Did you recently adopt a pet? Perhaps you’re moving to Austin, Texas with your long-time, faithful friend. Whatever your situation, we have good news for you and your four-legged friend: Austin is a VERY pet-friendly city. Whatever the circumstance you will find numerous pet-friendly things to do in Austin with your fur baby. The list of pet-friendly activities in Austin is virtually endless, but below we highlight our top 10.
10. Explore the vibrant gardens of Zilker Botanical Garden
Zilker Metropolitan Park in the heart of downtown Austin is home to one of the most breathtaking botanical gardens you’ll ever see. And the best part is, you won’t have to leave your furry friend home. Explore the 26 acres of immaculate gardens with your pup by your side, as you adventure through themed gardens such as the Taniguchi Japanese Garden or the Hartman Prehistoric Garden for an experience straight out of Jurassic Park.
9. Dog-Friendly hiking at Barton Creek Greenbelt
While Austin may be one of the fastest growing cities in the US and quickly exploding into a tech hub, this is Texas, y’all, and everything IS bigger here…including the land sprawl. This is good news for you because that means that even if you’re downtown in the hustle and bustle of city life, you’ll find plenty of parks and expanses of land littered throughout the city for you and your four-legged friend to reconnect with nature. It won’t take you long to get out into wide-open country either. Be sure to check out Barton Creek Greenbelt (often referred to as “the Greenbelt” – as if it were the only one in Austin) – this pet-friendly nature preserve is home to 12.68 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails. If your pup loves the water you can head to Campbell’s Hole for a dip.
8. Enjoy nature without leaving Downtown Austin at Lady Bird Lake
You’ve probably heard of good “apartment dogs” or the best city-dwelling breeds but we’re active in Austin and we don’t want our dogs to be couch potatoes – for that matter, couch potatoes need exercise, too. If you’re active and live in or near downtown then you’ve definitely heard of Lady Bird Lake. As long as your doggo is on a leash, you can enjoy this river-like reservoir and all the hiking and biking trails that your pup’s little heart could desire. When you’re done, you aren’t far from the pet-friendly restaurants you’ll find further down the list.
7. Shop local with your dog at Barton Creek Farmers Market
You know the only thing us Austintonians love more than our music is shopping local. If you’re anything like me, you want to buy everything Austin, from your produce to your meat and yes, even your pupper gets local treats. At the Barton Creek Farmers Market, you can support local Austin farmers and businesses without leaving your dog behind. They even have vendors with dog beds, treats, and dog food made with locally-sourced meat.
6. Let your dog off-leash at Red Bud Isle Dog Park
Keeping your dog socialized and happy is difficult, especially if you work full-time, but that doesn’t change how important it is to their overall health. As long as your dog is up to a crowd, taking them to an off-leash dog park is one of the best things you can do. You’ll be sure to meet some like-minded dog parents at the same time – after all, we have to stick together. You can let your dog frolic at this leash-free dog park on Town Lake, just below the Lake Austin dam. Your puppy will run and swim out all their energy as they socialize with other dogs and you enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Austin’s iconic waterways.
5. Eat at dog-friendly restaurants on 2nd Street
Who wants to eat or drink alone? By that, I mean without your dog, of course. Closing that door to your apartment in Austin as your dog batts those puppy-dog eyes at you, knowing you’re going out to have a good time with friends while they stay home alone is literally the worst. Luckily we live in the greatest city in America with one of the highest volumes of dog-friendly restaurants. All restaurants with patios on 2nd Street are pet-friendly as are many of the stores. As a rule, always ask before you enter a store or restaurant with your dog.
4. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden | Bring your dog to this bar on Rainey Street
There is nothing worse than meeting someone who hates dogs and nothing better than meeting someone who loves them as much as you do. I’m telling you, the folks at Bangers get it. They understand that you can’t just go out to brunch without bringing your baby along. What would be the point of that? Home of the manmosa – because apparently, mimosas are too feminine (insert eye roll) – Bangers has an off-leash dog park and a sausage on the menu made especially for four-legged patrons.
3. Shop at Austin’s dog-friendliest stores at The Domain
We’ve all been there – you’re in need of some serious retail therapy but you don’t want to leave the emotional therapy of your best friend at home. Thank the Lord above that you live in Austin so you don’t have to make that decision. The park-like setting of this high-end shopping center makes for a perfect spot for you and Spot. Most of these boutiques are dog-friendly, offering a water bowl and sometimes a treat! There is even an annual event supporting local dog rescues called Dogtoberfest – so your shopping spree is actually just giving back, right?
2. Yard Bar | Off-Leash Dog Park with full bar and food
Pretty sure the owners of Yard Bar were bet they couldn’t create the sickest dog park ever. Well, they won that bet. With its chill ambiance, agility equipment, and amazing upkeep it could top the charts for the greatest dog park but then they added beer…and hushpuppies. Y’aaaaaall those hushpuppies! At first, I was worried about enjoying a drink with friends and keeping an eye on my pup but their “bark rangers” are there to keep playtime safe so puppy parents can enjoy the amazing local craft beer selection.
1. Give new meaning to downward dog at Austin Doga
Austin is the greatest city in the world – I know that, you know that, your mama’s best friend’s cousin knows that. But the hustle and bustle of even the greatest city can still cause you to need some zen. Did you ever stop to think that your dog may need some, too? This yoga studio is so cool it had to be our number one pet-friendly thing to do in Austin. They offer group and solo classes and will even help you throw a birthday party for your dog.
Do you agree with this list? Have anything to add? Comment below!
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