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Video: The best cities for dogs

TODAY
updated 6/5/2007 2:23:36 PM ET 2007-06-05T18:23:36

Nearly 74 million dogs are living with their owners in this country. Buti's where they live that may just give them a leg up on their canine colleagues. Men's Health has released their ranking of the Top 50 cities for dogs. From the number of dog parks, to the number of vets and pet stores in the area — all of these and more were considered when picking the best locations.

The magazine's Editor-in-Chief, David Zinczenko offers the Top 5 spots. Check out the list and see where your city ranks!

1. Colorado Springs, CO
With about 250 days of pure sunshine a year and an abundance of outdoor activities, the entire city is practically a playground for pooches. (If you're really adventurous, you can even try "skijoring" a sport/activity that involves getting on cross-country skis and having a large, energetic dog pull you dogsled style.) Colorado Springs also earns top marks for its number of boarding and doggie daycare facilities, and it levies the highest maximum fine for animal cruelty — $500,000.

2. Portland, OR
Portland has plenty of parks for humans, including one of the largest in the U.S. (Forest Park, with over 4,000 acres), but dogs aren't left out in the cold: The city boasts the most dog parks per resident. When throwing a stick gets old, dog owners have their pick of the litter when it comes to finding a new toy at one of the many pet supply stores in the area. And while your hound might want to do the doggie paddle in one of the city's many famous fountains, tell him to heel — even when he sees the group entitled “Animals in Pools.”

3. Albuquerque, NM
Even though the largest animal gathering in the city (a.k.a. the Rio Grande Zoo) doesn't allow dogs, it does provide kennel services for visitors, a small touch that highlights the pervasive atmosphere of affection for dogs. Another clue: Everywhere you go, someone's holding a leash — New Mexico has the second highest dog ownership rates. This passion for pooches even extends to the Mayor's office. For the past four years, the city has sponsored the Mayor's Dog Ball, a charity event that supports efforts to education children about the humane treatment of animals.

4. Tucson, AZ
Dog don't get nine lives, but one should be enough in Tucson, where there are more veterinary practices accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association than in any other city in our rankings. Keep your hound well-hydrated and you'll not only avoid a visit to the vet, but you'll also be able to enjoy the perpetually sunny skies. For those without a dog (or who want to give their current canine a companion), the city's local Channel 12 TV station shows a program called "Pet Connection" that tries to make lifelong matches between owners and animals.

5. Seattle, WA
Seattle veterinarians report one of the lowest numbers of heartworm cases in dogs, a parasitic infection transmitted through mosquitoes. Either the mosquito population is low (surprising, as 40 percent of the city is water), or dog owners are just as proactive about heartworm prevention as they are about pushing for more dog parks. In 1995, Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) was formed to push for a piece of the city's nearly 400 parks. Today, there are almost a dozen dog parks in the city, with more in the surrounding suburbs.

For further information on the Top 50 cities and to view a interactive map visit, menshealth.com

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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