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San Francisco – Most Dog-Friendly City

CBS recently reported a study conducted by Smart Asset declaring San Francisco as, not only the most expensive place to live in America and one of the most sought after tourist destinations, it is now also the most dog-friendly. Smart Asset selected San Francisco as the winner by comparing 100 cities in the United States, evaluating their dog friendliness and assigning grades based on things like: walkability (New York City is also one of the best cities for walkability); the number of dog-friendly restaurants, shopping areas, dog parks per 100,000 residents, what they call “home values,” and the amount of complimentary weather. San Francisco was given a 100, a perfect score. CBS also mentions the fact that there are 174 dog-friendly restaurants to dine in and just 40 annual days of precipitation. There are also quite a few dog-friendly residential buildings in SF to live in with your pup.

Animal Planet is another media outlet that has identified San Francisco as the most dog-friendly city in the U.S. Animal Planet says that the score they gave is based in part on the actual quality of these locations for dogs. They commend the Golden Gate Park, for example, citing its grand proportions; 1,000 acres of lush green landscape and the four areas zoned for dogs to run leash-free. Animal Planet also refers to the many off-leash beaches in San Francisco, noting Baker Beach, Fort Funston, and Ocean Beach, as some of the most enjoyable. Pet-friendly attractions scored highly in San Francisco, which may be of particular interest to weekenders and tourists, including Coit Tower, the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Warf, as well as dog walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. Additionally, San Francisco’s transportation system has earned it some points.  Cable cars are often a convenient way of getting around the city and everywhere dogs are allowed on board. Most recreational areas in SF are accessible by cable car. 

Top Dog Parks in the City

Many SF residents have said that the Bernal Height (Dog) Park is one of the best locations because of its incredible panoramic views, trails, dog walking, and outpost areas. Due to the colder temperatures reportedly, it is also a great place to check out some of the latest dog sweater-Mode. Lafayette Park borders the Pacific Heights area and is a great place to spot billionaire and celebrity dog owners on their outings. The park is said to be relatively safe during both the day and the nighttime hours and is surrounded by the sites of some of the most beautiful homes in the city. 

If your dog prefers total and complete off-leash freedomOcean Beach is a picturesque terrain considered to be a haven for the canine. There is just one area where puppy must be on-leash, which is between Sloat Blvd. and Stairwell 21 (at the mid-beach chalet) from May 15 to July 1.  For a bit of history, Buena Vista Dog Park, on Haight St. and Buena Vista Ave. may be up your alley. This park is 147 years old, making it the oldest park in the city. Besides being very accessible, the park also features an abundance of lush greenery and a dense canopies of trees. You can also visit St. Ignatius church and while looking out onto the sea and the Golden Gate Bridge. Looking for a doggie pond? Take a trip over to McLaren Park located near the Excelsior, Outer Mission, and Visitacion Valley areas.  This expansive and serene terrain features not only a very amenable doggie pond for its many thirsty visitors, but also a sizable off-leash area, rolling hills, trails, and open fields as well. 

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