‘Eat, sleep, walkies, repeat…’ Those four words pretty much sum up what life was like during the Covid pandemic but now normal life has resumed, it’s no surprise we’re keen to make up for lost time.
Festivals used to be purely for humans but our faithful hounds can now enjoy the fun too. There are plenty of cool events catering for the canine market so here are some of Britain’s biggest and best festivals for dogs – updated for 2023. Get your paws on some tickets now!
This two-day event, which is now in its sixth year, is packed full of things to please your pooch. They can have a go at flyball, Barkour, agility and fun scent challenges – or test their retrieving skills in the Scurry Village.
Pet Detective Colin Butcher will be among the experts taking to the Dog House Stage with advice. And as well as the usual fun in the main arena, the Dog Furiendly team will be running the ultimate pub – the Muddy Paws Tavern – complete with quizzes, bingo and doggy discos.
Pop-up vets and physio centres will also be stationed around the showground throughout the event, alongside more than 140 stalls. These will sell everything from doggy delicacies and gadgets to locally-sourced food and drink. Plus, this year’s event will also feature live music.
- Dogstival 2023 will take place from 3-4 June at Broadlands Park in Romsey, in the New Forest. Adult day tickets start from £10. For more information or to book, visit the Dogstival website.
All About Dogs
For a great day out, consider All About Dogs, which has four action-packed weekends of doggy fun taking place across the country. Each event will be packed full of have-a-go activities like Flyball and have more than 150 trade stands plus a ‘Village Green’, where you can relax with live music and grab some food and drink.
Alongside the main area attractions, fun dog shows will also be taking place. In all, there will be more than 45 classes for your pooch to enter. Could your four-legged friend walk away with the coveted Best in Show trophy?
Each event will have scores of local exhibitors and experts offering advice. And Scruffts, the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition, will be coming to this year’s festivals – with lots of prizes for the most special mixed breed dogs. Visitors will also be able to donate to pet food banks and you can even camp at some of the sites.
- All About Dogs has events taking place in Essex, Berkshire, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire this summer. Adult tickets cost £12.50. For more information or to find out the 2023 dates, visit the All About Dogs website.
This fantastic dog festival, presented by Many Pets pet insurance, will be taking place at six different locations this year. Your pooch will love taking part in all the fun activities, such as dogstacle courses and hay bale racing. There will be plenty to keep the humans amused too, whether they’re keen to sample local food truck fayre or quaff a few glasses of champagne.
If you have a young dog, the Puppy Academy will be the perfect place for you both to learn, rest and play. There will also be lots to see and do in the main arena and on the live stage where experts – who in the past have included Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick – will be giving talks throughout the two-day event.
Join one of the breed meet-ups to share notes and snap some pics with other proud dog owners. Festivalgoers can even join in with The Big Dog Walk, which is either a 2km or 4km stroll around the picturesque grounds. Those taking part can snap up exclusive DogFest merchandise.
- DogFest will be taking place in Leicestershire, Surrey, Warwickshire, Cheshire, Bristol, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire. Adult day tickets cost £21.40. To see this year’s dates and book tickets, visit the DogFest website.
Paws in the Park
Active dogs will love getting involved with all the activities on offer at Paws in the Park. The fun festival, which takes place at two different locations in Sussex and Kent, has everything from flyball to canicross and gundog scurries and there are lots of have-a-go classes for dogs and their owners to get involved with.
Whether you’ve got a fit dog, fast dog, trained dog or talented dog, there’s sure to be an activity that gets their tail wagging – and no experience is required. All of the sessions are run by trainers and enthusiasts who know the sports best so you can just get stuck in, ask questions and maybe even find a new hobby for you and your four-legged friend.
The event also has lots of exciting arena displays and entertainment, as well as competitions, trade stalls selling all kinds of dog products and more. And, whether you’ve got a pedigree Pomeranian or a cheeky Cockapoo, there’s sure to be a class for you in the companion dog show, with lots of prizes and rosettes to be won.
- Paws in the Park will take place in Sussex, from 20-21 May, and in Kent from 16-17 September. Adult tickets cost £13 when booked online in advance, or £15 on the gate. Weekend camping tickets start from £42 – which includes entrance to the event. For more information, visit the Paws in the Park website.
Dog Lovers Festival
Keen to dance the day away at a music festival but don’t want to leave your four-legged friend behind? Then Dog Lovers Festival is for you. This fun-packed event has been created with dogs in mind and will see some of the UK’s best tribute bands – to artists such as Blondie and The Rolling Stones – take to the stage.
As well as non-stop music all weekend, there will be scores of stalls where you can treat your dog to toys or top-of-the-range accessories. Dog shows will be running on both days of the event and your pooch can also enjoy agility, a ‘doggie dip’ and a scurry run, as well as the main arena entertainment.
The event, which has been previously been featured on TV, will also have a number of animal experts onhand to offer training advice, information on how to foster or adopt a new pooch and free doggy MOTs.
- Dog Lovers Festival 2023 will take place from 4-6 August at Elvaston Showground in Derbyshire. Adult weekend tickets start from £13. Three nights’ camping starts from £51. For further details, see the Dog Lovers Festival website.
Woofstock has been getting tails wagging since 2014 – and although the Devon festival took a break last year, it promises to be bigger and better than ever in 2023. The family-friendly two-day event promises lots of action-packed activities for dogs, not to mention live music, police displays and a shopping village full of doggy-related stalls.
All four-legged attendees are encouraged to enter the fun dog shows, where the categories include Appealing Eyes, Golden Oldie and I Love My Mini Human. Pawsome demonstrations will also take place throughout the event and a number of awards will be handed out to service dogs, inspirational pets and brave pooches.
The festival proudly supports a number of charities, such as Pawsome Pensions – which helps retired police and fire dogs – and AnimalsAsia, which is keen to raise awareness of the plight of moon bears caged in China and Vietnam. As a result, you can enjoy the festival safe in the knowledge that all money from your entry fee is going to a good cause.
- Woofstock take place from 16-18 June 2023 at Powderham Castle in Exeter, Devon. Adult day tickets start from £20, while weekend passes start from £26.40. Music-only tickets are also available for the Friday and Saturday nights and discounts are available for key workers. If you’re keen to camp or glamp, prices start from £50. For more information, see the Woofstock website.