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Dog Parks in Houston

Where pups can play

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Shalin Patel, Jenna Patel

MEANT TO BE Shalin and Jenna Patel (pictured in 2016 with their rescue dogs Whiskey and Piper) met at the Danny Jackson Family Bark Park two weeks after Jenna moved to Houston for a new job. They are now married with two children. (Photo: Awake Photography)

Owning a dog can bring people together, and for one couple, Jenna and Shalin Patel, a chance visit to a dog park changed their lives.

On September 25, 2013, two weeks after Jenna moved to Houston from Pensacola, Fla. for her new job, she decided to take her rescue dog, a Sheltie named Piper, to Danny Jackson Family Bark Park. She knew just one person in Houston at the time, so she was in the market to make new friends. 

While at the dog park, she says she noticed Piper solely playing with the same little white dog. “I noticed her owner standing off to the side by himself,” said Jenna. “He kept shouting her name as if she were being bothersome to my dog.” Jenna and Shalin struck up a conversation over his dog’s name, Whiskey. 

Whiskey was Shalin’s first dog he ever owned. “When he [moved from India], he knew he wanted a dog and adopted Whiskey, a lab/corgi mix, from the local Houston dog rescue group, PupSquad. She was found in a box outside of Home Depot,” said Jenna. 

Jenna and Shalin stayed in touch after that chance meeting and eventually started dating and became engaged in 2016. They had engagement photos taken with Whiskey and Piper at the dog park. They are now married with two children. Piper passed away a year ago, but the couple still has Whiskey, who is 10 now. They continue to take Whiskey to Danny Jackson or their second favorite, Congressman Bill Archer Dog Park.

In honor of our many Buzz readers who love their dogs, we decided to make a list of favorite local dog parks, especially in time for those dog days of summer.

Houston Dog Parks 

Houston is home to many great dog parks where you and your furry companion can enjoy the outdoors and socialize with other dogs and their owners. Always be a responsible dog owner and remember the Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s leash law. Dogs are not allowed, even with a leash, in children’s play areas, or on organized athletic fields.

Congressman Bill Archer Dog Park

3201 Hwy 6 North

Open daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

This 17-acre park, located north of I-10, has split sides for large dogs and small dogs. There is a pond for dogs to swim, agility courses, walking trails, a gazebo that provides shade for owners, plenty of parking, and a dog-washing station to clean off your pooch before heading home. 

Tanglewood Bark Park

5801 Woodway Dr.

Open daily, 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. 

Tanglewood Bark Park is in the Tanglewood area, and in addition to a dog park, Tanglewood Park offers tennis courts, a playground, and sports fields. It has a fenced green space with a gazebo, and benches to sit. Small and large dogs play together at this park. 

Johnny Steele Dog Park

2929 Allen Pkwy.

Open daily, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. 

Buffalo Bayou has a dog park with a lot of great features including a large, off-leash area for dogs to run and play, separate areas for small dogs and large dogs, a water fountain, and several benches for owners to relax and watch their canines play.

Danny Jackson Family Bark Park

4828 ½ Loop Central Dr.

Open daily, 5 a.m.-10 p.m. 

This dog park is in the southwest part of Houston and features a large area with a pond for dogs to swim in. There are also separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. The park has several shaded areas and a dog washing station for after a swim. No children under age 12 are allowed. 

Millie Bush Dog Park

16101 Westheimer Pkwy.

Open daily 7 a.m.-7 p.m. 

This dog park is in the northwest part of Houston and features a large area with several obstacles for dogs to play on. There are separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. The park has a walking trail and a dog shower.

Maxey Park Bark and Run Dog Park

601 Maxey Rd.

Open daily, dawn to dusk. 

This 13-acre park features a dog park with a pond for dogs to swim in and a dog run area. There are separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. The park has several shaded areas and benches for owners, plus a dog shower. 

Levy Park Dog Park

3801 Eastside St.

Open 24 hours 

Levy Park is in the Upper Kirby area and features a small, off-leash area for dogs with a large dog side and a small dog side. There are shaded areas and a playground, splash pad, family-friendly activities, and benches to relax on.

Ervan Chew Dog Park 

4502 Dunlavy St.

Open daily, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

In 1994, Ervan Chew became the first neighborhood park in Houston to allow dogs to legally run off-leash in a designated dog area. It is a small pocket park with a dedicated space that serves residents as a dog park, with an adjacent picnic area too. 

Discovery Green Dog Run

1500 McKinney St.

Open daily, 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

Discovery Green is a fun downtown spot for the whole family. The dog portion of the park features the Kinder Large Dog Run and the Harriet and Joe Foster Small Dog Run. The areas around the dog park have crushed gravel, fountains, and of bench seating. Dogs must remain with their owners and leashed outside of the dog runs.

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