as “dogs” within the same time and location parameters, and then assigns a search score (1 through 100) to a geographic area. For 2013 to 2018, Knoxville notched the highest score on the Google Trends scale — 91 — for the term “dogs.” On the Google scale, a score of 100 signals the maximum search interest for a particular period and place.

Why is Knoxville, home to the University of Tennessee, so fixated on dogs?

“Knoxville is a very pet-friendly community, and that trend is growing,” says Teresa Underwood, development and marketing manager at the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley.

In fact, the City of Knoxville and Knox County have teamed up with Knoxville-based pet products maker PetSafe to make Knoxville the most pet-friendly community in the U.S.

Toward that goal, Knoxville offers seven dog parks across the city that bear the PetSafe brand name. The city’s newest dog park encompasses nearly 4 acres at Concord Park.

“Dogs and their owners will love the water fountains for pets (and ones for their owners), a dock with access to the river and even a dog shower,” the Visit Knoxville website says of the latest addition to the city’s dog parks.

Knoxville’s first dog park debuted in 2009.

Aside from establishing dog parks, city officials are working to increase the number of downtown restaurants that allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. counts 148 dog-friendly restaurants in Knoxville.

As a testament to Knoxville’s love of pooches, personal finance website ValuePenguin in 2017 ranked Knoxville the eighth best big city in the U.S. for dog owners. By comparison, both Nashville, TN, and Memphis, TN, were kind of in the doghouse on ValuePenguin’s list – they ranked 24th and 55th, respectively.

With Knoxville leading the pack, here are the 12 cities that deserve doggie treats for their interest in (and presumed love of) pups.

1. Knoxville, TN 

The Sunsphere - Knoxville, Tennessee

Photo Credit: David Ratledge / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

Google Trends Score: 91/100


2. Scranton-Wilkes Barre, PA 

Downtown Scranton

Photo Credit: Brad Clinesmith from Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Google Trends Score: 88/100


3. Colorado Springs, CO (coupled with Pueblo, CO

Photo Credit: Wximagery / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Google Trends Score: 87/100


4. Tucson, AZ 

Photo Credit: Ken Lund / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Google Trends Score: 84/100


5. Spokane, WA

Cliff Cannon, Spokane, WA, USA

Photo Credit: Roman Eugeniusz / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Google Trends Score: 82/100


6. Little Rock, AR

Photo Credit: Valis55 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Google Trends Score: 81/100


7 (tie). Charleston, SC 

Aerial view of Charleston, SC

Photo Credit: Needpix

Google Trends Score: 80/100


7 (tie). Grand Rapids, MI 

Grand Rapids, MI

Photo Credit: WMrapids / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

Google Trends Score: 80/100


7 (tie). Bakersfield, CA 

Bakersfield panoramic view

Photo Credit: Bobak Ha’Eri / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Google Trends Score: 80/100


10 (tie). Greenville, SC 

Photo Credit: DXR / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Google Trends Score: 79/100


10 (tie). Chattanooga, TN 

Photo Credit: Chris Light / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Google Trends Score: 79/100


12. Louisville, KY

Photo Credit: The original uploader was Retired username at English Wikipedia. / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.5

 Google Trends Score: 78/100

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Main Photo Credit: leisergu / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0


John Egan

John Egan is the former editor in chief of Now, he is a freelance writer extraordinaire. He lives in Austin, Texas.