Austin, Texas is quickly becoming known as “Dogtown, USA”, as so many public spaces welcome these four-legged friends. In fact, more than half of Austin households include pets, and dogs and cats are so beloved here that it is “the largest No Kill community in the nation.” Austin residents adopt pets by the thousands, and the Austin Animal Center reports that roughly 3,000 cats and 4,500 dogs were adopted via their facility in 2018. When you consider the growing “hipster” vibe in Austin, Texas, it’s no surprise that these folks are pet lovers - or that they want the freedom to bring their dogs with them to coffee shops, book stores, and parks whenever they can!
Austin is known for its modern innovation. “Hipsters” are often young, educated, innovative professionals, and while they enjoy the arts and festivals - like Austin City Limits - they also enjoy professional and technological growth. This all comes together in the annual South by Southwest event, taking place in Austin. The fun-loving, artsy side of the city attracts tourists, while the emphasis on education and innovation makes the city a hub for high-tech businesses—both factors driving Austin’s thriving economy.
When you consider that Austin’s unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird", it's not likely all that shocking that many of its residents have shown a growing interest in exotic pets. You can even find educational events and children's birthday parties involving reptiles, sugar gliders, and more.
But because Austin is such a “Dogtown", canines tend to have the run of the place. As a dog owner in Austin, you might want to think about such ordinances as:
- Prohibition of “chaining,” or leaving a dog unattended on a tether
- Leash and leash-control requirements
- Health and wellness regulations related to pet sales
- Certain microchipping requirements
You can find more details about pet ownership laws from the Austin Animal Center. It is important to note that the State of Texas requires that all dogs and cats receive a rabies vaccine starting at 4 months of age.
There are so many dog-friendly options for outings in Austin. Dog parks are popular, of course, but, you can find “doga” (dog yoga), farmers markets, restaurants, and even clothing boutiques where pups are welcome.
Ready to adopt a pet in Austin? If your home could benefit from the companionship of a new kitten, a purebred dog, or anything in between, your new furry friend could be waiting for you at:
Austin Animal Center
The Austin Humane Society
Austin Pets Alive
Austin Dog Rescue
PAWS of Austin
Purrfect Pals Rescue
Pawsitive Karma Rescue
To enjoy the many local dog parks, think about whether you’re looking for on or off-leash, swimming, natural resources, or even cocktail and refreshment options for people. Visit websites like Austin Local to find just the right fit for you. Don’t forget that:
- Even off-leash dogs must be kept in sight and under control
- Rabies vaccines are mandatory
- Poop must be scooped
- Aggression is not permitted
Get more dog park requirement details here.
You can find a lot of pet-friendly celebratory and charitable events around town all year long. Keep an eye on calendars like this one to help you plan! For instance, you might want to celebrate the fall with doggie costume contests, parades, and flyball demos at the P & F Pet-Toberfest.
As the capital of Texas, Austin is home to nearly 1 million residents as of a 2016 population estimate. Austin is largely home to folks on both ends of the employment spectrum: many of its residents are highly-educated recent college graduates or recent retirees. This city is currently growing, but construction is relatively slow and unable to keep up with the demand for new housing. This is a significant factor in the potential for growth to slow sharply.
For more information about the city of Austin, visit:
Austin Animal Center
Austin City Council
Austin Chamber of Commerce
Austin History Center