There’s no doubt that San Diego offers some of the best weather in America and some of the finest attractions in California. But can people with pets still enjoy the city to the fullest? It turns out, they can! There are many pet-friendly events in and around San Diego just waiting to welcome you and your furry best friend. From pet expos to black-tie affairs, discover the seven best pet-friendly events in San Diego!

Doggie Street Festival

One of the best pet-friendly events in San Diego is the annual Doggie Street Festival, an event celebrating our furry companions and giving rescue animals a chance at adoption. It began as a way to draw attention to the plight of abandoned pets throughout the city. Since then, it has become a San Diego fixture.

The Doggie Street Festival is a free event open to people and their pets. Special guests, speakers, and pet experts make this a great place to learn more about your dog. There’s also music, delicious food, and lots of great pet products for purchase. With auctions and contests, you even have a chance to win a variety of prizes! And, of course, an event like this wouldn’t be complete without the opportunity to adopt a new pet from one of San Diego’s many rescues.

Visit the Doggie Street Festival website to learn more about upcoming events.

Street fair dog
The Doggie Street Festival is a free event open to people and their pets.

iStock.com/Alamourus

Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K

For those in a grateful mood, Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K is the perfect chance to get out and give back! Billing itself as “San Diego’s original and longest-standing Thanksgiving Day ‘turkey trot,’” the event raises money to provide meals for the homeless.

Dogs are more than welcome to walk or run the 5K with their owners. In fact, the organizers provide doggie bandanas and treats to canine participants. This is also a family-friendly event, with walkers invited to complete the run at their own pace. Human and canine costumes make the day even more festive.

For more information on an upcoming Thanksgiving Day 5K and to register, visit their webpage here. To find out more about the crucial work of Father Joe’s Villages, check out their official website.

best dog food for beagles
Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5k is a family-friendly event!

Przemek Iciak/Shutterstock.com

Traci’s Paws Annual Unleash the Holiday Cheer

During the most wonderful time of the year, attend one of the most wonderful pet-friendly events in San Diego! Traci’s Paws Annual Unleash the Holiday Cheer is a way for humans and their furry best friends to celebrate San Diego’s pets and military personnel. Proceeds from the event benefit veterans. Attendees also have the chance to adopt rescue pets in need of a forever home.

As befits a Christmas fundraiser, Santa will be in attendance, offering gifts and Santa photos for both kids and pets. Animal participants can compete to win prizes in the Pet Parade and Costume Contest. The event also offers a scavenger hunt and a Military Appreciation Gift Shop.

The event is free to military personnel with ID. Visit the Traci’s Paws website for more information.

Animal, Animal Body Part, Animal Eye, China - East Asia, Christmas
Santa attends the Traci’s Paws event, offering gifts and Santa photos for pets!

iStock.com/DylanXu

San Diego Santa Run

The San Diego Santa Run is a 5K run to benefit the local Pacific Beach Holiday Parade. Unfortunately, they don’t allow dogs to run the 5K due to the sheer size of the crowd. But never fear, they have an option just for people and their pets!

The Santa’s Little Helper Mile dog run is a 1K run for people who like to participate with their dogs. Dress up your pet in festive garb and prepare to get some exercise! The Pacific Beach Holiday Parade takes place shortly after.

For more information and to register you and your dog, visit the San Diego Santa Run webpage here.

Santa dog
The Santa’s Little Helper Mile dog run is a 1K run for people who like to participate with their dogs.

iStock.com/wavetop

Pet Day on the Bay

San Diego’s City Cruises offers its annual Pet Day on the Bay for dogs and their humans. The event gives guests the chance to see San Diego Bay with their best friend in tow. A portion of the proceeds from the cruise benefits the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego.

This one-hour narrated cruise includes fascinating trivia about various landmarks in the area as well as views of military ships and the San Diego skyline. Lucky passengers may catch a glimpse of marine life along the way. A snack bar and doggie treats keep both you and your pet refreshed and satisfied.

This event is dog-friendly only – please leave cats or other pets at home. For more information on Pet Day at the Bay, visit the City Cruises webpage. Cruises leave from Hornblower Landing at 1800 N Harbor Drive. To find out more about the work of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, visit them online here.

Cute dog on a boat
Pet Day on the Bay gives guests the chance to see San Diego Bay with their best friend in tow.

iStock.com/Lisa5201

Fur Ball Gala

One of the fanciest pet-friendly events in San Diego is the annual Fur Ball Gala, a San Diego Humane Society fundraising event. This is an unforgettable night of red carpets and black-tie fashion for both you and your pet! Even better, all proceeds go to the San Diego Humane Society’s work on behalf of animals in their community.

The event offers fine dining, music, dancing, and an after-party for humans and animals alike. A cocktail reception and live and silent auctions round out the evening. Friendly pets on leashes are welcome to attend every aspect of the event.

For more information about upcoming Fur Ball Galas, visit the San Diego Humane Society website here. To contact them directly about tickets or sponsorships, email [email protected]. You can also visit their location in person at 5500 Gaines Street or call 619-299-7012.

Poodle in a bow tie
The Fur Ball Gala is an unforgettable night of red carpets and black-tie fashion for both you and your pet!

iStock.com/Nynke Van Holten

Annual Photo Fundraiser and Pet Calendar

Though it’s not technically an event, this entry receives honorable mention for being good-hearted and a whole lot of fun! The San Diego Humane Society hosts an annual photo fundraiser to raise money for its mission to serve the animals of its community. They also produce a pet calendar for purchase to benefit their work.

Pet owners are challenged to capture their best friend’s best side and send in the photo for a chance to make next year’s pet calendar. There are also chances to win other prizes, including tickets to the annual Fur Ball Gala (listed above). Categories include dogs, cats, and other pets.

To learn more about this fundraiser, visit the San Diego Humane Society website here. You can also visit them in person at 5500 Gaines Street or call them at 619-299-7012.

corgi in rainboots
Pet owners are challenged to capture their best friend’s best side and send in the photo for a chance to make next year’s pet calendar.

iStock.com/Nataba

As you can see from this list, there’s no shortage of pet-friendly events in San Diego. To keep abreast of upcoming events in your area, check out websites like BringFido and Eventbrite.

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