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Monday, November 7, 2016

The Best and Worst Cities to Be a Dog

A pair of Great Danes strutting through Soho. Photo: Andres Kudacki

If you're a human the biggest draws to a city may include good jobs, accessible culture, and 24-hour bodegas. If you're a dog you might be more interested in the number of fire hydrants and patches of grass. But these days, cities are treating dogs like luxury-condo residents, only instead of wellness rooms and ping pong tables they've got surf parks and members only clubs. In this way, cities are mirroring the priorities of urban dog owners, who are spending $23 billion on pet food (including vegan and gluten free varieties) and $15 billion on medical care (which in some cases means medicinal cannabis). New York dogs are no legally allowed to enjoy outdoor cafes and, JFK is about to open massive pet terminal. In the past five years, cities across the country have increased the number of off leash dog parks by 20 percent. And there are now canine retirement homes in Tokyo. Which is not to say there are not pleanty of places like Yulin, China, which host an annual dog meat festival where a dog might wish for some urban enlightenment.

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