While finding a pet-friendly apartment is an uphill battle unto itself, let's not forget that if your four-legged friend is of the canine variety, you'll also want to choose your neighborhood wisely. After all, no one wants to finally lock down a dog-friendly home, only to find that the nearest park is a 20-minute walk away and doesn't even have an off-leash area.
This in mind, we decided to dig through the data to discover some of the most Fido-friendly New York neighborhoods. Among our findings? The Upper East Side is apparently the place to be, while the outer boroughs have some catching up to do. "I think what really jumps out is that Manhattan is more pet-friendly than it might seem," says StreetEasy data scientist Alan Lightfeldt, who crunched the numbers for us on the percentage of buildings per neighborhood and borough currently listed as "pet-friendly" on the site. (One note on methodology: for the purposes of this research, the StreetEasy team only looked at buildings with a least five units, which takes single-family buildings and duplexes out of the running.)
Lightfeldt says, "in Manhattan, just in terms of the share of all buildings that are pet-friendly, it was six percent of the total, as opposed to two percent in Staten Island, and one percent in all the other boroughs."
On top of StreetEasy's data, we also looked at dog-friendly public parks (you can search by zip code, borough, and amenities here), as well as the number of pet stores listed per neighborhood on Yelp, to get a more complete picture of the factors that'll affect you (and your dog) in your day-to-day. (For instance, though 27 percent of listings on Roosevelt Island are pet-friendly, there's only one veterinarian on the island, and zero pet stores, so it didn't make the cut. Similarly, 67 percent of listings in Stuy Town are pet-friendly, but the complex's rather draconian no-dogs-on-the-grass policy nixed them from the running.)
If your favorite neighborhood doesn't make the cut, don't despair: Lightfedlt emphasizes that if anything, StreetEasy's numbers likely underestimate the number of buildings that might welcome your dog, as many don't check the "pet-friendly" box when they list on the site, and might add specifics about pet policy within the listing itself.
Still, if you're just starting your search and you've got a furry best friend in tow, these are some of the most reliable 'hoods to head to:
THE UPPER EAST SIDE
While there's some variation depending on what segment of the neighborhood (18 percent of Carnegie Hill buildings bill themselves as pet-friendly, as opposed to just seven percent in Yorkville), overall, the Upper East Side was the big winner, according to StreetEasy's data. "The Upper East Side and its sub-market had the highest overall percentage, at 11 percent," says Lightfeldt. As you might expect, the dog-friendly park situation uptown is good, whether you're closer to Central Park, Andrew Haswell Green Park or Carl Schurz Park closer to the river. Add to that a whopping 166 pet stores listed for the area on Yelp, and it's safe to say the well-worn cliche of Upper East Siders clutching their adorable, well-manicured pooches is likely here to stay.
Midtown Manhattan fared well in StreetEasy's findings, with nine percent of listings billed as pet-friendly. (Pet owners will do the best in Midtown East, where 12 percent of listings were pet-friendly, as compared to Midtown West and Midtown South, which both clocked in at just six percent.) Depending on where you are, you're once again helped by easy access to Central Park, as well as other options like Peter Detmold Park to the east, and De Witt Clinton Park to the west. Unsurprisingly, the retail options are also plentiful, with a total of 150 pet stores between Midtown West and Midtown East combined.
UPPER WEST SIDE
One more option aided by its easy access to Central Park: the Upper West Side, which is also flanked on the west by Riverside Park. Add to that 107 different neighborhood pet stores in the mix, and an average of seven percent on StreetEasy's pet-friendliness scale, and this is one of the larger Manhattan sub-markets geared towards dog owners. Plus, the dog runs! Riverside Park has plenty of active ones where not just your pet, but you, too, can make fast friends. And Central Park's northern hill off 106th Street is a veritable dog-lovers' scene in the mornings.
As developers try to cater to wealthy—and increasingly, animal-loving—buyers, more and more new condos and luxury rentals are skewing pet-friendly. So it's not entirely surprising, then, that new construction-heavy neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan tend to score well on the pet-friendliness scale. Specifically, 40 percent of Battery Park City and Civic Center listings are billed as pet-friendly, along with 19 percent in the Financial District. (Tribeca lags behind a bit at eight percent, according to StreetEasy.)
These downtown neighborhoods do well on the retail front, as well, with seven pet stores in BPC, 16 in Civic Center, 15 in FiDi, and 21 in Tribeca. However, keep in mind that green space is rather lacking down here. Unless your building happens to have a pet-friendly, shared lawn (many do), or you're within an easy walk of options like Battery Park City's Kowsky Dog Plaza or the Tribeca Dog Park, you may do best with a smaller breed that doesn't need hours of outdoor exercise everyday.
Across the water, Dumbo also benefits from a high number of pet-friendly new devs, as well as waterfront park access. 17 percent of listings in the neighborhood are listed as pet-friendly, and dog owners can choose between teh dog run at Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Hillside Dog Park. And even in the relatively small, isolated 'hood, Yelp's stats show a serviceable number of doggy daycares, pet stores, and dog walking services.
Given its close proximity to Prospect Park and family-friendly rep, Park Slope would seem like a slam dunk. Per StreetEasy's numbers though, only one percent of multi-families in the area marked themselves as pet-friendly. (Keep in mind that this doesn't take into account smaller buildings like the brownstones the neighborhood is known for—and where owners can do whatever they want when it comes to pet ownership—so the number is almost certainly higher.) Still, Windsor Terrace (which also borders the park) significantly outpaced its pricier neighbor, with eight percent of buildings allowing pets, and eight neighborhood businesses geared toward furrier residents.
While most options uptown don't rank high (in spite of an abundance of parks), six percent of listings in Riverdale were marked as pet-friendly on StreetEasy, a relatively high percentage. (And if you count the suburban-style houses in the neighborhood, the number is presumably much higher.) For outdoor space, there's the Riverdale Park off-leash area, as well as Seton Dog Park, Ewen Dog Park and Frank S. Hackett Dog Park. However, you might have to fire up your Amazon Prime account if you need pet supplies: Yelp lists two vets and a pet groomer in the area, but no general pet supply stores.
One option for the Queens crowd: Hunters Point, where five percent of listings are pet-friendly, no doubt bolstered by the high percentage of new development buildings. (Compare that to neighboring LIC's percentage of two percent, or Astoria's zero.) The area also recently got a 24-hour dog run in Gantry Plaza State Park, which joins the Murray Dog Run, the Murray Playground, and the Vernon Boulevard Dog Park among the neighborhood's numerous options for outdoor activities. Add to that 11 pet-oriented businesses in the neighborhood, and you've got a solid place to shack up with a scruffy roommate—provided you can afford the rapidly rising housing prices, that is.