Skip to main content

6 great fall activities to do with your dog in Texas

You know what they say: “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Well, we don’t know if EVERYTHING is bigger, but we do know it’s the largest of the 48 contiguous states, it’s the home of one of the largest hat factories (Stetson) in the country, and it has an abundance of dog-friendly places for your whole family to explore.

There’s no reason to leave your four-legged family member at home when you plan an excursion nowadays. Thanks to recent changes in the tourism industry, many hotels, restaurants, and venues now cater to families with pets. So, if your wanderlust is taking you to the Lone Star State, check out the following dog-friendly spots in Texas.

white maltese lying in suitcase
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Best places to visit in Texas with dogs

Fire Museum of Texas, Beaumont

Aspiring firefighters of all ages will love visiting this hands-on museum. There’s literally something for the whole family. Adults will appreciate the antique engines and firefighting equipment that dates back to the 1800s. Kids will have fun dressing up as firefighters and driving the fire engine simulator. Make sure to get a photo op with your dog beside the (formerly) world’s largest working fire hydrant, a gift to the City of Beaumont by the Walt Disney Company for the rerelease of their animated movie 101 Dalmatians. Leashed dogs are generally welcome inside the museum, too, excluding special-event days.

BayWatch Dolphin Tours, Galveston

This family-owned and operated business has been serving the Galveston and Houston area since 2005. The 45-minute, educational tour of the harbor is open seven days a week year-round weather permitting, and there’s no admission fee for children under 12 and family pets.

LBJ National and State Historic Park, Stonewall

Pets aren’t permitted in any of the buildings in the LBJ National and State Historic Park; however, they can accompany their owners on the Johnson Settlement Trail and the LBJ Ranch as long as they are on leashes.

The park bears the name of our 36th president and offers visitors a look at a real working Texas-German farm. There are no entrance fees, and the trails, which are populated by bison, longhorns, running creeks, and wildflowers, are open until dark.

English bulldogs and suitcases
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Barking Springs, Austin

Unlike the strict “no dog” policy at Barton Springs, this small wading area just east welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes. While the fenced-in Barton Springs area charges admission and is patrolled by lifeguards, the swimming hole on the other side of the fence does not. Once you see the diversity of humans and dogs playing together in the spillway water, you’ll understand why it’s affectionately called Barking Springs.

Mutt’s Canine Cantina, Dallas and Fort Worth

This off-leash dog park offers pups a place to frolic while their humans supervise from the comfort of the patio and beer garden. A membership is required; however, day passes are available for well-behaved dogs with current vaccinations.

Six Car Pub & Brewery, Amarillo

Speaking of having a drink (we were, right?), your leashed pup is also welcome on the patio of many local breweries, including the Six Car Pub & Brewery in Amarillo. The whole family can enjoy good food here. On Friday and Saturday nights, their rooftop bar stays open until midnight. Adults can enjoy craft beer made on-site and guest beers, along with a selection of cider, mead, and wine.

Call before you go

As you can see, there’s no lack of pet-friendly places in Texas to visit, but it’s always a good idea to phone ahead to confirm availability and current pet policies before you head out the door. And if you plan on visiting any dog parks or day care facilities while you’re there, make sure your pup is up to date on all his vaccinations and that you are aware of any additional fees or deposits each facility or attraction may require.

Then, all that’s left to do is enjoy your vacation! The best part of taking your dog along is that you won’t miss him while you’re away. Plus, true to its motto of friendship, Texas ranked fourth in the nation in 2019 for being one of the friendliest states. It might take a little more planning to find dog-friendly accommodations wherever you go, but from what we gather, the adventures you’ll share and the other dog people you’ll meet are well worth the effort.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Debbie Clason
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Debbie Clason's work has appeared in Family Life Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The Lutheran Witness, Massage Magazine…
How to find the right veterinarian for your pet
Getting your pet the best medical care will improve and prolong their life
Veterinarian examining cat while little boy watches

Taking your dog or cat to the vet might cause you some anxiety, especially if you're doing so for the first time. Trust us, it makes pet ownership so much more enjoyable when you have an animal doctor that both of you like. Choosing the right veterinarian for your beloved companions may not be easy, but it's certainly worth it — you'll have a better time caring for your animals, and they will stick around longer with excellent medical attention. Here's how to choose a vet.
When should I look for a vet?

We hate to add to your checklist, but you probably want to look at vets before you even bring home a dog or cat. It can take time and lots of phone calls to different places before you figure out the right fit — meaning a practice that suits your needs and budget and has availability.

Read more
Does your dog drink a lot of water? Here’s when you should be concerned
It's usually just the weather, but you should look for signs of dehydration or excess thirst
A pug drinking water from a sink faucet

Ensuring your furry best friend gets plenty of water is one of the most important parts of being a pet parent. But how much water should your dog drink on a daily basis? Veterinarians claim the general rule of thumb is a simple equation: The majority of dogs require around 1/2 to 1 ounce (about 1/8 of a cup) of water per pound of body weight each day. Don't want to reach for your measuring cup? Make sure your pup has round-the-clock access to clean water, and everything should be fine.

That being said, if your dog empties their water bowl several times a day, or you notice their intake has increased drastically, you should probably keep a close eye on things. If your dog drinks a lot of water, you may be wondering, "Why is my dog always thirsty?" We'll share how to monitor your pup's water intake, the most common reasons your dog may be thirsty, and when you should speak with your vet.

Read more
Is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog? Everything you need to know about this amazing dog breed
Belgian Malinois breed description, family behavior, and more
A Belgian Malinois leaps through a meadow of dandelions

If you're considering opening up your home to a new four-legged family member, there may be a lot of thoughts swimming through your mind. This is totally normal. Bringing home a new pet is a big change, so it's only natural (and responsible) to think through every aspect of the decision before you commit. One thing you may be considering is which dog breed would be best for your home. Although you may not be able to hand-pick your perfect breed when adopting a pet from a shelter, knowing a bit about the most common dog breeds can help you make an informed choice.
The Belgian Malinois is a breed often seen in cities, suburbs, and farms, though it's often mistaken for an entirely different dog -- the German shepherd. While they are related, these breeds are completely separate from one another. Familiarizing yourself with Belgian Malinois characteristics and traits will help you decide whether this may be a breed for your family, but first, we'll have to ask -- is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog?
Let's find out everything there is to know about this strong and loyal dog breed.

Belgian Malinois breed characteristics

Read more