Garden Oaks is in the northwest suburbs of Houston. The land upon which Garden Oaks, or Oak Forest, was built became part of the city of Houston in the 1940s. Development was begun by the Oak Forest Realty Corporation whose name the neighborhood took. Most of the homes that were initially built in this area were sold to veterans for affordable prices.
This is a large, residential neighborhood with a well-planned street system. Businesses are clustered on the streets surrounding West 34th Street. There are several restaurants along here that have outdoor seating that you can enjoy with your dog, including Doyle's Restaurant which offers covered outdoor seating and delicious Italian American cuisine. The TC Jester Dog Park is on the west border of Garden Oaks and is a great large area for your dog to run around with their friends, but make sure you bring water as dog fountains are not provided!
Homes in Garden Oaks are well spread out on large lots. Houses tend to be on the large side, with most homes set back from the road behind wide grassy lawns. As long as you stick to the roads where the front yards open out onto, you will enjoy walking your dog on a loose leash along mostly flat terrain with a few bumps here and there. There are typically no sidewalks but the roads are not heavy with traffic.
For something different than the repetitive neighborhood streets, you can head towards the west side of Garden Oaks to TC Jester Park. This is a narrow park that extends north to Watonga Parkway Park and onwards for miles following the Little Whiteoak Bayou. The river is walled on either side and does not provide natural views, but this is still a lovely park to visit with your pup at your side.
There are a couple of regional parks in this area like Candlelight Park and Community Center where your dog can stretch their legs on the grassy field, but for the most extensive natural exploration in this area, head west to the park area that surrounds the canal. The canal is surrounded by acres of grass on either side while the White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail extends along the canal for many miles going both directions. You can follow the trail south under Highway 610 and to Little Thicket Park which is a small but mature forest that is perfect for a hike on a hot day.
If you and your dog have a long bike ride in you, you can follow the trail all the way to Stude and Woodland Parks which offer lots of pleasant forested areas. This also extends up to Moody Park and Little Whiteoak Bayou which has a natural shoreline that your dog will love.