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  • Writer's pictureCuyamaca Animal Hospital

Cuyamaca Animal Hospital’s Pet-Friendly Guide to El Cajon, San Diego County

One of Santee’s neighbors, El Cajon, is known as the Valley of Opportunities, and we’re not surprised! There are so many places to stretch your legs, work your muscles, or relax for a meal… all with your favorite furry companion. While things are a little different this year, it seems like we’re able to begin exploring new places (safely, of course)!

P.S. If you’re planning on going to any of these below places, we recommend giving them a call to make sure they’re still keeping the same hours and are open during this time.

Here is Cuyamaca Animal Hospital’s pet-friendly guide to El Cajon, California:


An extensive menu, full bar, dog-friendly patio, live music, and dancing… Downtown Cafe is the versatile and chill spot you and your pup need! Whether you want to party and make new friends or relax outdoors with one of their phenomenal draft options, you’ll find yourself and your pooch fitting right in. Check out their dog-friendly page and submit a picture of your own dog to be featured on their website

The Details:

Location: 182 E. Main Street

Hours: Mon - Tues: 11am - 9pm; Wed - Thurs: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 10am - 8pm

If you’re looking for the best barbecue in San Diego, Buckboard’s is it. Treat yourself to all the barbecue comfort foods: wings, slow-cooked pork, mac and cheese balls, and more. We’re hungry just talking about it! Take your pup to the patio, where the Buckboard’s staff will serve Fido with a bowl of fresh water. We love recommending a place that looks out for our four-legged friends.

The Details:

Location: 975 Greenfield, Suite A

Hours: Tues - Sun: 11am - 9pm

Fresh roasted and high-quality coffee with a drive-thru is a dream for the on-the-go pet parent that Kaffee Meister made come true. But if you’re looking to stop in with your pup, their coffee bar is pet-friendly and waiting to serve! Known for their quaint, rustic vibes, patrons will find it the perfect place to come socialize or focus and get your work done. 

The Details:

Location: 13277 B Highway 8 Business

Hours: Mon - Fri: 6am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 7am - 4pm

Have you ever been in a group of people who are looking for different things to eat? One person wants comfort food, the other is looking for lighter fare. Skip the search and just head over to URBN! They also have vegetarian and vegan options so that no one goes hungry. You can enjoy their famous cool friend wings or pizza on their patio with your pooch, too. 

The Details:

Location: 110 N Magnolia Ave

Hours: Mon - Sun: 11:30am - 10pm

Trust us—this is not just your average cafe. With so many unique sandwiches, salad, and soup options, we keep coming back to try them all. We also love that Urbane Cafe sources its fresh ingredients from local and family-owned businesses, making food that is fast and affordable without the consequences. You’ll also love their beautiful dog-friendly patio.

The Details:

Location: 120 Fletcher Pkwy #115

Hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 9pm; Sun: 11am - 8pm

Beer lovers, don’t miss out on Creative Creature Brewing Company. They offer a delicious menu of small-batch craft beer with absolutely no extracts or concentrates, just 100% all-grain goodness. They were also voted East Counties’ 2019 top beer selection, top bartender and date night spot, so you know this is the place to go!

The Details:

Location: 110 N Magnolia Ave B

Hours: Mon - Tues: 5pm - 10pm; Wed - Fri: 3pm - 10pm; Sat: 12pm - 10pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm

Parks & Trails

We couldn’t talk about pet-friendly El Cajon without mentioning this dog park off right off the bat! The larger park around it has so much to offer: sports fields, fitness courses, and a playground. If you take your pup to Wells Park Dog Park, he’ll love the freedom of running around off-leash and making new friends.

The Details:

Location: 1153 E Madison Ave

Hours: Mon - Sun: 7am - 9pm

The perfect little neighborhood park to enjoy on your own or take the kids, Bill Beck City Park really knows how to bring a community together. And it’s not just a playground for the kids. This city park has fitness equipment for working out as well as picnic tables for friends and family to gather. Plus, you can take your leashed-up pups for a walk in the sun.

The Details:

Location: 543 N Pierce St

Hours: Open 24 Hours

Kennedy Park Center is 10 acres of fun, fun, fun! With lots of shade for rest, you’ll never tire of taking advantage of its amenities: a well-lit ball field, playground, tennis courts, gymnasium, game room, and more. It’s also great for its extensive sidewalks on which you and your pups can enjoy walking or jogging together.

The Details:

Location: 1675 E Madison Ave

Hours: Mon - Fri: 2pm - 9:30pm; Sat: 12pm - 4pm


We love this shelter because they have an active Facebook page, posting frequently about dogs and cats in search of their fur-ever home. Adopting rescue animals is so important, and we want to make sure the kind folks over at El Cajon Animal Shelter are on your radar! We work with them frequently to help get pets adopted through our spay, neuter, and vaccines for pets located within the shelter. If you’re not in the position to foster or adopt, give them a call at (619) 441-1580 and see how you can help.

The Details:

Location: 1373 N Marshall Ave

Hours: Tues - Sat: 10am - 5pm

Leash Your Fitness has such a cool mission: offering spaces, classes, and workshops where you and your pups can work out together. They are a group of personal trainers who will help you step outside your regular dog-walking routine and find fun and unique activities that will get both you and your pup’s heart racing. Check out their class schedule to see how you and Fido can get started!

The Details:

Location: Various

Hours: According to schedule

Would we be a veterinarian clinic if we didn’t mention healthy pet foods? For us, feeding your fur-babies high quality and healthy foods is a must! You can check out all the food and supplies they carry on their website, but what really makes Healthy Pet Pantry special is that they care strongly about nutritional education. They stay on top of their own research so that they can help you make the best decisions for your fur-babies. 

The Details:

Location: 778 Jamacha Road

Hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 7pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm

If you need more pet-friendly places or pet care recommendations, why don’t you pop in and visit us next door over in Santee, at Cuyamaca Animal Hospital? And while you’re here, you can tour our Fear-Free, state-of-the-art facilities, where we work to provide your pets with the best stress-free experience they can have at the vet.

The Details:

Location: 8802 Cuyamaca Street

Hours: Mon - Tues: 8am - 7pm; Wed: 8am - 5pm; Thurs - Fri: 8am - 7pm; Sat: 9am - 2pm

Where are you headed next with your pup? We are so blessed to live in such a pet-friendly community. Be sure to tag us at your next outing over at @cuyamaca_hospital.


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