The Alamo city is known for several things, but dogs are not one of them. Austin and Houston are considered very dog friendly. San Antonio ranks somewhere in the middle on the “dog friendliness” scale. However, we have found more than enough opportunities to help keep your pup busy everyday. If you are looking for the best dog friendly things to do in San Antonio, we have you covered.
Dog Friendly Places in San Antonio
There are many things to do in San Antonio everyday, but they aren’t always dog friendly. San Antonio is known for its Spanish Missions, 15-mile Riverwalk and military bases. Each of these areas are pet friendly if you consider the military working dogs being trained here. Discover the other dog friendly places we have found in San Antonio, and then checkout our adventure walking the 15-mile Riverwalk.
Visit an Off-Leash Dog Park
Nearly 20 dog parks can be found throughout San Antonio. Although they are small compared to those in other major cities, they provide a way for your dog to play and socialize. We have visited 15 this year and didn’t have any serious issues. However, some people consider dog parks unsafe. You can find details, locations and photos of the Best Dog Parks in San Antonio on our site.
Dog parks are the most obvious dog friendly places to bring your dog. Maybe your dog needs a little off-leash time with his friends today. A few of our favorite dog parks are McAllister (north), Tom Slick (west), and Pearsall (south). Perhaps we will see you at the park one day?
Walk, or Run, Dog Friendly Trails
San Antonio contains hundreds of parks, and most of them are great for walking your dog. We visited many of them this year and have found more than 30 parks with hiking trails. Only two of these parks (Friedrich and Crownridge) on the northwest side of San Antonio are NOT pet friendly. Hiking is a fantastic activity to do with your dog. In fact, Abbey and I, quickly bonded on these trails. It turns out, hiking is our favorite activity to do together.
There are hiking trails all over the city, but most are on the north side. Some are much longer and/or more shaded than others. You can find every place to walk, bike, or run in San Antonio on our site. You’re welcome!
Our favorite dog friendly places for hiking in San Antonio are Eisenhower, Cathedral Rock, McAllister and Mud Creek. Eisenhower has some great views, Cathedral Rock has a few rocks to climb, McAllister is well-shaded, and Mud Creek has the most unmarked trails. However, there are many other parks, and reasons to visit each one.
The Spanish Missions in San Antonio Are Pet Friendly
There are five missions in San Antonio, Texas, along the San Antonio River, including the Alamo. The southernmost missions contain trails and many areas to explore. Visit these missions to see the acequias, paddle trail and learn about the history of San Antonio.
Many residents do not realize how dog friendly the missions are. You may walk your dog at the missions, but you must stay out of the churches (Alamo included), unless you have a service dog. How many of the missions has your dog visited?
Eat at 30+ Restaurants with Your Dog
Pet friendly restaurants are not easy to find in San Antonio if you disqualify fast food and bars. If I go out to eat I prefer to take my dog, but I won’t eat fast food. Many restaurants in San Antonio have an outdoor patio, but that does not always mean they allow dogs. The best thing to do is ask at the door, or call ahead. We have located many restaurants which allow dogs. However, most of them are on the north side of the city.
You can find a list of these Dog Friendly Restaurants (not bars) in San Antonio, and their locations on our site. So far our favorite happens to be 5 Points Local. This gluten-free restaurant is just north of downtown. It’s dog friendly, and delicious! Our favorite restaurant outside of town is the Dodging Duck Brewhaus in Boerne. Which pet friendly restaurants have you tried?
Train Your Dog While in Public
Training a dog is an important and ongoing process. Your dog will not always know how to behave in all situations without proper training. Humans are trained as early as childhood to behave a certain way, and perform specific tasks. Some people treat dogs similarly while others opt not to for various reasons. If your dog is not well-trained, consider dog training before visiting more dog friendly places.
Training your dog at home is great, but training in public has added benefits. Dogs are much more likely to become distracted outdoors. Training under these circumstances becomes more important. It will be more difficult, of course, but a well trained dog is obedient and attentive. Furthermore, other people will see you training your dog, which could inspire them to do the same. If you do not have the time you can hire someone to help you train your dog. Who doesn’t love a well behaved pup?
Workout with Your Dog
Dogs need daily exercise just like we do. We are built to move, but can only do so when we have the opportunity. If a dog is stuck inside everyday his health may deteriorate at a faster rate. Many dogs need 1 – 2 hours of exercise everyday.
Walking, jogging, dog agility, or playing fetch are common ways to keep a dog healthy and active. When looking for pet friendly things to do, don’t forget to workout with your dog. As a certified personal trainer, I love to find ways to keep my dog active. She loves sprinting, chasing and learning new exercises. Dog walkers and day camps are also an option, if you are unable to keep your dog active.
Sign Up for a Pet Friendly Competition
This one may not be appropriate for every dog, but some dogs might enjoy competing in an event. Many people love playing sports simply for fun, and dogs are no different. They will often run, play, or chase without any prompt, or promise of reward.
A few competitive options would be agility courses, catching discs, dock jumping, and even herding. Various San Antonio clubs hold specific AKC events throughout the year. Simply search “dog competitions in San Antonio”, and you will find several upcoming events. Furthermore, companies in San Antonio are available to help train your dog to excel in an event. Can you imagine your dog championing an agility contest?
Dog Friendly Shopping in San Antonio
Going shopping with your dog is another activity you can do together. No, I’m not suggesting you take your dog to the mall. Consider finding a new toy or treat for your pup at a nearby pet store. Most pet stores allow dogs to accompany their owners. Other stores may not, but you can always ask prior to entering the store. Abbey and I, have visited more than a few dog friendly stores in San Antonio.
Our favorite is the Southpaw Waggery on the northside of downtown. This small business is in a great spot next to Madison Square Dog Park on Lexington Avenue. They may not have everything, but they do have high quality gear, food and treats. Plus, you can get a 20% discount after accumulating enough points in their rewards program. I recently used mine on a pricey Ruffwear Singletrak Pack for Abbey, and it’s the best harness for hiking with dogs!
Phone: (210) 444-9140
Hours of operation: 11am – 7pm most days, but check their website for specifics
Which Dog Friendly Places Will You Visit in San Antonio, Texas?
As humans we are constantly looking for things to do. Abbey, is very excited when the opportunity (to do anything) is presented. San Antonio may not be as pet friendly as some other cities, but it is improving. Even some of our smaller neighbors have added more dog friendly places.
There are many different ways to keep your dog busy everyday. Dogs enjoy routines, so consider using some of these methods on a daily basis. This list is not all-inclusive, but we will be updating it as dog friendly things present themselves. Which of these things will you do with your dog in San Antonio?
I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.
We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.
Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.