Escondido may be the Spanish word for “hidden”, but there’s no hiding the passion that the residents of this beautiful city have for animals. The city, which is home to more than 150,000 people and located in San Diego County’s North County region, is jam-packed with dog-friendly events and attractions all year round.
It also has plenty of people willing to lend a hand to help out animals in need. The San Diego Humane Society is one of the biggest rescue groups in the region, with campuses in Escondido, San Diego, and Oceanside. The society has been saving the lives of animals in the area since 1880, working to prevent cruelty and neglect, provide essential veterinary care, and strengthen the human-animal bond. With help from a wide range of paw-some adoption partners, it helps unwanted dogs find quality, loving homes.
Fuzzy Feet Dog Rescue is another caring canine group operating in the Escondido region. With a mission to save homeless dogs, Fuzzy Feet rescues neglected and unwanted dogs from Southern California and Baja California, Mexico. These down-on-their-luck pooches are given medical care and any necessary rehabilitation, before being paired with a loving foster family while a forever home can be found.
Forgotten Paws Animal Rescue in nearby San Marcos also works tirelessly to protect and support dogs in need. With a commitment to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome, this non-profit aims to responsibly and safely rescue unwanted pets and find them loving and lasting homes.
With such committed animal groups to call on, the welfare of dogs in the Escondido region is in good paws!
Forget Woodstock — the Grand Woofstock Pet Festival is the grrrr-ooviest festival going around. Held in May in Escondido’s Grape Day Park, this iconic family-friendly festival is loaded full of fun and games for dog lovers and their fur-babies. A day at the Grand Woofstock is like something out of a dream for anyone who’s passionate about dogs. There are Best Trick, Best Kisser, and Best Howler contests, as well as an Owner Lookalike competition and a Doggie Fashion Show. Scores of vendors offer dog-related products and treats, while ‘Ask a Vet’ and ‘Ask a Trainer’ booths are also available for anyone in need of some extra canine care. Whether you own a Chihuahua, a Great Dane or anything in between, you and your pooch will dig this festival.
Walk for Animals is a dog walk with a difference. Held in February each year, this two-mile stroll lets Escondido’s dogs and humans enjoy a relaxing stroll, while at the same time raising vital funds for the San Diego Humane Society. Starting at Kit Carson Park, this woof-tacular walk is North County’s largest dog walk and always draws a big crowd. The fun kicks off with a paw-some pancake breakfast and winds down with a range of dog-friendly activities and opportunities for some retail therapy in the Vendor Village. All registered participants get a commemorative "Walk for Animals" T-shirt, a good excuse to exercise, and the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you help out a good cause.
As Halloween approaches each year, something strange happens to the dogs of Solana Beach, around 15 miles southwest of Escondido. Each year, these furry and fluffy pets transform from ordinary loving companion animals into an array of furr-rightening (but still cute) and spook-tacular creatures. This is the Muttropolis Solana Beach Howl-o-ween Parade, when local dog owners are invited to dress their pooches in their Halloween best and get together for a stroll down South Cedros Ave. There are pooch-friendly prizes for the best costumes and the entire event is hauntingly good fun.
Grape Day 5K is a 5k event that puts the fun back in fun-run. Held in October, this much-anticipated annual event sees everyone from elite athletes to casual Sunday strollers complete the course. Run to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a number of other worthwhile causes. Grape Day 5K starts in the heart of Escondido and winds its way through the historic city. But the best part of all is that dogs are more than welcome, so you can pound the pavement with your furry friend right by your side.
Dressing your dog up in cute, adorable, and hilarious outfits is a Halloween highlight for any dog owner, so it’s no surprise that the Bates Nut Farm Howl-o-ween Doggie Costume Contest and Parade is so popular. This annual howl-iday event features some of the most colorful, creative, and simply stunning canine costumes you’re ever likely to see. Admission is free, and the best-dressed dogs take home a host of grrr-eat prizes. There’s also a pooch-friendly parade, pumpkin patch festivities, refreshments, and live music, making this a mutts-do for any dog lover.