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

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Take us with you as you travel through the golden state of California. We'll help you find dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, hikes, beaches, wineries and so much more! 

dog at att park
Put me in coach. Rocor (CC)

Fall Hikes With Your Dog

October is the fairest of months on the California coast. Fog-free days are almost guaranteed, bringing views that stretch to forever and just-right temperatures perfect for enjoying with your four-legged friends. Up at Lake Tahoe, locals are enjoying the bluebird skies, fall foliage and the between-seasons lull that characterize Indian summer. Here are our suggestions for fall hikes with your dog.

Redding, Trail Capital of California

Redding Trails picture
Redding calls itself the Trail Capital of California for good reason: more than 200 miles of paved and natural surface trails have been developed in and around the city through private and public partnerships. Fall is an exceptional time to enjoy the views from the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail, which traces the route of historic waterworks that once supplied miners’ sluice boxes.  more »

Moseying Through Mendocino County

Dog on beach in Northern California
Happy dog in Gualala
If you haven’t been to Mendocino County in awhile, consider following coastal Highway 1 through a scenic wonderland touched by many trails where you and your dog can sniff out your own discoveries. Start in Gualala, on the Sonoma/Mendocino county line, where the Gualala Bluff Trail offers three miles of elevated views and excellent wildlife watching (look for passing whales, sea otters hauled out on the beach and lots of shorebirds). Sunsets seen from the trail often are outstanding, too. Ready to dish up the kibble and call it a night? The Surf Motel and Gualala Country Inn will welcome your pet as warmly as they welcome you.    more »

Get Frisky in San Francisco

Dog at Fort Funston
Addie headed for fun at Fort Funston. Photo by Heather.
If there’s a more dog-friendly big city than San Francisco, we at certainly don’t know about it. An abundance of open space available to the canine set is one of the City by the Bay’s main attractions for dog lovers. Well behaved pooches are allowed to exercise and socialize off-leash in two dozen places within city limits, including several—Bernal Heights, Crissy Field, Fort Funston—with views to drool over.  more »

Tails in Tahoe

Dog playing in water
Clover playing in Fallen Leaf Lake. Premshiree-Pillai (CC)
Most hikes around Lake Tahoe—and there are hundreds—can be enjoyed with your best friend. But if your goal is to bask in fall color, better get a move on.  The aspens and other color-makers at higher elevations have already peaked, but you’ll still find some golden glow around the lakeshore. Go to for leaf-peeper updates—and, as always, check weather reports before rounding up your pup and heading into the high country. Be prepared for snow, because at this time of year, you never know!  more »

Santa Barbara Dreamin'

Dog on trail in Santa Barbara
Kayla at the top of 7 Falls Trail
Almost everything in Santa Barbara, from the beautiful buildings to the beautiful people, the beautiful seashore and the beautiful dogs, qualifies as eye candy. The “American Riviera” is the kind of place where you can ditch your car, leash up your dog and wander, perhaps finding yourself admiring Spanish colonial architecture on the podcast-guided Red Roof Walking Tour, or enjoying the plantings at the dog-friendly Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The Santa Barbara pier and the multi-use path paralleling the beach offer lively perspectives, and at Arroyo Burro Beach you can unclip and let Rover run free.  more »

Petaluma Animal Services

Petaluma Animal Services Logo
Last year we told you about the good folks at Petaluma Animal Services. Driven by the philosophy of "Save Them All? Yes!" and realizing the community would never get to that state if it had to rely on taxpayer funds, they took over the operation of the city's animal care and control services. "As an open admission shelter, we have to take any animal regardless of breed, age, or condition," explains shelter Training Director Valerie Fausone. Within the year, they'd achieved a 98% live release rate, as dogs and cats went back to their original families or found new loving homes.  more »

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Paw Press Blog

Halloween Dog Safety Tips

Dog dressed as a pirate
Arrgg! Give me a treat. Pets Adviser (CC)
Halloween is right around the corner, and so are potential dangers that could affect pets. “If a cat or dog has anxiety issues, be aware that Halloween may be a stressful time for them. Take measures to reduce pet’s exposure to potentially scary situations, such as loud noises, groups of people, and big costumes,” said Dr. Richter. more »

Dog Travel Events

San Francisco

Blessing of the Animals at SF SPCA
November 1, 2014 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
201 Alabama St., San Francisco, California
Map & directions


Reno Pet Expo
January 17, 2015 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
4590 S Virginia St, Reno, Nevada 89502
Map & directions

San Diego

SENA Animal Rescue's 5K Rescue Run/Walk
November 1, 2014 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
2455 Cushing Rd., San Diego, California 92106
Map & directions

Costa Mesa

OC Pet Days
November 1, 2014 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, California 92626
Map & directions

Vet Buzz

Introducing Dogs and Cats

dog and cat together
By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, DACAW, CAWA San Francisco SPCA

Let’s say you are traveling with your dog to visit some friends and you find out they have a cat. Some first thoughts may include: a wild goose chase around the house, unruly hissing and barking, or out-of-control straining at the leash. Luckily, there are ways to prevent a potential mad house. Here are some pointers... more »

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