A man kisses his dog before the Blessing of the Animals in Old Town. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego ranks as the third most pet-friendly city in the United States, thanks to its numerous dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants and and local pet businesses.

WalletHub, a Washington, DC-based personal finance website, on Tuesday released a ranking of the pet friendliness of the 100 largest U.S. cities based 24 key metrics.

San Diego ranked high overall on “pet health and wellness” and “outdoor pet friendliness,” but is one of the most expensive cities in which to own a pet. Primarily for that reason, Scottsdale, AZ, ranked first and Orlando second.

Areas where San Diego stood out included pet-friendly restaurants (2nd), animal shelters per capita (2nd) and pet businesses per capita (3rd).

Jessica Pierce of the University of Colorado Denver said the top cities in the rankings can be distinguished by a “good vibe” for pets.

“This is hard to put a finger on, but some cities just feel more dog friendly than others — you see dogs all over the place, the dogs look happy and their people look happy, dogs are welcome in public areas such as city parks, and there are lots of places for dogs to meet each other and play together,” she said.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.