I’ve heard a rumor that there are more dogs than children in San Francisco, and even if that tidbit isn’t true, it’s pretty evident that we love our dogs here in SF. We’ve got some pretty swank doggie couture shops, there are whole stores dedicated to natural pet foods, you can’t swing a dead cat (sorry, cat people, it’s just a figure of speech) without hitting a dog walker with half a dozen dogs in tow (there are 242 dog walkers reviewed on Yelp), and there’s even an annual charity auction for architect-designed dog houses.
So if you’ve got a dog and you’re looking for a new place to live — either renting or buying — does Fido figure in the location?
If the answer is yes, it’s likely that you’ll want to live near a dog park. Setting aside the perennial debate/argument about if dogs should ever be allowed off-leash, let’s go with the answer that yes, they should be allowed off-leash, and look at some really great parks where you and your untethered dog are welcome.
The big daddy of off-leash parks in SF is Fort Funston (for now, at least, depending on the outcome of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area plan to restrict dog-walking in its parks). On the southwest edge of San Francisco, this beautiful beach is doggie mecca. Just don’t let your dog chase the snowy plovers.
If you don’t feel like trekking to the beach, Dolores Park is a smaller doggie mecca than Fort Funston but it’s quite centrally located.
If you’re a Sunset or Richmond dweller, Golden Gate Park beckons you and your pooch for a long walk or a romp in the off-leash areas. There are four of them — along Lincoln Way between 5th and 7th; in the northeast corner bounded by Stanyan, Fulton and Conservatory Drive East; a fenced dog area at 38th and Fulton; and in an area bounded by MLK Drive, Middle Drive West, and 34th and 38th.
For other parts of the city, there are plenty of other options. Check out this map to find one close to home, or find out if the place you fell in love with at the Sunday open house has a dog park nearby.
Now if only this dog park map could be integrated into the Multiple Listing Service…