Columbus, Ohio, is a great place to live, especially if you have pets. Ohio’s capital city made the top of personal-finance site Wise Bread’s short list of “exciting and affordable” cities for retirement living, and there are plenty of amenities for dogs, too. It’s also one of the only cities we’ve seen that specifically welcomes cats as well as dogs to some parks, so if you can put leash on a cat and live to tell the tale, there are walking trails for you and your feline friend.
Places to live with pets in Columbus
More than 30 assisted living communities in the greater Columbus area open their doors to residents with pets, and 3 of those communities are SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Assisted Living 2015 award winners. Brookdale Trillium, on the northwest side of town between the Scioto River and Brookside Woods, offers plenty of outdoor green space for daily walks. Parkside Senior Living in Westerville is adjacent to the Otterbein University campus and across Spring Road from Millstone Creek Park. And east of town, Sunrise of Gahanna is located in a residential neighborhood near Big Walnut Creek and several small parks.
A city that takes dog parks seriously
Dog owners who want off-leash time for their pets can choose among half a dozen city and county dog parks around town. Scioto Audubon Park, just south of downtown, provides a 2.5 acre fenced play area for free-roaming dogs, complete with an agility course and separate areas for small and large dogs. Leashed dogs are welcome in other parts of the 120-acre park as well. Three Creeks Dog Park offers 4 fenced acres for off-leash fun within a larger park. Other amenities include more than 20 miles of walking trails and a 12-acre pine forest play area for kids.
On the east side of Columbus, Big Walnut Park spans both sides of its namesake creek and features a 3-acre dog run complete with a pond for swimming. Godown Road Park on the north side is a smaller park with a fenced dog zone and trees for shade. Spindler Road Park, in the western suburb of Hilliard, is a local hub for soccer games and dog frolics. And Wheeler Park has a fenced acre for dogs near the Arena District.
Big events for dog owners and horse lovers
The Central Ohio Kennel Club hosts two clusters of dog shows each year, in the spring and fall. The Mid-Ohio Cluster Dog Show features thousands of dogs from across North America for conformation trials, and the spring Cardinal Cluster brings together hundreds of dogs for obedience and rally trials, among other events.
But by far the biggest animal-related event in Columbus is the yearly All American Quarter Horse Congress. Billed as the “largest single-breed horse show” in the world, it draws more than 21,000 horses and hundreds out thousands of humans to the Ohio Expo Center each October for nearly a month of horse shows, roping and riding events, and dog adoption and breed education at the event’s “puppy alley.” Leashed dogs are welcome outdoors on the grounds.
Whether you want to take your dog for off-leash romps, love the thrill of horse and dog shows, or prefer to walk your cat in the park, Columbus is a city with lots of options for seniors with pets.
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