January’s Best Dog-Friendly Events

Posted by Sophia Hawk

Don’t let the after-Christmas blues get Fido down, there’s still plenty of fun to be had this winter! Celebrate the season with an ice cream eating contest, a pup-themed New Year's party, an elegant gala and even snow in Florida during this month’s pet-friendly events.

DogDash Winter Pawlympics

Great Falls, MT
Photo by @3kDogDash

Bring Fido to show off his epic athletic abilities in the first DogDash Winter Pawlympics! The festival area will feature booths from local businesses, doggy games like the Lick & Dash Ice Cream Eating Contest and Fast & Fur-ious Fastest Lap contest, an indoor agility course, Weiner Dog Races, an award ceremony and so much more. The event begins at 1 p.m. on January 21 at the Great Falls Recreation Center, and tickets are $20 per dog and $10 per human. $100% of the proceeds will be donated to The City of Great Falls Animal Shelter.

After spending all day running and playing, you and your pup can rest your heads at the dog-friendly Best Western Plus Riverfront Hotel and Suites. No extra pet fee is required and there is a nearby park right on the river that features grass and waste bags.

Doggy New Years

McLean, VA
Photo by @Shipgarten

What better way to celebrate the new year than with your furry friend? Stop by Shipgarten for an exciting Doggy New Years party featuring a delicious dog menu, 50+ beer and cider options, a canine costume contest, live music, giant yard games, a kid’s corner, photo booth and a dog park! The festivities will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on January 6 and the event is free to attend!

The Staybridge Suites Tysons McLean is the perfect place for you and Fido to stay after your New Year’s fun. They have multiple grassy areas on the property and many pet-friendly restaurants close by.

Bark in the Park

Vero Beach, FL
Photo by Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County

Bark in the Park is a dog-centric day full of exciting activities for dogs and dog lovers at Riverside Park. There will be a lure course, Frisbee, comedic stunt and costume contests, dock diving, food trucks, live music, drinks and a kids’ zone featuring lots of inflatables. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 6 and admission is free!

Relax by the ocean with your pup at the Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa after your jam-packed day. With a pet-friendly beach only steps away and no extra pet fees, it’s the perfect spot to rest and recoup before your next adventure.

Little BIG Dog Trail Run

Caliente, NV
Photo by @rockyroadadventuresnv

Come out to Kershaw-Ryan State Park to exercise in the cool, fresh air with your canine friend! The Little BIG Dog Trail Run allows you to choose between the 4K or 14K trail, and all registrants will receive a custom race beanie, a finishers medal, a pet bandana and a race finisher pet tag for Fido. To personalize your pet tag, make sure to register by January 4th, 2024! The race starts at 9 a.m. on January 20 and registration ranges from $30 to $50 per runner. Four-legged “pawticipants” are free.

After your trek through the trails, get a good night’s sleep at the Shady Motel, which requires only a minimal pet fee and features a grassy area with waste bags onsite.

Hendricks Humane Dogtona

Danville, IN
Photo by Facebook.com/hendrickscountyhumanesociety

Hendricks Humane Dogtona is an annual event that celebrates your dog’s need to play! Gather the family and come out to see the day’s festivities featuring doggy games, demonstrations, a non-breed-specific dog show, pet massages, free family photos, an animal communicator, dog rescue groups and other interesting exhibitors! The fun runs from noon to 4 p.m. on January 21 and admission is $5 per dog. Pups must be leashed and up-to-date on vaccinations to participate.

Following your day of festivities, spend a relaxing night at Staybridge Suites Indianapolis Airport. There’s tons of outdoor space for you and Fido to take advantage of, and it’s close to the airport so you can both continue your travels!

Photo by Sandy Paws Canine Rescue

Experience snow in Florida with FurFest, an annual dog-friendly event providing fun for the whole family. With live music, snow piles to play in, games, local vendors, an auction and so much more, this is an event that can’t be missed. The action happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 14 at Hot Diggity Dogs & More. General admission is free, and wristband admission gets you access to additional activities. Proceeds benefit Sandy Paws Canine Rescue. Pups must be leashed, but retractable leashes aren’t permitted.

After the festival, the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach awaits you and Fido. This pet-friendly hotel provides beds, bowls, waterproof mats and treats at check-in, and there is a grassy park and dog-friendly beach nearby.

Rose City Classic Dog Show

Portland, OR
Photo by Rose City Classic Dog Show

If you’re looking for the biggest dog show in the Northwest, look no further than the Rose City Classic Dog Show! This annual event features canine activities such as breed judging, agility and obedience contests, trick dogs, a Meet-the-Breeds event and much more! The four-day event takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. January 18 to 21 at the Portland Expo Center, so you can choose what activities you want to see and what contests you’re most interested in. Admission starts at $17 per person and all dogs must be registered in the event to enter the facility.

At the end of your long days of either watching or participating in the dog shows, you and your pup can spend your nights at the Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel. They offer views of the water, a grassy park nearby and pet amenities such as beds, bowls and treats at the front desk.

Paws & Purrs Winter Gala

Madison, GA
Photo by @humanemorgan

Dress Fido in his favorite “denim to diamonds” outfit for the annual Paws & Purrs Winter Gala at The Sixty-Two in Madison! This fundraising event will feature a catered dinner by The Ritz Carlton, Lake Oconee, wine donated by Rescue Dog Wines, a silent auction and live music. The event begins at 6 p.m. on January 27, and tickets start at $100. Proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Morgan County.

End your night of glitz and glamour at The Ritz Carlton, Lake Oconee, which features water views, pet-friendly trails and a beach area where pets are permitted.

Are you and your dog attending a pet-friendly event in January? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!