10 Pet-Friendly Turkey Trots For Gobblin’ Dogs This Thanksgiving

Posted by Billy Francis

This article was updated in October 2021.

There’s no need for Fido to feel guilty about his second helping of turkey this Thanksgiving! Put that spoon down, grab a pair of sneakers, and work off those extra holiday calories with your canine at a pet-friendly Turkey Trot. If you’re planning on running with your dog, be sure to start toward the back of the pack.

1. The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot

Dallas, TX
“These paws were made for trotting.” Photo by Facebook.com/DallasTurkeyTrot

The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot is one of the largest Thanksgiving Day events of its kind in the country. The race’s humble beginnings can be traced back to the 1940s. Today, it invites thousands of humans and furry running mates to race through downtown Dallas. Dogs are allowed on both the 5K and 8-mile courses, and will receive a Turkey Trot dog bandana and a K9 race bib once they register. Stop by the race-day dog park for treats and goodies before or after your run.

The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot sets off from Dallas City Hall at 8:30 a.m. on November 25. Canine participants are welcome, but won’t be timed. If you’re looking for pet-friendly accommodations in the area, The Joule Dallas provides furry guests with beds and treats. You and your pooch can do some stretches and cool down at the Main Street Garden Urban Dog Run two blocks away.

2. Historic Turkey Trot 5K & Fun Walk

Bethlehem, PA
“If I win the costume contest, do I still need to run?” Photo by Facebook.com/HistoricBethlehem

The Historic Turkey Trot 5K & Fun Walk in Bethlehem, PA, invites you and your pooch to stomp the streets of this picturesque town together. During the leisurely 1.7-mile walk, soak in the history and culture of the 18th-century Moravian community that once settled here. Before the walk starts, take part in the Best Pet Costume Contest. Judges will award dogs for originality and turkey-trot themed costumes.

The Historic Turkey Trot 5K & Fun Walk begins at 8 a.m. on November 27. Reserve a room with a boo at the haunted Historic Hotel Bethlehem, where jilted lovers and former town guides are said to roam the halls. Fido will receive a much more welcome surprise, too. Pet beds, bowls and treats are provided for canine guests.

3. Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K

San Diego, CA
“Only 364 days until next year’s race!” Photo by @fatherjoes

Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K is San Diego's original and longest-standing Thanksgiving Day turkey trot. Proceeds from the race help to feed homeless people in the area through Father Joe’s Villages’ meal program. Bring Fido along to the Furry Friends Area to pick up a bandana and other swag before the race begins. There are 7,500 participants and spectators in attendance every year, so skittish pups might want to sit this one out. If you want to celebrate Fido’s “pawsonal” best, purchase a commemorative dog bandana for $5 and get free entry into the costume contest.

Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K gets going on November 25 at 6:30 a.m. Put your paws up at The Bristol after the race. A pet package that includes treats, a bed and bowls will be provided upon request.

4. Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk

Marion, MA
“The faster we walk, the sooner we gobble.” Photo by Facebook.com/Sippican-Lands-Trust

The Sippican Lands Trust is a nonprofit organization that protects approximately 1,350 acres of beautiful open space around Marion, MA. Every year, the organization hosts a free Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk to give residents an appreciation of the land they work so hard to protect. The 248-acre White Eagle property, where the walk takes place, is a diverse mixture of upland pine, mixed hardwood forest, shrub and wooded swamp, freshwater marsh and cranberry bogs.

Sippican Lands Trust’s Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk will be held at 1 p.m. on November 28. The dog walk is free but registration is required.

After trotting all afternoon, Fido can relax in the hammock and play in the fenced yard of this nearby tiny house.

5. Phoenix Turkey Trot

Phoenix, AZ
“Who put that big turkey there? I suspect fowl play!” Photo by facebook.com/The-Phoenix-Turkey-Trot

There’s something for everyone at the Phoenix Turkey Trot. The races are divided into three lengths: the 5K Run and Walk, 10K Run, and 1-mile Gobbler Dash and Tot Trot. Dogs are welcome to participate in any of the events. Top finishers will be awarded a pumpkin pie, which should give Fido all the motivation he needs. Don’t worry if you miss out on the podium; all racers can still pay a visit to the Pumpkin Pie and Cranberry Station.

The Phoenix Turkey Trot kicks off at 7:30 a.m. on November 25. For a downtown Phoenix hotel, reserve a room at the pet-friendly Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Located minutes from the start line, there’s a grassy area across the street where your pup can do her last-minute stretches.

6. Fairfax Turkey Trot

Fairfax, VA
“I’d have finished a lot sooner if I wasn’t tied to this guy!” Photo by Facebook.com/fairfaxturkeytrot

Grab Fido’s leash and run for a good cause at the Fairfax Turkey Trot. Proceeds from the race will be donated to a local nonprofit. With close proximity to the Lake Accotink Trail and Eakin Community Park, both popular dog walking spots, the Mantua community is the perfect setting for a Thanksgiving dash. The 4-mile course winds around pretty neighborhoods and tree-lined pathways displaying the beautiful colors of fall.

The Fairfax Turkey Trot gets underway at 9 a.m. on November 25. Spend the night at Hyatt House Falls Church/Merrifield. The concierge desk is stocked with treats, and there’s a grassy area where dogs can enjoy an evening stroll.

7. Turkey Day 5K

Minneapolis, MN
“When I run, I get carried away.” Photo by Facebook.com/TurkeyDay5k

Turkey Day 5K is fast becoming a local tradition in Minneapolis. For more than 30 years, two- and four-legged racers have worked up an appetite on the course, which runs through downtown and past landmarks like City Hall, U.S. Bank Stadium, the Guthrie Theater, Gold Medal Park and the mighty Mississippi River. Bonus awards are handed out to the Largest Colony and Fastest Flock.

Turkey Day 5K gets started at 6 a.m. on November 25. As soon as you run past the checkered flag, you’ll want to relax in serene surroundings. Bask in the lovely manicured gardens of this beautiful urban garden getaway.

8. The Hickory Foundation YMCA Annual Turkey Trot

Hickory, NC
“He’s definitely Robin in this relationship.” Photo by Facebook.com/ymcacv

Trade the couch and the dog bed for the podium at Hickory, NC’s Annual Turkey Trot. The day’s activities start off with a 1-mile fun run for kids, followed by the 10K walk/run and 5K races. Four-legged pacesetters can run with their owners in either of the races. Film buffs might recognize some of the areas around the town from the popular film series, “The Hunger Games,” not to be confused with the hunger game that Fido plays whenever you’re about to eat dinner!

The Hickory Foundation YMCA Annual Turkey Trot begins at 9 a.m. on November 20. The Best Western Hickory is conveniently located near the race starting point and has plenty of grassy relief areas for your pooch.

9. Seattle Turkey Trot

Seattle, WA
“You’re jiving my turkey, man!” Photo by Facebook.com/SeattleTurkeyTrot

Counteracting the impending food fest of Thanksgiving dinner was the original aim of the three Seattleites who founded the Seattle Turkey Trot, but the event has grown in popularity over the years. The scenic race typically starts at Golden Gardens Park and hugs Shilshole Bay along Puget Sound. All proceeds go to benefit the Ballard Food Bank, which provides vital supplies to people who might not be fortunate enough to have a feast waiting for them on Thanksgiving.

This year's Seattle Turkey Trot is virtual, which means you can participate whenever and wherever you like.

10. Festival Foods Turkey Trots

“I’m gonna win this by a wet nose!” Photo by Facebook.com/FestivalFoodsTurkeyTrot

Festival Foods Turkey Trots take place all across Wisconsin on Thanksgiving Day. With 11 different pet-friendly locations to choose from, two- and four-legged Wisconsinites are bound to find a race nearby. The Dog Jogs, part of the Turkey Trot 2-mile walk, are the canine legs of the races. Every pup taking part in the race will receive a Turkey Trot bandana to wear proudly to the dog park. Feeling left out? Human racers can get their paws on a free Festival Foods pumpkin pie at the finish line.

The Dog Jogs at Festival Foods Turkey Trot will be held at several locations beginning at 8:15 a.m. on November 28. You can join the race at any one of the locations for the 2-mile Dog Jog, or conquer your own course with the home edition race. If you're staying in town for the long weekend, check out these awesome pet-friendly hotels in Wisconsin.

Are you Turkey-trotting with your dog this Thanksgiving holiday? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by Facebook.com/SeattleTurkeyTrot.