Dog-friendly lodging, restaurants, and events in Northern California

Welcome to

Dog swimming with branch
Rex enjoying a stick, a swim and the Sierras.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Todd is your guide to California's favorite dog-friendly hikes, beaches, hotels, restaurants and more. If you are traveling in California with your dog, take us with you. And check out the new DogTrekker app.

For Fresh-Air Fiends: Fall Hikes With Your Dog

With the change of seasons come shorter days and changes in routine: Kids are back in school, parents are back at work, dogs are spending more time home alone. Weekends are ever more precious, so why not devote some time to discovering regional park districts you may not have known existed before? Putting paws to new paths will recharge and energize both of you!

John Muir’s Legacy in Contra Costa County

Dog hiking Acalanes Ridge
Axel hiking Acalanes Ridge. Photo Credit: Karen Booth, JMLT staff
Be grateful for the folks behind the John Muir Land Trust—and consider donating to the Saving Contra Costa campaign if you can. This 25-year-old organization devoted to outdoor recreation and preservation of open space manages 11 properties comprising more than 2,000 acres of classic East Bay hills, ranches, streams and shoreline saved from development and offering multi-use trails for hiking, cycling, horses and dogs.

If Daisy stays close and has a reliable recall, she’s welcome to accompany you off-leash as you take in an intoxicating dose of fresh air. Some JMLT properties are diminutive (Acalanes Ridge above Lafayette, for example, comprises just 23 acres), while the Franklin Canyon-Fernandez Ranch complex in the Martinez-Hercules areas sprawls over 1,185 acres of permanently protected open space. more »

Sonoma County Regional Parks With Your Pup

Dogs hiking in Marin
Pups on a hike. Photo Credit: Grace Halliday
Sonoma County’s diverse network of regional parks is laced by more than 140 miles of trails leading to beaches, mountains, forests, lakes and meadows. Leashed dogs are welcome in most parks—but just so you know, regulations call for your pup to be licensed in the city or county where you reside, so be sure she’s tagged or you have the appropriate papers on your person. more »

Sniffing Out Dog-Friendly Trails in LA

Dog hiking in LA County
On top of the world. Photo Credit: Jaclyn Guardado
Los Angeles is lots more than jammed freeways, as anyone who’s taken time to explore its hilly terrain and beautiful beaches knows. Take in the vibrant urban scene on a paved trail one day, then head to the hills for a rural repast. The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation maintains 177 parks, quite a few of which warmly welcome leashed canine visitors. And that’s not counting the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area or open space maintained under the stewardship of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancymore »

Soaking Up Scenery In San Diego

Ziggy in San Diego
Ziggy. Photo - Nathan Rupert (CC)
San Diego epitomizes the laid-back SoCal lifestyle—and it just happens to be one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country, to boot. Part of what makes it so is a network of 18 open space preserves, all within the city limits, where four-legged visitors are as welcome as the people on the other end of the leash. more »

Put These Hiking Havens On Your Radar

Pits at play on trail
Pits at play. Photo Credit: besuroz
Regional park districts in the Bay Area and beyond offer myriad venues for hiking with your dog. Check out the possibilities and put paws to path this fall! more »

Dog-friendly Tri-Valley Region Trails

tri valley trails
The Bay Area’s Tri-Valley region, just 45 minutes east of San Francisco, is a sunny paradise for hiking dogs and their people, rewarding both with lots of wide open spaces and scenic vistas.

The four cities that make up the Tri-Valley region, Pleasanton, Danville, Dublin and Livermore, each have something special to offer DogTrekkers. What they all have in common is their proximity to the vast East Bay Regional Park system where dogs can hike with their people off-leash in many open space and undeveloped areas, provided they are under control at all times. more »

Second Chance German Shepherd Rescue

Pulled in the nick of time from a high-kill shelter in Fresno, young Falco had barely arrived in his foster home when his rescuers realized that something was seriously wrong. The young German shepherd was much too thin, but when he tried to eat he screamed in pain.

Luckily for Falco, he'd been taken in by Second Chance German Shepherd Rescue, who feared the worst but were determined to relieve his pain and give him a quality life if they could. As his vet soon discovered, he was suffering from a dislocated temporomandibular joint (joint of the jaw), which caused excruciating torment when he tried to eat—but was relatively easy to fix. After some chiropractic work, the pain was gone, his appetite returned, and so did his zest for life. Now in foster care, he's happy, healthy, and having fun while waiting for his perfect match. more »

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Paw Press Blog

Pet Food Express Presents: 2015 Bay Area Pet Fair

Bay Area Pet Fair dog catching frisbees
Photo courtesy: Bay Area Pet Fair
On October 10 and 11, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., come on over to the Marin Center in San Rafael for the largest gathering of adoptable animals in California history! more »

Dog Travel Events

San Rafael

Pet Food Express Bay Area Pet Fair & Adopt-a-thon
October 10, 2015 to October 11, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, California 94903
Map & directions

San Francisco

San Francisco SPCA’s Next Cocktail Party - An Ode to Hipness: Cats, Tats, Ramen and Mustaches
October 16, 2015 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
201 Alabama St. , San Francisco, California 94103
Map & directions

San Luis Obispo

23rd Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk for Woods Humane
October 17, 2015 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
1050 Buchon St., San Luis Obispo, California 93401
Map & directions


Pups in the Pool
October 18, 2015 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
1100 Alamo Dr., Vacaville, California 95687
Map & directions

Vet Buzz

Bringing Home a New Dog

Puppy pose
Photo Credit: -meryl- (CC)
By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.

Welcoming a new puppy or dog into the family is an exciting time! When you bring your new friend home, you want to make sure they adjust well to their new surroundings and get the best start they can. more »

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