The 6 Best Pet-Friendly Events In Philadelphia

Written by Kathryn Dueck
Published: November 8, 2022
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Just because Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love doesn’t mean pets can’t get some love, too! This city is one of the most walkable in the United States, meaning your pets have the chance to get a lot of exercises. Even better, there are a number of events that cater to owners who just don’t want to leave their furry friends at home. No matter the time of year, you can find something to do with your best friend. Read on to discover the 6 best pet-friendly events in Philadelphia!

1. BARKtoberfest

Barktoberfest

©Pup Fan / flickr – License

One of the best pet-friendly events in Philadelphia is BARKtoberfest, a fall festival dedicated to fundraising for various animal welfare charities. It often features craft beer and other drinks. Dogs are welcome to attend as long as they are well-behaved and remain on leashes.

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BARKtoberfest has featured a number of activities in the past including raffles, dog portraits, eating contests, and talent shows. Many owners decide to dress up their dogs for the day. Human attendees can take advantage of various food and beverage options. Though the event is free, donations are encouraged.

Each year’s event takes place in a different location with a different host. Keep tabs on sites like BringFido for more information on upcoming pet-friendly events in your area.

2. Christmas Village

Christmas Village PHILADELPHIA

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Christmas is the season for joy, and it’s only natural to share it with your beloved pet. For a seasonal outing you can both enjoy, check out the Christmas Village in Philadelphia. This outdoor German Christmas market offers a plethora of experiences for both humans and dogs.

Food and beverages, including beer and other alcoholic drinks, are available at a number of vendors throughout the area. The event also offers wine and spirits tasting. Activities include story time and dog adoption events. Kids and kids-at-heart will love the rides like the Ferris wheel and carousel. Naturally, Santa will make appearances throughout the event.

For more information about an upcoming Christmas Village in Philadelphia, visit their website here.

3. Hound-O-Ween

Dog, Costume, Devil, Pets, Pet Clothing

©iStock.com/Firn

The organizers of Hound-O-Ween bill themselves as “Philadelphia’s largest Halloween dog costume contest.” The event is an annual fundraiser to help local animal welfare charities. For this reason, there is a registration fee for each canine participant. Additional donations are more than welcome.

Owners have the chance to deck out their furry companions in the most splendid, hilarious, or outrageous costumes they can think of. Pets will compete in several different categories for prizes, with a grand prize for the overall winner. The costume contest isn’t all the event has to offer, however. Food and merchandise vendors, raffles, and music round out the day for both human and canine participants.

Check out the Northern Liberties website for more information on future Hound-O-Ween events.

4. Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo

©Dough4872 / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Though this event technically happens just outside Philadelphia, it’s so good you won’t mind the drive to get to it! Located in Oaks, a town 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo is a great chance for you and your dog to experience a weekend of fun.

The event features a number of attractions and activities including, but not limited to:

  • Gail Mirabella and the Dynamo Dogs: This nationally-acclaimed dog team performs an outstanding array of tricks and acrobatics at the direction of their trainer, Gail Mirabella.
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Testing: American Kennel Association representatives offer to put your dog through a series of tests to find out how good their manners are. Dogs who pass the test will receive a special certificate in the mail.
  • DOGLOVERSDAYS Lure Course: Dogs will have the chance to go off-leash through a dynamic agility course.
  • The International Cat Association Cat Show: Not to be forgotten, registered show cats compete for a blue ribbon.
  • Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix: Watch hilariously entertaining dogs perform tricks and comedy bits with their nationally-acclaimed trainer, Johnny Peers.
  • Flyball Tournament: Watch relay teams of four dogs each compete in an intense race to be the first to catch a ball and bring it back to their handler.

In addition to this, there are a number of exhibitors onsite. Check out the Family Pet Shows website for more information on upcoming Greater Philadelphia Pet Expos.

5. Dog Day of Summer

Dog Walking, Springtime, Pet Adoption, Animal, Animal Shelter

©iStock.com/Povozniuk

Among the best pet-friendly events in Philadelphia is Dog Day of Summer, a day-long summer event both you and your pet can enjoy. There are plenty of activities to keep your dog entertained for hours, including dog caricatures, paw readings by a clairvoyant, a puppy photo booth, and an agility course. Humans can take advantage of dog-inspired poetry, a raffle, and a wide range of pet-themed vendors. Also, “Yappy Hour” features treats like cocktails and various food items geared for both you and your dog.

Visit this website for more information and to view potential vendors.

6. Walking Tours

Love sculpture in center city Philadelphia

©Alan Budman/Shutterstock.com

For those who want to see the city of Philadelphia with the help of an informed guide, but don’t want to leave their beloved pet at home, there are a couple of great options. The first is Free Tours by Foot, a company specializing in guided walking tours. Though they don’t allow pets on their free public tours, they do offer private paid tours of the city. With these, you can feel free to bring your dog along while enjoying the sights and sites.

Another pet-friendly option is Free and Friendly Tours. They offer free guided walking tours (which means there’s no official fee and you can tip them whatever you want) and welcome pets to tag along. They warn that some indoor locations may not allow pets to go inside; however, most of the tours are accessible to animals.

To get more information or make a booking, visit Free Tours by Foot on their website or check out Free and Friendly Tours on their Facebook page.

Keep this list of the best pet-friendly events in Philadelphia in mind the next time you feel like something more engaging than your regular evening walk! Check out websites like BringFido and StayHappening to keep tabs on upcoming activities in your area.

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About the Author

I am a freelance writer with experience in both fiction and nonfiction. When not putting words on a page, I enjoy reading, hiking in the great outdoors, and playing with my dog.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is one of the best pet-friendly events in Philadelphia?

One of the best pet-friendly events in Philadelphia is BARKtoberfest, a fall festival dedicated to fundraising for various animal welfare charities. It often features craft beer and other drinks. Dogs are welcome to attend as long as they are well-behaved and remain on leashes.

Where should I take my pet for a weekend of fun?

The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo is a great chance for you and your dog to experience a weekend of fun.

Where can I take my pet to have fun and help a charity out in Philadelphia?

The organizers of Hound-O-Ween bill themselves as “Philadelphia’s largest Halloween dog costume contest.” The event is an annual fundraiser to help local animal welfare charities. For this reason, there is a registration fee for each canine participant. Additional donations are more than welcome.

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