(Photo by Melanie Graysmith)
California leash laws are quite strict to ensure that dog owners are liable for injuries and other damages caused by their dogs. While most people support these laws, Peninsula dog lovers must cope with having less open space for pets to run free and unleashed. Fortunately, dog-friendly spaces do exist on the Peninsula.

Owners must take control and be the leaders in their dogs’ lives. Remember to enter and leave park areas with a leashed dog. Always clean up after your dog and fill in any holes your pooch digs up. Following park rules will allow everyone to enjoy the facilities and is a sure way to be invited back. Here are five dog-friendly parks for Peninsula residents and visitors.

Burlingame Dog Exercise Park
1125 Airport Blvd.
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 558-7300

Burlingame Dog Exercise Park is a fun and social spot right off Highway 101 for dogs to meet and run together. The beautiful location places this park right along the bay. The park has separate areas for small and large dogs making it the perfect place for owners of all breeds. Burlingame welcomes obedient and social dogs over four months old. Remember to leave any dog toys at home if your pooch is possessive over his/her playthings. Hours at this park are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Related: Best Places To Take A Doggy Trip Beyond The Bay

Cipriani Dog Park
2525 Buena Vista and Monserat Ave.
Belmont, CA 94002
(650) 595-7441

This park can be found right behind Cipriani School. Cipriani Dog Park in Belmont is a nice local park with an off-leash area where dog owners regularly come with their furry best friends. Cipriani is a fenced park with benches and lights, and includes a smaller side area for small dogs to play. A big plus to this Belmont park is that pooper scoopers and waste bags are readily available and there’s even a water fountain to refill your pup’s bowl. The area closes daily at 8:30 pm. Note: Cipriani Dog Park doesn’t provide restrooms for owners.

Colma Dog Park
399 D St.
Colma, CA 94014
(650) 985-5678

A small and fairly quiet park, Colma Dog Park (aka “Bark Park”) is a hidden gem for locals with qualities that make it stand out from the rest. Its compact size (39 by 90 feet) makes it a good running spot for smaller pups without the inconvenience of larger dogs taking over the space. The park’s location is in a quiet spot, perfect for dogs that aren’t overly social. A circular gravel path surrounds the area for owners to walk while the dogs play. Note: there are no restrooms for owners.

Heather Dog Exercise Park
2700 Melendy Drive
San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 802-4382

Heather Dog Exercise Park in San Carlos offers a flat area that is popular with dog owners, however some owners enjoy the scenic and peaceful trail section in the southern end of the park. A paved, circular path leads to Portofino Drive but not onto the street. With its 1.5 acres and stunning views of the canyon, this is an attractive area to all, including those who don’t have pets. Be aware that as the area is not completely fenced off, there may be foxtails around. Amenities include a pooper-scooper dispenser.

Related: Top Places Where Dogs Can Swim In East Bay

Take your pup for a stroll at one of these doggy parks. (Photo by Melanie Graysmith)

Shore Dogs Park

1393 Radio Road
Redwood City, CA 94065
(650) 654-6538

Shore Dogs Park in Redwood City is a completely fenced-in dog park with a double-gated entrance. There’s an off-leash area for large dogs and another for smaller dogs. If you use this park regulary, a great way to be more involved is to become a Shore Dogs Club member. A $30 contribution per year helps support “ongoing maintenance, improvements and events at the park.” More information about the organization is on the Shore Dogs Park website. The area is open daily from dawn until dusk.

Melanie Graysmith is a freelance writer and artist based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Melanie is a member of an independent filmmaking group and aims to spin her stories into film. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.