Written by: Chelsea Evans. Originally published on Gals Best Friend.
Who knew that such a dog-friendly city was right under our noses?!! In general, Dallas/Fort-Worth is pretty dog-friendly (thank goodness), but Plano is a certified Better City For Pets, within driving distance for many Texans, a short plane ride away for many Americans, and is SUCH a fun destination for you and your fur baby! My family and I recently went on a weekend getaway to explore Plano and all it has to offer puppy baby mamas like YOU!
Something that stood out to us when we searched for “nearby dog-friendly destinations”, was that Plano is one of only twenty-five Better Cities For Pets in the NATION! How amazing is that?! To briefly describe how cool this is, Better Cities for Pets is a program that includes 12 key traits for pet-friendly cities. Things like local organizations working to end pet homelessness, ample pet-friendly housing, pet amenities like free poop bags, and dog-friendly shops and restaurants to make life on-the-go with dogs SO much easier! For a city to be on this list, they have to be SUPER pet-friendly. Hence why Plano is 1 of 25 cities on that list.
Another thing that stood out to us was the super long list of pet-friendly hotels in Plano! We had sooo many to choose from (31 to be exact)! For a full list of pet-friendly hotels in Plano, click here! We decided to stay at The Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park on the West side of Plano due to its easy access from Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway. When we arrived, we were greeted with treats for Abbie and Gunner and a toy selection for Liam and Eli! How amazing is that?!! I was hooked from the get-go!
We received text messages from the staff making sure our stay was top-notch. Anything we needed, they were happy to oblige. We had one very minor set back and they took care of one of our buffet breakfasts because of it (which totally wasn’t necessary!) We decided to stay an extra night because we weren’t ready to go back to real life. Both nights we stayed at the hotel, we had fireworks shows right outside our window! I have no idea what they were for, but they made our stay that much more special! We ended our stay with a beautiful breakfast on their dog-friendly patio. They brought water out for Abbie and Gunner and made sure they were comfortable. And they thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the birds while we ate! It was a win-win for both humans and dogs.
Plano has so many dog-friendly events going on! Check out our events page for a list of (current) events for 2019! We were lucky enough to attend the 5th Annual Barks & Brews (pup crawl) where the proceeds benefited The Second Chance SPCA of North Texas. The event was so much fun! It was fun meeting other dog owners and sharing a commonality of wanting to help dogs in need. It was pretty hot that day so not many dogs were there. There were a few adoptable dogs for a bit, but the heat got the best of them. The pup crawl happened near downtown, on 14th and 15th, and ended a couple blocks away at Hub Streat. Hub Streat was my favorite place because they are dog AND family friendly. There was tons of shade, big fans, lots of TV’s, and amaaaazing food! The dogs loved being able to hang out with us and meet new furiends!
It’s no wonder that more and more people are traveling with their dogs to Plano! It truly is the perfect getaway for you and your pup! By the end of the summer, Plano will have three dog parks! We hit up Jack Carter dog park and was thoroughly impressed by the state it was in! The grass is full and bright green, the walking trail was partially covered by shaded trees, and there was ample space for the dogs to run around without feeling overwhelmed by so many other dogs! Plano actually has over 4,300 acres of greenspace with beautiful parks, outdoor walkable entertainment areas, and so much to offer our fur babies! Plano can make your pet-friendly travel dreams come true just like they did for ours! This great city has even been featured in Forbes for being so dog-friendly!
I still want to mention a couple places we went to that didn’t allow dogs because they were so fun! We mistakenly took the dogs on The Boardwalk at Granite Park, which was next to our hotel. It called for great photo ops until we noticed a “No Pets Allowed” sign. WHOOPS! Nobody said anything to us though because we were responsible pet owners. This would be the perfect place to hangout while the dogs recover from playing at the dog park! We also went to dinner at The Lazy Dog which was really delicious!! I had to go here because anything that has the word DOG in it is a must! Haha. It didn’t disappoint. They had cute paintings and sculptures of dogs throughout the restaurant.
I loved exploring Plano and seeing so many dogs out and about with their owners. The Shops at Legacy is pup friendly and they have lots of great stores to shop (that allow you to bring your dog inside)! Bishop Park is just South of The Shops and is a beautiful place to sit and rest for awhile. There’s a beautiful water feature and lots of shade! If your pup doesn’t like to shop ‘til he drops, maybe downtown Plano is a better choice! There are lots of trees that call for shaded window shopping and Haggard Park is right near here! So, if your pup needs a break from the pavement, just take a quick stroll over the train tracks and into a field of greenery! Then get back at it when Fido is ready!
I love seeing so many dog-friendly events on Plano’s calendar. There’s a couple events this weekend, actually! On September 7th, from 10:00 – 11:30 am, Paws on the Plaza is taking place at McCall Plaza. This area is really shaded but be sure your pup stays hydrated! At Paws on the Plaza, you’ll get loose leash training from experts at Camp Bow Wow Plano, grooming tips, a fun obstacle course, and more! And this Sunday, my FAVORITE event of the year is happening!!! K9 Kerplunk Dog Swim at the Oak Point Recreation Center!! From 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, your pup can play in their outdoor pool alongside lots of other furiends! Y’all, this is SUCH a fun event for your pup and the PERFECT opportunity for instagram-worthy pictures!
When you book your stay in Plano, be sure to also check out K9 Cinemas where they have dog-friendly movies every Friday and Saturday night, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve or Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve (dogs must be kept on leash and be picked up after), and Downtown Plano Arts District has some cool photo ops! Wherever you go, be sure to search for the #LovePlano heart display and snap a photo! We searched everywhere and couldn’t find it! That means we’ll just have to venture back here soon for another getaway!
Here are some tips and tricks for enjoying dog-friendly Plano:
Dogs must be kept on a leash or in a secure carry-bag
Don’t leave your dog unattended… you wouldn’t want to sit alone either!
Always wash your hands before eating.
Pick up after your dog.
Please keep dogs off tables and chairs.
Dogs may not be given any food while in the outdoor patio areas, but they may be given water in a disposable container.
Always check the hotel’s pet policy before booking your reservations.
So, out of all of this, do you realize how pet-friendly Plano, Texas is?! MAJORLY PET-FRIENDLY!!
59% of Plano hotels are pet-friendly
90+ of Plano restaurant patios are pet-friendly
Plano has 4,000+ acres of parks
Plano offers countless pet-friendly events throughout the year
Click here to see more upcoming dog-friendly events happening in Plano! We hope to see you there!
Photo credits: Chelsea Evans, Gals Best Friend