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When looking for a new home, we understand that keeping your furriest family members in mind is important. Taking this into account, we have ranked over 130 UK towns and cities based on vital ‘dog-friendly’ factors including overall garden ratings, size of property, average vet ratings and several pet-relevant amenities available — our latest study reveals the best places to buy a home when your pets are top priority.
Overall best and worst places to have pets
Bromsgrove (Worcestershire) may not top the list of the UK’s most famous destinations, but it has been officially crowned ‘top-dog’ for pet owners. House prices in Bromsgrove will set you back around £306,000, but the town comfortably meets all a pet-owner’s needs, and scores above UK average on all pet-friendly factors.
If Bromsgrove is out of your price range, then try Bridgend in Wales. Despite being second on our list, the average house price in Bridgend is an appealing £167,325. For pet-owners willing to splash more cash, Sevenoaks in Kent is the next best destination. The house prices may be eye-watering (costing you around £455,828) but overall, this commuter-town clinches the third spot on our list.
Which towns and cities are most pet-peeved? Despite hosting hundreds of thousands of hounds, London ranks as the worst place to have a pet in the UK — thanks to a lack of garden space amongst other factors. Pet lovers should also avoid Birmingham and Gateshead if they want easy access to amenities like groomers and training centres.
Best outside space
Having outdoor space is vital to your pet’s wellbeing, so we’ve ranked properties in each town and city by ‘garden space’. This includes everything from balconies and terraces to back and front gardens, to award a ‘garden score’ to each location.
Got a hyper-active hound? Move to Lisburn, Northern Ireland for the most expansive garden space. In fact, the two runners-up for outside space are also in Northern Ireland: Carrickfergus and Craigavon. With so much green space, it really is the ‘Emerald Isle’.
The worst location in the UK for garden space will surprise you. The loser isn’t London, but Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. Despite its stunning lochs and mountains, Scotland also fares badly, with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen all ranking poorly for garden space.
Best indoor space
Craigavon in Northern Ireland tops the list for the most spacious homes. In fact, Northern Ireland scores highly on this factor too, with Derry and Lisburn clinching the second and third place.
However, if Northern Ireland is on your list of potential relocation spots, you may want to avoid Newtownabbey: it not only lacks outdoor space, but is cramped inside too. Elsewhere in the UK, avoid Bournemouth and Glasgow if space for you and your pet is a priority.
Average vet rating
A poorly pet breaks any owner’s heart. Where to move for the most peace of mind? The picturesque cathedral city Hereford boasts the best veterinary care in the country, followed by Bingley and Wokingham.
Stratford-upon-Avon may boast heritage, but you will want to give this location a miss if your pet has ongoing health issues. London and Rochdale also score lowly for quality of vets, so finding a clinic you trust is paramount when relocating to these areas.
Number of pet shops
Like to lavish your pet? Head to Newport, Wales, the shopping capital for furry friends. Stratford-upon-Avon claims the second most pet shops per capita and Chichester, in West Sussex, comes in third.
Not big on splashing out on flashy things for your furry companion? Luton, London and York ranked worst for number of pet shops.
Number of pet grooming places
Some pets are more high-maintenance than others — and some are more pampered than their owners! If you have a primped Poodle or a Persian cat, then consider Newport, Ashford or Bridgend, which have the highest ratio of pet-groomers per person.
Unless you’re after the ‘shaggy-dog’ look it’s best to avoid moving to London, Slough and Salford, which offer the least grooming options to pet-owners.
Number of pet training centers
Training your pet can be a relentless and frustrating task. Thankfully, training centres are here to help. Newport takes the lead once again, with the most classes and guidance on hand. After that, Ely and Chichester command second and third position.
Don’t move to Bingley, West Yorkshire if you have an unruly pooch. Bingley has the most limited selection of dog trainers, followed by St Helens in Lancashire and the city of York.
Number of dog-friendly restaurants
With so many dog-friendly restaurants out there, eating out with your pooch needn’t be made into a dogs-dinner. Warwick caters best for dog-owners, with options to suit every palette. The next best places to eat out with your pooch are Chichester and Gloucester.
A staggering 23 towns and cities listed only one dog-friendly server. Surprisingly, this includes Sevenoaks, which otherwise scores highly on our list. Other places you and your canine will struggle to eat out include Milton Keynes, Rochdale and Slough.
Number of dog-friendly days out
So far, we’ve covered all the basic, day-to-day amenities — but what about the weekend? Which location in the UK offers the best range of dog-friendly days out? Winning this round is Lincoln, which boasts an impressive range of activities to explore with your dog. Hot on its heels are Warwick and Swansea.
Where will you be most at a loss for things to do? Newmarket, Boston and Doncaster will leave you twiddling your fingers (or paws).
Best and worst per region
Looking to move for a better lifestyle with your pet but don’t want to relocate to the other side of the country? Below we have summarised the best location per region, and the location to avoid, to consider when you and your pets make your next move.
Best and worst locations for pet owners per region
|Region||Best Location||Worst Location|
|East of England||Maldon||Watford|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||Barnsley||Bingley|
Biggest Dog Lovers
Through compiling our research, we also uncovered a fundamental question: who are the UK’s biggest dog lovers?
The North-East hosts the most animal-lovers, with 36% of the population owning a dog. With little space to spare in the bustling city, only 9% of Londoners own a dog, placing it at the bottom of the list.
This tool allows users to visualise the best UK Cities for Dog owners to buy a property in. We Buy Any Home have analysed a variety of data sources in the study, these include: WBAH own property data, Google Maps listings, and Dogfriendly directory site.
Overall ranking: ranking based on living space, pets relevant amenities and pet-friendly outdoor space scores per location.
Garden Score*: score based on a ranking system of the most common type of garden space per location (rear garden, front garden, side garden, communal garden, terrace, balcony and no garden space).
Property Size*: average number of rooms per property per location.
Once all the data points were collected, in order to normalise the data and ensure that ranking was fair. A per capita formula (per 10,000 people) was used to rank the following data points:
- Number of Pet Shops
- Number of Pet grooming places
- Number of Pet training Centres
- Number of Places to eat
- Number of Days-out places