Dallas has gone to the dogs.
Dallas is now a hub of hound-friendly happenings, ranging from barker-welcoming breweries to pupper parks loaded with mutt amenities. It’s never been a better time to visit or live in this scenic city if you have a dog.
Below, we’ll share the best dog-friendly activities in Dallas to try with your floof, plus the basics of polite pupper etiquette when out and about with your pooch.
The 9 Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Dallas
While it’s not among the best cities for dogs in the U.S., Dallas is catching up, and its warm climate, walkable neighborhoods, and ample outdoor space have led to heaps of pooch-friendly businesses and events popping up around the city.
We’ve corralled the best dog-friendly activities in Dallas, including those for puppies and seniors. Let’s get after them!
1. Dine out with your doggo.
Dallas has many dog-friendly restaurants, including casual barbeque stops and upscale eateries. These stops are all pup-welcoming patios and other outdoor spaces, as pet canines are forbidden indoors at restaurants, per the Dallas health code. With that in mind, keep an eye on the weather!
Visiting a restaurant peppers your pup’s senses with savory smells, new noises, and a kaleidoscope of sights, making it a top-notch canine enrichment activity. It sure beats chowing down on kibble in your kitchen at home!
Some restaurants now offer a mutt-friendly menu with recipes like grilled chicken or beef patties, allowing your doggy diner to scarf down something tasty. If they don’t, we recommend bringing treats from home to involve your dog in the foodie fun.
While dog-friendly restaurants are great, these food-focused public outings should be limited to well-mannered woofs without anxiety, people selectiveness, or resource-guarding issues. Caution is also warranted around feeding your dog table scraps, as restaurant dishes can be loaded with fat, salt, and toxic ingredients that can make dogs sick. Human food may also trigger allergies or intolerances in canines, leading to digestive upset or skin issues.
2. Hike a new trail with your pup.
Hiking with a dog in a city like Dallas? Say what?
Yes, there are plenty of trails to explore in Dallas with your dog, including urban stomping grounds like the Santa Fe Trail in Deep Ellum and remote retreats south of the city. These trails may feature paved or natural paths, each with pros and cons, like comfort, cleanliness, and paw safety during hot weather.
Trails range from a short span to several miles, so research prospective routes ahead of time to ensure you don’t get in over your head. Senior sniffers and puppies do best with brief outings, while active canines need more time to explore and burn steam.
Keep your dog leashed and on the trail during hikes, as Dallas is home to dangerous animals, including venomous snakes and coyotes. Short hikes are recommended during warmer weather, but skip outings entirely during heat waves. Always pack dog water bottles to hydrate your hound, and consider a cooling vest if your pup’s prone to overheating.
Discover the natural beauty of Dallas with your dog at these three hiking stops.
Trinity Skyline Trail
About: This hard surface trail is perfect for navigating with your canine, provided he’s OK with cyclists, as many frequent the area. The path is wide and offers excellent views of the city and greenery, though it lacks shade, so we’d avoid midday mutt adventures.
Address: Can park at 3700 Sylvan Avenue, Dallas, TX 75207
Phone Number: N/A
- The entire trail measures 4.6 miles
- It is a relatively flat trail, ideal for senior sniffers, puppies, and jogging or biking with more active barkers.
Windmill Hill Preserve Trail
About: Unplug from city life with your hiking hound at this natural oasis of trees, brush, and ample shade. The varying terrain can be challenging for some to navigate, especially after rain, so we recommend checking the forecast in advance and only visiting with spry sniffers.
Address: 1410 N Duncanville Road, Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Phone Number: (972) 274-2489
- Open from dawn to dusk daily
- The trail loop is 2 miles long
Cedar Ridge Preserve
About: Hike the trails of this wildlife haven with your leashed woof and celebrate getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located southwest of the city center, the preserve features natural terrain trails of varying elevation, making it best for fit Fidos and pet parents.
Address: 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75249
Phone Number: (972) 709-7784
- Open from 6:30 AM until dark from Tuesday to Sunday; Closed Mondays
- Closes during and after heavy rains and when excessive heat warnings are in effect
3. Discover a new dog park with your pupperino.
It’s hard to beat the mutt mingling and fun of a dog park, and thankfully, Dallas has several great dog parks scattered throughout the city for your four-footer to frolic in.
Some dog parks are no-frills fenced squares for off-leash romps, while others have extra bells and whistles like obstacles, splash pads, and more to keep canines entertained. The right fit for your floof depends on his play style and age, with seniors generally preferring more low-key hound hangouts while young, active floofs love a new brain game or structure to climb.
While most dog parks in Dallas are fully fenced, it’s important to know that’s the case before your pup’s allowed off-leash to prevent a runaway dog situation. We also recommend brushing up on dog park etiquette before your trip to ensure you know the spoken (and unspoken) rules between pet parents.
As fun as they are, dog parks aren’t for every pupper. Shy or anxious dogs may find the constant contact with strange dogs too much, while pooch-selective pups may snap at every new face, putting everyone at risk. Rather than risk anyone’s safety, check out dog park alternatives for these floofs.
4. Unwind with a cold one at a bar with your woofin’ wingman.
Hop off the fast lane of life to stop and sip a refreshing drink with your sniffer at a dog-friendly bar in Dallas!
Many of Dallas’s best bars have dog-friendly outdoor spaces, including those protecting patrons from the elements with awnings, fans, and even air conditioning, letting you and your canine come out – rain or shine!
Venturing to a bar with your dog introduces him to new surroundings, providing mental stimulation and a chance to bond and make memories with your barker.
Now, you don’t have to have a cocktail at a bar. You can stick to non-alcoholic fare like the southern staple of sweet tea. However, if you indulge in a boozy beverage, limit yourself to remain clear-headed, as your dog is your responsibility. It’s also critical not to give your dog any alcohol. We recommend skipping table scraps, too, as you don’t want to risk dog diarrhea.
5. Take in landmarks with a scenic woofy walk around the city.
Sightseeing may not be the first activity you’d consider dog-friendly, but think about it: You’re walking around, exploring new areas, and snapping pictures. All three things can easily include your canine. Why not bring him along?
Visiting new places lets your dog experience fresh sights, sounds, and, most importantly to doggos, smells! Wear comfortable shoes and keep your canine leashed as you discover new parts of Dallas.
Since sightseeing can include a fair amount of walking, it’s best for more active pups, rather than seniors or those with joint issues like arthritis. It’s also outdoors, so it’s vital in Dallas to check the forecast beforehand, as high temperatures or an afternoon storm can lead to a miserable mutt outing.
Explore these three Dallas stops with your pup while in the city.
Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge
About: Spanning the Trinity River, this walkable bridge has fantastic city views and presents the perfect opportunity to squeeze in steps and practice dog photography with your mutt model. The bridge is located along the Trinity Skyline Trail, making it a great stop to combine dog-friendly activities in Dallas.
Address: 109 Continental Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75208
Phone Number: (214) 671-9500
- Open 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily
- Short length and paved terrain are ideal for senior pups and mutts with less mobility
- Check the site’s social calendar for special events and activities
West End Historic District
About: Travel back in time with your pup as you walk this vintage’ hood’s brick sidewalks and crossings. Though now chock full of tech companies and modern architecture, you can still see glimmers of the past as you explore on foot with your leashed Fido.
Address: N Market St, Dallas, TX 75202
Phone Number: N/A
- There are plenty of shops and restaurants; just check if a business is dog-friendly before waltzing in with your woofer
- It is well-shaded by buildings and some trees, but the ground can still be too hot for pupper paws at times
Old City Park
About: Stroll through the 20-acre park with your pupperino to see Dallas of yesteryear in its smattering of historic buildings. Well-shaded by mature trees, it’s an ideal location for an afternoon walk – just be sure your sniffin’ sidekick is leashed!
Address: 1515 South Harwood, Dallas, TX 75215
Phone Number: (214) 421-5141
- Dogs aren’t allowed in any buildings (aside from service animals)
- Check the social calendar for dog-friendly events, like Bark in the Park
6. Cool down at a pooch-friendly swim spot.
The scorching temperatures of Dallas summers can be brutal on humans and doggos alike. Rather than fry like an egg on land, beat the heat with your barker and enjoy watery woof fun at a swimming stop in the city.
You can always set up a dog pool at home, but visiting a dog-friendly swimming spot around Dallas with your sniffer provides extra enrichment and the chance to meet new four-footed friends. It’s also an opportunity for your floof to flex his natural instincts with water-loving woofs like bird-hunting dogs, especially loving swim outings. Don’t forget to pack dog water toys, too!
Taking your pooch out for a swim is fun, but it does require more cleanup than other dog-friendly activities around Dallas, as your soggy sniffer will need to be dried thoroughly with a towel before hopping back into your car, where he’ll likely leave hair and sand. A car seat cover helps, but you’ll probably still need to give your backseat or car crate a good cleaning afterward.
Safety is essential, no matter how great a swimmer your doggo is. Always monitor your dog around water and invest in a dog life vest for older pups or weak swimmers. If you’re simply bobbing in your backyard pool and have a dog who likes the water but needs a break, consider a dog pool float for periodic pauses in the fun.
Check out these dog-friendly swimming sites around Dallas.
Hidden Cove Park and Marina
About: Pups can partake in water fun at this Frisco site on the shores of Lewisville Lake. Let your pooch swim, paddleboard with him around the lake, or simply walk the banks – whichever activity matches your dog’s interests.
Address: 20400 Hackberry Creek Park Road, Frisco, TX 75034
Phone Number: (972) 294-1443
- Open 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily
- The daily entry fee is $20 per vehicle or $175 for a yearly pass for residents or $225 for a non-resident yearly pass
- Pet-friendly tent camping is available
Shiloh Road Kennels
About: Have a senior sniffer or mutt with mobility issues who enjoys swimming but needs more focus on comfort in addition to fun? Schedule hydrotherapy at this kennel’s heated pool. This activity isn’t just for dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis, or healing injuries. It’s a good choice for canine athletes like dock divers needing a gentler exercise between competitions.
Address: 3880 Shiloh Road, Midlothian, TX 76065
Phone Number: (972) 723-3880
- Call or email for a quote based on your barker’s needs
- Must schedule in advance; this is not a drop-in facility!
7. Camp out with your canine.
Want to tap into nature with your doggo? Try escaping the city center for a night or two of camping with your cutie and his dog sleeping bag!
Camping helps you decompress from the go-go-go pace of the city and relax with your pooch in a more peaceful setting, often close to hiking and swimming areas perfect for four-footed exercise. Overall, it’s a great dog-friendly activity customizable to most mutts, even senior sniffers.
Camping with a canine usually means staying in your own RV or a tent, as many rental RVs and cabins forbid pets. This means investing in lodging gear of your own, unfortunately. While pricey upfront, you’re rewarded with something you can enjoy again and again with your pup, which may be cheaper than renting in the long run anyway.
If you plan on using a tent, browse our list of the best tents for camping with dogs to ensure a good fit. The last thing you want is an equipment failure in the middle of the night with your mutt!
Camping with a canine does mean removing him from the creature comforts of home, so you’ll need to pack extras to keep your pooch comfortable, like a dog bed for camping, food and water bowls, and a dog first aid kit, just in case.
See if any of these dog-friendly camping options around Dallas will work for you and your pup.
The Vineyards Campground & Cabins on Grapevine Lake
About: Pet-friendly RV sites are available at this campground located a half hour north of the city center, though your RV-traveling Rover must be leashed everywhere but in the designated off-leash area for everyone’s safety. Nightly rates start at $54 per night and include water, power, sewer, WiFi, and cable TV.
Address: 1501 N. Dooley Street, Grapevine, TX 76051
Phone Number: (888) 329-8993
- Check-in time for RV sites is 2:00 PM, and check-out is 12:00 PM
- Dogs aren’t allowed inside or around cabins, playgrounds, or beaches
- Two-night minimum stay on weekends and three-night minimum on holiday weekends
- Dog pens up to 10 by 10 feet are permitted
- No running line tie-outs are allowed
Cedar Hill State Park
About: Texas state parks like Cedar Hill allow well-behaved dogs who don’t act aggressively to stay alongside owners at campsites. Booking online is a breeze, with fees at $10 nightly for primitive, hike-in spots, $25 for tent sites with electricity access, and $30 for full hookup sites with water, sewer, and electric tie-ins. Best of all, this park is only 20 minutes south of the city!
Address: 1570 West FM 1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Phone Number: (972) 291-3900
- The park entrance fee is $7 daily and $5 for overnight guests
- All dogs must be current on rabies vaccination (proof required, so pack shot records!)
- Dogs must be on a leash less than 6 feet, crated, or in your vehicle at all times
- Dogs can’t be left unattended at campsites
- Pups aren’t permitted in cabins, screened shelters, swim areas, or restrooms
The Range Vintage Trailer Resort
About: Your pupperoni can camp out with you in your own Airstream trailer at this pet-friendly resort, though they’re not allowed in the rentals. Just let the staff know about your pup when booking, and be sure to clean up your canine’s droppings around your trailer site; otherwise, you’ll be charged a cleanup fee.
Address: 325 Slate Rock Road, Ennis, TX 75119
Phone Number: (972) 210-2900
- Site fees start at $100 per night and include 30 or 50 amps and full hookups
- Choose from 13 sites across 30 acres
- Tent and car camping aren’t allowed
8. Set out for a day of dog-friendly shopping with your floof.
You may not think of shopping as the most entertaining activity for your floof, but it’s a great way to exercise his body and brain as he explores new scenery, aisle to aisle. Depending on your destination, your dog can even snag new goodies along the way.
Don’t go barging into a random store with your sniffer, as not every business welcomes woofs. Instead, check a shop’s pet policy to ensure you comply. Remember that those permitting pups require leashes and expect you to walk your woofer for potty purposes before heading inside.
Shop until you drop with your four-footed fashionista at one of these dog-friendly Dallas stops.
The Shops at Park Lane
About: Windowshop and walk with your leashed woof at this maze of stores and restaurants south of Vickery Meadow. Parking is available within the five area parking garages, and benches and trees dot the space for shaded hangouts when you and your hound need a break.
Address: 8080 Park Lane, Dallas, TX 75231
Phone Number: (214) 365-0222
- Open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Not every shop is dog-friendly, so check before strolling in with your pup
Lucky Dog Barkery
About: Pooches are welcome inside this Fido-focused shop that sells fresh-made cakes and cupcakes for canines, plus an assortment of treats, food, toys, and more. Offerings include many high-quality food and treat brands, including those made in the USA, humanely sourced, and eco-friendly.
Address: 8320 Preston Center Plaza, Dallas, TX 75225
Phone Number: (214) 368-6000
- Open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
- Double-check store hours around the holidays
Half Price Books
About: Browse new and used reads with your bookworm barker at this pup-friendly store. It’s a sizable store, so you’ll get plenty of steps in together, too. Just be sure to mind your pooch so he doesn’t damage anything.
Address: 5803 E Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX 75231
Phone Number: (214) 379-8000
- Open daily from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
- The store’s big parking lot can be too hot for paws in high temperatures, so reconsider midday visits if your dog’s too heavy to carry
9. Have a four-footed sleepover at a dog-friendly hotel.
Want to shake up your Rover’s routine with a night of pampering somewhere special? How about extending your itinerary of dog-friendly activities in Dallas to more than one day?
Check into a dog-friendly hotel!
Staying overnight at a hotel allows you to relax, forget about the worries of commuting home, and focus on bonding with your best fur friend in the city. You can even sneak in a sunrise stroll with your doggo at a Dallas park or hit snooze and sleep in with your sniffer.
This splurge is a good fit for confident canines who won’t mind the change in surroundings, but it can be too stressful for anxious woofs. It’s also not a good fit if your pooch is a big-time barker, as you’ll disturb other guests.
If you’re looking for a place to crash in Dallas with your dog, check out these hound-welcoming hotels.
About: This downtown boutique hotel is barker-friendly to all doggos, though a $100 flat fee applies when visiting with pets. All dogs must be leashed in common areas and kept away from on-site food businesses. You must also hang a “pet in room” sign on your door to alert staff of your pooch’s presence, making housekeeping and room service interactions safer for everyone.
Address: 1530 Main Street, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone Number: (214) 748-1300
- Check-in is at 3:00 PM, and check-out is at 12:00 PM
- Pet parents of service animals may have the flat pet fee refunded at checkout if no additional cleaning is needed to the room
Magnolia Dallas Downtown
About: Tucked in the Downtown Historic District, this luxury hotel only charges a $50 pet fee for your stay and is a short walk from Main Street Garden Park and other dog-friendly green spaces for exercising your floof. There’s no size restriction either, with the business welcoming small friends and colossal canines alike.
Address: 1401 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone Number: (214) 915-6500
- Check-in time is 4:00 PM
- Limit of 2 pets per room
- Dogs must be leashed or in a carrier when outside your room
- Overnight valet parking available for $40
Hotel Crescent Court
About: Pups of all sizes are welcome to stay at this posh hotel, though a $150 flat fee is charged per stay to cover the extra cleaning cost. Located close to Reverchon Park and trails, it’s a convenient place to crash with a canine while enjoying mutt-friendly activities in the city.
Address: 400 Crescent Court, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone Number: (214) 871-3200
- Check-in is at 4:00 PM, and check-out is at 12:00 PM
- Self-parking costs $25 nightly
Dog-Friendly Activity Etiquette: Do This; Don’t Do That!
A little etiquette goes a long way during public outings with your pup. Remember: It wasn’t long ago that the world seriously lacked dog-friendly activities. Let’s do our best to keep canines included in the fun by being the best examples we can be.
When enjoying dog-friendly activities with your fur friend:
- Ensure the activity matches your pup. Four-legged festivities should be fun for your floof, too. This means picking activities that align with your dog’s age, interests, and temperament. A senior dog with arthritis likely won’t enjoy a long hike, for instance. Similarly, a dog-selective sniffer won’t do well in a dog park.
- Never go out with a sick dog. Your sick sniffer should rest at home when he’s not feeling his best. It also isn’t fair to spread anything to other pooches if his illness is contagious.
- Don’t put others at risk. Public outings aren’t worth it if your dog is aggressive around people or other pets. Stick to solo puptivities at home, like building a DIY dog playground for your backyard or baking homemade dog cupcake recipes.
- Check your dog’s vaccination status. Rabies vaccinations must be current for dogs in most areas, but other vaccines prevent dangerous diseases like distemper and parvo. Your vet may also recommend shots against parvo and canine influenza. Always check with your vet about vaccines before taking your pup out, especially if he’s a puppy or senior.
- Keep your canine on pest preventatives. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are ready and waiting for your woof where you’d least expect them, so it’s a good idea to protect him in advance with quality flea treatment, a tick preventative, and heartworm prevention. Be sure your dog doesn’t have fleas before heading out, either, as they’ll spread to other floofs in a flash.
- Leash your doggo. As with most other jurisdictions, Dallas has a strict leash law requiring canines to be tethered in public settings unless it’s a designated off-leash area. Follow these guidelines and practice loose leash walking for the best doggy outings.
- Respect posted rules. Dog-friendly places can only remain that way if pups (and pet parents) behave. Follow the rules of any public space or business, regardless of how silly they may seem (cough — breed bans — cough).
- Mind your mutt’s manners. Don’t let your doggo bully, hump, or harass other dogs or people when out. Everyone wants to have a good time, which means respecting the space of others and keeping your canine in check. This also means not allowing him to damage anything or lift his leg on monuments or memorials!
- Clean up after your canine. Your pup’s poop is your problem, so pack extra poop bags and assume the position when nature calls. Toss the bag away in a trash can, as proper dog poop disposal is critical in preventing the spread of harmful bacteria and parasites.
With the right attitude and an eagerness to show your pupperino off as the best fur buddy he can be, dog-friendly activities are much more enjoyable for you and others. Get out there and make those mutt memories!
Do you and your dog enjoy any of our best dog-friendly activities in Dallas picks? Is there another way you bond in the city with your barker? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear!