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Dog Traveler's Guide To San Francisco

Nov 4, 2007
Suzy my pet Shih Tzu and I continued our U.S tour of the countries best dog friendly cities with an exciting trip to San Francisco. A throbbing nightlife, panoramic views of the sun, sand and sea, warm people and great food pretty much sums up San Francisco. Famous for its bays and the picturesque view of the Golden Gate enveloped in white fog, San Francisco is a traveler's destination to the core.

The best time to enjoy the spoils of San Francisco is from September to November, when the weather is pleasant. The city offers some of the best in International cuisine, is a paradise for shoppers and much to see. Some of activities you can get involved in include sailing, surfing, walking, cycling etc. You will often find people surfing over some of the biggest waves with their pets or dogs.


If you are looking for accommodation in San Francisco the best location is close to the ocean or at a place that can provide you with a view of the rising mist over the Golden Gate. We found one and it was the Best Western Tuscan Inn Fisherman Wharf situated at 425 Northpoint Street. They didn't charge me any additional fee for getting Suzy and I used to leave her at the hotel's kennel when venturing into the swimming pool. What's more, my room had a mini-bar, coffee maker, refrigerator, hairdryer and a free high-speed wireless Internet connection.

This hotel is located right at the heart of the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, and it has an unbeatable location. I get to see the Golden Gate first thing when I wake up. It is very close to the North beach, and the famous Pier 39.

Note: If you are planning to make a reservation in advance then type "I am bringing my dog." You need to mention this clearly in the additional comments and requests box in the online reservation form.

Check-In: 3PM
Check-Out: 12PM

You can check out some other dog friendly hotels in San Francisco like:

Campton Place Hotel -340 Stockton Street
Crowne Plaza - Union Square -480 Sutter Street
Days Inn - Lombard St -2358 Lombard Street
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco -757 Market St.
Harbor Court Hotel -165 Steuart Street
Holiday Inn -50 Eighth St
Hotel Cosmo -761 Post Street
Hotel Diva -440 Geary Street
Hotel Metropolis -25 Mason Street


The Golden Gate Bridge

Somehow Suzy was reminded of the Brooklyn Bridge and hence she caught a fancy towards the Golden Gate although I favor the Golden gate over the Brooklyn Bridge. Dogs are permitted on the Golden Gate but only if they are on leash.

I walked across the length of the Golden Gate Bridge and it was an extraordinary experience. The view from the Golden gate of the bay and San Francisco city is spectacular. It was an evening walk just around the time when the sun set and left the sky in a myriad of orange and red colors. It felt more like Suzy walking me then me walking Suzy.


March 11, 2007 - November 3, 2007: 5am to 9pm
November 4, 2007 - March 8, 2008: 5am to 6:30pm

Waterfront Carriage Rides

From Austin all the way to San Francisco, Suzy and her fascination for horses! It is said that if you want to see the city in the true San Francisco style then head for the carriage rides. Suzy loved every moment of the smooth and sometimes bumpy ride around the waterfront.

Alcatraz tour

It was Suzy plan to visit the infamous federal prison at Alcatraz. She was the one who wagged her tail but I think it was a good idea. Alcatraz is considered to be one of the foremost tourist destinations in San Francisco and was home to Al Capone, Robert "The Birdman" Stroud and George "Machine Gun" Kelley. It can be reached by traveling in a ferry. You can use ferry services to visit:

Angel Island

Dog Parks/Beach

I had a rollicking time with Suzy in San Francisco as there were many parks for her to play in. I watched her chase a butterfly at some of the San Francisco off leash parks and even caught her panting for breath behind the smallest shrub. Some of the San Francisco beaches also allow dogs like the Baker Beach at Lincoln Blvd and Bowley St/Golden Gate Nat'l Rec Area. Dogs are allowed on this beach off leash but under voice control. It is situated 1.5 miles south from the Golden Gate and you can almost walk down there from the Golden Gate Bridge. Suzy and I had a long sunbathing session and then we took a walk closer to the water. Another nice beach is the Burton beach near Skyline Blvd./Hwy 35. It is a popular dog friendly beach and park.

Some of the other off leash parks in San Francisco include:

Alamo Square Off Leash Dog Park -Scott Street, between Hayes and Fulton Streets, Alta Plaza Off Leash Dog Park -Steiner and Clay Street

Bernal Heights Off Leash Dog Park -Bernal Heights and Esmerelda

Brotherhood Mini Off Leash Dog Park -Brotherhood Way

Buena Vista Off Lead Dog Park -Buena Vista West at Central Avenue

Corona Heights -16th and Roosevelt S

Crocker Amazon Off Leash Dog Park -At Geneva Avenue and Moscow Street

Delores Off Lead Dog Park -19th Street and Delores Street

Douglass Park, Upper Field Off Leash Dog Area -27th and Douglass Streets


After all the sun and sand on the beach, the first thing Suzy needed was a nice haircut and bath. You can choose from mobile grooming salons and grooming centers. I chose the classic pet grooming mobile services. They really know how to pamper a dog and Suzy was made to feel extra special.

Their basic services include:

Hand dry and brush out coat
Cleaning Pads
Cutting Nails
Ears and eye cleaning
Express anal glands

Their specialty services include:

Flea and tick shampoo
Brushing teeth
Medicated oatmeal and herbal shampoos
Rejuvenator or hot oil treatments

You can also try out the following grooming centers in San Francisco:

Four Wet Feet: 4599 18th St
South Paw: 199 Brannan St
Russian Hill Dog Grooming: 1929 Hyde St
Wags Pet Wash & Awesome Accessories: 1840 Polk St


Any pampered puppy needs good and healthy food, clothes, toys, and a leash. Suzy is definitely a pampered puppy. There are plenty of dog boutiques in San Francisco to choose from. We visited the B & B Pet Supplies located on 4820 Geary Blvd. They sell dog treats, toys, food, training supplies and various other accessories for exotic pets too. The staff is really good and extremely helpful. You can also find some of the most spectacular clothing and apparels for your dog. This Shih Tzu certainly did. Suzy's favorites were the leather leashes with fluorescent colors and faux crocodile prints. Not the most bashful of dogs.

Other San Francisco pet boutiques include Babies at 235 Gough Street. Babies has everything your pampered pet could possibly desire from luxury pet dishes to houndstooth dog beds to luxury Cosmo Dog Carriers to dog tees and hoodies from Urban Hund. Everything a growing pup needs, or so Suzy says. I'm still trying to get her to leave the store so our next tour may be slightly delayed.
About the Author
Gerald Cormier is the owner of The Shih Tzu Store , a pet boutique specializing in small dogs. Stop by for more great dog travel resources and see our unique dog carrier collection.
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