The UK's safest areas for dogs

Long dog walk

York is the safest place in the UK to own a dog, followed by Plymouth and Swansea.

That’s according to a new study by dog food maker, which took into account factors including traffic, crime, pet theft and pollution to come up with the top 15 towns and cities for dogs and their owners.

Areas that scored the highest had plenty of safe places for a dog to explore but a low crime rate, low pollution rating, plenty of emergency vets and street security cameras, low cases of Alabama rot, dog thefts and reports of missing dogs, and did not have high levels of road traffic and reports of roadkill.

Nature dog walk

York topped the charts with a score of 70.9 out of 100. The city had a low road traffic score of 120, compared to a staggering 1,022 for Norwich, and a low pollution level of 24.51 — in contrast to 68.97 for Wolverhampton.

Warrington, Bournemouth and Cardiff had the highest scores for Alabama rot — a rare disease that damages a dog’s kidneys and blood vessels — while Kingston-Upon-Hull, Newcastle and Norwich had no recorded cases.

Some locations had drastically higher rates of missing dog reports compared to others. Birmingham was top of the list with 226 recorded cases of missing dogs, followed by Newcastle with 141 and Wolverhampton with 81. The area with the lowest number of missing dogs was Bournemouth, with only 15 recorded cases, and York had the second-lowest number at 28.

To find the best place to live with your dog, recommends that you:

  • Check for secure dog parks nearby
  • Look for emergency vet clinics within walking or driving distance
  • Check the local crime rates
  • Look for Alabama rot stats
  • Look into the air pollution rate
  • Watch out for a high number of missing pets
  • Be aware of road traffic in the area

Here are the 15 safest areas to own a dog in the UK according to the study:

  1. York (70.9 out of 100)
  2. Plymouth (69)
  3. Swansea (68.8)
  4. Warrington (59.2)
  5. Luton (58.6)
  6. Sheffield (58.1)
  7. Birmingham (56.8)
  8. Hull (56.5)
  9. Newcastle (56.4)
  10. Peterborough (56.1)
  11. Wolverhampton (55.3)
  12. Bournemouth (54.2)
  13. Norwich (54)
  14. Sunderland (53.8)
  15. Cardiff (53)

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