Four things you can expect from DogFest 2022 as a first-time goer

The nation’s favourite dog-friendly festival is back this summer – and it’s already hosted two locations. Last weekend, DogFest was held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire and I had the joy of attending for the very first time. From balancing a TikTok-famous pup on my head to getting photobombed by a Labrador, the day was jam-packed with dogs, dogs and more dogs – plus a whole lot of fun.

So if you’re an owner thinking of booking tickets or you’re just intrigued as to what a festival for dogs involves, here’s four things you can expect from DogFest 2022. Sign up to our TeamDogs newsletter for your weekly dose of dog news, pictures and stories.

It’s not every day a dog jumps on your head (Nia Dalton)I was surrounded by hundreds of happy pups (Nia Dalton)

Dogs, dogs and more dogs

This one will come as no surprise. Dogs were absolutely everywhere and I saw every breed under the sun, from Bertie the fluffy Old English sheepdog to Pablo the tiny Pomchi.

But that doesn’t mean you need to be a dog owner to visit – I went without a canine companion and enjoyed it just as much.

Bertie the sheepdog was happy to be there (Nia Dalton)Ollie was a very good boy (Nia Dalton)

Though the festival was well-equipped for the most important canine guests with water stations, paddling pools and shaded spots. There were opportunities to stop for Instagram-worthy photos, breed meet-ups, giant puppy and dog walks, plus a V.I.Pooch tent if you wanted to splash the extra cash.

Activities for everyone

Every single activity is aimed at dogs and revolves around them having the most amount of fun. Whether it be the pink ball pit, splash zone, agility course or training zone, there wasn’t a moment for your pup to feel bored.

In fact, there’s almost too much to try and fit into one day, which is why many people visit for the weekend.

The ball pit was a hit with Frenchie Winnie (Nia Dalton)Four things you can expect from DogFest 2022 as a first-time goerPresenter Michaela Strachan led the big puppy walk (Nia Dalton)

You could volunteer your pet to take part in haybale racing, have a go at musical statues in the obedience course or try out speedy flyball. There was a long queue for dog diving in the giant swimming pool, and it proved popular to cool pets down if you had the patience to wait.

Stalls galore

Whether you wanted to pick up a personalised harness, jar of peanut butter or learn about a new dog charity, there were plenty of stalls dotted around for you to stop and browse. A massage tent offered free dog health checks, and Pet Blood Bank UK was around to chat all things donating doggy blood.

You could leave with a fun purchase (Nia Dalton)Or learn about something new (Nia Dalton)

Dogs Trust, Guide Dogs and of course the ManyPets sponsor had stalls, as well as independent, smaller businesses like Lucy & Lola.

It was a great opportunity to discover new companies and speak with people. Of course, there was food stalls for owners to break for lunch – including burgers, pizzas, fish and chips and Greek kebabs. Ice cream trucks were aplenty, with dog-friendly tubs also available on request.

While it was a busy day and there was lots of people, the queues for food weren’t too long at all.

Stars of the show

My favourite part of the day was watching the live shows and interacting with dog experts, who were more than happy to chat. I watched Britain’s Got Talent’s Lucy Heath and her Trickstars show off their incredible talents, Chloe Fuller showcase her life-changing Super Spaniels and Dr Kirsten answer the most commonly asked dog questions.

Chloe and Cinna made everyone smile (Nia Dalton)Lucy and Trip showed off tricks (Nia Dalton)

In fact, it was hard to walk past the Live Stage and not stop to earwig. You could enter your pet into the Fun Dog Show or the Ulti-Mutt Royal competition, and meet Dogtor Adem Fehmi who taught you everything you need to know about canine behaviour.

I left DogFest completely exhausted, so I can only imagine how stimulated all the dogs were. It truly was a one-of-a-kind event for dog lovers and the atmosphere was super uplifting. If you’re thinking of heading to one of DogFest’s remaining five events this year, head to the website to book tickets.

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Contact nia.dalton@reachplc.com.

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