Here at PetLondon we know how to do Sunday Funday properly. The National Pet Show was calling our name, so on Sunday we decided to visit the show which took place at the London Excel Centre on the weekend of the 6th and 7th May 2017.
For those who aren’t in the know; the National Pet Show is a bonanza for animal lovers of all ages. The show is jam-packed with of a range of activities and hundreds of stands for pet lovers. From facing painting & arts ‘n’ crafts in the kids zone, to the boutique marketplace for those shopaholics; there was something for everyone.
The show was split into four main zones each with a focus and feel to them. The sheer size of the show, feels like each zone you enter into is like crossing into a different continent. The four zones were the: Dog Zone, Cat Zone, Small Furries Zone & Animal Zone.
Hidden away in the far corner of the show was the Super Theatre which hosted amazing spectacles such and captivating talks. Highlights included the Amazing Bird of Prey experience with Leigh Holmes featuring amazing acts with Owls, Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Vultures. We managed to catch Supervet Professor Noel Fitzpatrick’s Live Show where he talked about behind the scenes of Supervet on Channel 4 (just like we do on our blog) and the absolutely amazing stories he has from helping all sorts of animals over the years.
The dog zone featured a whole host of breed stands, where you could interact with dogs of all shapes and sizes and chat to the owners, many of which were associated with either breeders’ clubs or rescue charities. Everyone we spoke to was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and we chatted away for hours.
Over the day we photographed a vast array of the happy exhibitors; some of them posing for the camera perfectly whilst others wanted to get up close and personal. Two mini arenas were located within the dog zone: The School4Dogs and the Dog Activity Ring. School4Dogs had trainers and experts explain the training and requirements for dogs in a variety of circumstances, such as in the workplace, health and social care, and the show business. They also have shows explaining positive reinforcement and types of training for puppies to learn different commands and tricks. It’s all about progressing from one stage to the next, with lots of praise and treats as rewards!
We managed to see the end of the timed agility course which saw dogs zipping under, over, through and around tunnels, seesaws and posts. It was like a Mini Crufts that they called Scrufts (hehe!). The highlight of the Dog Activity Ring was the spectacular UK Disc Dog Associations show. It was amazing to see the Border Collie leaping through the air catching Frisbees, dancing through legs and leaping up onto the trainers’ back standing tall and proud.
After a bite to eat, we wondered over to The Cat Zone where all the ‘Top Cats’ were on show. Here were a diverse range of domestic and exotic breeds from the classic British Shorthair to the playful Siamese. Many of them were rescue cats, and the exhibitors were more than welcome to share their stories, and provide insightful information into involving yourself into cat rescue and the benefits of such. At periodic times during the day, national level judges took time to explain to audiences how cats are judged at competitions. A fun fact is that it takes four shows within a year with at least ten cats being entered into a new category for a new colouring of a breed to enter the CCG. The presentations, and the Q&As were a bountiful fountain of information, with everything from cat communication to tips for cat grooming and care.
The small furries zone was a warren of activity. Rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas running around in amazing complex play pens and runs. It made everyone walking through stop and look… there was so much going on! Little bunnies were running around in a jungle-gym like run with a large open air central area, connected on each side by tunnels, tubes, hidey holes and a container deep enough for some serious burrowing. All the super furries looked super happy and healthy… just like we want to see. Once again this was a menagerie of information, with specific talks for rats, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. It was amazing to see young children absorbed by the speakers and soaking up all the information on offer. All the talks that we saw were engaging, slick and up-to-date.
Also on show was a charity which saved and rescued working hens from across the UK and a pen with a micro pig and Shetland pony, where farmers were educating the public and raising awareness for miniature animals’ welfare. At PetLondon we are passionate about animal welfare so this was very encouraging and we were pleased the organisers were promoting such great causes.
Overall we had a lovely experience, enjoying and engaging with fellow animal lovers. It’s well worth a visit, especially for families considering to get a pet whether a small reptile or a big shaggy sheepdog. A top tip for our readers… tickets were slightly cheaper on Groupon! The National Pet Show took place in Birmingham and London this year. Head over to their website for more information regarding next year’s show!