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17 October 2022

5 MINS READ

#OllieUnleashed: A Dog-friendly Guide to Houston

Heading to Houston with your pup in tow? Check out this local city guide for dog-friendly bars, restaurants, parks, and more!

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Since we’ve made it our mission to dig our paws into the dog-friendliest cities in the country, we chatted up Houston local Siena Schickel to learn about how she and her pups Ande and Eda enjoy spending their time.

Siena’s pup Ande living her best life at Danny Jackson Family Bark Park.

Siena and Ande moved to Houston in 2020. Eda joined the pack shortly after as she was a foster fail (our favorite kind of fail)! Siena fosters pups through Houston Pets Alive!

Siena Schickel, our Houston host and member of the marketing team at Houston Pets Alive!

Since COVID was in full swing when Siena moved, most places she had the opportunity to explore in those early days were dog friendly. Learn more about the places she and her pups love to visit. These will help you plan your pet-friendly stay in Houston as well!  

Best places in Houston to start your day:

Danny Jackson Family Bark Park

Siena and her pack say they “cannot recommend this park enough.”. It’s huge and regularly maintained, and there’s a shower station by the parking lot that’s always clean. She also notes that for pups who love a good swim, there’s a giant pool that’s treated to ensure no poisonous algae or diseases linger. If you are going to take your pup for a swim, she cautions that the chemicals in the pool can tint white fur blue.

Brass Tacks

If your pup is all about brunch, you’ll want to head over to Brass Tacks. Siena says, “This place has lovely outdoor seating that has a variety of covered and not covered tables all spread out, which is great for hosting a variety of dog personalities.” They also have a very friendly staff and great coffee. You and your pups may want to linger into the evening so you can also sample some of their delicious cocktails.  

Making the most of an afternoon walk

Hermann Park

Once you’ve refueled, you may be ready to see some of the local sites. Hermann Park is a great pet-friendly place to visit. Located in Houston’s Museum District, you and your pup will see lots of cool statues and structures throughout the park. For the pup (and parents) who were hoping to check out some of the local wildlife, the resident  Muscovy ducks are giant and look pre-historic!

Brazos Bend

Brazos Bend is a one-hour drive outside Houston, but locals say it’s worth taking the trek. The main attraction there is alligators, but it’s still somehow pup-friendly. Siena says, “It’s quintessentially Texas, though, of course, only bring your dog if you feel safe doing so.”

Gerald Hines Waterwall Park

Located in the city’s Tanglewood section, this is an excellent spot to grab some photos for the ‘gram. The park is currently open, but the waterwall feature is down until late October 2022, so you’ll have to go check it out when it re-opens. Once you’re done with your photoshoot, there is a large patch of grass for your pup to play on.

Barnaby’s Cafe

Barnaby’s Cafe is so pet friendly they even have a menu just for your four-legged companions. The menu features beef or chicken over rice, scrambled eggs, and doggie ice cream. They ask that pups refrain from the 3 B’s (begging, barking, and biting) and use their best table manners. For humans, Barnaby’s Cafe offers a full menu of American fares, like burgers, hotdogs, steaks, and salads.

Onion Creek & Cedar Creek

At Onion Creek, weekday happy hour starts at 3 pm, so you and your pup can belly up to the bar for some delicious cold drinks and snacks. With a full menu of specialty coffee drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails, there is something for every human. Pups should stick to some water (rocks optional.)

Another restaurant in the Creek Group Hospitality Concepts, Cedar Creek, is a pet-friendly option to refuel. Featuring 25 beers on tap, plenty of other beverage choices, and a delicious but approachable menu, Cedar Creek has something for everyone.

Enjoy the nightlife

Karbach

One of the highlights of a visit to Karbach is the HUGE outdoor space. There’s a covered area with fans that’s nice in the hotter weather, and tables spread out everywhere, so you never have to worry about finding seating with your pup. Another perk for those who are traveling solo with their pups is the outdoor bar setup. This way, you don’t have to send someone inside to fetch your drinks!

11 Below Brewing

When including the brewery on her list of favorite spots, Siena noted a bit of her bias – she’s a former employee. But her bias is well earned by 11 Below Brewing since the entire brewery is dog friendly. She says this is a rarity since most places in Houston limit the pups to their patios. For those traveling with other pets, she notes that the staff doesn’t discriminate – all are welcome, including folks with pet parrots!  

8th Wonder Brewery & Distillery

This combination brewery and distillery pays tribute to the Astrodome, once dubbed the 8th Wonder of the world. Sample their home-brewed beer or sip on a cocktail made with their distilled spirits while you take in the sites with your pup.

Have an emergency in Houston? Get help fast!

No matter how well you prepare, emergencies can come up when traveling. Here are a few Siena-approved spots you can run to when something comes up.

Medical Attention

If your pup needs emergency medical attention while visiting Houston, you can visit either  Sunset Animal Hospital or Blue Pearl. Both are open 24/7, but like any other emergency hospital, we recommend giving them a call to let them know you’re on your way and the nature of the emergency.

Grooming  and Supplies

Notice a nail getting too long, or your pup rolled in something really stinky? Head to Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming and get cleaned up quickly. You can also pick up a few toys and treats here; pups need a souvenir too! Have a leash break because you’re having too much fun? You can browse an entire selection of supplies to replace anything you need.

If you are in the Houston area this month, you can catch us at Levy Dog Park on October 14 and 16 and Barktoberfest, presented by Houston Pets Alive!  on October 15. Follow @ollie on Instagram for more times and info. Be sure to tag #OllieUnleashed if you and your pup drop by any of our events.

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