4 Most Dog-Friendly Neighborhoods in Austin

Widely considered one of the most dog-friendly major cities in the United States, Austin takes pride in its expansive off-leash parks, its open-air restaurants and bars welcoming canine companions, and its wide array of groomers, doggie daycares, and other businesses catering to dogs. These four neighborhoods in Austin boast a particularly high density of amenities intended to make you and your pup feel welcomed.

Zilker

Austin Texas Dog Shop
Austin Texas Dog Shop

A lively South Austin enclave bordering Lady Bird Lake and wedged between the major greenspaces of Zilker Metropolitan Park and Auditorium Shores, Zilker features acclaimed restaurants, relaxed watering holes, grooming services, and an abundance of open areas where your dog can roam freely. Zilker Metropolitan Park is popular for its recreational areas, such as the hiking trails coursing along the greenbelt and the “Barking Springs” doggie swimming pond just downstream from the human swimming hole at Barton Springs

Doggie Destinations In Zilker:

  • Zilker Dog Park - This sizable off-leash area is one of the most well-trafficked canine play spaces in the entire city. The dog park isn’t fenced (so you’ll want to ensure that your pup is well-behaved and has strong recall skills), but it offers plenty of hills for your dog to run up and down, plus beautiful views of Lady Bird Lake.

  • Dirty Dog Grooming - This dog spa features state-of-the-art self-serve wash areas, grooming options like haircuts and nail trims, and even a daycare and boarding facility. 

  • Uncle Billy’s Smokehouse And Brewery - This place takes their canine hospitality to the next level by not only encouraging dog owners and their pets to fill the expansive outdoor patio, but also by providing treats for puppy patrons.

East Austin

East Austin Neighborhood
East Austin Neighborhood

East Austin isn’t just the Texas capital’s trendiest neighborhood, it’s also the Austin neighborhood where dogs outnumber children. For that reason, East Austin is filled with dog-friendly establishments and amenities, making it a perfect place to grab a locavore brunch or a frosty brew with your pooch by your side.

Doggie Destinations In East Austin:

  • Hops & Grains - Owned by a pair of devoted dog owners, Hops & Grains loves to see doggy parents and their wards on their outdoor patio. While human visitors enjoy brews like Lupulin Rodeo IPA, dogs can dig into Hops & Grains’ celebrated Brew Biscuits, treats made from malted grains used for beer brewing.

  • Austin Pets Alive! - If you’re thinking of adding a new addition to your family, Austin Pets Alive! In nearby Clarksville can help find the perfect dog for you. This nonprofit animal shelter devotes itself to rescuing abandoned Texan animals and matching them with excellent fosters and adopters. Their East Side headquarters also offer veterinary services.

  • Clean Critters - Conveniently located on East Cesar Chavez Street, Clean Critters provides boarding, daycare, and dog grooming services. Whether your pet needs a haircut, plaque removal, a nail trim, or a bath, Clean Critters has them covered.

Allandale

Yard Bar, Austin Pets Alive Puppy Bowl
Yard Bar, Austin Pets Alive Puppy Bowl / Photo by John Feinberg / CC BY

The peaceful and family-friendly neighborhood of Allandale in North Austin also hosts plenty of businesses and public spaces that embrace canine companions. The area combines suburban serenity with urban convenience, and residents (both canine and human) appreciate those best-of-both-worlds characteristics.

Doggie Destinations in Allandale:

  • Yard Bar - This place isn’t content to be merely an outdoor drinkery that allows dogs on premises. Instead, this backyard pub has its very own “dog park,” where pups are free to meander off-leash and make new friends while their owners savor cold beers and hearty bites.

  • Austin Terrier - Just outside Allandale, this spot takes its dog love seriously enough to put a breed name right in its own moniker. This pizza restaurant and bar is beloved among locals for its spacious patio, complete with water bowls and free treats for dog guests. 

  • Groomingdale’s of Austin - An upscale dog grooming salon in neighboring Brentwood for puppies eager to look their best, Groomingdale’s features everything from hydrosurge baths and organic flea treatments to specialty shampoos and full-on doggie manicures.

North Burnet

The Domain, North Burnet Texas
The Domain, North Burnet Texas / Photo by Larry D. Moore / CC BY-SA

Thanks to its comparatively affordable home prices and easy commutes to the University of Texas and Austin Community College, North Burnet is a popular choice for growing families—especially when that growth includes pets. North Burnet’s major shopping centers readily allow dogs to join their owners for bouts of retail therapy, making this neighborhood an appropriate environment for busy, on-the-go dog owners.

Doggie Destinations in North Burnet:

  • Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park - The largest public greenspace in North Burnet, Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park contains a one-acre dog park with separate corrals for large and small pups. Dogs are welcome to wander off-leash in these fenced-in regions, and canines on leashes can venture throughout the entire park area alongside their owners.

  • The Domain - One of Austin’s most highly regarded shopping centers, The Domain welcomes pups in most stores and in the outdoor seating areas of eateries like Whole Foods and Starbucks.

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