Why are Macon & Warner Robins ranked among the worst cities in the US to walk your dog?

Warmer days are already hitting Middle Georgia, with some days reaching 70 degrees or more.

While it’s bringing smiles to many of our faces, dog owners may also notice a few extra tail wags these days, especially if you’ve been taking the furry friend out for more walks.

Whether it’s to the park, to a nearby restaurant or just a good ‘ole sidewalk stroll, there’s nothing as fun as taking the pup out on a nice day.

But you might want to reconsider taking them out to Macon or Warner Robins because a new study says those two Georgia cities are some of the worst to take your pup on a walk.

By why? Here’s what we know:

Why Macon & Warner Robins were ranked the worst cities to walk your dog

In the study by LawnStarter which found 2024’s best cities to walk your dog, Macon and Warner Robins were ranked in the bottom five.

Specifically, Macon took the fifth worst spot and Warner Robins claimed the fourth worst spot for walking pups in the nation.

The study scored and ranked 470 cities across the U.S. in four categories: Access, Quality, Professional Walking and Safety.

Macon had an overall ranking of 473 out of 477 cities and received a score of 17.86 out of 100. Its lowest categories were safety and professional walking.

Meanwhile, Warner Robins got an overall ranking of 474 and had a score of 17.80, with the lowest scores in quality of parks/areas for dogs and access to places for dogs.

In comparison, Columbus, Georgia wasn’t too far up the list and was ranked at 429, while Atlanta had a ranking of 264 out of 477 cities.

Both Atlanta and Columbus had very low scores in the safety category, but seemed to do a bit better in the access category.

Other Georgia cities on the list were Johns Creek (159/477), Roswell (266/477), Savannah (298/477), Athens (363/477), Sandy Springs (420/477) and Augusta (454/477).

Where can I walk my dog in Macon?

If you are going to take your furry friend out for a walk in Macon, here are some spots to go:

  • The Macon Dog Park located near Mercer University is one option for your pup to run, play and be social.

  • Barks and Brews is located at 695 Riverside Drive in Macon. The off-leash dog park has a bar for owners and a dedicated spot for dogs to roam.

  • Other walking spots include Wesleyan College’s campus, the Amerson River Park and downtown Macon, where there are plenty of restaurants with outdoor patios for your pup to rest.

Where can I walk my dog in Warner Robins?

If you want to take your dog out in Warner Robins, here are some ideas:

  • Robins Air Force Base dog park is located on base. It has an agility courses and open spaces to run.

  • Wellston Dog Park in Warner Robins offers off-leash play.

The top 10 worst cities to walk your dog

Here are the top ten worst cities to walk your dog in the U.S., according to LawnStarter:

  • Pompano Beach, Florida

  • Avondale, Arizona

  • Memphis, Tennessee

  • Warner Robins, Georgia

  • Macon, Georgia

  • Evansville, Indiana

  • Rockford, Illinois

  • Montgomery, Alabama

  • Kansas City, Kansas

  • Davenport, Iowa

The top 10 best cities to walk your dog

Save up for a trip and go here with your pup:

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • San Francisco, California

  • Phoenix, Arizona

  • Boulder, Colorado

  • New York, New York

  • Portland, Oregon

  • Boise, Idaho

  • Oakland, California

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Burbank, California

Tip from the experts

If you do venture out to Macon, Warner Robins or another place to walk your dog, there are several tips from the experts to keep in mind:

Dr. Allison Willoughby with Utah State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says that one of the most important things you can do as a dog owner is be aware of your surroundings when walking your dog.

“This will help you notice any potential hazards or dangers, such as traffic, other animals, or items your dog may pick up off the ground. Make sure to keep your dog away from any potentially dangerous situations and stay alert for any changes in your environment,” Wiiloughby said. “Choose a route that minimizes hazards and annoyances.”

Other tips include:

  • Build your dog’s fitness gradually. Don’t take them on a walk they can’t physically handle.

  • Make sure they are comfortable: get a harness or leash that fits and won’t hurt or choke them.

  • Carry water and snacks for your pup.

  • Learn about and avoid poisonous plants in your backyard and while exploring city trails.

  • Use flea and tick prevention measures.

  • Know what to do in the event of a dog bite.

  • Place your hand on the asphalt or concrete to ensure it’s not too hot before walking your dog on a warm summer day.

  • Keep your furry friend warm with a jacket and boots if going for a short winter walk.

Are you surprised by this study? Why or why not? Comment below or email me at cmadden@mcclatchy.com

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