Our community is a popular place for dogs and most of us are delighted with that. It’s very dog-friendly with dog parks in all corners of the city. Most new eating and drinking establishments provide space, water and sometimes even treats for our furry companions.

This month Colorado Springs ranked No. 16 among “Pet-Friendly Cities” out of the country’s 100 largest cities. I especially like the fact that we beat Denver (No. 21) and Aurora (No. 92).

We were rated on 24 key metrics with categories like pet budget, pet health and wellness and outdoor pet-friendliness. In that last category, we received our highest score – 12. Most of our dogs are quite well-behaved in our parks and on our trails — especially when they are on leashes. Plus we have many off-leash areas where they can stretch those puppy paws.

WalletHub conducted the study. You can read more at wallethub.com/edu/most-pet-friendly-cities/5562/. For the curious, Scottsdale, Ariz., came in first place and Fresno, Calif. came in No. 100.

Colorado Springs placed better than any other Colorado city!

In other dog news, parks staff say there have been two confirmed reports of coyote attacks on dogs in Ute Valley Park. Keeping your dog on a leash as is required will help protect them. And a recent report of an aggressive bear temporarily closed a trail in Red Rock Canyon Open Space. It is a good reminder — we share these forests with all kinds of critters. It’s part of the reason they were preserved in the first place. The reason these wildlife encounters make the news is because they are unusual. Nevertheless, staying on the trail with your animal under control is one of the best ways to keep you and your dog safe.

Finally, in this hot weather, it’s difficult keeping dogs out of water, especially Retrievers. But with a confirmed test of blue-green algae in Prospect Lake, it’s critical that dog-owners follow closed signs where posted. The algae is dangerous to dogs and people. If you see signs of algae in local ponds, why risk it?

Susan Davies is executive director of the 30-year-old Trails and Open Space Coalition. Send any questions and comments to susan@trailsandopenspaces.org.

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