The Dog Friendly Guide to SXSW

happy_dogSXSW is right around the corner, and many Austinites are very excited!  For those who are passionate about Austin’s biggest music, film and interactive event, and also passionate about their four-legged BFFs, we’ve found some ways to incorporate both into the fun.  Always check if any venues or bars you will be going to are dog friendly before bringing your dog along; many are.  We’ve searched around town to locate some great options.  See the results of our investigation below!


Dog Friendly Venues Around Austin

  • El Mercado
    • You can’t beat yummy Tex-Mex food and live tunes with friends and your four-legged friend.  Tuesdays are especially dog friendly.  They have a Yappy Hour where your pet can choose from a healthy dog menu.
  • Spider House Cafe & Ballroom
    • This eclectic environment is enjoyable for both humans and canines alike.  With good food and live performances, a great time can be had by all!  Make sure to bring your camera along, as there are infinite opportunities for beautiful photos.
  • The Dog and Duck Pub
    • Have a thing for trying new beers, especially of the local variety?  This dog friendly site has a fun atmosphere, including a retro jukebox and games galore.  And you can’t complain about the free Wi-Fi.
  • Thunderbird Coffee House
    • This locally owned fair-trade coffee house is a delicious option for any SXSW event go-er.  With some caffeine to keep the momentum going, snacks and a light selection menu, this dog friendly restaurant is a must.
  • Butterfly Bar
    • Live bands and a rustic vibe, Butterfly Bar is dog friendly and highly recommended.  With Tuesday trivia, swing bands, drum jams, and an expansive patio, this place will not disappoint.  Just know that they do have a “house kitty” and like most dog friendly places, they require all pups to be left on leash and picked up after.
  • Crown & Anchor Pub
    • Located downtown, this pub is dog-friendly (on the patio), and they will gladly provide doggy water bowls, and treats!  This pub has an expansive beer selection: 30 beers on tap and 100 beers in can or bottle.  With this many options, you are sure to find the perfect beverage.

You may have seen that this year SXSW will be holding three nights of FREE outdoor shows at the Outdoor Stage at Butler Park (1000 W Riverside Drive) while Auditorium Shores undergoes renovations.  However, please be aware that pets are unfortunately not allowed.

Dog Outing Essentials

There are a few things to remember when bringing your dog to a new place, such as what to bring, what to expect and how to identify when enough is enough.

When going on any adventure with your dog, especially to new exciting places, it is important to pack the essentials.  Stock your travel bag with water, delicious treats, poop bags, and a toy or chew.  Please also keep on hand reasonable expectations of your lovable, furry friend.  Always remember that new things can be a little scary, especially if it is a loud venue with a lot of new people, sights, sounds, and smells.  It’s a good idea to have a flexible plan when with your pets, especially if it is your first outing to a place like the ones discussed.  Be open-minded to the fact that this adventure may not be what is best for your dog, and be prepared to retreat when needed!

How do you tell if your dog is uncomfortable?  First, use your gut instinct.  Does your pet appear down or uncomfortable?  Is he or she panting rapidly, not making eye contact, whining, pacing, or tensing his or her muscles?  These signs could indicate that your dog is uncomfortable.  Try taking them on a short walk away from the venue, or take a time-out and relax away from the fun for a few minutes.  It can be a lot to take in.  It’s good to know when enough is enough, but hopefully your dog will enjoy the company and the fun.  Have a great time!  Feel free to contact us at Bed and Biscuit Austin for help determining if public outings are a good idea for your pet, and advice on how you can prepare.


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