Sunny skies, warm breezes and the feeling of a year-long summer courses throughout San Diego, California at year long. Dog owners enjoying taking their best friends out to enjoy the same weather they do, but most of the time, the dog must be on a leash. These leash laws state that the dog must remain on a leash that does not exceed eight feet in parks which also include hiking trails and canyons (Source: www.sandiego.gov). There are over fourteen “leash free” dog parks with the city and county of San Diego. It should be noted that the dogs must remain on their leash until they are inside the leash free zone which is clearly marked by either fencing or well posted signs. These areas have been designated as “leash free” because they are protected areas for dogs in that they dogs are protected from rattlesnakes, ticks, traffic and other possible hazards that could harm your pet.
There are only a few simple rules that must be obeyed before and during your trip to a leash free dog park and they are: (1) one must clean up after their dog [this helps keep the area clean as well as keeping waste from flowing into the oceans]; (2) do not bring puppies to the park until they have received all of their required vaccinations; (3) make sure that your dog(s) are current on all of their vaccinations as this protects other dogs; and (4) make sure that your dog(s) has a current license that is issued by the county of San Diego.
With the understanding of the four simple rules, now where to take your dog to enjoy San Diego’s weather? Here are the top five places that you can take your pooch. For more locations you can check out San Diego’s government website for a complete list at www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/general-info/leashfree.shtml. This website also offers a map of Southern California that shows the relative locations of all the dog parks.
1. BalboaPark. There are actually two locations here: (1) Nate’s Point which is located at Balboa Drive at El Prado on the South side of the Cabrillo Bridge; and (2) Morley Field which is located northwest of the tennis courts.
2. DogBeach. One of the most talked about dog parks. This park is located in Ocean Beach at the end of Voltare Street.
3. Dusty Rhodes Neighbor. This one acre park is located on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. between Nimitz and West Point Loma.
4. FiestaIsland. Not only does it hold the annual Over the Line Tournament, but it is a year round 5.2 mile playground for your four legged friend. The island is open everyday from 6am to 10pm.
5. CapehartPark. This one acre park, located on Felspar and Soledad Mountain Road, has everything to make it a fun family day for you and your pooch from two fenced locations (one for small dogs and the other for large dogs), water stations for your pets to picnic tables and benches for their owners.
Directions for these locations (as well as the others on the San Diego government website) can be found at www.mapquest.com as that site will give step by step directions from your home to the dog park of your choice.