Upon moving to the big city, one of the toughest things was finding dog-friendly establishments. Sure they were out there and Chicago is for the most part friendly to our canine friends. But there just wasn’t a guide to it laying around and I felt I was flying blind.

Now for just about everything else in the city, Yelp! was an amazing resource. A huge Yellow Page of places with user reviews in an easy to use format. So if you need a nice Italian restaurant or a dry cleaner that won’t ruin your favorite shirt, you’ll probably be able to find it on there.

The problem with Yelp and all the other Yellow Page sites is that they don’t really focus on dog owners. It’s tough to find out if a restaurant is dog-friendly or how a local park stacks up to the rest. Which is why I was pleased to find Fido Factor the other day while cruising the web. It’s basically a Yelp! for dog owners.

It appears to be in its infant stages still and new cities are being added sparingly. Areas like San Francisco seem to have much larger audiences at the moment than Chicago for instance. But it’s something I’ve been looking for and I think a terrific bookmark for any of our urban readers. Fido Factor also features some informational articles on proper etiquette and how to keep your dog safe in the city.

There is also a free iPhone app available for download on iTunes. To encourage reviews, Fido Factor has partnered with the San Francisco SPCA to make a donation in your name for every review written in that city. Hopefully they can expand it out to some other metropolitan areas.

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