How Pet Friendly is Houston, Really?

Newcomers to Houston won’t have to worry much about their pets wondering: “What’s a cat (or dog) to do in this city?”

They’ll be able to find some sense of “paw-adise” even though Houston, also known as H-town, doesn’t score high as a hot town for pet friendliness. According to WalletHub’s 2017 Most Pet-Friendly Cities survey, Houston ranked 39th.

Looking beyond the ranking, the region offers a number of pet-driven options for visitors and residents, including accommodations, food-and-drink establishments, and activities. 

Paw-Friendly Lodgings

When it comes to finding a pet-friendly place for you and your four-legged buddy, consider what “friendly” means. It can simply mean the policy that permits you to bring a pet, or it can be that plus showering your pet with goodies (and head scratches).

For example, the Aloft Houston Downtown has a pet policy that only allows up to one dog (only dogs are allowed) up to 40 pounds or less per room. But the hotel coddles pets too, offering a special bed, bowl, treats, and toys, all complimentary to use during your stay, according to TripsWithPets.

Patios & Pooches

If you’re already at home here or in town to find a place to stay, then finding a place to eat or drink is often part of the travel plan or the routine residential pleasure. One area haunt for humans and their animal companions includes the neighborhood bar Henderson Heights, which sells Bowser Beer for Dogs. It also hosts pet-adoption and fundraising events on its inviting patio, according to Houstonia Magazine.

In general, pet friendly pub-or-grub establishments allow leashed, well-behaved dogs in outside dining or patio areas. A list of dog-approved patios in the City of Houston can be found on the Houston Health Department website. Accordingly, the ordinance doesn’t require food-establishment owners to allow dogs on patios. So, go easy if you show up with Fido but end taking the show on the road.

Where to Go Play and Get Pampered

Spaces and parks that cater to dogs spread across Greater Houston’s cities and counties, and include Holly Anawaty Dog Park at Market Square, which features two dog runs, benches, and canine drinking fountains.

Another spot for owners and their dogs, among others, is the Pasadena Dog Park. It offers a leash-free zone of almost two acres, areas for big dogs and small dogs, pavilions, benches, and doggie swimming pools.

In addition to getting playtime, another way to treat your pet is to give it some pamper time, too. Located on Houston’s southwest side, The Dog House Pet Salon boards, bathes, and grooms dogs as well as cats. Another Houston-based salon also grooms dogs and cats. But Haute Pets Mobile Grooming Salon brings grooming, cleansing, and primping services to your doorstep.

Whether a pet owner and a pet want to get their groom on, their eat on, or want to work on quality time together, Houston serves up a variety of ways to do it.

Walker Wooding