If there’s one big city in Texas that has “the look” that many out of state visitors expect to see, it’s probably Fort Worth. This city that calls itself “the place where the West begins” is home to the Fort Worth Stockyards, a National Historic District that’s still home to cowboys on horseback, as well as dog-friendly historic hotels, western shopping, and an all-around good time.
Dog-Friendly Fort Worth Attractions and Activities
Bark Park. Located in the suburb of Bedford, this new dog park in Meadow Park features grassy areas for off-leash fun for both large and small dogs. The park includes a water fountain for people and pets. Info: 3200 Meadowpark, Bedford; www.bedfordtx.gov. Free.
Fort Woof. Located within Gateway Park, this popular off-leash park is one that we just love for its well-maintained appearance, large, grassy areas, and friendly atmosphere. The park is open 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily and is lighted. The park is very well groomed and includes a large parking lot, plenty of room for both large and small dogs to run, and quite a bit of agility equipment, especially in the small dog section. Info: Gateway Park Dr. at Beach St.; fortwoof.org. Free.
Fort Worth Stockyards. You and your dog have to mosey over to Fort Worth’s Stockyards Historic District, an area that’s surprisingly dog-friendly. Twice a day, at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., you can experience the Fort Worth Herd, the world’s only daily cattle drive. Cowboys drive the cattle along the streets of the Stockyards, a must-see event if you feel your dog won’t be frightened by the sight of Longhorn cattle coming down the street. Any time you visit, expect to see plenty of people in Western gear. You can also rent a GPS guided tour; the tours will take you by the Cattlemen’s catwalk for a view of the cattle pens, the Cowtown Coliseum that’s home to the world’s first indoor rodeo, Mule Alley which was once called the world’s finest stables, and Billy Bob’s Texas, still holding the record as the world’s biggest honky tonk. You’ll find parking across from Cowtown Coliseum in Mule Alley, on the east end of Exchange Avenue at Stockyards Station, and one block north of Cowtown Coliseum at Billy Bob’s Texas. Info: www.stockyardsstation.com. Free.
Jersey Lilly Photo Parlor. Want a photo of you and your dog as cowboys? Saloon girls? Gunfighters or gamblers? Here’s your chance; this photo studio at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame welcomes people and pets. You’ll have your choice of costumes and can pose on a historic stagecoach for an antique sepia-toned portrait. During peak travel times, a reservation for your portrait session is recommended at this studio located in the Stockyards. Info: 128 East Exchange, Historic Barn A; www.texascowboyhalloffame.org.
Villages of Bear Creek Park. Part of a 40-acre city park with picnic areas and walking trails, a three-acre dog park offers off-leash fun. A small dog section for pooches under 40 pounds and a large dog section are both behind double gates for safety. Open sunrise to sunset, the park is closed on Thursday for maintenance. Info: 1951 Bear Creek Parkway, Euless; www.eulesstx.gov. Free.
Dog-Friendly Fort Worth Restaurants
These restaurants invite you and your dog to enjoy patio dining; be sure to check directly with the restaurant before making plans, though, as policies do change.
Fort Worth Food Park. Fido-loving foodies who enjoy taking gastronomic journeys can park themselves at a picnic table and taste flavors from all four corners of the world at this venue. Peppered among the roster of regulars are rotating food trucks, which add spice to each visit. Open Thursday through Sunday. Info: 2509 Weisenberger St.; www.fwfoodpark.com.
Lili’s Bistro. Umbrellas shade the tables that line the entrance to this eatery, where patrons with pups can sit and watch the world go by as they sip one of the house wines. Info: 1310 Magnolia Avenue; lilisbistro.com.
Love Shack. Chef Tim Love welcomes four-legged diners on the patio of this Stockyards area eatery that’s right in the middle of the action. The night we visited, it was a bit loud for dogs but at quieter times you’ll find popular options like Amore Caliente, a burger with poblano chile, guacamole, pepperjack cheese and lettuce, all on a flour tortilla. Info: 110 E. Exchange Avenue; www.loveburgershack.com.
Riscky’s Barbecue. Don’t make the same mistake we did and, with dog leash in hand, head to Riscky’s Steakhouse, also in the Stockyards. The Steakhouse isn’t dog-friendly but the big, shaded patio at Riscky’s Barbecue, just down the street in Stockyards Station is. You’ll find all the must-have barbecue fare including chopped beef sandwiches, beef brisket, and spare ribs. You’ll even find a unique item: BBQ Bologna, thick slices of bologna rubbed with “Riscky’s Dust” rub then smoked and served on a bun. Info: 140 E. Exchange Ave.; www.risckys.com.
Spiral Diner and Bakery. A heaping helping of compassion is served with every order at this vegan venue, which sells tasty treats for two-legged customers. A wallet-friendly spot which also offers sustenance for the soul, a portion of the proceeds are donated to animal, human and environmental organizations. The eatery (which also has a Dallas location) includes an outdoor dining area for you and your dog. Info: 1314 W. Magnolia Ave.; (www.spiraldiner.com.
Dog-Friendly Fort Worth Hotels
You’ll find all the major budget chains that are pet-friendly represented in Fort Worth but here’s a look at several unique properties that welcome canines to Cowtown. As with restaurants, check directly with the hotel to get the latest pet policy details.
The Ashton Hotel. At the hub of all that’s happening in Forth Worth, this historic downtown venue welcomes dogs under 50 pounds at no charge, but make sure that your tail-wagging chum is tidy during your stay, as there is a $150 charge if a mess is found after you check out. Info: 610 Main St.; www.theashtonhotel.com.
Omni Fort Worth. Fort Worth will literally be at Fido’s feet when you check in to one of the 614 guest rooms or suites at this towering downtown hotel, which allows up to two dogs under 25 pounds for a $50 non-refundable cleaning fee per stay. Info: 1300 Houston St.; (817) 535-6664; www.omnihotels.com.
Stockyards Hotel. A Lone Star institution since 1907, you and your canine (or cat!) companion can follow in the footsteps of such famous figures as Chuck Norris, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Jim Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, and even notorious bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde by making this historic hotel home base during a visit to Fort Worth. For a $50 cleaning fee, there is no limit on the number or size of dogs per room. Info: 109 East Exchange Ave.; www.stockyardshotel.com.
For More Information
- Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau; www.fortworth.com