This year we decided we were going to go back to one of the biggest dog festival’s in the UK, hosted by Noel Fitzpatrick (this year he’s joined by Clare Balding) – this isn’t our first time attending, we attended one of the first ever Dog Fest events all the way back in 2015 and again in 2017 when there was only Team North and Team South, this year they’ve added extra dates for the western UK folk in Bristol, for their Team West weekend.
There’s so much to do here for your four legged friends, from have-a-go agility, to fun dog shows, to dock diving, to hay bale racing, your dog will never be bored! We highly recommend stopping off at the Pit Pat stand not only is Pit Pat the reason we were able to go to Dog Fest this weekend but their activity monitors are on special offer at the Dog Fest events, so if you’re heading to #TeamWest in Bristol next weekend and have been thinking about getting your pooch a monitor, go grab yourself a bargain whilst you can! Don’t forget to have a go at their hay bale race and if your pup is already a Pit Pat pack member you and your pooch can get a free glass of bubbly and pawsecco! There’s even puppy socialisation corners for your new addition to enjoy some like minded puppy play time or just a place for you and your fur baby to have a rest from all the hustle and bustle! Don’t worry though, if you don’t have a puppy there is plenty of places to plonk your bottoms for a break or bite to eat!
Speaking of food, there are lots of food carts, bars and stalls to get refreshments and food from during your day here, not only for your best friend but for the humans to, we had brought our own lunch but it didn’t stop us from enjoying a cheeky cone or two! (of course I wasn’t allowed to eat alone and ended up sharing my cone!)
As well as plenty of food stalls there are COUNTLESS shopping opportunities, make sure to bring plenty of pennies (although most of the stalls do take card these days) for spoiling your pooch. Some of the shopping includes; food, treats, toys, accessories, clothing, grooming, supplements and even things like your pets insurance cover and lawn up-keep (we know our furry friends can damage even the most unlikely places *face palms*) you definitely won’t be leaving empty handed, and that goes for wether you spend a lot of money or nothing at all as you will more than likely be gifted freebies from one place or another! (We definitely recommend checking out the Billy + Margot stand, the staff were beyond lovely with Pippa and who doesn’t want to take a photo of their pooch in the giant deck chair they have!? They also have doggie ice cream to purchase which is absolutely perfect for the warmer weather! Also be sure to check out the Finer By Nature and Fish4Dogs stalls for some amazing, natural treats – in fact FBN was the first place we discovered natural treats back at the first Dog Fest we attended!)
Dog Fest is also the perfect place to meet up and chat with so many like minded doggie people as well as meeting up with any instafamous doggies you may have wanted to see (IRL!!!) we missed out on so many doggies we wanted to see but we did luckily get to meet and catch up with some of the amazing doggies and their owners that we’ve to met through instagram that we may never have got to meet if it weren’t for Dog Fest – Go check out: Chester, Jasper & Effie, Skyla and Skye!
Back to Noel and Clare, these guys are there all day running different mini events throughout the day, a plan of these events can be found on the Dog Fest social media pages, both hoomans will be doing book signings, although this is a pre-booked event, however they will be doing free talks on the main stage and one of the two will each start off the ‘Great Dog Walk’ which happens twice a day where you, your pup, Noel or Clare and all the other hoomans and doggies from the festival (that want to join) take part in a walk around the event grounds, options for a 4K and 2K walk for those doggies and hoomans who struggle or who just don’t fancy as long of a walk! We didn’t take part in the walk this year as walking around the event was enough exercise for us haha!!
Now, this is where it gets maybe a little confusing to explain – since Pippa was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia we’ve come to realise this is why or may be why she’s been acting different and more defensive around new dogs. Pippa can and will be snappy with other dogs, she isn’t reactive and can walk very nicely and calmly past many dogs and have zero reaction, she has plenty of doggies friends within her circle that she trusts and plays and walks daily with but allow your dog to come up to her unannounced or in her face or sniffing around her butt, then your dog will definitely get a Pippa warning. I thought it was worth mentioning that even though she has these issues, we have been and continue to go to many busy events that she’s used to going to and we can still both enjoy our day, however not everybody understands these issues and can be a little insensitive to this or a little careless with their dog and allow them to approach every dog in sight, so we took it upon ourselves this time to come equipped with her muzzle in my bag (incase our plan A didn’t work out) plan A being these amazing lead sleeves (The Huggable Dog) that slide right over your dogs lead, these allow dog owners to understand Pippa needs space and not to allow your dog to come over to her. We must say 90% of the day this worked wonderfully and we had many people compliment and say how great it was that we’d put this on show to warn people, I even heard people reading it out loud and proceeding to give her space and somebody came over to us and asked where it was from because they hadn’t brought their dog for that very reason. She’s absolutely brilliant with people and she wasn’t shy of getting plenty of attention and fusses from staff members, stall owners and her instagram pals! So thank you to everybody that saw her, saw her sign and respected her space, we really appreciate it!
With all that being said, there are lots more things we haven’t fully covered or included but most of these along with FAQ’s for the event can be found on the Dog Fest website. If you’ve never been before we strongly recommend a visit and day out with your pooch, it’s definitely worth the trip and there’s bound to be something you’ll both enjoy. We can’t wait to see everybody’s photos from the day and hope you all enjoyed your time as much as we did!
(Pippa wears her Lilac Dream collar from Furry Necks – use code PIPPA for 10% off at checkout, Siren bow tie from Bow Dickie Design, Pit Pat activity monitor and her custom made tag from Lady and the Hound Studio – use code PIPPA for 10% off at checkout)
Natalie & Pippa x