Orange County is one of the best places for pets to live.

Beautiful year-round weather and a host of pet amenities make Orange County a great place to raise a pet or live as one. Anaheim, Irvine, and Santa Ana, the county’s three largest cities, made Wallethub’s 2017 list of the country’s pet-friendliest cities. In addition to pet-friendly cafes, dog parks, and other spaces you can frequent with your pet, Orange County hosts an array of pet-centric events. Here’s a look at some of the most highly anticipated and well-reviewed.

America’s Family Pet Expo

One of the country’s largest annual pet events, America’s Family Pet Expo convenes each spring in Costa Mesa. While activity revolving around canines and felines abounds, the Expo is not just for cat and dog owners. There are bird and reptile shows, seminars with animal experts, and police K-9 demos. This year’s Pet Expo will take place April 27 thru 29 at Costa Mesa’s OC Fair and Event Center, a 15-minute drive from AMLI Uptown Orange.

Blue Bell Foundation for Cats Fundraiser Brunch

Since its founding in the 1960s, the Blue Bell Foundation for Cats has provided sanctuary to abandoned senior cats. Once a year, the foundation hosts a blowout brunch for pet owners and their cats. All proceeds from the annual brunch benefit the foundation. Consult the foundation’s website for updates on next year’s event, which will take place in Laguna Beach.

Dog Ranch Snow Day

Snow is pretty much unheard of in Laguna Beach, outside of The Dog Ranch Bed and Biscuit’s annual “snow day.” Once a year, the Ranch hauls snow down from the mountains for winter-deprived dogs to play in. The Laguna Beach doggie day and night care center’s fourth annual snow day was a huge success. Check website for updated information on the fifth annual event. Dog Ranch Bed and Biscuit is a 20-minute drive from AMLI Uptown Orange.

San Juan Capistrano Kid’s Pet Parade

Are you a proud parent and pet owner? If your children and pets love each other, you’ll love this event. Children ranging in age from 5 to 12 get to play dress up on themselves and their pets. Awards are given for cutest, most unusual, funniest, most obedient, and best team costume. Visit the website for information on next year’s event.

McKenna Subaru Surf City Surf Dog

Yes, some Orange County dogs actually surf. And in early autumn, famously dog-friendly Huntington Beach (aka Surf City) hosts an iconic canine surf competition. One of the biggest dog surfing events in the world, Surf City Surf Dog brings together surf dogs, pet owners, members of the human surf community, and curious spectators. This year’s free event is scheduled for September 29, 2018.

Whales & Tails Wag-a-Thon

The Cetacean mammal order is the focus of the Dana Point Festival of Whales. But canines are king at the Whales & Tails Wag-a-Thon, a free street fair and parade held annually during the festival. Pet owners are encouraged to bring their dogs, even if they’re not participating in the pet costume content. The next Whales & Tails will be held late winter or early spring 2019.

Wiener Dog Races

Huntington Beach hosts a monthly event just for dachsunds, dachshund owners, and dachshund admirers. Between March and December, Old World Village hosts winer dog races. Sign your dachshund up or attend as a spectator. Dogs of other breeds may also attend as spectators, but must be leashed and well-behaved.

Yappy Hour

Treat your canine companion to an evening of luxury at the Ritz for one of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel’s seven yearly charitable pooch meet-ups. This year’s Yappy Hour season kicks off on May 10, 2018 at 5pm.

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About Jason Ernst


Jason received degrees in International Studies, Economics, and German Literature from the University of Arizona in 2011, and has worked as a freelance writer ever since. His research and writing interests include interior decoration and design, home entertainment, history, art, architecture, and travel. He is currently a regular contributor to the AMLI Residential lifestyle blog. Circle Jason on Google+