The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a welcoming place for dog-lovers and their four-footed companions, from encouraging participation together in many activities throughout the year to allowing dogs at a variety of open-air cafes and events, to providing special places for dogs, large and small, to exercise and become socialized.
“Bark Parks” are popular – there are now four parks in Dallas, while Fort Worth claims the nation’s top-rated park, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. They provide protected play and exercise space for the pooches and are very attractive additions to their neighborhoods as well.
Popular with Pets and People
The first city-owned off-leash dog park in Dallas, on East Mockingbird Lane near White Rock Lake, is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is a popular destination, as are the adjacent walking paths and bike trails around the lake itself. After a safe workout at the dog park, many a Dallas dog will accompany an owner on a jog or a sprint on-leash through the larger White Rock recreation complex.
Dallas maintains parks in various areas, ranging in size from the 21-acre Dallas North Bark Park on Gramercy Oaks to a pocket-sized canine play space in Deep Ellum, in the shadow of Central Expressway, with a view of the downtown skyline. Each has a unique flavor: Deep Ellum’s 1.2 acres of fenced space feature doggie showers and shaded benches among colorful graffiti-style art on freeway support columns; Gramercy Oaks has a variety of native plantings and a pavilion in addition to a paved loop trail.
Visit All: Find a Favorite
The Wagging Tail Dog Bark on Keller Springs Lane in north Dallas is a jewel of a park, pretty enough to be a destination for those who do not have canine friends, with emerald grass, meandering paths, convenient benches and picnic tables, plenty of parking, and manicured grounds with native plants and flowering shrubs. Dog-shaped cutouts line the fences surrounding two separate areas, one for large dogs and another for under-30-pound breeds.
Another attraction in Dallas is Main Street Garden, encompassing a full city block in the heart of the city. Nestled in view of Old City Hall, the park boasts an Urban Dog Run and a Tot Lot in addition to a green lawn, water fountains, a main stage, and garden shelters featuring a digital art display.
Fort Worth dogs have an award-winner at Fort Woof, located in Gateway Park near Interstate 30 east of downtown. Its “Barktoberfest” celebration, part silliness and part fundraiser, features the selection of a canine “mayor” and was a major source of funding for the establishment of the city’s planned second park.
Metroplex Goes to the Dogs
Many other Metroplex municipalities also offer roaming, running and play space for their four-footed residents. Facilities and hours vary.
Most area communities enforce leash laws, and while dogs are welcome in many public places, the fenced dog parks in Dallas and nearby communities offer a welcome opportunity for dogs to run and interact with others, both four-footed and human. Events, including pet parades and contests, are also popular in conjunction with holidays and special celebrations all around the D-FW area.
And, even though it’s a bit of a stretch of the imagination, if all you would like to do is “watch the dogs,” you might still find prairie dogs in Fort Worth while walking your dog on a leash. It would be an experience in a class of its own.