Are you a runner? Do you race? Do you already run with your dog at home? Maybe it’s time to consider running one of the many dog friendly races out there. A few years ago I ran a 5K race with my rescue dog Lulu. It was a really fun experience and I’m so glad we ran together. Lulu is getting older so I’m not sure if we will run another dog friendly race again anytime soon.
Even still, I like to keep track of which races allow dogs. There are actually a lot of road races in Cleveland that allow dogs. And some of the events are walks – so your pup doesn’t have to be in racing shape. I’ve updated this list to include all of the races I am aware of in Northeast Ohio that allow dogs.
Dog Friendly Races
Running With Your Dog
I ran my first 5K with my dog Lulu in 2013. When we ran, it wasn’t for competition. It was just for fun. Before sharing the list of dog races, first let’s go over some supplies for running with your dog.
If you are looking for some tips on how to get your dog started with running, first check out my post on How to Prepare Your Dog for a Race.
If you are getting started with running with your dog, there are a few supplies that you will need:
Leash & Collar – A good leash and secure collar are paramount to running a race with your dog. I do not recommend a flexi-lead which are not only dangerous but do not allow control over your pet. I use a 6-foot nylon leash when I run with my dog. Lulu’s is pink and she has a pink matching collar. The width of the leash should depend on the size of the dog. Lulu is 15 pounds and has a 1/2-inch collar and lead.
Collapsable Water Bowl – This can be secured to the leash or kept in your pocket while running. After 5K races there is always water for runners. Grab a bottle for your pup as well and give them a drink wherever you are by using a collapsable water bowl.
Deodorizing Pet Wipes – No matter the terrain, the race will likely leave your pup with some muddy paws if you go on mud runs with dogs (trail running) or simply dusty dirty paws (road races). I like using Nature’s Miracle pet wipes for quick clean up such as dirty paws. Keep a stash in your vehicle to wipe down your pup after the race.
This list includes races in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio – along with a few dog friendly organized hikes and walks. All of these races are also open to those who do not own or race with their pet.
Pets are required to be leashed at these races – and on their best behavior. Many of these races support pet adoption causes too.
Dog Friendly Races in Cleveland, Ohio
(no dates available for 2020)
Siberian Husky IDid-A-Run (5K & 1-Mile Walk)
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5K
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Avon Lake, Ohio
Run Puritas 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Freedom Run (5K & 1.75-Mile Mutt Strut)
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Freedom Run (5K &1 Mile Mutt Strut)
Sunday, July 9, 2017 (no 2019 date set yet)
Chagrin Falls, OH
Muddy Paws (10-Mile, 5-Mile & 2-Mile Run Dog Run) – Mud Runs with Dogs
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Dirty Dog Run, Walk or Wash (5K, 1-Mile Dog Walk & Dog Wash)
Saturday, July 21, 2018 (no 2019 date set yet)
Avon Lake, Ohio
Wet Nose 5K
Sunday, August 5, 2018 (no 2019 date set yet)
Mutt Strutt (1-Mile Walk)
Sunday, August 26, 2018 (no 2019 date set yet)
Tom Madzy Short Run & Family Dog Walk
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Monster Mutt Dash (5K Run & 1-Mile Fun Walk)
Saturday, October 14, 2017 (no 2019 date set yet)
Paws for the Cause (5K Run/Walk & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk)
Saturday, October 20, 2018 (no 2019 date set yet)
Vet Day 5K Run & 1K Mutt Strutt
Saturday, November 10, 2018 (no 2019 date set yet)
Mud Runs with Dogs
Am I missing any dog friendly races in Cleveland, Ohio? Please let me know in the comments and I will add the races to the list. I would like to keep this list of dog friendly races as up-to-date as possible. Thank you for your help!
Have you raced with your dog before?
*This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.