University Hills is a great place for pets. The Indy 500 Dog Park at California and Gabrielino is a lovely resource for socializing your dog. Petite Paws, a dog park just for smaller dogs, is located adjacent to Indy 500 Dog Park. The City of Irvine runs a no kill shelter next to the Central Bark, the City-run dog park.

Newport Beach Civic Center Dog Park is located across the street from Newport Beach Civic Center. There is street parking and artificial turf.

If you are looking for something a bit more wild, Laguna Beach has a beautiful dog park located in Laguna Canyon. There is metered parking on the street.

Huntington Beach Dog Beach is a place where you and your canine can enjoy surf and sand. There is metered parking off PCH.

The City of Irvine offers pet licensing and pet care, pet finding and adoption services.

Please note that it is illegal to walk your dog off leash, especially in the ecological preserve, where nesting birds and a fragile ecosystem has developed together.

If you are thinking of getting a pet, please consider adoption. Local pet stores run adoption events on a regular basis. A locally run foster and rescue service, Friends of Orange County Homeless Pets. is a great resource for anyone looking to adopt a pet.

Wildlife and Pets

Pet owners should be aware of the presence of coyotes in our neighborhoods. These animals tend to avoid human contact, but have been known, especially under the drought conditions of the past five years to go after domestic animals. All cats and dogs should be kept indoors at night. Here is information from the city of Irvine about avoiding coyote conflicts. Contact OC Animal Control for wildlife encounters or to report an issue with an animal.

Bobcats and Mountain Lions

University Hills has been home to a number of bobcats and kittens. These animals avoid human contact and have been under pressure because of the rapid development of open spaces in our area. Mountain lions have all but disappeared from our area. Here is some information about living with wild animals.

City of Irvine

Anticoagulent Rodenticide and Your Pets

University Hills is home to the Norwegian roof rat, a large rodent who nests in trees, attics and in the winter months in cars. ICHA is not using anti-coagulant rodenticides, but private use of this form of pest control is not regulated. Please be aware of how dangerous these pesticides are for area wildlife and for your pets who might ingest the poison directly or indirectly through the hunting of sickened rodents.

4 Steps You Can Take to Help Keep University Hills Rat-Free graphic

Pest control infographic


The City of Irvine has become Southern California’s first non-toxic city by adopting a non-toxic pest management program in 2016. The non-profit organization Non-Toxic Irvine is spearheading these efforts. University Hills tries to mirror this effort to be free from conventional pesticides and herbicides that may be hurting sensitive residents and the planet. Our public spaces have been maintained manually (no glyphosate has been used since June 2016).

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