Pack your bag Fido: The city of Glendale in Arizona has been named the regional runner-up in Dog Fancy magazine’s 2013 DogTown USA ranking.
With a dog population of 43,000, the city prides itself on offering dog-friendly businesses, attractions and amenities.
The article highlights Glendale’s four-legged community benefits, such as two special dog parks at Sahauro Ranch and Foothills Park that offer agility equipment; an annual ‘Dog Days of Summer’ fundraising event; and dining experiences at various restaurants with patio seating for city dogs.
Glendale Library even has a ‘reading dog’ program. Called ‘Read with Jessie’, the program provides kids with an opportunity to practice reading to a loveable golden retriever.
The Glendale Fire Department has two working dogs – Gizi, who accompanies the department’s public education manager to schools to teach fire safety, and Topaz, who serves as a crisis response dog.
In addition, the fire department also offers special FIDO pet rescue bags. These medical bags contain customized oxygen masks and other medical supplies specifically made to care for animals in emergency situations. The bags were placed on Glendale fire trucks in 2007 after the Sun Valley Animal Shelter made a generous donation of $4,000 to fund the program.
Projects and activities for local dogs are not the only reason that Glendale was selected by the magazine for the DogTown recognition, as part of the process evaluated whether Glendale serves as a good pet destination for travellers and their friends.
Approximately 58 per cent of pet owners now travel with their pets, and dogs lead the pack as the most popular pet travel companion.
“This information reflects an emerging travel trend, showing the importance of outreaching to visitors who travel with their favourite canine companion. For example, 78 per cent of pet owners choose a hotel due to its pet-friendly policies and the Glendale CVB offers a list of pet-friendly hotels in the area,” said Lorraine Pino, Glendale CVB manager.