Pet owners often tell us that they want the best quality of life for their pets, especially as the end nears. We understand that being able to treasure the remaining time with your beloved companion is incredibly important. As soon as your family veterinarian diagnoses your pet with cancer, you are naturally thinking about how to best enjoy the time left together. If your pup loves exploring new places and thinks a stranger is a friend she hasn’t yet met, check out these 10 places every Houston dog (and owner!) should experience to satisfy that zest for life.
Named after the owner’s sheepdog pal when he was a kid, Barnaby’s is a Houston favorite for dogs and people. With several locations, this laid-back cafe boasts an impressive menu that caters to meat-lovers and vegetarians alike. Your pup will delight in the smells wafting from the sizzling grill, whether you order a ribeye or salmon to share, let your pup enjoy a bite of your hemp seed burger, or just want to snack on a few waffle fries.
#2: Astros Dog Day
Bring your Astros Rally Pup to the annual Dog Day celebration held at Minute Maid Park to enjoy a game of baseball and other activities geared toward dogs, and meet new canine friends. Check out the disc dog performance, prance around in the pooch parade, and dress up for the costume contest to try to win first prize.
#3: Discovery Green
Considered Houston’s “village green,” Discovery Green is a 12-acre oasis of urban green space where locals gather for fun, entertainment, learning, and building connections. Take advantage of the off-leash dog park, or bring your leashed pup to one of the more than 600 free events held throughout the year. While not all events are dog-friendly, your canine companion is often able to join you at concerts, movies, and festivals.
#4: The Lake House
Nestled inside Discovery Green and situated along the south shore of Kinder Lake, the Lake House is ideal for fueling up before hitting the trails with your hound. Known to have some of Houston’s best burgers, the Lake House also offers signature salads and other casual dining fare, along with a wide array of beer, wine, and other drinks. After sharing a bite or two of your meal with your dog, wander the trails to burn off those lunch-time calories.
#5: Congressman Bill Archer Dog Park
Located in the midst of the 926-acre Congressman Bill Archer Park, this dog park is incredible. With 17 acres blocked off solely for canine play, you won’t find a larger dog park in the area. Off-leash play is fun for dogs of all sizes in the 14-acre run, while smaller dogs can frolic in the 3-acre space. Packed with water features, leafy trees, benches, hiking trails, and a shower for post-play clean-up, you’ll have a tough time getting your pup in the car to go back home.
#6: Rummy’s Beach Club
Perfect for water hounds, Rummy’s Beach Club boasts a 15,000-gallon, custom-designed swimming pool where pups of all sizes can splash. In addition to offering a fun way to cool off, the club hosts a variety of activities, including dock jumping, canine water aerobics, and canine CPR and first-aid classes. If your dog would rather get her paws dirty, Dog Mountain is a great complement to the water sports. This huge dirt pile allows dogs to indulge in digging without fear of being scolded for tearing up the rose bushes. Enjoy this private aquatic play area year-round, as the pool is heated and covered in the winter.
#7: Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Delight in nature’s wonders by hiking the five miles of trails winding through the Arboretum. Entrance is free, and you and your pup can experience prairie, forest, wetland, and savannah habitats on your own, or join one of the guided tours on Saturdays.
A relaxed hangout featuring a giant outdoor space, Cottonwood serves up excellent Texas pub fare and fine beer, with 42 beers on tap. Young children and four-legged kids are welcome to enjoy the occasional live music, deck games, and crawfish boils.
#9: Throughgood Coffee
If your morning won’t get started without a jolt of caffeine, snap a leash on your pup and head to Throughgood Coffee. Known for the best coffee and food sourced from local establishments, you can charge up for the day with the perfect cup of coffee while your dog burns off some morning energy in the mini dog park.
#10: Frascone Winery
About an hour outside of Houston, Frascone Winery is perfect for the pooch with a sophisticated palate. You can kick back and relax while sipping on an award-winning mead, created from honey that the winery produces, and enjoy the delights of a Vietnamese/Italian menu with your pup. If you and your canine companion plan on sampling more than the wine offerings, reservations are required for dining.
Including your pet in all the wonders life has to offer is one of the most enjoyable aspects of pet ownership, although it’s bittersweet when you’re checking off items on your pal’s bucket list. First, ensure your pup is up to exploring by checking in with your family veterinarian or contacting us about her appetite, pain, attitude, and mobility. Together, we can help you create wonderful memories with your best furry friend.