Tips + Etiquette: Off-Leash Dog Parks in Central Texas
Central Texans are particularly fond of two things: pets and an outdoor adventure. As our area grows and more people discover our public parks and trails, we each should pitch in to ensure our parks stay beautiful and safe for our fellow explorers.Below are some top off-leash dog parks in Austin and Central Texas, followed by tips to make your next outing as fun--and safe--as possible.
Off Leash ParksWhile the city of Austin requires your dog to be on a leash, there are many great off-leash dog parks around town. Here are some of our favorites:
- Red Bud Isle
- Walnut Creek District Park
- Emma Long Metropolitan Park
- Shoal Creek Greenbelt
- Davis White Northeast District Park
- West Austin Park
- Zilker Park
- Cedar Bark Park
- Georgetown Bark Park
- New Braunfels Puppy Playland
- Auditorium Shores Dog Park
- Onion Creek District Park
- Norwood Estate
- Bull Creek District Park
- Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park
- Yard Bar
- Doghouse Drinkery
Hazards to Watch ForLexi can get all her zoomies out at the off-leash dog park. Hiking the greenbelt with your pup is a great way to spend the weekend. When traipsing the trails, watch for these common hazards:
- Strong Currents: Be aware of any currents in the lake, river, or creek when swimming with your dog. Never get too close to a dam. A doggy life jacket is never a bad idea!
- Flood-Brought Debris: Recent, heavy rains, will mean strong currents and lots of tangly debris.
- Stagnant Water: No rain means stagnant water- the perfect environment for bacteria and pesky insects. Fresh drinking water for both you and your pup is of utmost importance.
- Human-Brought Debris: Sadly, not everyone respects our public parks and environment. Be watchful for any broken glass or other dangerous trash. Bonus points for bringing a small bag and picking up any trash that you see!
EtiquetteScoop That Poop! Be considerate of Mother Nature and other patrons; pick up after your pet! Check out the City of Austin’s Scoop the Poop initiative. Get the Green Light: Ask permission before you or your pet greets another dog, especially if not in an off-leash area. Not for Nervous Nellies: While socialization is important, an off-leash dog park is not a good place to socialize a nervous or aggressive dog. Rather, consult a professional dog trainer, and socialize your pup in a safe, controlled setting. If in doubt, follow the golden rule: treat other pets and pet parents the way you and your pup want to be treated. The goal is to have a good time!