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…’ 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 2022. 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 fifth 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.

Holistic Vet Dr Nick Thompson 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 2022 will take place from 4-5 June at the Broadlands Estate in Romsey, in the New Forest. Adult day tickets start from £9. 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.

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. 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. For more information or to find out the 2022 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, presented by Bought By Many 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’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 Surrey, Warwickshire, Cheshire, Leicestershire, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire. Adult tickets cost £20 but you can upgrade to the £75 V.I.Pooch Experience which includes car parking, fast-track entry, access to the V.I.Pooch tent, a Dogfest goodie bag and a complimentary drink and ice cream for both you and your dog. To see the dates and book tickets, visit the DogFest website.
Agility at Paws in the Park
Could your dog be a secret agility star? © Paws in the Park

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 Cockerpoo, 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 14-15 May, and in Kent from 17-18 September. Adult tickets cost £13 when booked online in advance, or £15 on the gate. Weekend camping tickets start from £43 – which includes entrance to the event. For more information, visit the Paws in the Park 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 Adele and Oasis – 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 2022 will take place from 5-7 August at Elvaston Showground in Derbyshire. Adult weekend tickets cost £18.50 if bought online, or £22 on the gate. Three nights’ camping starts from £35.50. For further details, see the Dog Lovers Festival website.
Woman with dog at Woofstock
A festivalgoer and her dog enjoy Woofstock

Woofstock

Woofstock has been getting tails wagging since 2014 – and although the festival is taking a break this year, it will be back in 2023, bigger and better than ever. The family-friendly two-day event promises lots of fun activities for dogs, not to mention live music, police displays and a shopping village full of doggy-related stalls.

  • The next Woofstock will take place from 16-18 June 2023 at Powderham Castle in Exeter, Devon. Adult day tickets start from £9, while weekend passes start from £14. 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.

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