Health & Wellness Articles

Can I Enter Races with My Dog?

Fun Races You Can Walk or Run with Your Pet

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If you're looking for another good reason to try running, look to your dog. Running together can be a great way to make sure your beloved family dog gets or stays in shape right along with you. Many dogs are happy to run alongside their owners for short distances (up to 5K), while some breeds are perfect for longer runs. There are even special leashes and harnesses that make running with your dog a little easier.
To give yourself a deadline and a challenge to face together, train for a dog-friendly race with your furry exercise buddy. To get into 5K shape, check out SparkPeople's 5K Your Way Training Program or the dog-specific Pooch to 5K program, which is spread over a longer amount of time to make sure you don't push your dog too hard. (Regardless of the training you choose, check with your vet first to make sure your pet is healthy enough for strenuous activity.)

Dog-Friendly Races
Most running events don't allow dogs, so before you sign up for a race, make sure that it explicitly states that canines are welcome to join. There are, however, numerous dog-specific races around the country, and for most of them, you can choose whether you want to run or walk the course with your pet. You could even plan a vacation with the whole family (and Fido, too) if there are no doggie runs near you.
Here are 15 dog-friendly races to consider:

Western US

Race for the Rescues
Month: October and November
Location: Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, CA, and Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA
Distance: 1K, 5K and 10K

Rocky Dog Trail Run
Month: June
Location: Golden Peak in Vail, CO
Distance: 1 mile or 5K

Oregon Humane Society Doggy Dash
Month: May
Location: Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, OR
Distance: 1.5 or 2.5 miles

Furry 5K
Month: June
Location: Seward Park in Seattle, WA
Distance: 5K Continued ›
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About The Author

Megan Patrick Megan Patrick
Megan Lane Patrick has been a professional writer and editor for the past 16 years, and was a chronic dieter for at least 30. A combination of weight-loss surgery, mindful eating and daily exercise finally allowed her to maintain a weight loss of more than 100 pounds. When she's not lifting weights at the gym, you can find her walking shelter dogs as a volunteer for the SPCA.

Member Comments

    The 2016 Chariots of Fur Beach Run & Festival will be held Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 at 10am at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach, FL. The event consists of a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run - with or without your dog - on the beautiful beach of Jacksonville Beach. The festival after the run/walk includes vendors, music, contests, dog demos, dogs available for adoption, activities for kids, massages, raffle prizes and a silent auction. All registered 5K & 1-Mile fun run participants will receive a tech shirt and race packet filled with goodies for people and pups. Handmade ceramic dog bowls awarded to the top 3 finishers in each age category. For more info: www.ChariotsofFur - 12/3/2015 8:59:53 PM
  • I live in NCF. You would think there would be several races that allow dogs. Not one posted. Bummer. That's okay...I'll just keep throwing the ball in the pasture and walking them around our 5 acres. LOL
    - 6/26/2015 10:50:40 AM
  • The Turkey Trot in Springfield, Missouri allows is held on Thanksgiving Day every year :) - 1/27/2015 2:33:51 PM

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