The southeast Texas city of Bellaire, located just minutes from downtown Houston, enjoys easy and convenient access to the best dog-friendly experiences Houston has to offer. Their prime location also means that the area is well served by a plethora of dedicated and hardworking animal welfare and rescue groups.
The Houston SPCA is a perfect example. As Houston’s first and largest animal protection organization, it helps 50,000 companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife animals each year. Founded in 1924, its mission is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and free them from suffering, abuse, and exploitation.
A non-profit organization, The Houston SPCA investigates cases of animal abuse, neglect and cruelty, and provides spay/neuter surgeries and lifesaving medical procedures to animals in need. With a commitment to help all healthy animals find loving homes, The Houston SPCA relies on community support and generous donations to continue helping pets in need.
Friends For Life is another of Houston’s paw-some rescue groups. Its Don Sanders Adoption Center is Houston’s only no-kill, LEED-certified shelter, and an astonishing 75 percent of the animals adopted out through Friends For Life are deemed “unadoptable” at other shelters.
With a vision for a community in which no animal will be killed for want of a loving home, Friends For Life also provides free spay/neuter services to animals in low-income communities, and runs a range of other innovative programs to help owners provide the best possible care for their pets. If you’d like to volunteer, donate, or become a foster carer to help Friends For Life keep working towards its goal, offers of assistance are always welcome.
On your bark, get set, go — it’s time for Houston Humane Society’s annual K-9 Fun Run and Walk! Held at the University of Houston’s Lynn Eusan Park each April, this much-anticipated doggy dash always draws a crowd. Dog lovers of all fitness levels are invited to grab their furry friends and get together for a fun, social stroll for a paw-some cause. You can either tackle the competitive 1-mile course as a runner or jog/walk your way around if you prefer to take things easy. Once the exercise is out of the way you can let your hair down at the post-race party, which features vendor booths, food and drinks, a canine costume contest, doggy demonstrations, and so much more. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder this event has been running for almost four decades and gets better every year!
Want to have a howling good time at Halloween with your pet? This event will be right up your alley! This free community event, held in Bridgeland, promises a jam-packed day full of fun and games for pets and their people. The highlight for many is the doggy fashion show and costume contest, which sees a plethora of pooches decked out in their finest (and cutest) ensembles! But there’s plenty more to keep tails wagging all day long with live stage performances and roaming entertainment, an exciting kids’ area, pumpkin decorating, doggy demonstrations, food trucks, rescue groups, and dog diving. You’ll need all day to fit it all in, so make sure you get there early so you don’t miss a thing!
Looking for a day of dog-friendly entertainment to enjoy with your pooch? Look no further than the pet-acular Puppies For Breakfast Dog Fest, Houston’s largest dog festival! This massive pooch paw-ty is a chance for dogs and their people to play, socialize, shop, and generally have a fur-ociously good time. Event highlights include the infamous Puppies for Breakfast Dog Costume contest, food trucks serving up delicious breakfast cuisine, heaps of pet product vendors, the world’s largest dog piñata for kids to take a swing at, and a 4,500-square-foot dog play area! Admission to the festival is free, but a minimum donation of $5 is recommended.
If you want to set up a regular doggy playdate for your furry friend, this recurring Yappy Hour is paw-fect! Held on the third Wednesday of every month at Houston’s Midtown Park, in Reliant Dog Park, this dog-friendly event gives pooches and their owners the chance to play, socialize, and make some new friends. Yappy Hour features delicious doggy treats, grrr-eat giveaways and contests, and even the opportunity to indulge in a little dog yoga. It’s an ideal way for you and your furry friend to spend some quality time together, develop a stronger bond, and get out and about with other like-minded dog lovers!
Strap on your walking shoes, leash up your dog, and get ready to start strutting! Strut Your Mutt is a popular annual fundraiser for Best Friends Animal Society, allowing you to raise money for Best Friends or for one of the hundreds of participating shelters, rescue groups, and other animal welfare organizations. The Houston walk sees huge crowds of dog lovers and their canine companions get out and about to strut their stuff, and this relaxed stroll is followed by a pet-friendly festival with heaps of games, activities, and entertainment for two- and four-legged guests! It’s a woof-tastic way to raise funds for a good cause and have a whole lot of fun at the same time, so add it to your diary for the year ahead.