Let your four-legged friend frolic on these canine-friendly grounds.
By Joanna O’Leary
While many doggie owners in northern states still have limited options for pet-friendly outdoor activities, thanks to this winter’s deluge of snowstorms, we here in Houston are in prime season for al fresco romps with our pooches. Fortunately, H-town boasts multiple places for you and your dog companions to play with others. Here, then, is OutSmart’s Top-Five List of best Houston dog parks:
Danny Jackson Family Dog Park
4700 Westpark Dr.
Although not in the most aesthetically pleasing location (flanked on both sides by a highway and office buildings), Danny Jackson Family Dog Park makes this list because its location means less crowds, and the long lawn and shallow pools make for great spaces to sprint and scamper. Regulars at the park have remarked on the general friendliness of the other dog owners, many of whom are quick to share tennis balls for playing fetch.
Ervan Chew Dog Park
4502 Dunlavy St.
Ervan Chew Dog Park doubles as a play-ground, which makes it pretty much perfect if you have human as well as canine babies. On warm days, doggies splash around in the small pool, kiddies enjoy the swing sets, and parents with frosty beverages look on from the picnic tables. One caveat: Ervan Chew’s modest size means it can be chaotic and crowded at peak times.
Johnny Steele Dog Park
2929 Allen Pkwy.
Located along scenic Buffalo Bayou, Johnny Steel Dog Park boasts plenty of open spaces as well as free “poop” bags, so there’s no excuse for not cleaning up! In hot weather, puppies can cool down in the pond area; owners, in turn, can seek shelter under the shaded benches. The park sees significant action in the early evenings just before twilight and on weekends, so avoid those times if you or your dog are feeling unsociable.
Millie Bush Dog Park
16756 Westheimer Rd.
A perennial favorite, Millie Bush Dog Park makes it onto nearly every “best dog parks in Houston” list (including ours) due to its gi-normous size and thoughtful segregated areas for small and large dogs, each with its own pool. Patrons also rave about the consistent upkeep of the landscaping and the stunning views at sunset.
Dog Run at Market Square Park
301 Milam St.
This park, instituted in honor of dog advocate Holly Anawaty, is ridiculously convenient for residents of downtown, while also serving as a nice destination for Houstonians and hounds looking to frolic in a different neck of the woods. Separate areas are available for different-sized pooches, and a well-lit walkway means your playdate can extend into the later evening.
Joanna O’Leary is a freelance writer based in Houston. Her exploits are chronicled on brideyoleary.com.