Paws And Play: 30+ Famous Athletes And Their Adorable Furbabies
Humans may disagree about many things, but there is one thing they collectively love and can’t have enough of, doggos! Even celebrities and world-class athletes are putty in their paws. Nobody can resist their charms and puppy-dog eyes. When they ask for something, you give in and say YES!
When the world’s top-caliber athletes are not busy practicing or winning games, they can be seen by their pet’s side. We have compiled a list of top athletes and their Instafamous dogs, some of whom have their own social media accounts with followings we can only dream of!
Yup, they’re more famous than most of us, but then again, we’re not as irresistible and adorable as they are. Without further ado, let’s meet these athletes and their furry teammates.
#1 Adrian Clayborn and his two ‘boys’
Adrian Clayborn once posted on his Twitter (now X) account that he hates people’s ignorance towards pit bulls and other big dogs. Why would he say such a thing? Well, the defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the proud papa of Ace and King, two pit bulls.
His ‘boys’ are popular fixtures on their dad’s Instagram page, as he loves posting photos of them. They can be seen chilling and watching TV with Adrian, tagging along for a game of golf, and being taken around the neighborhood for some much-needed exercise.
#2 Gordon Hayward playing ball with Siber
Gordon Hayward is just like any other dog dad who likes nothing more than going on nature hikes with his furry friend. In this pic, though, he and his German Shepherd, Siber, are taking a break from their long walks and playing ball instead.
Yup, we will call him Air-Siber, alright. Does he have the makings of a star? We’d like to think that he’s just like his dad. We bet that after days of traveling and playing on the court, Gordon wants nothing else but to spend time with his four-legged friend.
#3 D’Angelo Russell enjoying life with his furry friend
The second overall pick in the 2015 Draft by the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell is close friends with Karl-Anthony Towns, and the duo fulfilled their dream of playing in the NBA together. He has come a long way since his first day in the NBA and now enjoys the finer things in life.
He likes sharing what he has with others, and one of the lucky receivers of his kindness is his furry friend. Here they are, relaxing in a boat. Six months after getting his first dog, Louis realized that dogs need partners too, so he got a second dog, a Belgian Malinois he named Rio.
#4 Lindsey Vonn exploring the mountains with her sidekick
Former World Cup alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn is no stranger to a hectic lifestyle, but she has slowed down substantially since retiring in 2019. Nowadays, she gets to hike mountains and enjoy her much-deserved downtime with her dogs, Jade, Lucy, and Leo.
Here she is enjoying the mountains during autumn with her furbaby Jade, a Belgian Malinois and the newest addition to her family. The picturesque scenery and fresh air must have given the duo the break they needed from city life.
#5 Mick Fanning’s dog making a cameo
Dogs are really man’s best friends. Just ask retired Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning. He considers his dog, Harper, his soulmate, security blanket, and princess. Fanning isn’t afraid to admit that his pooch helped him through his divorce in 2016.
He considers Harper’s health just as important as his and ensures she gets nothing but the best. When he found new love and decided it was time he took the relationship to another level, Harper was right with him during the proposal. The two are pictured goofing around on the set in the photo above.
#6 Michelle Wie West celebrating a special occasion
Michelle Wie West, the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship, retired from golf recently. She may miss the green at times, but she is not sitting idly at home. She is busy being a doting mom to her daughter Makenna and a fur mom to her sheepdogs, Gatsby and Daisy.
The pooches are seen here celebrating Michelle’s daughter’s second birthday, and they seem to be having as much fun as the toddler. The star considers her four-legged friends family and has appeared on a YouTube channel with them. They also make regular appearances on her Instagram.
#7 Jordyn Wieber with her best friend and a cup of joe
How do you start the perfect morning? By jolting your senses awake with an excellent cup of coffee and going on a long walk with your best friend. Just ask retired gymnast Jordyn Wieber. She has perfected her morning routine, and she doesn’t have any complaints.
Here she is with her four-legged best friend, Zora, taking a little break. They seem to be in high spirits. Well, who wouldn’t be after starting the day bright and early? Retirement seems to be treating Jordyn well, judging from the smile on her face.
#8 Mike Conkey’s family
When he’s not busy scoring and helping his team win games, Mike Conkey spends time with his family. He has three boys and one beloved pooch, a German Shepherd named Rio. Rio is more than a dog; Mike considers him his firstborn.
Like most dogs who belong to athletes and celebrities, Rio makes regular appearances on Instagram. He can often be seen playing with his family, exploring the surroundings, and enjoying all the good things in life. We wonder if Rio also travels with Mike to his games. Most probably not.
#9 Juju’s Boujee at the beach
Juju Smith-Schuster is smitten by his French bulldog, Boujee. You can instantly tell when you check his social media account because the little guy makes so many appearances, like the photo below. This was posted to celebrate the dog’s birthday.
We hate to break it to most folks on Instagram, but this cute doggo has more followers than most of us. Yes, Boujee is Instafamous with 185K followers. That’s certainly difficult to beat. Here is the celebrity pet catching some sun and zzz on a beach in California.
#10 Allyson Felix is just a regular mama and fur mama
Allyson Felix may be a fierce competitor on the tracks, but when she’s off, she’s just a regular mama to a toddler and a dog called Chloe. She says she’s thankful for Skype because prior to having a baby and when she was actively competing, she would use it to call her dog.
She admits that some days are tough. As can be seen in the picture above, she has her hands full heading to a meeting with her little one. Babies need a lot of things so she has to bring a lot of gear with her. Chloe just looks on, hoping she can come too!
#11 Stephen Curry is an all-around guy
Not only is Stephen Curry one of the greatest guys on the court, but he’s also a doting father, a great husband, and a dog lover. Yes, he is a dad to some of the NBA’s furriest dogs, Reza and Rookie. The two are not just pets but an integral part of the family.
The Labradoodle (Reza) and the Goldendoodle (Rookie) regularly make appearances on the basketball player’s Instagram. Here’s Reza and Curry’s son getting lots of cuddles from Stephen’s wife, Ayesha, who also enjoys posting the pooches. What a fun day it must have been.
#12 Tyrese Halliburton playing ball with Ames
He might always be jet-setting while playing in the NBA, but Tyrese Halliburton makes it a point to have some fun. In 2021, he posted photos on Instagram of him playing with a cute doggo that he captioned, “Introducing my son, Ames.”
We hate to break it to the ladies, but it seems like Tyrese is smitten and only has eyes for his little furry companion. It’s going to be difficult trying to take his attention away from this little guy who seemed so interested in the tennis ball.
#13 Not racing, just playing around
The first and, as of now, only Black F1 racer, Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, has quite a long list of accolades. He has won 103 F1 races throughout his career and has 7 championships under his belt, tied with another great driver whom many consider the best, Michael Schumacher.
Another title the F1 racer is proud of is being a fur dad. He shared this photo of him and his pet, a vegan bulldog named Roscoe, and captioned it “Father-son moment.” The dog stole the show at the F1 British Grand Prix and earns $700 daily from modeling.
#14 Travis Kelce celebrating International Dog Day
He might be all over the news now for being Taylor Swift’s new man, but aside from that, he is a father to two adorable pooches, a Goldendoodle named Rambo and a Pomsky named Chomsky. He posted his photo on his Instagram to celebrate International Dog Day and captioned it, “Love my dawgs.”
The football player first adopted a dog in 1995, together with his brother Jason. They named their furry companion Belle after their favorite baseball player, the Cleveland Indians’ Albert Belle. He is, and has always been, a dog dad. He’ll certainly be great with Tay Tay’s kitties!
#15 Serious play time with Klay and Rocco Thompson
Klay Thompson may be best known as a four-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors, but he is also a doting dad to his pet, Rocco, an Instafamous bulldog who’s got his own Instagram account with more than 60k followers.
Klay is serious about basketball practice and winning championships, but he is equally serious about spending time with his pooch. Here are the two playing fetch in a dog park. Aren’t they adorable? Klay might be a star in the NBA but we all know who the real boss is in this game.
#16 Lots of love for Abe
Labradoodles seem to be a favorite among athletes because Abe isn’t the first one on this list. Who’s that? Abe is Kirk and Julie Cousins’ beloved furry family member. He has been a part of the family since he was only five months and the kiddos love him to bits, as demonstrated by this picture.
He gets lots of love, attention, and cuddles from the boys and his pet parents. The couple initially got a different rescue dog but decided to rehome him when he became aggressive to the boys. Thankfully, Abe was protective of the family right off the bat, so we’re glad everything worked out for them.
#17 Carson Wentz exploring the outdoors with his best sidekicks
He might be known as a dynamite in the field, but off it, Carson Wentz is a girl dad times three and a father to many pooches. He loves his dogs, Henley and Jersey, to bits and is often seen out and about with them.
He loves the outdoors very much and enjoys hunting. Here is the football star with one of his daughters enjoying a chilly day and exploring the grounds. Carson said that the best part of such occasions is seeing his daughter’s eyes get wide with wonder. So adorable!
#18 Elena Delle Donne’s morning run companion
WNBA star Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics advocates for animal adoption and even starred in a PETA public service announcement. During her downtime, she can be seen snuggling with her dogs; a Great Dane named Wrigley and her wife’s rescue pupper named Amanda.
Pictured above is Wrigley joining Elena on her morning run. Morning runs and outdoor exercises are important to prep yourself for the day ahead, but sometimes we’re too busy. However, we reckon we would be more motivated if we had a dog like Wrigley to accompany us!
#19 A cookie for a pup’s birthday
What do you do if it’s your pup’s big day? Do you bake a cake? Plan a party? Or do you buy your doggo whatever it fancies? Soccer player Rose Lavelle had cookies with the face of her English Bulldog baked, and we love them. You might want to save this idea!
The Cincinnati native is so in love with her Wilma Jean Wrinkles (yes, that’s her dog’s name). She says Wilma is always excited to welcome her home every time, and they spend most of their downtime cuddling. Fun fact: Wilma loves dressing up in various costumes. They always turn out amazing!
#20 Tired pupper
Having a pet as a family member gives you a lot of benefits. Pets, including dogs, reduce stress, depression, and anxiety and ease loneliness. Ezekiel Elliott must have heard of these advantages, so he decided to get not just one but three doggos, which makes us think his home is overflowing with love.
He has a Rottweiler named Ace and two bulldogs. Here is one of his doggos, visibly tired after a long day of fun and activities. Do dogs dream, too? If they do, we wonder what this furry fellow was dreaming about.
#21 Nothing like a dog’s love, according to Meyers
Playing ball in the NBA takes up much of an athlete’s time; ask Meyers Leonard of the Milwaukee Bucks. They take anywhere from 42 to 100 flights a season. Whew! So, it’s not unusual to see them enjoying their off-season days with family and pets.
The baller has a Siberian Husky named Koko and says that there’s nothing quite like a dog’s love. He said canines could care less about bad games, and they love you no matter what. He had another dog named Bella, who sadly passed away in 2017 after a battle with lymphoma.
#22 Alexis Sanchez playing ball with his Goldies
Alexis Sanchez is one of the biggest names in soccer today. He is also a dad to four dogs. Atom and Hubert, both Golden Retrievers, first joined the professional footballer years ago and they are quite famous in their native country, appearing on TV and advertising billboards.
A few years ago, Alexis decided to welcome two new puppies to his ever-expanding family. The Doberman pups will make Alexis’ home even livelier and fill it with more love. We bet they’re going to make leaving for his games more difficult, too!
#23 Playtime is the best time
Simone Biles is one of the top names in gymnastics. The diminutive star won a record eighth all-around title in August 2023 at the US Gymnastics Championships, the oldest woman to ever do so. Simone has two French bulldogs, Lilo and Rambo.
Yes, the two pups have an Instagram account with a following of 75K. Wow! They can be seen living their best doggy lives and being cute on social media. Here, they are enjoying playtime and fighting over a chew toy.
#24 Happy birthday, Ella!
Danica Patrick is a name many people recognize. The most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, she began her racing career at 10 when most youngsters had nothing but video games in their minds. She left school at 16 to race in the UK.
The go-getter has two dogs, a Belgian Malinois named Ella and a husky named Dallas. She posted the photo above on her Instagram to celebrate Ella’s eighth birthday. Ella was sadly injured after an attack by coyotes, but she’s on the mend now.
#25 The real MVP
He may be making ruthless moves on the court while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, but Russell Westbrook has nothing but a soft heart when he goes home to his cute pupper, Brodie. We want nothing more than to scoop up the little guy and hug him forever!
They love to jam on social media and can often be seen having fun, whether on Instagram or X. Well if we had a pupper as adorable as this, we’d also be putting its face front and forward on our accounts, and we bet we’ll have hundreds of thousands of followers!
#26 Everyone, meet Kona and Blue
The captain and striker of the San Diego Wave FC, Alexis Morgan Carrasco, is as busy as any other athlete, but she makes sure she has time for practice, soccer matches, her family, and her dogs. Here is the newest member of the family, Kona. Being introduced in social media.
She once said that after being away from her family for 35 days due to Olympic duties, her dog Blue was more excited to see her than her little daughter Charlie. Yikes, that’s got to hurt a little. She said it was extremely challenging to be separated from her daughter for a full month.
#27 Tom Brady is the GOAT dog dad
Tom Brady, the super quarterback and considered by many to be American football’s GOAT, has a soft spot for his four dogs. In the picture below, he can be seen smiling at one of his four-legged family members. You can see all the love in their eyes.
The animal adoption advocate shared four dogs with his former wife, Gisele Bundchen. Their names are Scooby, Lua, Fluffy, and Onyx. He says his dogs keep him grounded and offer him companionship away from the limelight. Lua is the OG and has appeared with Tom in a commercial for UGG Australia.
#28 Is it time to go skiing yet?
This little pupper seems to be asking if it’s time to go skiing. What do you think, guys? Is it a yes or a no? Oh, forgive us. We got carried away with his cuteness and forgot to introduce him to you. This is Rob Gronkowski’s little buddy, Ralphie. He is a French Bulldog.
Like other celebrity pets, he has a presence on Instagram with more than 56K followers. The little guy is an avid traveler and always accompanies his mom and dad when they travel for leisure and work. Check out his Insta, and you’ll see him in a plane, enjoying car rides and getting some sun.
#29 Playing ice ball?
Considered one of the most dominant professional snowboarders of her era, Chloe Kim is no stranger to hard work. She puts in the hours needed to achieve success and stellar results. But like any other pet parent, she’s putty at the hands of her beloved fluffball.
She loves to exercise with her 5-year-old miniature Australian shepherd, Reese. They’re inseparable. Reese has been with Chloe since she was only 8 weeks old. Here is the playful doggo enjoying the cold climate and goofing around with her mama.
#30 All work and no play?
Widely regarded as one of the greatest female basketball players of all time, Candace Parker is a seven-time All-Star player. She is also an animal lover who has appeared in PETA’s anti-fur ad. She previously had a dog named Fendi, a St. Bernard mix.
Here she is obviously busy, working from home, but she’s joined by her dog, Prada. Yup, her pooches have designer names. We bet they also have designer toys and clothes. One of the things Candace looks forward to most about getting home is being reunited with her furry pals.
#31 Daddy’s on guard duty
Kate Upton is an animal lover, especially dogs, so it’s no wonder that her affection for furry companions has rubbed off on her husband, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander. The couple once hosted a pet adoption show in a bid to help dogs find their forever homes.
The couple has a daughter, Genevieve, seen here walking one of their dogs. We bet they are looking forward to all the wonderful adventures their daughter and their dogs will have. Hopefully, the little girl and her furry pal will grow to become the best of friends.
#32 Long walks and pauses
We wonder what these two were looking at during their afternoon walk. Was there a squirrel on a tree or a little animal in the bushes? Whatever it was, it was interesting enough to stop them in their tracks and make them pause for a few minutes.
Oh, that’s Los Angeles star outfielder Mike Trout in the photo with his dog, Juno. Mike and his wife, Jessica, set up a personal Instagram account for their doggo. As much as we love the couple, it’s clear that the title of cutest family member belongs to their little pal!
#33 David Price’s sons
David Price made his MLB debut in 2008 and has achieved great things since then. The former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher has two furry family members, a French bulldog named Astro and a Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix named Louis, both in the picture below.
He posted this photo on Instagram and captioned it, “All 3 of my sons! Astro said this used to be my spot X!” Yup, dogs are more than just pets. They are family members and should be treated as such. All these cuties make us want to adopt one too.
#34 Payton Pritchard and his new pal out on a walk
Another basketball player who‘s a fighter on the court but a doting dog dad off it is Payton Pritchard. He was seen walking what appears to be a Portuguese water dog in Boston in December. We wonder what the doggo’s name is.
We’ve seen him with a brown pupper before, so perhaps this guy is a new addition to the family. We wish he’d post more pictures because this black dog looks adorable, and we’re sure many of his fans would love to see it up close.
#35 Are you coming?
This dog seems to be asking whoever is behind him to keep up. His name is Duke Stone Jones, and he’s an extremely spoiled 5-year-old Husky Pomeranian Mix living in Minneapolis and Memphis with his parents and baby brother. Don’t hate us; that info was on his Instagram bio!
For those wondering, yup, that is Tysu Jones’ dog, who is also Instafamous like most of the doggos on this list. The NBA player named his beloved dog after the school where he studied and won a national championship. Check his social media for more adorable photos.
#36 Yup, he sat on his brother
If we were to judge by this photo, the Phelps family is a playful bunch. Exactly the kind of family we like to be a part of. Pictured below is one of the swimmer’s dogs sitting on its baby brother. We wonder what the little guy had done to be sat on like that!
The face of Olympic swimming for many years, Michael Phelps retired in 2016 and turned his attention to his family. The legendary swimmer has multiple pets, including dogs Juno, Legend, and Onyx, and even taught another dog, Stella, how to swim.
#37 Look out for Karl, SoCal!
One of the most famous hockey players with pets is Matt Beleskey. The Canadian pro player pampers his pal Karl, a bulldog, every chance he gets and shares snaps of him on his social media account. The duo is living large in SoCal and loving it.
Isn’t he one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen? We say one of the cutest because we can’t deny it, there are plenty of adorable doggos on this list, and if we had a mansion and pockets as deep as Beyonce’s, we’d adopt every single one of them!
#38 Rufio getting a tan in Malibu
It would be remiss of us if we didn’t include Joseph Fauria on this list because the man is a huge fan of dogs. His love for animals led to the adoption of this furry and lovable creature, and we’re happy they found each other.
We’d rather forget the controversy involving a dog-peeing injury story, but if you’d like to read more about it, it’s all over the Internet. We are looking past that because it’s obvious that Joseph adores his dog and will do anything for him.
#39 Laura loves her Winnie
Wouldn’t your Monday just get instantly better if this pupper were the first thing to greet you and wake you up by licking your face? This is Winnie, Laura Robson’s beloved dog. Winnie has grown considerably since this photo was taken, but she’s still a charmer.
The British former professional tennis player shares her love for canines with her mother. Her mom dogsits so Laura must have come across a plethora of dogs as charming and gorgeous as her Winnie. But it’s clear who her favorite is.
#40 Did I do something wrong?
This doggo seems to be giving us that innocent look as if asking if it did anything wrong. Dogs usually look like this when they are guilty of doing something you told them not to, but in this case, Mark Sanchez’s dog wasn’t guilty of anything.
It was just giving him the stink eye after being given a bath. Was Mark too rough? Or was the doggo just not in the mood for a bath that day? We’re more inclined to think it was the latter. Sometimes, they’re just not into baths.
#41 Hart joins the Decker family
Meet the newest member of the Decker family, Hart Olivia Decker. Hart joined the family after charming Eric Decker’s wife, Jessie James Decker, during a photo shoot. He shouldn’t have any problems getting along with the Denver Broncos wide receiver. He’s a dog lover, after all.
Judging by the couple’s social media accounts, we can already tell that Hart is happy to join the family and their beloved dogs. We love stories with happy endings such as this. That’s why we also encourage the adoption of rescue dogs.
#42 Alright, I did it!
Some dogs try to deny their ‘crimes’ even if they look guilty as hell, but not Paula Creamer’s beloved pooch Studley. Here he is caught red-handed munching on the dog biscuits, but he doesn’t deny anything. No Sir! He is proud of his deed!
We love the pupper even more for owning up to his mistakes, but let’s be honest here, who would have the heart to punish such a looker? We’d find it even hard to say no to Studley if he asked for extra sweets. We’d give him anything!
#43 Ben Simmons with his eldest son
It would be a crime for Ben Simmons to not make this list. The NBA point guard is admittedly a dog dad with not one but six doggos as of 2022. He must have his hands full taking care of them and going on walks with them.
He admits that he’s turned to his pets for comfort during turbulent times in the past, and now he brings some of them along when he travels from one game to another. Here is his Cane Corso, Chief, whom he describes as his eldest son.
#44 This dog is feeling lazy today
We’re wondering when Taj Gibson got a Frenchie because the dog we saw on his social media account was black and a different breed. Though the pup’s name is a mystery, we can all admit that it looks adorable, albeit it was probably feeling a little lazy when this picture was taken.
We wonder what it’s thinking. Was it a little disappointing that Taj didn’t make a huge announcement to introduce it to folks on the Internet? Or was it feeling down because it doesn’t have its very own Instagram account? So many questions but no answers.
#45 This doggo says “Ho, Ho, Ho!”
Everyone, meet Penelope. The newest member of the Thomas family. This cute pooch was delivered by Santa early, to the delight of Logan Thomas’ wife and kids. They couldn’t take their hands off the pretty lady, following her around all the time.
The good news is that she fits in perfectly with the other pups. The bad news is the boys won’t leave him alone, and all they want to do is play and cuddle with him. That’s not such a bad thing, but a dog needs its rest, too.