Eyes pleading, tails a-quiver, yips of hope — you know how dogs act when they want to play. Canines need capers. Dallas has answers to your dog’s dilemma; here are five of the best.
Wagging Tail Dog Park
Open since December 2009, the off-leash Wagging Tail Dog Park offers two large, grassy, fenced-in fields, one for small dogs, one for big dogs. Each has a water fountain as well as a droppings dispenser. The humans amble about and swap pet stories eagerly.
CBSDFW Insider’s tip: if you and your dog sit on the neglected benches at the far end of the parking lot, y’all can see and hear a pretty waterfall many don’t know is there!
Bark Park Central
Under the roaring structure that is Central Expressway, more than an acre of grass awaits your off-leash dog. In addition to water fountains, dispensers, and doggy showers, Bark Park Central, also known as Deep Ellum Dog Park, has a six-foot-tall surrounding fence, shade, and artwork. The park also has the distinction of being formally open, Tuesday through Sunday, from five in the morning to the stroke of midnight. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that many of the nearby Deep Ellum restaurants and bars are dog-friendly!
The Pooch Patio
In addition to grooming, dog boarding, and supplies such as treats and collars, The Pooch Patio, nestled on one side of Fairmount Street, offers a great place for sitting with your off-leash canine friend (or friends!) while you drink coffee, beer, or wine. Maybe it isn’t so much the dog that’s getting play time as it is you; after all, how many dogs can use The Pooch Patio’s WiFi? But that’s okay — the festive conversation and music will keep your puppy pleased as you chill out and watch Oak Lawn passersby.
White Rock Lake Dog Park
Opened in 2001 — the first dog park in Dallas — White Rock Lake Dog Park, also known as The Mockingbird Point Off-Leash Dog Park, offers the best dog park collection of big Texas trees, as well as a view of the lake. The two fenced-in areas (one for dogs under 30 pounds, one for dogs over) provide comfortable picnic tables, and of course dispensers and fountains. Some of White Rock Lake Dog Park is a bit run-down, but there are efforts underway to spruce the area up. Contact For the Love of the Lake or White Rock Lake Dog Park to volunteer your help.
Your Own Neighborhood
Playing with your dog is mandatory, not just for bonding, but also for your dog’s health — animals need exercise, too. Play reduces stress for both people and their pets, even something as simple as a 15-minute walk. Check the websites below to make sure you’re clear on Dallas laws governing how to handle your pet; for instance, you shouldn’t transport your dog within the open bed of a moving pickup, flatbed, or similar vehicle. Also remember dogs don’t sweat the way people do, so be extra careful in the Texas heat. Here’s to a great future for you and your four-legged friends!