While you and your pooch are on the move, you can help make a difference by participating in a dog run/walk fundraiser. Typically no longer than 5k to 10k, these family friendly, fun-filled events are a great way to support a cause and meet like-minded animal lovers. Spring is here, and that means running outdoors with your favorite companion. Dogs are always eager, wagging their tails and jumping for joy the minute they see their owners putting on sneakers for a jog together.
Whether it's their boundless energy, or the innate need to sprint after squirrels, dogs make great running buddies.
While you and your pooch are on the move, you can also help make a difference by participating in a dog run/walk fundraiser. Typically no longer than 5k to 10k, these family friendly, fun-filled events are a great way to support a cause and meet like-minded animal lovers.
Below is a list of upcoming canine run/walks around the country:
Walk or run 5k or 1 mile to raise funds for local rescue groups in Tucson's largest dog-walk and Pet festival. Proceeds will benefit the Foundation for Animals in Risk. The festival includes over 50 exhibitors, music, kids' and puppies' 100 yard dash, doggy fashion and talent shows. Microchips will be provided to the first 100 participants, and discounted microchips for the rest of the pets.
2) The Humane Race, April 30th Williamstown, MA The Humane Race
A 5k fun run and "Dog Jog" through downtown Williamstown benefiting the Berkshire Humane Society is a family affair. Student volunteers' show their support by baking and selling dog biscuits, finding sponsors, getting pledges, designing T-shirts, setting up the race course, and helping on race day.
3) Doggie Dash, May 14th Waterfront Park, Portland Doggie Dash
Doggie Dash is Portland's most popular event for pet lovers. More than 6,000 participants raised over $230,000 last year for animals in need. At the 24th annual race this year, there will be two courses - a 1.5 mile "Doggie Dash Classic" that goes through a car-free Naito Parkway offering great city views, and a 2.5 mile "Bridge to Bridge" route that takes Dashers over the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges, and back to Waterfront Park. Participants can win prizes in contests such as Silly Pet Tricks, Strangest Mutt Mix, Best Kiss and even Best Dressed Dog.
Go for either a 1or 2 mile walk through the charming streets of South Lyon to raise funds for Guardian Angel Animal Rescue (GAAR). Although GAAR doesn't have a formal shelter, volunteers are dedicated to saving animals from streets, shelters, and harmful situations by bringing them into their homes until responsible, loving permanent homes are found. The event includes adoptable pets on site, contests for Best Dog Costume and prizes for top fundraisers.
5) Tenafly 5k, June 5th Tenafly Middle School, New Jersey Tenafly 5k
The 13th annual Tenafly race, sponsored by Tenefly Educational Foundation, has a 5k run for serious runners and a 5k Rolo Dog Walk for those who bring their furry friends. Proceeds go to support Tenefly public schools. Contests for loudest bark and best dancing duo accompany many events such as a health fair, dog parade, and challenge course for children and adults with special needs. The dog run is named for the pet therapy dog Rolo at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.
6) Dog Run Dog, September 20th Upper Valley Event Center, Norwich Dog Run Dog
Located along the Connecticut River, this small historic town of Norwich will host its annual 5k/10k Race for dogs and people. The Norwich courses are now USA Track and Field certified and holds two Dog Running World Records. Cookies and bandanas are available for your beloved dogs.
7) PAWS Chicago's Run/Walk: Run for their Lives, September 25th Montrose Harbor, IL PAWS Chicago
PAWS 4k/8k run is a family friendly event that raises money for no-kill animal shelters in Chicago. Participants can also compete against the clock in the 8K Run. Agility course, massages, and live entertainment are just a few of the highlights of the event.
8) Paws for Parkinson's, Howl-O-Ween Dog Walkathon, October 23rd Marjorie R. Post Park in Massapequa, NY American Parkinson Disease Association
The ninth annual Paws for Parkinson's is a 1 mile Halloween themed walkathon around the park for both dogs and their two legged friends. Proceeds go to American Parkinson Disease Association and local animal shelters. Guests can partake in a Halloween contest and spend a beautiful fall day with other animal lovers.
• Practice over the four-week period leading up to the race so that both you and your dog are properly trained for the event.
• Do practice jogs on trails or other locations where people run with their dogs to acclimate your dog to running in a pack with distractions.
• Stay hydrated with water at start/finish and every 1/4 mile. Watch for signs of overheating. Watering holes are available at each race.
• Make sure to stop when the dog is lagging behind. Pay close attention to the energy and stress levels of your companion. Dragging is never allowed.
• Have proof of rabies vaccination handy.
• Dogs must be on leashes at all times. Retractable leashes are hazardous in a crowd.
• Inspect your dog's pads for any signs of cuts and wear. Veterinarians are available at each event.
• Don't forget to have fun!