Dog-Friendly Races to Run with Your Four-Legged Friend

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Myrtle Beach doggie dash

Our dogs are our best friends. They instantly brighten our day with a friendly wag of the tail, they're the best listeners around and, just like us, they love to run.

As the weather cools, take advantage of the opportunity for some active quality time with your pooch by participating in one of these doggie dashes. Check out some of our top picks for dog-friendly races below.

Be A Hero 5k Run/Walk

September 24, 2022 in Moultonborough, New Hampshire

From big to small, long to short hair and slobbery to smelly, the Be A Hero 5K is the perfect weekend event for you and your four-legged friend. Not only will you get some great exercise, but you’ll help save the lives of homeless pets just by participating.

This dog-friendly 5K is family friendly and well-organized, with professional timers, race awards, great swag, and beautiful views. Run through the New Hampshire mountains with your dog, then enjoy live music and drinks after.

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10th Annual Running for the Bulls 10K - 5K - 1.7M

October 02, 2022 in Peoria, Arizona

This dog-friendly race offers multiple distances and benefits AZK9 Rescue. There are even doggy pools at each aid station to help your pup cool off.

Can’t make it in person? Try the virtual race! Run with your dog from any location and submit your time online to receive a custom event finisher's medal and custom event shirt.

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Mutts & Marshmallows

January 07, 2023 in Cary, North Carolina

Break out your cold weather running gear and participate in the 10th annual Mutts & Marshmallows race in Cary, North Carolina this year. This race offers a Doggie Dash 5K and 8K, as well as a standard 5K and 8K for those who don’t have a dog.

All finished receive a medal and a mug, as well as plenty of hot chocolate to fill it with. Not only will you and your furry friend be starting off the new year on a healthy foot, but you’ll also be supporting a great cause. All dog entries to this race benefit the SPCA of Wake County.

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CSU Fast and Furriest 5K

September 17, 2022 in Fort Collins, Colorado

The Fast and Furriest 5k is a fun family-friendly event for all types of runners and dogs. Organized by students in the Professional Veterinary Medicine (PVM) program in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at CSU, the event benefits animals in need of emergency, life-saving treatments.

It also boasts some great awards, giveaways, and swag. All participants receive a T-shirt and entry into several great giveaways. There are also prizes and awards for top male and female finishers.

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Pups & Pastries

September 24, 2022 in Cary, North Carolina

Another dog-friendly event worth checking out is the Pups and Pastries race. With 5K and 6.5-mile distances available, it’s a fun challenge. This race benefits Second Chance Pet Adoptions, which is the oldest no-kill animal rescue organization in the Triangle region of North Carolina.

This race offers regular and dog-friendly versions of each distance, so if you don’t have a four-legged friend, you can still partake in the fun. You can even register for the virtual race if you can’t make it out to the race site. Win great prizes and get awesome swag. Sign up today!

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READ THIS NEXT: 9 Reasons to Run With Your Dog

Dog-Friendly Race FAQs

Can dogs run in races?

Running is great exercise for dogs. However, you should only bring your dog to participate in a race if they are well behaved and leash trained.

Can you bring a dog to a 5K?

There are many dog-friendly 5Ks that allow runners to bring their furry friends. Always check race guidelines first, and make sure your dog is well-trained around other pups. These races are a great way to socialize your dog to other people and pets, which is great for their development. Plus, they’ll get a great workout in.

How do you run with a dog?

There are plenty of tools to help make running with a dog more comfortable for both parties. Leashes that wrap around the waist and have elasticity are a great option. It’s important to keep in mind that dogs can’t handle heat and humidity the same way humans can. Bring water and monitor their behavior throughout the run. Understanding your dog’s breed will also help you determine how best to bring your dog along and what their abilities are. Investing in a dog treadmill can help keep your furry friend in shape and train them to be a great running buddy.