Nourish, Protect, & Delight Your Pet

Citipets' The Playground Doggie Daycare

Welcome to The Playground - the newest addition to the Citipets family! Our over 14,000 square foot facility boasts both indoor and outdoor play areas. From our spacious indoor space for all sorts of dogs; including small and senior dogs … to our impressive outdoor area covered in state-of-the-art artificial grass - your dog will have plenty of room to enjoy being a dog!

Our highly capable, well trained and CPR/First Aid certified staff will play with, teach, and adore your best friend! Having fun while fostering good behavior and social skills is what we're all about!

We know how important your dog is to you - they are your baby, your best pal, and the love of your life - and that's how we will treat each dog entrusted to our care.

Call us at 415-282-3330

The Playground
2253 Shafter Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124

Here at The Playground we're very easy to get to!

We're located conveniently close to Interstate 280, for those who are driving.

Coming by public transport with your best friend? The 24 Muni line will let you at right nearby at the Industrial St & Bay Shore Blvd stop!

To plan your trip with Google maps, click the little map below...

Citipets' The Playground

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Citipets The Playground Dog Walking

Our Cairngorm adores Al Werger and everyone at The Playground, and he can't wait for anything to do with them, from walks to daycare to overnights. You know your dog is well-cared-for when he wags his whole body at the sight of any of the staff, or starts getting really excited several blocks away when we drop him off!

He also has been doing walks with Citipets for about nine months before The Playground was opened, so we knew Al and were really excited that she was offering doggie daycare as well as dog walking.

We have had nothing but positive and wonderful experiences with any of the services The Playground offers. These people are professional and reliable - but best of all, they really love dogs - and they love helping out the dog's humans!

We cannot recommend The Playground highly enough for their commitment and their flexibility in scheduling, and for their amazing, skilled, dedicated, and caring staff. The enthusiasm and love of their job is very evident!

We should note here that Cairngorm is 5 lbs, and that Al and her team have trained him so well that he can play with the big dogs and have a wonderful time, when he is not in their small dog section. This is an absolutely perfect place for small dogs to be taken care of and given the exercise they need just as much as the big guys.

But, really, we can give no better compliment than trusting our darling little pup with them day after day (and occasionally nights, too!)

Malcolm, Elisabeth, and Cairngorm

The best solution in town - I usually board my dog with an in-home boarder, through Top Dog SF. They have been nothing but awesome. When it came to the holidays, they were booked up and unavailable (I was late in scheduling). But they recommended Al's playground.

I checked out the facility, amazing, indoor/outdoor huge play spaces. Comfy beds. Astounding. 24/7 monitoring. I was totally sold.

And BTW, Al, the owner, is a total dog whisperer. When I was there visiting, a bunch of dogs were running around, playing and such. Al would just react to a dog, say some words, make a gesture, the next thing you see is a dog who completely "stood down". Not that the dog was out of control. Not by any means. But Al just has this way of speaking to them, settling them down and moving on. It's one of those skills I wish we all, as dog owners, had/have.

Al even checked in with me as to how my dog was doing when I was away. (I was back East for 10 days over the holidays, longest I've been away from Tessa, my 2 year old Boston Terrier/terror.) I was kind of freaking out being away so long.

Came back, picked her up. She was napping in this really cool elevated bed and by all accounts, had the time of her life.

And was totally non-traumatized, just jumped in my arms and we went off as usual. After 10 days!

Just a great thing to feel comfort in when you're away from your pet.

Tripp S.

Citipets The Playground Dog Walking

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Al! Our dog Rex absolutely adores her. Al started helping us with some behavior problems prior to Citipets being open. We saw results pretty quickly. So when The Playground opened, we immediately sent our little (well actually pretty big) boy to romp around with the rest of the pack.

He comes home nice and tired and always looks forward to the next day at the playground.

We did have Rex at another day care before and were always aware of the musty smell on him when he returned to the house. This place is so clean, no more unpleasant smell on the pooch.

I highly recommend Al and Citypets: The Playground to any well behaved pooch and his parents.


I was absolutely amazed by the space and facility at the Playground. I knew at first glance that if this rather large & extremely fun doggie daycare couldn't tucker ol' Zack out, nothing would. I was right. After picking Zack up from daycare, he couldn't even bat an eye at me.

The only thing I will say is it took about two doggie daycare employees to help me load Zack into the car because he didn't want to go home! That, my friend, speaks volumes for this facility.

The staff is extremely accommodating and I think once the word gets out on this facility, dogs & their owners will be barking down the doors. Hope they give Zack preferential treatment since he was one of their first to play on the playground. I think he may have christened it!

Frank C.

Our senior lab just returned from a one week stay at The Playground. Alison was very helpful getting is stay booked and showing us the facility before they opened.

On the day of his arrival we were greeted by several staff members. The facility is still a work in progress but you can tell they have good things planned. The dogs appear to be well looked after and fully supervised. Our dog is older so they took the time to help him into a comfy bed and keep him separated from the younger dogs.

Overall he seemed in good spirits when we picked him up and he had clearly been eating and not lost weight (which is usually what happens). They also gave him a bath which we appreciated so he didn't come home looking like a wreck. I believe the nightly price of $60 is competitive with other dog boarding facilities in the city. Based on this stay and our communications with Alison who is very responsive, we highly recommend.

Jennifer R.

Alison was a great help at a time when we were caught between a rock and a hard place at the holidays without reliable boarding for our dog. Luckily they had space! The facilities are indoor/outdoor, clean and heated, with 24/7 staff.

Martin tends to starve himself when we board him and Alison went to great lengths to ensure he ate while we were gone.

We were happy to find him playing with other dogs when we picked him up. He'll be back!

Jen L.

We love Al and her staff at CitiPets Playground. Prior to the grand opening, Al and staff walked our dog 3 times a week and worked on her behavior issues. We see good results and are very happy with the attentive care.

Now, our dog goes to Citpets Playground 5 days a week. She has alternate group walking and daycare day. We visited the facilities and was very impressed with the size and quality of equipments.

As we pulled into the parking lot and open our car door, our dog ran towards the gated entrance with excitement. We are extremely happy to discover Al and CitiPets. We highly recommend this doggy day care for everyone!

Kansinee A.

Al Werger Citipets The Playground Dog Walking

Al Werger

Hello! My name is Al (short for Alison) and I co-own The Playground with my wonderful mom, Barbara. The Playground is my dream-come-true, and the culmination of my life's work!

I have been working with dogs in San Francisco for the past thirteen years. When I'm not taking care of things at The Playground, I train and rehabilitate dogs, while helping their families better understand their dog's behavior, thus facilitating a good relationship with the dog and promoting and overall happy and harmonious household.

My specialty is working with dogs that have aggression issues, rescue dogs, and dogs that have been abused. I also am a consultant on home set-up, and can help with leash training, park manners, potty training, and any number of basic training issues.

My philosophy centers around structure, calm consistency, good communication, (which means listening to your dog as well as asking them to listen to you) and of course lots of love. Reasonable expectations need to be set, and time needs to be put in to help your dog meet these expectations. Of course, there is no one way of training that will fit every dog. Each dog is an individual and training needs to be tailored to meet the needs of that specific dog.

To say I love my work is an understatement. I have worked tirelessly to help families and their dogs understand each other and work together as a team.

For the past several years I've been running CITIPETS, which is a store that is focused on health, safe, and durable pet products. The Playground is the natural next step for me, bringing my hands-on work with dogs together with providing them with the very best that life can offer our best friends!

Working in rescue you come across many different dogs with many different issues. We know there is no dog Al can't hand and would trust her with any. She has dedicated countless hours working with some of our difficult dogs resulting in them getting placed in great loving homes. Without her patience and knowledge, it just wouldn't have happened. She takes the time to get to know the dog, and figures out what methods would work best for each individual dog. She is truly there to help dog and owner.

Jill Leiva

When I first brought my dog to Alison he was unsocialized and a nervous wreck around other dogs (because I was so nervous…) . He desperately wanted to play with them but didn't know how. Alison worked with him gradually enabling him to run with the pack three days a week at Fort Funston! Now I can walk with him at the beach off-leash, and he can greet the passing dogs and walk on with me. She has bar-none saved my dog's happiness and mine! I have never seen the likes of such a loving, fun, and committed dog walker. My son calls her the canine social worker, and I my husband and I call her the Miracle Worker.

Marilyn Winkler

See testimonials for The Playground here.
Barbara Werger Citipets The Playground Dog Walking

Barbara Werger

The animal kingdom has taken me down a wonderful road, starting in the family as a child, then introduction to the magnificent Giant Schnauzer. As a breeder when they were first shown in the U.S., research and training classes enriched my life. (Especially the Tellington-Jones "Ttouch" techniques.) But more opportunities brought me into the world of horses: foaling, therapeutic riding for the disabled, and those wonderful sport horses - and always dogs present!

I'm excited about the many new directions and opportunities of The Playground - offering other people's best friends a safe place to enjoy. It is a return gift to the many dogs who have given me so much through the years.

Laura Jefferson Citipets The Playground Dog Walking

Laura Jefferson

Growing up, my friends would joke that I lived in a zoo; my family always had a plethora of furry, feathered and amphibian friends around. At one point, my mom was volunteering for Wildlife Rescue and we even had a litter of baby squirrels staying with us! Thanks to my "zoo," I will always love and admire all animals, but dogs hold a special place in my heart.

In high school, I started to volunteer with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) and train assistance dogs for people with disabilities. Training dogs was incredibly rewarding; I still remember the exact time and location our first dog, Novell, did a "down, stay," on her own without any hints. When Novell, was chosen to be a breeder for the program, my mom and I had the privilege of helping her whelp and ween 5 litters of puppies, which was not only incredibly cute and fascinating, but wonderfully gratifying to know that some of them would be changing someone's life with their service.

As much as I thought I knew about dogs, Al, Barbara and Galen have taught me so much more, from first aid and nutrition to temperament testing. They are what makes The Playground so special. Without fail, Al, Barbara and Galen give every dog that comes through our door their respect, love, and attention. What a "treat" (sorry...I just had to) it is to work with such amazing, dedicated, and extraordinary people.

Does your pup have a dry, hacking cough, possibly with retching, sneezing, snorting or gagging? She could have “Kennel Cough” – even if she has been inoculated, as there are both viral and bacterial versions. (More info here.)

If you notice any of these symptoms please call us to let us know that she needs to take a sick day, and then take your pup to the vet ASAP for treatment.

Thanks to all our wonderful clients for helping to keep all our best friends at their healthiest!

Daycare Requirements

To be part of The Playground's daycare or overnights, or for our walking services, your dog must meet the following requirements:

  • Pass our FREE temperament screening (Call us at 415-282-3330 to set one up!)
  • All dogs must be neutered / spayed
  • Must wear a quick-release collar (Don't worry - you can buy one in our store if you need one!)
  • Must use a topical or oral form only for flea control (No powders or flea collars allowed!)
    Must be current on the following vaccinations:
  • DHLPP (or similar)
  • Bordetella (kennel cough)
  • Rabies

We consider new clients on a one-on-one basis. Please call us at 415-282-3330 with any questions - we're happy to chat with you!

Citipets The Playground Dog Walking
Citipets' The Playground Doggie DayCare Walking Boarding on Facebook Citipets' The Playground Doggie DayCare Walking Boarding on Twitter

CITIPETS' Playground

2253 Shafter Ave
San Francisco, CA 94124
View on Google Maps

(415) 282-3330

Boarding is available 24/7 365 days a year!
Daycare & Boarding Pick-Up & Drop-Off:
  • ALL WEEK 7am — 7pm

Please note there is a $10 Service Charge for picking up dogs outside of regular hours.

First-Time Boarders please click here for more information!

CITIPETS retail store

183 West Portal Ave
San Francisco, CA 94127
View on Google Maps

(415) 564-1183

Store Hours
  • Mon-Fri 10am — 7pm
  • Sat-Sun 11am — 6pm
*Closed for lunch 2-2:30pm


Sat Nov 01 @ 9:30AM -
Fort Funston Clean-Up
Fri Nov 07 @ 5:00PM - 07:00PM
CITIPETS' Yappy Hour
Tue Nov 11
Veterans Day (No Dog Walking)
Thu Nov 27
Thanksgiving (No Dog Walking)
Sat Nov 29 @ 9:30AM -
Fort Funston Clean Up
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