A Dog Owner’s Guide to San Francisco

It is hard to believe that we adopted Chumley almost 4 years ago. Where has the time gone!? I have posted a couple times about him (I am obsessed, yes I know) but when we adopted him he was a possessed little gremlin who wanted to eat and bite everything and everyone. He has thankfully mellowed out to be a somewhat normal dog. However he does lead a pretty great life and I thought I would put together a dog owner’s guide to San Francisco of places  that we use to make having a dog in the city so much easier. Also I am trying to teach myself the video editing software Final Cut Pro and who is a better subject than Chumley? Here is a little video about how good it really is to be Chumley the Dog.( This is my first video so go easy on me..)

Now that you have seen how good he really has it. Here are some resources that we use all the time.

SF Dog Parks and Play Areas:

Crissy Field - we end up here at least once a week. It is a great place to take a dog and an amazing place to take a walk. Plus dogs are allowed off-leash down at the beach area. It will be a win, win for both of you.

Fort Funston – this is the off-leash mecca for dogs. Miles and miles of beaches with hundreds of dogs. Since it is a bit of a hike to get to, we only really go on the weekend but it is pretty magical when the weather is right and the tide is low. A large part of the video is from Fort Funston. When they say all dogs go to heaven, it really should be all dogs go to Fort Funston.

Golden Gate Park – This iconic park is seriously dog friendly. They welcome dogs everywhere on leash, but they  also have not one, but four off leash dog areas.

Corona Heights Park - located high on top of one of SF’s  hills, this off leash dog park has sweeping views of the city.  Head on up around sunset, let your dog run and make sure to bring a cocktail to enjoy the incredible view.

Alta Plaza - Located in the heart of the city in the fancy Pacific Heights neighborhoods, this park is a mecca for dogs and kids. And maybe dogs with kids. Dog are also allowed off leash.


Dog Walkers and Dog Hotels

North Beach Pet Sitters – Back when I used to work  in Palo Alto and Luke and I would leave the house around 6:3am  and not get home until at least 6pm, Chumley would go on walks with North Beach Pet Sitter. They would take him all over the city and make sure he was sufficiently exercised so I didn’t have a monster on my hands when I got home. I think he is still bitter that since I am working from home now, I am the daily walker, and my walks are far less fun than North Beach Pet Sitters

High Tail Hotel - Luke and I travel a ton and I would not trust Chumley with anyone else in the city. They are just as obsessed with him as I am and I know whenever we go out of town that he is in good care. They may even be more obsessed with him than I am. It is up for debate. They also pick him up and drop him off which is amazing!


Pet Stores

There are a couple chain pet stores in the city, but I prefer the smaller stores:

Bow Wow Meow - the name kinda says it all right? There are a couple locations around the bay area but we go to the location on Polk Street for food and treats

Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Store – in true San Francisco style, your dog can be organic and natural just like you and Jeffrey’s is the place that will help you do it.


Dog Rescues and Shelters in SF

I strongly believe in the “don’t shop, adopt” policy. We found Chumley on Petfinder which is a great resource. Because we were looking around the Bay Area to find a dog, we drove to Tahoe to get him. We adopted him from Pet Network Humane Society. Pet Network is a great facility and  I highly recommend them.  But if you are looking to adopt closer to home, here are some amazing organizations based here in SF.

SF SPCA - This place is incredible. It is a shelter, veterinary hospital, and training facility all in one. I took Chumley here because I wanted him to be a therapy dog. (Yes I was pretty much being a stage mom) SF SPCA was amazing and gave us all the right tools and training. In no fault of the SF SPCA Chumley however failed. He is too much of a spazz to be a therapy dog. I needed therapy after our first attempt at visiting a senior home here in SF because he was crazy. Maybe we will go back in a couple years and try again.

Rocket Dog Rescue - whose motto is leave no dog behind, is an all volunteer run non-profit that rescues dogs from being put down at overcrowded shelters. Check out their site. While you are here, maybe you should hop on over and look at Clooney. He might just be cuter than the real George Clooney.

Muttville - this organization is truly special. They rescue senior dogs – those dogs that are no longer considered adoptable because they are old and put down. They also focus on those dogs with special needs. Seriously amazing.

If I could adopt all the dogs in the world I would. My dream when I am “rich and famous” is to buy a remote piece of property in Pt. Reyes and rescue all the dogs I can get my hands on as well as a couple donkeys and some goats. Sounds awesome right? (Luke might leave me if I do that. I would seriously be the crazy dog lady) But one can dream. Right now I will settle with a 110 lb lab/mastiff  mutt who loves to cuddle and sleep with his head on my pillow.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need any more resources. I am pretty sure I have got the Bay Area covered for all the dog owners. Or if you want to send a picture of your dog, please do! Tag them on Instagram so I can see!


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