In recent years, an astounding number of dog-friendly events have surfaced, giving dog owners the opportunity to take Fido for out for more than just a walk in the park. Color runs, mud runs, warrior dashes, and races spanning from one-mile walks to marathons are now not only for humans.
This is great for dogs and owners alike, given that studies strongly suggest that dog walking or activity related to dog ownership has the potential to increase daily exercise levels.
Think you own a top dog? At these events, contests and family-friendly events abound! Awards are given for many fun categories, and you and your dog can walk away with swag, medals, and best of all, the knowledge that you did something good for your health – and the health of your furry friend.
Lucky for all of us, Minnesota is a hot spot for dog races! There are tons of dedicated dog-friendly events across the state:
- Mankato Walk to Defeat ALS (2-mile walk) Saturday, May 5 in Mankato. This walk supports the urgent need to find a cure for ALS while providing the best care for those who are currently battling the disease.
- MDA Muscle Walk of Twin Cities (3K/1 mile walk) Saturday, May 5 in Edina. This walk helps raise money for the MDA.
- Animal Humane Society Walk for Animals (2.5-mile walk) Saturday, May 5 in Golden Valley. The 44th annual dog- and family-friendly walk helps to raise money for the Animal Humane Society (AHS). There will be dog games (featuring games and training tips for your dog); hair and face painting; AHS mascots; a Chip n’ Nail Clinic where you’ll find reduced fees for nail trims, microchipping, and gland expressions; and photo booths! There is no registration fee, but fundraising is encouraged.
- Adopt A Husky Minnesota-Woo Woo Pawlooza (3-mile hike) Saturday, May 12 at Lakefront Park in Prior Lake. This event seeks to raise money for abandoned, abused, or injured Siberian Huskies. There will be a silent auction, raffle items, games, microchipping & nail trims, wine pull, dog & human vendors, ice pools for the dogs & more!
- K9 Combat Cancer 5K (5K run/walk) Saturday, May 12 in Bayport. This is the second annual, family-friendly walk/run to bring family, friends and canine companions together to raise funds and fight back against cancer.
- Bark for Life of Stillwater (1-mile walk) Saturday, May 12 in Bayport. A noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society. There will be games, activities, yoga for dogs and humans, pet photos, an agility course, demonstrations, local vendors, and sponsors as well as prizes for both humans and dogs!
- WalkTalkConnect 2018 (5K walk/run) Saturday, May 19 in Excelsior. Walk or run a 5k around Lake Minnetonka, then kick back at Excelsior Brewing Co. and enjoy the sweet sounds of TC Ortberg and a special brew made just for WalkTalkConnect.
- Animal Ark Walk (3K walk) Saturday, May 19 in Hastings. This event seeks to raise money for Animal Ark. Your registration includes breakfast, a t-shirt, and a custom bracelet. There will be a face painter, pet massage from Little Bear Massage, games from Barefoot Wines, music, food from Buon Cibo, and more.
- Fast and the Furry Races (8K run and 5K walk/run) Saturday, May 19 at Harriet Island, St. Paul. In its 7th year, this dog-friendly run/walk and Pet Expo benefits People & Pets Together, one of the nation’s first surrender prevention programs. Participants will receive a Fast and the Furry technical race shirt, dog bandana and goodie bag. Earth Rated pet waste dispenser s will be given to the first 300 participants to pick up their race packet. There will also be a free pet expo with interactive stations, doggy fashion shows, and new products and services.
- 2018 Walk to Cure Arthritis (5K walk) Saturday, May 19 in Brainerd. This is a 5K family-friendly walk to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Waggers Welcome!
- 26th Annual Animal Allies Walk for Animals and Furry 5K (5K walk/run & 2-mile walk) Saturday, June 2 in Duluth. This is the Animal Allies Humane Society’s 26th Annual walk/run to help raise money for homeless pets. The event includes silly pet games and activities for the entire family. Attendees can win prizes, shop from local vendors, enjoy food, and meet new furry friends of all shapes and sizes. Pets are encouraged to attend and can participate in the cutest puppy contest, costume contest, pet look-a-like contest and more.
- Lola’s 5K Dog Day Race and Walk (5K run/walk) Saturday, June 2 in Waconia. Dogs are only allowed in the “Dog Day Wave” of the 5k event and must run at a 12 min/mile pace or slower.
- Donuts & Dogs 5K9 (5K run/walk) Saturday, June 30 in Eden Prairie. This is a 5k walk to benefit Secondhand Hope. There will be treats for both humans and canines!
For a full list of dog-friendly walk and run events across the US, check out the Dog Race Database at RunRepeat.