The Ultimate Guide to Living in San Francisco With a Dog

One happy dog atop San Francisco's Corona Heights Park.

It’s hard to live in the city. It can feel too noisy, too crowded, too dirty, and too expensive. Now imagine being a dog. Canine senses are amplified beyond anything we could imagine, making aspects of city living hellish.

However, San Francisco dogs expect only the best. And with good reason. Ranking amongst the most-dog friendly cities in America, dogs outnumber children in San Francisco. The #DogsOfSF have it good, with some of the best shopping, medical care, and recreation.

Related: 7 Best Fully Fenced Dog Parks in SF

So if you’re thinking about adopting a dog in San Francisco, or moving to San Francisco with a dog, there are a few things you need to know. We have the scoop. Read on to find out where and how to give your dog the best life in San Francisco.

Most Dog-Friendly Neighborhoods in San Francisco

The N Judah Line in Inner Sunset. Photo: Justin Wong,

The Sunset District
Within walking distance to both Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park, the Inner Sunset and Outer Sunset neighborhoods top our list of the best places to live with a dog in San Francisco. Primarily composed of single-family homes and peppered with dog-friendly businesses, these sleepy neighborhoods are a canine’s paradise. They are also two of the few neighborhoods in San Francisco where your dog can enjoy a true backyard.

Related: Surf City, San Francisco: A Guide to the Outer Sunset

Dog Area at Bernal Heights Park. Photo: Justin Wong,

Bernal Heights
Coming in a close second is the dog-loving neighborhood, Bernal Heights. Here, you’ll find an array of dog-friendly businesses, like Bernal Beast and fit Bernal fit, one of the few gyms where you can break workout with your pet. A few outdoor destinations include Precita Park and Bernal Heights Park, two of San Francisco’s premier off-leash dog parks.

Related: Feel the Bern: A Guide to Bernal Heights

With more parks than any other neighborhood in San Francisco, Parkside is a no brainer when looking for a dog-friendly home in the City. Located near some of the most popular canine destinations, like Ocean Beach and Fort Funston, there’s no shortage of action here for your pup.

Mission Creek Dog Park. Photo: Justin Wong,

Mission Bay
Mission Bay is the neighborhood for urbanites who want to own a dog without sacrificing a glamorous urban lifestyle. Your four-legged pal will enjoy visits to Mission Creek Dog Park and Mission Creek Park in this vibrant, waterfront neighborhood.

Related: Warriors Ground: A Guide to San Francisco’s Mission Bay

Pups hanging out at the dog area at Alamo Square Park. Photo: Justin Wong,

North of Panhandle (NoPa)
One of the few neighborhoods to survive the 1906 earthquake, NoPa is home to some of the most beautiful Victorian architecture in San Francisco. In this parkside neighborhood, your dog will enjoy endless outdoor exercise at parks like the Panhandle and Alamo Square Park. And while this neighborhood may be sleepy, it’s close enough to the Divisadero Corridor to provide a sense of nightlife. The best of both worlds!

Related: Views and Victorians: Things to Do in Alamo Square Park

Where to Shop for Dogs in San Francisco

Inside Black Nose Trading Company. Photo: Justin Wong,

Black Nose Trading Company
342 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA
A brilliant one-stop-shop for dogs with a carefully curated inventory of food, toys, furniture, and accessories. Black Nose Trading Co. offers an array of services like self-serve bathing, daycare, dog walking, and overnight boarding at reasonable rates. Their friendly, knowledgable staff members make shopping for pet supplies a fun and easy experience.
Hours: Weekdays: 7AM–7PM, Saturday: 10AM–7PM, Sunday: 11AM–7PM

Bernal Beast
509 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Specializing in organic pet foods and pet supplies, Bernal Beast offers everything you’ll need from salon to vaccination services to keep your dog in tip-top shape. Community-oriented, Bernal Beast donates a percentage of their profits to non-profit animal rescue groups of your choosing. If you don’t feel like leaving home, inquire about their wonderful delivery service.
Hours:Weekdays: 10AM–7PM, Weekends: 10AM–6PM

Sunset Pet Supply
3809 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA
Nominated “Best of the Bay”, Sunset Pet Supply has a passionate team who are always willing to help. Their inventory of high-quality pet products and homemade treats, in addition to dog walking services, will keep you coming back time and time again.
Hours: Weekdays: 10AM–7PM, Saturday: 9:30AM–6:30PM, Sunday: 11AM–6PM

Photo: The Animal House SF, Facebook.

The Animal House
157 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA
Always a fun experience for pets and their humans, the staff at The Animal House are well-versed in their products and can share insight on how to best care for your dog. Your pup will surely appreciate the tasty samples from their premium food and treat lines.
Hours: Weekdays: 11AM–7:30PM, Weekends: 11AM–6PM

Best In Show
545 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA
Keeping pets and humans cute since 2002, Best In Show manufactures products in-house and carry a little something for everyone. From coffee mugs to dapper shirt collars for your pet, Best In Show is a must-visit in San Francisco.
Hours: Weekdays: 11AM – 7:30PM, Weekends: 11AM – 6PM

Best Veterinarians in San Francisco

Veterinarian checking out a pup. Photo: Army Medicine, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Pets Unlimited Care Center
2343 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA
Established in 1868 by the SF SPCA, the Pets Unlimited Care Center is a San Francisco veterinarian institution. With a full-service pet hospital open 24/7, Pets Unlimited also offers financial programs to ensure affordable health care, so you never have to stress about providing your pets with the best medical attention available.
Hours: Daily: 24/7

Mission Pet Hospital
720 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA
Voted “Best Veterinary Practice” by numerous Bay Area publications, Mission Pet Hospital’s team of passionate doctors offer top-tier medical services for your pet, and useful medical information for you. They also offer emergency care services via phone consultations from 7PM–12AM, 7 days a week.
Hours: Weekdays: 8AM–6:30PM, Saturday: 9AM–5:30PM

VCA SF Veterinary Specialists
600 Alabama Street, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco’s first multi-specialty veterinary referral hospital accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. Visit VCA for all your pet’s medical needs.
Hours: Daily: 24/7

Irving Pet Hospital
1434 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA
Offering preventative care, surgery, dental care, diagnostics, and emergency care services, your pet is in good hands at Irving Pet Hospital, and with their team of experienced veterinarians.
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 8AM–8PM, Thursday-Friday: 8AM–6PM, Saturday: 9AM–6PM

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