Being torn between the desire to travel and the love for your dog can be difficult. Luckily, there’s Houston: a city that provides ample opportunities for both dogs and their owners to relax, sight see, eat, drink, exercise, sleep and anything else a traveler might wish for. Organizations like Dog-Friendly Houston have worked for years to expand the list of businesses, events and parks that allow dogs, making for happier people and happier pooches. Man’s best friend deserves a vacation, too!
The Paws on Patios allowance passed in Houston in 2011, with dozens of bars in leading the charge to become dog-friendly, including Front Porch Pub, Cottonwood, Big Star Bar, Cecil’s Pub, and Beer Market Co. Now, Houstonians have many more options when looking to grab a drink with their pups. Check out Axelrad, West Alabama Ice House and Saint Dane’s. For an updated list of Houston’s newest dog-friendly bars and restaurants, visit Dog-Friendly Houston.
Barnaby’s Cafe, named after the founder’s childhood sheepdog, has multiple locations all over Houston which all welcome dogs on leashes on their patios. You can even order grain-free, high protein dog food and a dog treat for your friend on a leash. Good Dog Houston’s menu may be covered in different options of “dogs,” but don’t let that stop you from enjoying a historic hot dog with your furry friend Backstreet Cafe and Hugo’s, both owned by Hugo Ortega (2017’s James Beard Award Best Chef Southwest winner), are dog-friendly as well. For the full list of Houston restaurants that welcome your pup, see this list.
We pamper ourselves when we’re out. Why not pamper man’s best friend? Houston has many quality pet salons dedicated to keeping your dog looking and feeling its best. For the times you feel like sightseeing without your sidekick, rest assured knowing you can leave your dog in good hands. The Dog House Pet Salon is only found in elite cities like Houston, LA, Chicago, and New York, and features a pet cam which allows you to check in whenever you like. Haute Pets Salon travels to YOU for pet massage, nail care, dental health, etc. Hometown heroes like A Dog's Dream and John Andrews Pet Spa also provide the getaway and care your dog deserves.
Houston is home to beautiful weather, even when most of the country is limited by snow and ice. Parks are the perfect way to take advantage of the great outdoors with someone who never gets tired of that fresh air. There are thriving dog parks all over the city, as well as many public parks that are dog-friendly. The Bay Area Dog Park, Millie Bush Dog Park, and TC Jester Dog Park all provide spaces within the city for dogs to socialize and run without a leash. Discovery Green, Hermann Park, and Tranquility Park all welcome dog owners and dogs on leashes. Also check out Levy Park, which opened in early 2017 and includes a dog park among its many attractions. For more, check out our list of Houston dog parks.
Dog Day at Minute Maid Park
“Dog Day” is a chance once a year to enjoy America’s favorite pastime with man’s best friend. Every year in September, catch the Pooch Parade, the Bark at the Park Vendor Alley, and the Houston PetTalk Magazine Costume Contest all while watching the Astros. Tickets must be bought at least two days in advance.
Enjoying the beach is even better when you can do it with your dog! Many beaches around Houston allow dogs. All public beaches in Galveston and Freeport allow dogs on leashes. If the beach isn’t for you, try Rummy’s Beach Club: a private swimming pool for dogs and their owners. Rummy’s Beach Club is heated in the winter months, and can be visited all year long.
The Houston World Series of Dog Shows, which happens annually in July, is the perfect occasion for all dog owners and enthusiasts. Browse vendors, admire thousands of beautiful dogs, and attend unique events like “Canine Musical Freestyle.” Enter your canine companion into a competition ahead of time, or simply enjoy some of the activities together.
Dog owners who travel frequently know that many hotels are pet friendly and hotels in Houston are no exception. For luxurious tastes, the newish Le Méridien Downtown Houston is a good option. Featuring 225 guest rooms and 8,000 square feet of meeting space, the hotel welcomes well behaved pups under 50 pounds and under. The Sam Houston Hotel in downtown Houston welcomes you and your dog to its historic boutique 100-room property, which first opened in 1924. Hotel Derek is adjacent to Houston Galleria shopping and Uptown entertainment district, central to the city’s commercial and cultural districts. Aloft Houston by the Galleria offers a pet program with a bed, bowl, treats, and toys. The urban-inspired and budget-friendly concept blends modern furniture and state-of-the-art technology with luxury amenities.