Dog-friendly festivals

Mixed breed rescue Max barks next to giant Bark sign at Dogstival
A pooch makes his voice heard at Dogstival

‘Eat, sleep, walkies, repeat…’ That pretty much sums up the last year for dogs and their owners, so it’s no surprise many of us are keen to make the most of 2021.

Festivals may still be off the menu for humans – but that doesn’t mean our faithful hounds can’t have a bit of fun. So it’s just as well there are plenty of cool events catering for the canine market. Here are a few of Britain’s biggest and best festivals for dogs that are back this year, with Covid safety measures in place. Get your paws on some tickets now!

Dog in baseball cap posing by Dogstival sign
Don’t forget to dress to impress at Dogstival

Dogstival

This two-day event, which is now in its fourth year, is packed full of things to please your pooch. They can have a go at flyball, Barkour and fun scent challenges – or make a splash in the K9 dog diving pool.

Dr Scott Miller – the vet from ITV’s This Morning – and behaviourist Natalie Light are among the experts who will be taking to the Dog House Stage with advice. And the festival’s Main Arena is set to be as big a draw as ever, with a range of demonstrations and displays.

Pop-up vets and physio centres will also be stationed around the showground throughout the event, alongside more than 140 stalls. These will be selling everything from doggy delicacies and gadgets to locally-sourced food and drink.

  • Dogstival 2021 will take place from 5-6 June at Burley Park in the New Forest. Adult tickets cost £13.90. For more information or to book, visit the Dogstival website.
Dog with rosette at All About Dogs show
A pooch proudly shows off his rosette at the All About Dogs show © Aztec Events

All About Dogs

For a great day out, consider All About Dogs, which has five action-packed weekends of doggy fun taking place across the country. Each event will be packed full of have-a-go activities like Flyball, more than 150 trade stands and have a Village Green, where you can relax with live music and grab some food and drink.

Britain’s Got Talent dog trainer Lucy Heath, will be attending as many of the events as she can and 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. For example, the Essex Police Dog Watch team will be attending the Essex event to give attendees tips on how to keep their dogs safe. You can also camp at some of the sites.

  • All About Dogs has events taking place in Essex, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire this summer. Adult tickets cost £12. For more information or to find out the 2021 dates, visit the All About Dogs website.
Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick and his beloved Border Terrier Keira at the 2018 Dogfest
Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick and his beloved Border Terrier Keira at the 2018 Dogfest © Dogfest

Dogfest

This fantastic dog festival will be taking place at three beautiful country house locations over three weekends. 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’re one of the many people who acquired a pooch during lockdown, 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 industry 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 Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire and Cheshire. Adult tickets start from £17.50 but you can upgrade to the £35 premium package which includes car parking, a glass of prosecco or craft beer and a Dogfest flag. To see the dates and book tickets, visit the Dogfest website.
Woman with dog at Woofstock
A festivalgoer and her dog enjoy Woofstock

Woofstock

Woofstock, set in more than 25 acres of land at Oldstone Farm in Devon, has been getting tails wagging since 2014. With loads of fun activities for dogs, police displays and a shopping village full of doggy-related stalls, Woofstock makes for a great weekend.

Fun dog shows will take place throughout the two-day event, with categories including Golden Oldie and Most Appealing Eyes. There will also be a range of pawsome displays and demonstrations taking place and have-a-go experiences where you and your dog can work on your obedience and agility skills.

Festivalgoers can also enjoy a range of talks and unique activities such as paw painting in the Pawcasso tent – but the fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. In the evenings, an open-air cinema will screen family-friendly films and there will live music suitable for even the most sensitive doggy ears.

  • This year’s Woofstock will take place from 6-8 August in Dartmouth, Devon. Adult day tickets cost £13, while weekend passes are £38. 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.
A black labrador swims at Dog Lovers Festival
Making a splash at the Dog Lovers Festival © Taurus Photography

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 Queen and ABBA – 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 2021 will take place from 6-8 August at Elvaston Showground in Derbyshire. Adult weekend tickets cost £15.50 if bought online, or £18 on the gate. Three nights’ camping starts from £30.50. For further details, see the Dog Lovers Festival website.

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