Dogs invited to San Diego Botanic Garden for Feb. 21 walk


For only the third time in its history, dogs will be allowed Feb. 21 in the San Diego Botanic Garden during the third annual “5K Paw Walk in the Garden.”

Once a year, the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and the San Diego Botanic Garden “join paws” to raise funds that support these two landmark organizations.

“It’s a family-friendly event. When we say that, we mean the whole family, including the family pets,” says Nick Winfrey, RCHS Vice President of Planning and Development.

“Not that we really need one, but it’s a great excuse to get up early on a Saturday morning and get some exercise with your family and your best friends.”

Sam Beukema, education and events manager for the garden, says, “This has quickly become the walk that every dog is begging to go on.”

Walkers can cover the full 5-kilometer/3.1-mile course, but there are other options. It’s not competitive. You don’t even need a dog. You can go for speed and span — or enjoy the scenery and serenity of the gardens.

There will be pet products, food (for people), treats (for dogs), valuable information for dog lovers, a pet first aid station, and (of course) dogs! Afterward, walkers will have full access to the San Diego Botanic Garden until 2 p.m.

There aren’t a lot of rules, but here are the main ones:

• Dogs must be kept on leash at all times.

• No leashes longer than 6 feet (including retractable leashes).

• No dogs in heat.

• It’s up to you to clean up after your dog.

• Limit two dogs per person.

• Dogs must be up-to-date on vaccinations.

Register for the third annual 5K Paw Walk in the Garden at or Event-day registration starts at 9 a.m., and the first paw crosses the starting line at 9:30.

Information about the 5K Paw Walk in the Garden is available at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society, 389 Requeza St., Encinitas, or the San Diego Botanical Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas.