Pet-Friendly Senior Living in San Francisco

Pet-Friendly Senior Living in San Francisco

The Bay Area is a haven for seniors with pets. San Francisco ranks among Forbes’ most dog-friendly US cities because of its dozens of parks with off-leash play areas. The city is also home to lots of independent-living, assisted-living, and long-term care facilities that encourage residents to bring along Fifi and Felix. And San Francisco is home to annual events that welcome pets and even make them the guests of honor.

A Fido-friendly city with dozens of places to play, shop, and sightsee

San Francisco runs more than two dozen off-leash play areas for dogs around the city. Among the most popular are:

  • Fort Funston: Hiking trials and beach access appeal to dogs; the place is popular with horseback riders and hang gliders, too.
  • Bernal Heights Park: People and pets can enjoy 26 acres of natural habitat with accessible trails and a spectacular view of the city and bay from Bernal Heights Hill.
  • Corona Heights Park: Butterflies and wildflowers entertain visitors each spring, while easy-access trails and hilltop views provide year-round enjoyment.

Other places around town welcome leashed dogs, including the popular farmer’s market at Stonestown Galleria (open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m) and local Sports Basement stores, where pups are welcome to browse with shoppers for outdoor gear. While you’re out, look for the famous “wild parrots of Telegraph Hill,” a flock of hundreds of former pet conures who nest around the city.

Special events for pets and their people in San Francisco

The best-known canine event in the Bay Area is the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show. Held every January, the event draws entrants and spectators from all along the West Coast and features breeds from Affenpinschers to Xoloitzcuintli.

A more casual event, DogFest, happens every spring in Duboce Park. DogFest bills itself as the biggest dog event in the city and features live entertainment, celebrity judges and emcees, and costume contests. Carnival games, food vendors, and pet adoption agencies are also part of the fun at this public-school fundraiser.

The fall Castro Street Fair welcomes leashed dogs and their owners for a full day of drag divas, live music, dance performances, and country and western line dancing. And every November marks the start of the San Francisco SPCA’s Holiday Windows event, with adoptable dogs and cats on display at Macy’s.

San Francisco senior communities that welcome pets

There are more than 50 pet-friendly Bay Area assisted living and independent living senior communities, including 2015 Best of Assisted Living award-winner Peninsula del Rey. This Daly City senior complex has earned positive reviews for attentive service and upscale amenities. A courtyard for dining, a large fitness center, and easy access to San Francisco attractions give Peninsula del Rey a resort-like feel. Housekeeping and transportation service free up residents to spend more time exploring the city with their dogs or catching naps with their cats.

San Francisco pet adoption options

Don’t have a pet yet? Drop by San Francisco’s Rescue Row, along Alabama Street between 15th and 16th. There, four regional animal agencies can help you find a furry sidekick to join you on your San Francisco senior living adventure.

Learn more about San Francisco Senior Living here:

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Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.

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