Tucson is apparently the most dog-friendly city in the U.S.
The company, which says it creates content and tools to help consumers make smart financial choices, looked at the number of dog parks per 100,000 residents, the number of dog-friendly restaurants and shops, city walkability, the number of rainy days in a year and median home values to compare 100 cities.
And Tucson ranked No. 1, with more than 240 dog-friendly restaurants (according to the crowd-sourced site BringFido.com), four dog-friendly shopping centers and barely any rainy days at all. Plus, it was the most affordable city in the study's top 10.
SmartAsset pulled a lot of its data from BringFido.com, which we recommend if you're looking for a giant list of places where you can take your pooch. (Go here and scroll down to Data and Methodology to see where else SmartAsset got its data.)
You should know that in April, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation making it illegal to misrepresent an animal as a service animal in a public place or business, so make a call to clarify if you're uncertain whether your pooch is welcome somewhere.
In the meantime, if you're looking to pamper your (well-behaved) pup with a doggy date, here are some of our favorite dog-friendly destinations. (Keep in mind that some of these dates are best enjoyed when it's not 115 degrees outside).
Tucson Botanical Gardens
Through Sept. 30, you can take your leashed dog to the gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, with a $20 membership (which includes all-day access throughout the summer) or $3 per visit. There's also a photo opp for puppy portraits 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. It's $10 for one pose or $15 for two poses.
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
A Loyal Companion
This is a POOL just for your dogs! The indoor pool and gym, 4758 E. Grant Road, hosts open swims, private swims, lessons and even puppy pool parties. They also offer obedience classes, seminars, training, dog massages and even the occasional dog-centric book clubs! Your dog's initial swim is $20 for a 30-minute swim. Depending on how that goes, open swim costs $25 for 60 minutes.
Meet Me At Maynards
Take a walk downtown with friends and bring your pup, too. The weekly walk/run starts near Maynards Market and Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave., and traces two, three or four miles, depending on your preference. The free, Monday walk begins at 5:15 p.m. and you definitely don't have to arrive on the dot. You can also help Tucson walk to the moon through the Maynards to the Moon initiative, encouraging residents to cumulatively walk the 238,000 miles to the moon between now and the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's moonwalk July 20, 2019.
This is where you come to pamper your pooch. Just off of Fourth Avenue (327 E. Seventh St.), this dog boutique has treats, toys, grooming products, a self-serve wash station and even a small play area.
The upscale shopping center, 2905 E. Skyline Drive, is home to PAWSH at La Encantada, a pet boutique and small dog and cat adoption center by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (on Saturday, Aug. 11, the shop is celebrating its birthday with merchandise and some adoption fees reduced). The outdoor mall is also pet-friendly and many of the stores keep bowls of water outside their shops, plus restaurants such as Blanco Tacos and Tequila and Ra Sushi have patios where your dog can chill while you eat.
Hub Ice Cream Factory
Not only can your dog come inside the ice cream shop, 245 E. Congress St., as you sample flavors, but the store actually sells "Pupsicles" made of Greek yogurt, bananas and peanut butter for $3. One dollar of each sale goes toward the pet therapy organization Gabriel's Angels.
Smiling Dog Ranch at George Mehl Foothills Park
This dirt dog park, 4000 E. River Road, will give your pup a chance to run around with other dogs off-leash. There are trees, seating and even a concrete pipe for your dog to run through.