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Dog Friendly Austin: Tips & Advice from a Local

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This guest article was written by Dan Bagby from Honeymoon Always.

In Austin, dogs are welcome almost anywhere. There are dog friendly patios at restaurants where you can get something to eat, plenty of places to go play and even high end shopping centers that will welcome your pup with a water bowl and treat. Here are just a few things you can do to have a fun day in Austin with your dog.

Dog Friendly Parks & Trails in Austin

If you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors with your dog, there are plenty of places to go, with several off leash parks. I recommend sticking to a dog park where water is nearby since Austin can heat up quickly.

Barton Creek Greenbelt

While your dog must be on a leash, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is very welcoming to dogs. There are several entrances where you can enter a trail and go for a hike, stopping as you go to take a dip in the water.

Barton Creek Greenbelt

Red Bud Isle

Another dog’s favorite is Red Bud Isle. Located just west of downtown, the Isle is an off leash dog park with lots of shade and places for the dogs to practice belly flops. Parking is limited, so I recommend arriving early.

Auditorium Shores

Located in the heart of Austin is an off leash park your dog will love in the shadows of the downtown buildings. The 4.5 acre park is located right on the water and is a perfect place to play fetch or frisbee. There are a few spots that make it really easy for your dog to hop into Lady Bird Lake, a very welcome activity as it heats up outside. Do keep in mind there are no fences and a busy road is nearby.

Lady Bird Lake

Zilker Park

Probably one of the most lively and well known parks in Austin, Zilker Park comes with a great view of downtown and plenty of room and friends for fido. You can also take your dog to an area just downstream from Barton Springs pool to cool off in the river.

Dog Friendly Activities in Austin

There are also a number of great dog friendly activities you can do in Austin, both on land and on water.

Go to the Capitol Building

You may not be able to take the tour of the building itself, but you can explore the grounds of the impressive Capitol Building with your pup.

Capitol Building

Shopping at the Domain

In North Austin, the Domain is the best place to go shopping and one of the few malls where your pooch will be welcome. The mall is outdoors, but most stores will treat your dog as good as a pet store would when they come in, offering treats and a bowl of water. The Nordstrom has hosted doggy fashion shows, and other events like Dogtoberfest take place throughout the mall area.

Go Kayaking at Lady Bird Lake

Going kayaking or paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake is one of our favorite activities in Austin. If you go, you will see plenty of dogs in on the action. Your pup can sit in the kayak with you or stand on the stand up paddle board. I would go prepared to get wet since a dog can make things off balance. Also, a dog life jacket is a good idea to put on fido.

Kayaking in Austin

Explore South Congress

Just south of downtown, South Congress is home to many dog friendly bars, restaurants and shops. Each spring there is even a costume contest and a pet parade led by a marching band.

Get a Dog Treat at a Bakery

Austin is home to several bakeries especially for dogs. Woof Gang Bakery is close to downtown and has a full pet store and boarding facility in case you need someone to keep an eye on your pup while you’re doing activities your dog can not enjoy with you.

Exploring Rainey Street

Rainey Street is located just south west of downtown, within walking distance. The street is lined with trendy and dog friendly bars and restaurants. Bangers Sausage and Beer Garden even has a gated area just for the dogs to play around in.

As you can see, Austin provides plenty of places to take your dog with you. As I write this, it reminds me just how dog friendly the city really is. I didn’t really touch on many specific dog friendly bars and restaurants because dogs are welcome almost anywhere that has a porch.  

Dan Bagby is a travel blogger at Honeymoon Always. He loves to spend time with his rescue dog, Coco and is a pet photographer at Austin Furtography.

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Dog Friendly Austin: Tips from a Local

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