First impressions of three ‘dog-friendly’ restaurants in Dallas

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With World Animal Day taking place on Oct. 4, it is necessary to celebrate man’s best friend in the most suitable way possible: food.

In Dallas, several pet-friendly restaurants are available to cater to your furry companion’s needs. Some offer complimentary water bowls and treats while others have dishes that can be tailored to suit dogs needs.

The following is a review of three dog-friendly restaurants Mutts Canine Cantina, High Fives and Katy Trail Ice House. Impressions will be based on the criteria of having pet-accepting atmosphere, accommodation for dogs and the availability of food and water.

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Mutts Canine Cantina

1. Mutts Canine Cantina, 2889 Cityplace West Blvd

Located at the corner of Cityplace West and Oak Grove Avenue, Mutts Canine Cantina features “an off-leash dog park for Mutts Members, and a dog-friendly outdoor restaurant and beer garden open to the public,” according to its website.

There are a few restrictions for pooches at the restaurant, however.

Dogs are required to be on a leash at all times in the restaurant and beer garden area. Also, in order to use the park, dogs must be members of Mutts, over four months, spayed or neutered, well behaved, current on vaccinations and off-leash trained.

Atmosphere: Mutts Cantina, a subsidiary of The Rustic, gives off a similar vibe. The fun, trendy restaurant features rustic elements with hanging lights, bright colors and unique outdoor decor. The majority of visitors are mid-20s-to-30s and are outgoing and bond over their love for dogs.

Accommodation: Mutt’s is super accommodating. Despite the leash restriction in the actual dining area, there is a lot of space to play and socialize. Also, there are three separate wings for small, medium and large-sized dogs to reduce aggression between dogs of different size or scaring others.

Food/Water: Mutts Cantina’s menu offers two options under the “WOOF” section. With a Doggie Dog, bite-sized 100 percent beef frank ($3.95), and Doggie Dessert, vanilla custard with peanut butter ($3.95), Mutts gives owners sweet or savory options to treat their pets. Multiple water bowls are available at all times.

Rating: 9/10 – Mutts Cantina is the quintessential dog-friendly restaurant around. Employees love having dogs around and owners seem to love bringing their dogs there with friends for both parties to socialize. The only downside is that the entire restaurant and park is outdoors, so when it rains, it’ll definitely pour.

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High Fives

2. High Fives, 1804 McMillan Ave

Located within the Knox-Henderson district, High Fives is a quirky restaurant and bar that serves Americana sandwiches, shared boards and snacks. The restaurant also has a “fun-lovin'” beverage program featuring local craft on draft to cocktails.

An roofed outdoor patio complete with a bar, games and tables welcome dogs. Inside, the full bar, booths and dining tables are lined with punny trinkets and paintings of hands “high-fiving” and chalkboard art featuring the menu.

Atmosphere: High Fives is definitely a cool low-key spot. Most customers are mid 20s to early 40s that enjoy craft beer and gourmet sandwiches. Outside, High Five employees and customers tolerate dogs sitting at the table, but there is not enough space for them to roam. Leashes are also required.

Accommodation: High Fives employees seem comfortable and happy to have a pooch on deck. While there wasn’t enough room for them to roam, the leashed dogs could be outside and walk around the Knox-Henderson area pretty freely without critique. However, there is no wiggle room for letting the dogs in the restaurant.

Food/Water: Dogs were immediately given cute water bowls to drink from as their owners were seated. There are no dog-friendly food options available, but some sandwich options are able to be tweaked for dogs to snack on.

Rating: 7/10 – High Fives is a great little spot for a happy hour or dinner. If you happen to be in the area with your dog, they’ll be happy to serve you. However, this spot is definitely not worth a trip if you want your dogs to be active and socializing.

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Katy Trail Ice House Photo credit: Katy Trail Ice House Facebook

3. Katy Trail Ice House, 3127 Routh St.

Right on the walkway, Katy Trail Ice House is an Austin-styled beer garden and restaurant in an indoor and outdoor setting. Awarded the Best Patio in Dallas by D Magazine in 2013, Katy Trail Ice House offers a vast space complete with picnic tables, lights and televisions to keep customers entertained in either area.

Atmosphere: Katy Trail Ice House is always busy, but it’s always a fun time. Because of its convenient location and famous happy hours, it can be packed with customers, possibly making dogs anxious. Employees and customers welcome dogs with open arms, socializing and greeting each others’ pets. The restaurant is adult-driven, with all customers being over 21 ranging all the way into their 60s.

Accommodation: Dogs are everywhere at Katy Trail Ice House. While they’re not allowed inside, the huge patio space allows for leashed dogs to enjoy themselves. Moreover, the Katy Trail is right outside the restaurant, so at any time they need to leave, move around or calm down, it won’t be a hassle.

Food/Water: Since Katy Trail Ice House is right on the trail, it’s a given the restaurant would accommodate all the dogs after a run. Water bowls and hoses are available outside but there are no food items on the menu appropriate for pets.

Rating: 8/10 – Katy Trail Ice House has the most convenient location but it comes at a price. The overflow of people during happy hours and weekends can make stress out dogs and having a high volume of excited pooches could lead to less-than-ideal situations. Overall, the restaurant is a great pit stop if you’re on a run or a place to meet your friends that are pet parents as well.

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