Dogs make our lives better, literally. Did you know that playing with your dog has a number of health benefits? First, when you’re playing with your pup, you’re relieving stress and getting mental stimulation. For your pup, a fun day of activity helps maintain heart health, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves overall balance and coordination. In the spirit of celebrating our four-legged friends and all that they do for us, reward your dog with a date day that includes a trip to the dog park, a nice dinner out or a stay at a pet-friendly hotel. After all, they’ve earned it!

Play All Day

Johnny Steele Dog Park
Courtesy of @buffalobayou on Instagram

First up, check out Johnny Steele Dog Park. One of Buffalo Bayou Park’s most active destinations, this two-acre site is located near Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard. Johnny Steele Dog Park features include a pond, shade structures, dog washing areas, benches and drinking fountains complete with spigots for dogs. There are also designated areas for both large and small dogs.

Bill Archer Dog Park
Courtesy of @uno_thegoodboy on Instagram

Congressman Bill Archer Dog Park is named for former Texas Congressman Bill Archer, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. The park is as epic as Congressman Archer’s career. With 17 acres, this is an off-leash park for dogs of all sizes. The park also includes agility equipment, separate small dog area, pond, shade and benches.

Millie Bush Dog Park
Courtesy of @mommycallsmeboomies on Instagram

Another dog park named for a politically-adjacent figure is the Millie Bush Bark Park. Named after President George H. W. Bush’s dog, this park provides lots of fun. Double gated, fully fenced, pick-up bags, large and small dog areas, doggie swimming ponds, water fountains, doggie showers, shade areas, benches, scattered trees, walking path and a convenient parking lot, you have everything you need for to spoil your pet.


Puppy’s Palates

Better Luck Tomorrow
Courtesy of @bltomorrow on Instagram

The Bayou City loves our pets, which is why there are plenty of pet-friendly restaurants and bars across the city. For a quick drink and some delicious small plates, head to Better Luck Tomorrow. Located in The Heights, this bar has the perfect menu for your post-dog park date. Plus, after a quick libation and recuperation on their patio, you can take a walk to the nearby Heights Mercantile.

Powder Keg

A new spot in West Houston that dog lovers should check out is Powder Keg. This completely open-air bar is the perfect spot to grab a cold drink, play some sand volleyball and bring your pup to enjoy some playtime. There is also an on-site dog run where your pet can run free for a bit. Powder Keg has televisions throughout, a fully stocked bar, plenty of yard games and usually has a couple of food trucks slinging delicious eats.

Backstreet Cafe
Courtesy of @backstreetcafe on Instagram

For the dog that enjoys the finer things in life, head to Backstreet Café. The front porch has serious New Orleans vibes that create a beautiful al fresco ambiance for you and Fido. We suggest heading to Backstreet Café for its beloved weekend brunch or happy hour specials.


Pampered Pooch

Hotel Icon
Courtesy @hotel_icon on Instagram

One of the chicest places to stay in Houston is Hotel Icon. This AAA Four Diamond hotel is a luxurious pet-friendly hotel that’s sure to please both humans and canines. Guests can bring up to one 70 lbs. dog or two 35 lbs. dogs. Further, Hotel Icon is conveniently located within walking distance of Market Square Park, one of the only dog parks in Downtown Houston.

The Hotel Derek
Courtesy of @thehotelderek on Instagram

Hotel Derek treats people and pets like VIPs. Upon arrival, each dog receives his own set of amenities, which certainly gets the tail wagging. Hotel Derek welcomes two pets up to 65 lbs. for an additional fee of $100. Of course, potty breaks are a must, so Hotel Derek gives each guest access to the dedicated pet floor, making walks and breaks convenient. Life sure is good for an Uptown pup.

JW Mariott
Courtesy of @jwhoustondwtn on Instagram

Treats await when your pet checks-in at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown. The hotel staff is more than happy to make you and your furry friend feel at home. Two pets of any size can stay for an additional fee of $125 per stay. Quiet, well behaved pets may be left in the room unattended and there are multiple parks in the area for a quick walk or bathroom break.