Arguably, the best feature of our fair city is the beautiful, green jewel tucked between the Colorado River and Barton Creek. Zilker Metropolitan Park is the place to enjoy the skyline, gather with friends, and take advantage of nature’s splendor. While most pets who accompany their outdoorsy owners are well-behaved, their presence in this shared, public space begs the questions: what are the rules about dogs, and how can you plan a successful trip with your fur friend?
It’s critical that, before you take your dog to a public place like Zilker Park, he or she has the following covered:
- All current vaccinations (state law mandates the requirement of rabies vaccination)
- A solid grasp on obedience
- Tolerance of crowds, noise, and action
- Parasite prevention (mosquitoes, anyone?)
- Collar with ID tags
- Spayed or neutered (if not, the city stipulates that dogs in heat are not allowed in a public place)
Of course, you’ll need to have your dog’s leash, snacks, and toys. Because it’s likely to be hot and muggy, be sure that you have plenty of water to hydrate your parched pup.
Last but not least? Please do not forget extra waste baggies. It is mandatory to clean up after your pet and properly dispose of the waste.
Rules About Dogs
There is an off-leash area for Rover to run amuck with new buddies, but it is not fenced. Before you set your pup free, it is essential that your dog is under voice command the entire time you’re there and demonstrates a full grasp on basic commands. Aggressive dogs must be removed from the park for everyone’s safety.
Check out this map for off-leash dog parks open between 5am and 10pm. If you are not in these specified areas, you could be fined if your dog isn’t on a 6-foot leash.
Blues on the Green
The best event at our favorite park is, of course, Blues on the Green. If you decide to bring your dog to this musical summer tradition, you won’t be the only one. In fact, scores of dogs are seen throughout the park. Again, only do so if your dog can handle something like this, but even the most mellow dog can get into trouble.
Be careful of discarded food, narcotics, alcohol, and other threats to your pet’s health and safety.
All’s Fair During an Austin Summer
Depending on who you talk to (and what you see in Zilker park), rules about dogs extend to other areas within the park. Barton Springs Pool, for example, is technically a pet-free zone, but who hasn’t seen pups splashing about downstream? Alternatively, the Zilker Botanical Garden does welcome dogs who are leashed, but you might want to avoid the cactus section!
If you ever have any questions regarding rules about dogs in public spaces like Zilker Park, we’re always happy to talk with you. Ready to leash up? Let’s go!