Can’t-Miss Dog-Friendly Events in October

Posted by Lauren Barker

Fall is in the air. The leaves are changing colors, temperatures are falling, everything is pumpkin spice flavored and Fido’s calendar is filling up! From Barktoberfests to Howl-o-ween celebrations, these dog-friendly events in October will get your pup’s tail wagging!

Wine & Bitch Dinner

Greenough, MT
“It’s classy as fluff in here.” Photo by The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up is one of our favorite pet-friendly all-inclusive resorts, but for one weekend every year the property goes entirely to the dogs. Kick off the first weekend of October with Fido at the Wine & Bitch Dinner. Paws Up’s Executive Chef will prepare a meal complete with wine pairings and dessert. Your pup can even get in on the gourmet action with some fancy dog treats. While you’re savoring the food, your pooch gets to enjoy supervised playtime with his pals at the resort’s indoor arena.

Get a good night's sleep so you can wake up and burn off those calories at the Canine Classic. Choose between a 2- or 5-mile hike, 5-mile race or a half marathon with Fido. Your dog can participate on- or off-leash along scenic trails throughout the resort. After the events, enjoy a BBQ lunch with beer and wine.

Wine & Bitch Dinner will be held on October 5 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Resort at Paws Up. Tickets are $100 per person. The Canine Classic will take place on October 6 beginning at 9 a.m. The 2- and 5-mile hikes are $50 per person, the 5-mile race is $70 per person and the half marathon is $80 per person. Prices will increase after September 29. Dogs race for free. All proceeds from the Canine Classic benefit the Humane Society of Western Montana.

Greyhounds Reach the Beach

Rehoboth Beach, DE
“I’m gonna hold it in my mouth, and you take the photo like I caught it, ok?” Photo by @isaacandnoah

Greyhounds Reach the Beach is an annual event for greyhounds and sighthounds and their owners and fans. Held every Columbus Day weekend, it celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2019. Each year, vendors, trainers, behaviorists, adoption professionals and experts on the breed flock from all over the world to Greyhounds Reach the Beach. The event also features accomplished speakers presenting on topics related to breeds including Borzois, Afghans, Salukis, Whippets, Galgos and Lurchers. Local restaurants and businesses welcome the hounds, and dogs are allowed to play on the beach. Don’t miss the greyhound parade on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk on Sunday.

Greyhounds Reach the Beach will begin at 6 p.m. on October 10 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. The four-day event will end at 2 p.m. on October 13. Pre-registration is $27.50, and all proceeds go to participating greyhound adoption groups. Book an oceanside room for the event at the pupular Atlantic Oceanside Resort, where dogs of any size are welcome for $10 per pet, per night.

Dog Fair and Asheville’s Ugliest Dog Pageant

Asheville, NC
All dogs are beautiful … some of them just in their own way. Photo by

Is your pup so ugly she’s cute? See how she fares at the Dog Fair and Asheville’s Ugliest Dog Pageant. She could win great prizes but, if she’s too pretty for the crown, you can still reward her with canine goodies from local vendors like Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming and Patton Avenue Pet Company. For two-legged attendees, Bun Intended Food Truck will be serving delicious Thai-inspired dishes on traditional steamed buns and bao.

Dog Fair and Asheville’s Ugliest Dog Pageant will be held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on October 12 at Sweeten Creek Brewing. Admission is free, and there is no fee to enter the pageant. There are many unique pet-friendly places to stay in this dog-loving city, but if you're looking for serious southern hospitality consider a pet-friendly chalet at Nacho Mamas. Remember that October is a busy month as people come from all over to see the gorgeous fall foliage, so book early!

Canine Carnival

Williamsburg, VA
On your mark, get set, SQUIRREL! Photo by

Four-legged friends will have a blast at the annual Canine Carnival in historic Williamsburg, VA. There will be costume contests, races, a radar run and a raffle. Prizes are sponsored by The Nautical Dog, a beloved local business specializing in supplies for dogs and dog lovers, so come ready to compete! Booths will be set up around the park where business will be hosting demonstrations and selling goodies for pets and people. Be sure to get a caricature of your best friend while you're here.

The Canine Carnival will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 13 at Quarterpath Park. Admission is $5 per car. Dogs must be leashed at all times. If you’re coming from out of town, reserve a room at the pet-friendly Best Western Williamsburg Historic District, located within walking distance of the park.

Canine Games

St. Louis, MO
“You call them Canine Games. I call them Hunger Games.” Photo by

It’s time for Fido to show off the skills he’s been working on all year long. The St. Louis Canine Games offers all dogs the chance to show off their skills in canine sports, participate in fun activities and maybe even try something new. Don’t let your pup feel too intimidated to get out there. All of the more than 20 activities are designed to be non-competitive and suitable for novices. The event is also a good opportunity to take your dog’s Halloween costume out for a spin during the Canine Costume Parade.

The Canine Games will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 13 at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, just outside of St. Louis. Give your competitor a chance to rest up before and after the games at a nearby vacation rental or at the St Louis West Historic Route 66 KOA.

Nothing compliments a tux like a spiffy bow tie. Flawless. Photo by @humanerescue

Dust off Fido’s tux and fluff up Fifi’s gown, it’s time for the Humane Rescue Alliance’s 32nd annual black-tie Bark Ball. Join leading figures from the political, entertainment, sports and business worlds for the “most barked about event of the year” in honor of the programs and services the Humane Rescue Alliance provides for our furry companions. Enjoy a cocktail reception, silent, live and online auctions, a three-course vegan dinner and a bark bar for your four-legged date.

Bark Ball will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on October 19 at the Washington Hilton. The fee is $300 for General Admission and $150 for Young Professionals (human guests under 35). Leashed dogs are welcome for no additional charge.

Waggles and Wine

Bryan, TX
Dogs and wine … what more do you need?

Raise a glass to Waggles and Wine at Messina Hof Winery & Resort in Bryan, TX. Mingle with other dogs, sample delicious wines from the most award-winning winery in Texas, and soak in the beautiful scenery. While Fido can’t have a glass himself, he can still indulge in something special. The Messina Hof Vintage House Chef will be serving up delicious homemade puppy treats for the occasion.

Waggles and Wine will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on October 19 at Messina Hof Winery. Admission is free, and a portion of all sales from puppy treats will be donated to the Bryan Animal Center. After the festivities, enjoy a luxurious stay at The Stella Hotel, where you and your pup can enjoy a view of the lake while you stroll the courtyard together.

The Great Iowa Pet Expo

Des Moines, IA
Fulfill Fido's every want and need at Iowa's largest pet expo. Photo by

Kick off your holiday shopping in October at the Great Iowa Pet Expo. Held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, this event is the largest pet expo in the state and features all things pet-related. There will be presentations, pet services and goods available for purchase at booths set up throughout the 32,000 square-foot space. Your pup can also participate in special events including a canine fitness class, The Stylin’ Paws Ultimate Stay Contest, a lure course and an agility course.

The Great Iowa Pet Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on Saturday, October 19 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 20 at the Jacobson Exhibition Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Admission is $10 per adult, and cash only is accepted at the door. Dogs and children under 6 attend for free.

If you're spending the weekend at the Expo, reserve a room at a nearby pet-friendly vacation rental.

Annual Historic Irvington Halloween Festival

Indianapolis, IN
Having a howling good time. Photo by

The streets of Irvington are packed with witches during the Annual Historic Irvington Halloween Festival, so be sure to keep Fido close to protect him from prowling black cats. For more than 70 years, this Indianapolis suburb has hosted eerie parades and spellbinding events in honor of All Hallow’s Eve. Dogs are welcome throughout the festival, including the spooky gathering known as A Night Out in Sleepy Hollow. This tradition pays tribute to Irvington's namesake, Washington Irving. (Early settlers said the town resembled Sleepy Hollow, and the name stuck.) On the last day of the street fair, Fido can brush off his undead squirrel costume and join the rest of the pack at the Canine Costume Contest. The competition is divided into separate categories for puppies and adult dogs, and prizes are awarded to the best costume and runner-up. Pets can also ride in your basket on the Zombie Bike Ride through town.

The week-long Annual Historic Irvington Halloween Festival will take place from October 19 to 26 in the Irvington Historic District in Indianapolis, IN. Admission is free. The Canine Costume Contest will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

There are many pet-friendly accommodations in the area, but to experience some true Hoosier hospitality, book a stay at the Old Northside Bed & Breakfast, where two dogs of any size are welcome for no additional fee.

Annual Bow Wow Brunch Cruise

San Diego, CA
“Booze cruise or chews cruise, amiright?” Photo by

Bring your appetite and sense of adventure to the Annual Bow Wow Brunch Cruise! Sponsored by Petco, this event helps raise money and awareness about orphaned pets at Helen Woodward Animal Center. While human guests indulge in a tasty meal, unlimited champagne and desserts, Fido gets to help himself to a treat buffet and refreshing bowls of cold water. This year, special guest Chopper the Biker Dog will make an appearance, so make sure to grab his paw-tograph and get a photo with the canine celebrity.

The Annual Bow Wow Brunch Cruise will set sail at 12:00 p.m., returning to dock at 2 p.m. on October 20 at Hornblower Cruises & Events. Adult tickets are $98 and children ages 4 to 12 are $61.15. Children under 4 are free. Military and Senior tickets are $96. One dog per person is welcome for no additional fee.

After the cruise, let Fido nap in his room at Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, where pets of any size are welcomed with complimentary treats, beds, bowls and pet food. Toys are also available for purchase at the hotel, which your pup can play with while he joins you on the rooftop deck for doggy happy hour.

HOWL-O-Ween Dog Parades

Doggy McFly in his Delorean. Photo by

It’s time to get creative! Dress Fido up and head to one of our favorite Halloween Dog Parades, where pups can enter costume competitions and strut their stuff in front of two- and four-legged spectators. If you really want to take home the top prize, which can be as much as several thousand dollars, you need to start designing now! The competition is fierce and the final results are spooktacular. Previous costume favorites include Hairy Pugger, Puppywise the Clown, a Chia-huahua Pet and a pair of Corgi-diles. Dogs can dress up alone or as a team alongside their humans.

Many Halloween Dog Parades have free admission for those coming to watch, but make sure to look up the event rules and regulations if you plan to enter.

Oktoberfests and Barktoberfests

Photo by

October is the month for pet-friendly Oktoberfests and Barktoberfests. These Bavarian-themed celebrations typically combine plenty of beer, traditional German food and costumed pups. Sign Fido up to compete in athletic events like races, dock diving contests, frisbee and fetch challenges or agility competitions. Depending on which event(s) you choose to visit, he can also rock out to music, destress at doggy yoga, enter a peanut-butter licking competition or take center stage at a doggy fashion show. Many festivals feature vendors and exhibitors who cater to canine customers, so your pup can bring home new treats or learn some new tricks.

Barktoberfests and pet-friendly Oktoberfests take place nearly every weekend throughout the month of October. Admission prices vary, but many are free to attend. Search for one near you and be sure to #BringFido in your photos!

Which of these dog-friendly events are you most excited about? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!