Puppy Love! Where to Go on Playdates With Your Pup in San Diego

photo: Beth Shea

It’s Year of the Dog and puppy love is in the air––so there’s no better time to treat your family’s fur baby to some playful outings all over San Diego, where it really is a dog’s world. From restaurants that offer special dog menus (really!) to the best beaches to roam and how to take in a Padres game with your pooch, read on for where to frolic with Fido!

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photo: Beth Shea

Dogs love the beach! San Diego is even home to the world famous Surf Dog Ricochet and there’s no shortage of shoreline to roam and waves to splash in for pooches. Our fave spots are Coronado Dog Beach where the iconic views can’t be beat, OB Dog Beach, also known as The Original Dog Beach for being one of the first ever leash-free dog beaches in America and Fiesta Island Dog Park (recently named the Best Dog Park in the U.S.) which is an expansive sandy island in Mission Bay where doggos can run free among the sand dunes and take a dip in the calmer Bay water.

photo: Rachel Cobb

Does your hound love to hike? Lace up those boots (and check that the trail you’re headed to allows dogs) and head out to one of our favorite hiking trails in San Diego. Note: Be sure to consider whether your dog can physically make the trek and take plenty of water for your pooch. Be aware that trails also contain wildlife including coyotes and rattlesnakes.

Don’t miss this weekend’s 5K Paw Walk in the San Diego Botanic Garden. Take a beautiful, scenic stroll through a 37-acre garden with your best canine companion in tow to benefit the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and San Diego Botanic Garden. Enjoy food (for people and dogs), pet products and the unbeatable company of pooches and puppies.

Take your dog out to the ball game in style at The Barkyard at Petco Park. Cheer on the Padres in this “elevated backyard-inspired setting” that boasts five semi-private, dog-friendly viewing areas for Padres home games for up to four people and two dogs!

photo: Beth Shea

Heading to one of the gorgeous parks or playgrounds in our hometown? Why not take Spot with you? Two playgrounds that also boast large, grassy areas and pavement for kiddos to ride bikes or scooters while you walk the dog are Views West Park and Hilltop Community Park, both in Rancho Penasquitos.

Good to know: Click here for a list of city approved leash-free dog park locations throughout San Diego.


photo: Barbarella Restaurant and Bar via Facebook

The Patio on Lamont is acclaimed for having one of the most dog-friendly restaurant patios in the city. They’ll provide your pooch with fresh water and homemade dog treats while you dine.

Fur babies are well taken care of at Barbarella Restaurant and Bar where they have an actual dog menu with items including grilled chicken breast, ground beef, eggs, chopped up bacon and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Awesome to know they also have special baby and kid menus for your human children.

Queenstown Public House invites restaurant goers to bring their dogs to dine with them on their outside patio. They also hold dog-friendly events like “Yappy Hours” on occasion which include drink specials and doggy goodie bags.

Slaters 50/50 offers a special menu for dogs on their patio. Canine companions can select between: the 50/50 Patty, Beef Patty, Turkey Patty, 2 Chicken Strips or 2 Strips of Bacon.

Claire’s On Cedros welcomes your entire clan saying they are “family friendly, dog friendly and most of all just plain friendly!” They sell Claire’s all-natural dog cookies that are made using leftover chicken from their kitchen. ($3 each)

photo: Zeta P. via Yelp

Headed to North Park? Dine at Encontro where they have a dedicated dog menu. (See above). This hip eatery in trendy North Park gives your pup a free Puppuccino and an array of other offerings like a hot-diggity-dog or pooch pops to cool down on hot days.

Dogs can enjoy the iconic Hotel Del Coronado by your side. They host Yappy Hour every Sunday from 4-5 p.m. where dogs can drink complimentary Evian and nosh on “yappatizers” a.k.a organic, gourmet dog treats, while their humans sip pet-inspired drinks.


photo: Levi Saunders via Unsplash

Delicious cupcake spot, Sprinkles, sells their signature treats especially for dogs. Pupcakes are sugar free and topped with yogurt frosting. Treat your pooch to one here.

Stroll into Paw Pleasers, San Diego’s original bakery for cats and dogs and treat your furry friend to homemade ice cream and fresh baked dog treats that are free of preservatives, wheat, corn and soy.

Head to Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe if your pooch needs pampering. This all-in-one dog grooming, pet boutique and dog bakery offers everything from bathing and styling to dog costumes and gourmet dog treats including truffles and bon-bons!

Make it a meal to remember at Urban Wolf, a deli for dogs that serves fresh, raw meals that are made in-house daily using human grade, non-GMO, 100% organic ingredients.


photo: Pom Pom Pups

Pose for a pic with your best friend in front of the Kelsey Montague Art mural shown above that’s located next to Puesto at The Headquarters (one of our fave places to eat tacos)!

We’ve also rounded-up 8 Instagrammable murals for super-hip photo ops that your pup can strike a pose in front of.

Where’s your favorite place to take your dog out on the town in San Diego? Share in the comments!

––Beth Shea


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