How Pet Friendly is Dallas, Really?

Dallas, it turns out, really likes pooches and has gone out of its way to provide plenty of places where owners can spend time with their four-legged friends

The city of Dallas estimates that more than 600,000 dogs and cats call the city home. It answers common questions about ownership on its website such as whether you need to register your dog or cat, and this is a great place for new residents to get their basic dog ownership questions answered.

What is it about Dallas that makes it a great city for owning a dog? Here are four reasons why so many people in North Texas have decided to bring their dogs to the city with them:

Dog-friendly parks

White Rock Lake is one of our favorite places to walk our dogs. The park includes the city’s first-ever dog park, established in 2001, and contains fenced areas for large and small breeds, access to the lake and covered seating. Leashed dogs are also welcomed on the trail around the lake. We also like the Katy Trail, but it can get packed with runners, bladers and bicyclists, so be cautious. The trail, built along an old railroad line, is an iconic destination. Stay to the right with your leash short to keep your K9 safe. Live further north? Try NorthBark Dog Park, a 22-acre off-leash park in far North Dallas that includes a pond and a doggie shower for cleanup.

Pubs and restaurants


There area so many pet-friendly establishments in the Big D — hundreds — that it’s hard to know where to start, but if you just finished a walk on the Katy Trail, you may want to stop by for a cold one at the Katy Trail Ice House. Or try Mutts Canine Cantina. It features a leash-friendly outdoor patio and beer garden and an off-leash park. Lee Harvey’s is a well-known casual (dive) bar with picnic table seating outdoors that is dog-friendly on Sundays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. For pizza with your pup, try Cane Rosso. Dog-friendly dining is outdoors in Dallas and can depend on the weather and other factors so always call ahead. Dogs must stay off furniture, be leashed, and wear a rabies tag.

Pet-friendly lodging

Your dog can sleep in some of the swankiest hotels in Dallas, from the Omni to the Westin Galleria. Essentially, you can find a hotel in Big D under any price range that will accept Fido. Some will charge a pet fee while others don’t so call around to see what best suits your needs.

a cute dog Pug swim at a local public pool

Doggie Splash Days

It gets hot in Dallas, so we like to take our dogs to cool off in a pool. When the end of summer hits, water parks and pools all around the Dallas-Fort Worth area offer a day of swimming for dogs and their owners before closing the pools for the summer. Mesquite already has a website up for this year’s Aug. 12 event, and the ninth annual Wags & Waves is scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Hawaiian Falls Garland location.

There’s nothing more entertaining that seeing your pup bob up and down in the wave pool or float around the Lazy River. Don’t forget a life jacket for your dog. Wags & Waves includes vendors, contests and loads of fun events. Most splash days around Dallas and neighboring cities will require you to show proof that your dog has a current Rabies vaccination and some only allow neutered and spayed pets.

More ideas

Read the Dog About Town column on Fridays in The Dallas Morning News for more ideas of places to go and things to do with your canine.

Kerry Curry