RANKED: France's 10 most dog-friendly towns and cities

Criteria used include number of dog parks, dog-friendly public transport policies, and help for vulnerable owners and animals

Criteria for the best towns of 100,000 residents or more includes the number of dog-friendly parks and public transport policies
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If your dog could choose where to live, where would they pick? A new study published this week could help you and your pooch find the perfect place in France (and Bordeaux makes the top three for the first time).

The ninth annual barometer from animal welfare association and monthly magazine la Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis has ranked the best towns (of more than 100,000 residents) where dog owners can live most easily.

The top three? Lille, Nice, and Bordeaux.

Canine criteria

The barometer uses several criteria to make its decision, including:

  • The accessibility of public green spaces (parks and gardens that allow dogs)

  • The availability of public transport systems that allow dogs

  • The number of dog parks (fenced-in green spaces specifically for dogs)

  • Tools to improve cleanliness, including poop bag distributors, and availability of dog waste bins

  • The local services for dog owners, including animal cemeteries, and rescue centres

  • Whether the local authority has an elected member in charge of animal welfare

  • Help for vulnerable and disadvantaged pet owners

  • Sterilisation campaigns and identification of stray animals

  • Campaigns to help stray animals, including feeding programmes and compassionate shelters

“This year, we have awarded a higher coefficient to these [last four] criteria,” said Katia Renard, editor-in-chief of 30 Millions d'Amis.

“In the current inflationary climate, it was important for us to highlight the initiatives of towns and cities that support local associations, promote animal welfare, and help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people to keep their pets with them. 

“In this way, we can combat the forced abandonment of animals due to a lack of financial resources,” she said.

Read also: France’s new animal welfare law passes: What will it change for pets?
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At the top of the ranking for the second year running, Lille stands out due to its animal welfare campaigns. For example, in 2023, Lille welcomed charity vet and stray animal associations such as Vétérinaires pour Tous and Gamelles Pleines.


In second place comes Nice, mainly due to its many dog-accessible green spaces, and its policy of allowing municipal employees to bring their dogs to work, which has been running for more than a year.

Read also: We visit a dog-friendly beach in Nice


Bordeaux reached the podium for the first time this year, due to many dog-friendly policies. For example, all dogs in a basket or on a lead (and muzzled) can travel for free on all Bordeaux Métropole transport services.

The top 10

Rounding out the top 10 are:

4. Montpellier

5. Limoges

6. Grenoble

7. Le Havre

8. Reims

9. Boulogne-Billancourt

10. Strasbourg 

The ranking aims not just to highlight the towns and cities that are doing well, but also to raise awareness of dog-friendly policies. 

“The aim of this ranking is to highlight great initiatives in each city, so that they can be replicated in other cities,” said Ms Renard.