Welcome to the Heart of Texas Dog Park!

HOT Dog Park is the largest and best off-leash dog park in Waco, Texas!
Local friends and out-of-town doggies are welcome.

We’re located at 4900 Steinbeck Bend Dr, Waco, TX 76708, beside the Texas Animal Medical Center.
TAMC permits the use of their driveway; however, the park is not affiliated with TAMC.

HOT Dog Park is a volunteer-run, user-funded park on private property. We depend on donations and lots of help from park users to keep the gates open. Please donate and volunteer! All help is appreciated.

Before your first visit to the park, please get familiar with the park rules [link to rules page], the most important of which are:

  • No children under 16.

  • No dogs under 6 months old.

  • No unfixed dogs, unless you can provide a veterinary exemption for breeding or health reasons. (Waco Animal Services Regulations)

  • No food, dog treats, drinks (besides water), or smoking on the property.

  • Dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior toward dogs or people must be removed from the park. [link to Behavior and Emergencies page]

  • Injuries, accidents, and emergencies must be documented and reported. [link to Behavior and Emergencies page]

These rules are for everyone’s safety! You might be willing to take a chance, but please don’t put other dogs and people at risk.



HOT Dog Park Rules

The park rules and standards are put in place by the owner, operators, and our insurance company. They are in place to protect you, your dog, and other park users.Please read Outward Hound's post about dog park etiquette.

  • The park is open from dawn to dusk.

  • Owners must closely supervise pets.

  • Dogs must be leashed entering or leaving the park.

  • Owners are liable for injury or damage caused by their dogs or themselves.

  • Owners use the park at their own risk.

  • All dogs must have current vaccinations and licenses.

  • Your pet must be FREE of disease or parasites.

  • No aggressive dogs.

  • No dog treats.

  • No food.

  • No unfixed dogs (male or female).

  • No alcohol.

  • No glass.

  • No drugs.

  • No camping.

  • No children under the age of 16 years.

  • Dog handlers must be at least 16 years of age.

  • No puppies under 6 months old.

About the HOT Dog Park

HOT Dog Park was built in 2011 by Dr. LuAnn Ervin, the veterinarian who founded and ran the Texas Animal Medical Clinic. Dr. Ervin operated and maintained the park herself until she retired from veterinary practice in late 2019 and moved to College Station. Since then, she has generously allowed the Waco-area community and our out-of-town guests to continue using the property, which she still owns.

The dog park is now operated by a Texas non-profit corporation, HOT Dog Park Organization. The Board of Directors sees to it that the grass is mowed, bills are paid, and other park needs are met. There are no paid employees – each person who is working to keep the gates open is a volunteer. We get no city or county financial or operational support – we depend on donations and volunteers to keep the gates open.

Behavior and Emergencies

Dog Aggression

Aggression in dogs comes more often from fear or protectiveness than from anger or attempts to dominate.Altercations happen, but they’re preventable. Attempting to separate dogs who are fighting is a good way for people to get injured, so please stop the problem before it starts, for everyone’s safety.You are invited to use the dog park as long as your dog is not a danger to other dogs and people. But the park is private property, and we reserve the right to revoke that invitation.Remember also that it’s clearly posted that you’re using the park at your own risk and therefore at your dog’s risk, too.Be safe, not sorry.

Please follow these guidelines to avoid fights and prevent injuries:

  • Stay near your dog and pay attention to what they’re doing. Don’t spend your park visit on the phone. Your dog friend wants to have fun with you, too.

  • Don’t let your dog play with a dog whose owner isn’t nearby or isn’t paying attention.

  • Don’t let your dog hang out near the front gate or run up to dogs entering the park. Dogs are more likely to be fearful and reactive when they’re first coming into the park.

  • For the same reason, take your dog off the leash as soon as you enter the park, and don’t put it back on the leash until you leave. A leashed dog amid unleashed dogs is vulnerable. When leaving the park, please leash your dog, especially if it is being uncooperative.

  • Leave the park or go to the other side of the park if your dog has a scary experience with another dog. Your dog may become more reactive after a confrontation.

  • Avoid situations (like when people have violated the rules) that put your dog and you at risk.

  • Break up situations in which two or more dogs are ganging up on a smaller or timid dog.

  • If your dog tends to be fearful or anxious, err on the side of staying away from other dogs while at the park. There’s plenty of space to run and play on your own.

  • Don’t allow your dog to run up to dogs who are keeping their distance. There might be a reason for it.

  • If you want to play with balls or other toys, do it away from other dogs. Dogs can get protective with their toys.

  • If your dog generally gets along well with other dogs but seems to be having a grumpy day, please go home and try again another day when their mood is better.

  • If your dog is often reactive with other dogs, please don’t come to the park. Attempts at “socialization” without careful training rarely improve reactivity and often makes it worse.

  • Trust your gut – if what started as play seems to be going bad, get your dog out of the situation. Look for bared teeth, growling, cowering, hackles, warning barks (different from playful barks).

  • Read your dog's body language!

Reading Dog Body Language by Outward Hound

Courtesy of Outward Hound

Outward Hound's post about your dog's body language.

In the case of a fight:

  • Separate the dogs by throwing water on them or making a loud noise.

  • Check for injuries immediately.

  • If a person is injured by an aggressive dog, the owner of the dog and the injured person must exchange contact info and the injury must be reported to Animal Control. Get each other’s names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Call Animal Control to report the injury at (254) 750-1765. If the owner of the dog who caused the injury refuses to give their contact information, watch for them to go to their car and photograph their license plate to give to Animal Control.

  • If you witness a fight with injuries, offer to be of help to the dogs’ owners.

  • If your dog has an injury that requires immediate medical attention, you can try TAMC if they’re open; however, they are not affiliated with the dog park and are not obligated to treat your dog as an emergency case.

  • In cases of emergency need, we suggest that you take your dog to the Waco Animal Emergency Clinic. Directions.

  • For non emergencies, please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • If your dog injures a person or another dog, the right thing to do is to pay for any necessary medical or veterinary treatment.


Calling all park users!
We are always looking for helping hands.
Whether you can jump in on a one-time project or want to lead a team of volunteers.

Contact Us

Phone: (254) 214-9274
Email: Hotdogparkboard@gmail.com
Located at: 4900 Steinbeck Bend Dr,
Waco, TX 76708