I have a penfriend who lives in Texas. Recently she acquired a furry friend and was thinking about taking her pooch on holiday with her. What concerned her was that dogs may not be welcome in some places. My name’s Valerie, and I also own a pooch. I decided to have a look at places in Texas that welcomed dogs.
While there are many excellent dog kennels around where you can safely leave your dog while you go away, there are some times when you may just want to spend some quality time with your dog. I know I miss Bentley very much when I have to leave him. I would love to take him away with me.
You’ll also find some of my doggie articles on OfficiallyPets.com.
While I was looking at pet-friendly places, I also came across some things that you should and should not do when taking your dog to parks, even though they are dog-friendly. Most of them are things that any dog owner would do anyway, but some are quite strict about the number of dogs coming in together at one time, so best to pay attention to them.
- take pups under four months to public parks
- let your pooch dig holes
- bring very small children as they can be knocked over by big dogs or even small dogs that get excited
- bring food or drinks for either yourself or your pooch. Water is normally available, and food may attract other dogs and cause fights.
- leave your pooch unattended
- scoop poop. This helps to stop spread diseases
- make sure your pooch is vaccinated
- avoid dog fights. If they break out pull the dogs apart, so they don’t get hurt.
- avoid bringing more than three dogs on any visit.
- remove your dog if he gets aggressive towards either dogs or people.
- watch your dog
- enjoy playing with your pooch in a leash off area.
So, after reading up on pet etiquette, I found some rather nice places to take your pooch if you live in Texas or if you plan to visit there. Some of them are campsites, and others are day parks, but all of them are suitable for dogs.
Padre Island National Seashore
This is a great pet-friendly place to take your pooch. Pets are welcome in most areas as long as they are kept on the collar and leash at all times.
There is also a campsite where you and your dog can spend a few days while you explore the area. There are over 60 miles of beach to walk along as well as places where you can drive and park.
It is worth remembering that pets are not allowed in any buildings and if your dog is overly aggressive then he should not be brought onto the deck named Malaquite Pavilion or the short beach area in front of it.
You will find showers and rinse off areas situated close to the pet trails and also near the parking area, so your pooch can be clean when he gets into the car.
Although there is a small area in front of the Pavilion which is intended for use by small children, there is plenty of open beach where you and your dog may swim and enjoy yourselves.
Service animals are allowed in all the areas and the facilities.
Northbark dog park
This is a massive 22-acre area which is an off-leash park for pooches. Here you will find benches and a fenced area, so your dog is safe. You can play with your dog knowing that he is safe from traffic.
The park is located in north Dallas near the North Dallas Tollway. There are several trails that you and your pooch can follow. It also offers a lawn area and a doggie beach next to the lake.
There are doggie showers and a drinking fountain as well as a supply of bowls for dogs. There are picnic areas and a pet waste station.
What is nice about this park is that there is a ‘small dog area,’ for those smaller pooches who are intimidated by large, noisy dogs.
The pavilion is a great area to lounge around on those hot, summer days. The park is the largest of its kind in North Texas.
The park closes on rainy days and Tuesdays for routine maintenance.
Jack Carter Dog Park
This park is located in Plano, Texas and is found along the Bluebonnet Trail in central Plano. There are separate areas for large and small dogs so all furry people can enjoy their outings.
Both areas come with shade shelters, benches, and picnic tables. There is LED lighting and water stations conveniently situated.
This park is the only off-leash one in the area. When outside the park, your pooch needs to be restrained by a 6-foot leash at all times, until he is safely inside and the gate shut.
There is a dog rinse station for the summer months, so your dog goes home clean and not muddy.
The park closes on rainy days to protect the turf. It shuts on Thursdays for maintenance, and at 10.30 every other night.
To enter the park make sure that your pooch is current with vaccinations with the tags on the harness at all times.
Ruff Range Dog Park
This dog-friendly park is found in Frisco, within the BF Phillips Community Park. There is a large and small dog area so the little dogs can play safely with others their own sizes.
Both the areas are off leash. There are areas which are closed off to prevent overuse, but there are always open areas for all sizes.
If you are unsure of whether the park is open, you can call their number for an up-to-date message. The park is always closed on Thursdays for maintenance, and sometimes on days when the ground is still wet from previous rain, so it’s best to call first.
The pavilion is beautifully shaded for the summer months, and there are plenty of water facilities for dogs. There is a pet poop station where you can deposit poop bags.
What is great about this park is that in the warm months staff bring out several paddling pools for dogs to cool off in. There is a shower area to wash them also, so your car stays clean.
Double Lake Campground
Here’ a campsite for those who want to take their pooch hiking or fishing when they go away. The site is located in the Sam Houston National Forest and is great for hiking, swimming, fishing and mountain biking.
There are tent sites as well as RV sites and a pool station for poop bags. There are picnic areas as well as a beach with swimming area.
The site is surrounded by rolling hills and pine trees and is a delight to walk through. It is moderately cool from September to May, then hot and quite humid from June to August, with the winter months being wet and cool.
Abilene State Park
This campsite is great for both tents and RVs. You can hike here with your pooch to your heart’s content. There are several hiking trails where you can explore the area.
In the summer there is swimming in the pool, or you can bring your own boat to sail on the lake.
Dogs need to be leashed at all times, but they are welcome everywhere in the park. There are dog stations where you can deposit poop bags and showers where you can wash down your pooch after a hard day’s hiking.
This is one of the parks in Texas where you do not need a license to fish. The park gets busy in the season, so it’s important that you book before arriving.
To sum up
Well, it seems that Texas has plenty of dog-friendly places to visit. There is no reason not to take your furry friend with you next time you head off camping or hiking.
It’s a good idea to have vaccination tags on the collar in case you are asked to produce them.
Most parks have their own rules and regulations which you should follow. This is simply to ensure the safety of all the dogs who visit there. So, if your pooch falls into the category of aggressive or over-excitable, then make sure you pay attention to the individual regulations about them. Often they will have an area dedicated to them where they can let off steam.
It isn’t a good idea to take small children to dog parks because they can be accidentally knocked over. Best to keep them away, they have parks which are more suitable for them.
With some mostly common sense preparation, you can enjoy a holiday with your dog, knowing that he will be loving every moment of being with you instead of staying home without you.