Places to take the pooch in San Diego

by Miranda Adler

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Need to get the dog out of the house? San Diego’s beach atmosphere and pleasant weather are perfect for pups. Be dog’s best friend and check out one of the many designated pooch parks scattered around the county.

Capehart Park, Pacific Beach
This easygoing Pacific Beach park designates areas for large and small dogs so canines of all sizes can play in peace. San Diego State graduate Kai Mercado said she takes her pup to the neighborhood frequently to hang out because the crowd is diverse and fun. Mercado said mingling with fellow pet owners and trading training tips is a plus, and the bigger dogs help her dog, Hudson, toughen up.

Nate’s Point, Balboa Park
Open 24 hours a day, this grassy spot is situated on the West Mesa of Balboa Park. Dogs can run leash-free around the park, which extends more than two acres. Nate’s Point is completely fenced and since its creation in 1996, has added amenities such as picnic tables and drinking fountains.

Dog Beach, Ocean Beach
A favorite among students, Dog Beach offers endless fun for four-legged friends. Parking and entrance are always free, but be advised that this spot can get crowded, so make sure to keep dogs under control. Head here on a warm day to splash around and enjoy the Ocean Beach vibe.

Kate Sessions Memorial Park, Pacific Beach
The sprawling views of the city and friendly crowd draw families and pet lovers alike to Kate Sessions Park. Senior Jesann Spani said she takes her black lab, Toby, here because she loves to chat about the best vet deals and latest toys, letting her dog romp sans leash while appreciating the view of the entire bay and downtown.

With a busy schedule of work and school responsibilities, it’s easy to forget about a pet’s needs. There are so many locations for dogs to play around San Diego that there is no excuse for keeping the pooch penned up. Wherever the destination, keep in mind the common courtesies of the dog world: Be polite to fellow owners, make sure all vaccines are up to date and don’t leave behind any unwanted extras.