San Francisco real estate is going to the dogs…. and it’s a good thing! San Francisco is a “must love dogs” kind of city. It’s estimated that there are more dogs in San Francisco than children. A stroll through Duboce Park, Crissy Field, or Dolores Park seems to confirm that, with dog owners and their furry best friends everywhere you look.
Earlier this year, city officials even passed a law that requires all pet shops to only sell rescue animals in their stores. This plan was proposed to help find homes for the thousands of homeless dogs in San Francisco.
According to San Francisco Animal Care, approximately 300 dogs are euthanized in the city every year, but San Francisco’s homeless pooches have new saviors in town — millennials! The tech boom in San Francisco has definitely shifted some demographics, including an increase in the number of millennials in the city.
A recent survey by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, a division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) uncovered that the number one factor motivating millennials to buy their first home is so that they can own a dog. 33% of millennials cited Fido as their reason, which was well ahead of traditional home buying motivators like marriage (25%) and the birth of a child (19%).
As a top San Francisco real estate agent and a dog lover myself, I can see where the millennials are coming from. I adopted a dog from San Francisco’s Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and have long enjoyed the benefits of homeownership in a dog-friendly city.
The Best Dog-Friendly Neighborhoods in San Francisco
If you’re looking to buy a home in San Francisco with the well-being of a canine companion in mind, check out this list of what we at Danielle Lazier + Associates, in collaboration with COMPASS San Francisco, consider to be the best San Francisco dog-friendly neighborhoods.
There are several reasons dog owners flock to Duboce Triangle. Considering that Duboce Triangle is a “where everybody knows your name” kind of place, this tiny neighborhood is home to perhaps the most friendly dog park in the city. Duboce Park features a long expanse of green that is designed just for the dogs, complete with doggy water fountains, poop bag dispensers, and soft grass for canines to romp on to their hearts’ content. This is a neighborhood that celebrates their furry companions. Local pet store, Animal House, has a yearly doggy Halloween Party and Duboce Park hosts several festivals for dog owners, including DogFest, the biggest dog event in San Francisco.
Duboce Triangle also features several cafes with outdoor patios, such as Duboce Park Cafe (which even has a dog emblem painted on the building) and Cafe Du Soleil. Residents can take their dogs to the park and then lounge cafe-style afterwards with their tuckered out pooches beside them. And if your dog gets messy, the dog washing station at Pet Food Express is just a few blocks away.
Duboce Triangle real estate listings: Perfect for dog owners who want easy transit commutes, are fond of San Francisco’s cafe culture, and enjoy community-oriented parks.
Glen Canyon Park is the big draw for dog owners in this neighborhood. This deep canyon occupies approximately 70 acres and features numerous hiking trails for those who want to get active with their canine companions. The variety of wilderness in the park — from canyons to creeks to wildlife — is a perfect way to enjoy a natural setting without having to leave the city.
If a low-key, community-oriented dog park is more appealing to you than the rugged Glen Canyon Park, the scenic Walter Haas Park has a playground for kids, sports for athletes, and a fenced-in area for dogs, with benches for the owners and water fountains for all. Plus, it’s a perfect place to get to know your neighbors. Glen Park is a particularly friendly neighborhood, and even moreso if you have a dog. When you take your dog out for a walk, be prepared for cheerful “hellos” and “how are yous” from passersby. Many Glen Park businesses will have treats and water out for dogs and the local Critter Fritters pet store carries a variety of pet supplies.
Glen Park real estate listings: For dog owners who like access to nature, enjoy hiking, like mom-and-pop shops, and enjoy conversing with neighbors.
Another friendly, “village-in-the-city” neighborhood that’s great for dog owners is Noe Valley. This area of San Francisco is also very family-oriented; people walking their dogs while pushing a stroller at the same time is a common occurrence.
Perks for Noe Valley dog owners include two local pet stores. The Animal Company offers supplies for dogs and a variety of other animals (including parrots!) while the Noe Valley Pet Company is a boutique shop for dog and cat supplies. This neighborhood is also home to the Upper Douglass Dog Park. The grassy, fenced-in dog play area is perfect for playing fetch and letting your dog romp around with canine friends. There’s also a nice wooded mini-hike along the upper hillside.
Noe Valley real estate listings: A great area for dog owners who also have kids, want a “village-in-the-city” vibe, and want a peaceful neighborhood with access to more urban parts of the city.
Mission District and Mission Dolores
The trendy, hip Mission District and the more affluent Mission Dolores share a vibrant Latin flare and close proximity to popular Dolores Park. This large park in the heart of the city is famous for its views of downtown San Francisco and attracting thousands of sunbathers, picnic goers, and dog owners on the weekends. Dolores Park is all about fun — both for humans and their canine counterparts. Games of frisbee and fetch and other fun tricks abound in the two off-leash dog play areas.
The nightlife and good eats the Mission District is known for doesn’t just cater to a human clientele; many bars allow dogs and several taquerias and restaurants have dog-friendly patios. There’s even a pastry shop just for dogs: Paw Patch Pastries and Pet Boutique offers custom biscuits and treats.
Mission District and Mission Dolores real estate: If you’re a dog owner who enjoys easy access to San Francisco’s nightlife hotspots, lounging in the park on sunny days, easy transit to all parts of the city, convenient access to the freeway, and shopping on trendy Valencia Street, these are the neighborhoods for you.
Residents of Bernal Heights have access to some of the city’s best dog parks. The 360-degree panorama views from Bernal Heights Park is a bonus for dog owners who go to Bernal Hill for its large off-leash dog areas. If Bernal Heights residents weren’t spoiled enough, there’s also Precita Park and Holly Park. The latter has a picnic area and while the posted signs say on-leash only, most folks let their dogs run free. Precita Park has grassy areas for dogs and a playground and butterfly garden for kids.
Bernal Heights has long been a community-forward neighborhood and this includes helping out its canine residents. Local stores are actively involved in fundraising for dog rescue organizations, several restaurants have dog-friendly patios, and people are encouraged to bring their canine companions to neighborhood street fairs and festivals.
Bernal Heights real estate listings: A perfect neighborhood for dog owners who like being socially active in their community, have kids, enjoy going to a variety of parks, and want striking views of San Francisco.
How to Find Dog-Friendly San Francisco Real Estate
Renting in San Francisco limits the options for dog-friendly housing, which is one of the reasons millennials are motivated to buy a home. However, not all San Francisco real estate listings are pet-friendly. For example, a tenancy in common (TIC) can have regulations governing pet ownership.
Your best bet for purchasing a dog-friendly home in San Francisco is to work with an experienced San Francisco real estate agent who understands laws and regulations regarding pets and is also knowledgeable about the best dog-friendly neighborhoods in the city.
If you’re interested in buying a home in San Francisco, reach out for a free consultation from Danielle Lazier + Associates, in collaboration with COMPASS San Francisco. We love San Francisco and we love dogs!