How Dog Friendly is Fresno, Really?

Dani Villalobos
December 5, 2017
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It was a strange sighting: a dog and their human were waiting in line behind me — at a movie theater snack bar. There was no service dog vest or any other outward identifier to explain why this may be. Just a lady and her pooch, queuing up to purchase over-priced goodies at a Los Angeles cinema.

Similar scenarios are a regular occurrence for some of the country’s most dog-friendly communities, but here in Fresno … well, we’re not quite there yet. Still, the Central Valley town has been making strides to catch up to its California-city counterparts, and we’re pretty doggone crazy about our furry, four-legged friends.

Walks in the park

Fresno’s home to several public parks and community walking paths, with a few specifically designated for man’s — or, ahem, woman’s — best friend. One of the city’s most popular: Woodward Dog Park. The recently expanded outdoor space features enclosures and an additional dog run for smaller breeds, helping to make the one-acre park accessible to pups of all sizes. Roeding Park Dog Park, Victoria-West Dog Park and Todd Beamer Dog Park offer similar amenities for dog owners and their pals, while Basin AH1 Dog Park’s wading pool provides pets with an opportunity to cool off during Fresno’s hot summer months.

Pooches on parade

No, seriously. The 559 hosts many dog-friendly community walks and runs to benefit a local charity or national cause, but Whitie’s Pets Pooch Parade, Canine Carnival and Costume Contest is definitely its most colorful. Each October, Fresno’s furry friends stroll through the streets of the Tower District dressed in their finest Halloween costumes — all competing for the event’s coveted top awards and barking rights for the next year.

Pups and suds

There’s just something about beer-enthusiasts and their pets. Sure, BringFido.com lists nearly 70 dog-friendly restaurants in the area, but there is certainly a hoppy theme to many of these local breweries and eateries. Downtown Fresno’s Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.’s beer garden and House of Pendragon Brewing Co.’s Clovis Taproom (which actually hosts a special Yappy Hour! on Sundays) welcome dogs and their humans to regularly frequent their establishments, while Rocket Dog Gourmet Brats and Brew and Eureka! open their outdoor patios to both two-legged and four-legged customers.

Perks of being a dog-lover

Fresno offers customary services like dog-friendly lodging, trainers and walkers, veterinary clinics, animal shelters and pet specialty stores — as well as the not so ordinary. Take Top Dog Dog Wash, for instance. The do-it-yourself business provides residents with dog-accessible tubs, pooch-perfect water temperatures, shampoos, brushes, towels, dryers and even a variety of tasty treats to help coax the most reluctant of pups into enjoying bath time. And for those who are looking for an all-inclusive care experience for their dogs, Sandra’s Pet Poop-erie specializes in the above and beyond-variety, tackling irksome duties that include both pooper-scooper and pet taxi listed within its various services.

Because when it comes to meeting the needs of our dogs, there’s nothing we won’t do to keep their tails wagging.

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