Why living in Los Angeles is a dog lover’s dream

Photo illustration of a dog sitting on a beach with an umbrella and beach ball with the sun in the distance.
(Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

Good morning and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Saturday, Jan. 13. Here’s what you need to know to start your weekend:

    Why living in Los Angeles is a dog lover’s dream

    Dogs in Los Angeles are living their best lives. These days, everywhere you go is crawling with dogs. They’re at beaches, bars, restaurants, hiking trails and grocery stores. Some of these places seem more welcoming to our furry friends than to us, the humans they were built for.

    We are living in a dog lover’s dream. (To me, it is a nightmare. I am seriously afraid of dogs.)


    I was shocked to find that L.A. isn’t the dog capital of the world. There are 32 cities that are even better for dogs, according to U.S. News & World Report. Portland came in first, while San Francisco was fourth among the top U.S. cities to be a dog owner.

    Low ranking aside, if you’re a dog in L.A. you’ve got it made so much so that Times contributor Raef Harrison put together a list of 18 places in L.A. where your dog is more welcomed than you (a.k.a, 18 places I will be avoiding).

    My only beef with this list is that 18 is such a small number. Every place in this city seems to prioritize dogs. A list of 18 places where dogs aren’t welcome would be more useful. Alas.

    Enroll your furry friend in a private dog park

    For $120 a month, you can take your dog to a private park called Dog PPL in Santa Monica. To join the members-only club, dogs must pass a temperament test, be up to date on vaccinations and be spayed or neutered at 8 months. Once they’re in, they get a safe and clean place to roam off-leash while their humans enjoy a cafe, bar and concierge, lounge areas and free Wi-Fi.

    Have dinner or a drink with your dog

    Whenever I see a dog in a restaurant, I can’t help but roll my eyes. Do dog owners not have any human friends to eat with?


    But that, unfortunately, hasn’t stopped people from bringing their dogs to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    Some bars and restaurants in L.A. even roll out the red carpet for dogs, like The Morrison in Atwater Village. It has a separate doggy menu with all dishes served on a silver platter. Of course!

    See an outdoor movie in the park with your dog

    The last thing I want to do is sit next to an off leash dog while trying to watch a movie. But watching a flick under the stars with a favorite furry friend in tow is probably like puppy chow for dog lovers.

    At two of Cinespia’s locations — the Greek Theatre and Los Angeles State Historic Park — your canine companion is welcome to join your movie watching experience.

    And that’s not all! Here’s our full list of places where dogs are more welcomed than humans.


    The week’s biggest stories

    This photo shows a gaping hole where the paneled-over door had been at the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282
    This photo shows a gaping hole where the door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 7.
    (National Transportation Safety Board)

    Alaska Airlines flight

    Lake Tahoe avalanche

    Climate and environment


    Golden Globes

    More big stories

    Get unlimited access to the Los Angeles Times. Subscribe here.

    Column One

    Column One is The Times’ home for narrative and longform journalism. Here’s a great piece from this week:

    East Palo Alto Police Chief Jeff Liu and Commander Santos with a group of East Palo Alto kids.
    East Palo Alto Police Chief Jeff Liu, left and Commander Santos, right, with a group of East Palo Alto kids having lunch at Noelani’s in San Carlos after they participated in San Mateo County Sheriff’s “Shop with a Hero” holiday event.
    (Jeff Liu / East Palo Alto Police Dept.)

    A California city’s transformation from ‘murder capital’ of the U.S. to zero homicides. In 1992, East Palo Alto was dubbed the “murder capital” of the U.S., with 42 murders in its 2.5 square miles. Now, its mayor says it’s “one of the safest places to live in the peninsula.”


    More great reads

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    For your weekend

    Two women sitting at a table eating food together
    Tamara Simpson of San Diego and Trinh Thai of Laguna Niguel enjoying dinner at Two Hommes in Inglewood.
    (Ron De Angelis / For The Times)

    Going out

    Staying in

    L.A. Affairs

    Get wrapped up in tantalizing stories about dating, relationships and marriage.

    A woman sits in front of a shattered mirror that reflects scenes from her life.
    (Flora Bai / For The Times)

    We were ready for marriage. Then his ex had his baby. Who would he choose? I met a wonderful, kind and handsome Marine via a dating app. I wanted to spend my life with him. But our relationship suddenly changed.

    Have a great weekend, from the Essential California team

    Elvia Limón, multiplatform editor
    Kevinisha Walker, multiplatform editor
    Karim Doumar, head of newsletters

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