Calling all dog lovers!! This is a post you should most definitely read!
A few weeks ago, Adam booked me tickets for a surprise day out. After some probing, the only information I got out of him was that it involved animals and I might get to pet them. This definitely sounded like a great day out, but where were we going? After numerous discussions with friends, I finally worked it out. We were going to the Discover Dogs Exhibition in London’s ExCel Centre, and I was going to meet more dogs than I could ever dream of!!
Now to say I love dogs is probably an understatement. Every dog I see makes me smile and Adam and I have grown to play the ‘what’s his name’ game whenever we see a pooch. Yes, we are those crazy dog people, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Although we don’t have a dog of our own (yet), we are forever talking about the day we get our handsome little cocker spaniel called Jasper. Yes, we’ve even named him already too.
Back to the exhibition! The expo was only open for two days over Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October, and is London’s biggest dog exhibition. If you weren’t able to join this year’s show, then make sure you keep an eye out next year.
Ticket’s cost £15 per adult when booked online in advance, or £17 on the day. There were three key areas to explore within the exhibition – meet the breeds, trade stands and performance arena’s. In addition to those areas, there were several other areas of interest too including the pet a puppy, the young kennel club, and loads of info on buying a dog and sourcing reliable breeders. Click here for more info.
1 | Meet the Breeds
Well clearly this was the BEST part of the day! It was a fantastic chance to meet so many different types of dogs from the household favourites (think Golden Retrievers, Spaniels, and Yorkshire Terriers), to some rare and unusual breeds, such as the Canadian Eskimo or the Mexican Hairless!
In alphabetical order, there were 183 stands, each with their own breeds on show. Some stands had up to 5 dogs with them, either in a sectioned off pen, or out roaming amongst the many visitors, happy for a stroke and cuddle. I was in my element here going from stand to stand, meetings and greeting so many dogs, and all their friendly owners. I was quite amazed by how well behaved the dogs were, especially considering they were being petted for hours on end by hundreds of excitable people!
Click here for more info on which breeds were at the expo 🙂
2 | Trade Stands
Over 100 trade stands selling everything from treats, to food, clothes, bedding, toys, leads, personalised items, gifts, training equipment, books, and so on.
One of my favourite stands was Claire Thorogood Dog Portraits, selling custom made personalised portraits of your very own pooch! Not only does Claire take your dog’s personality into account before creating your own piece of art, but she also lovingly donates 10% of all profits to a dog charity of your choice. Great concept Claire!
Heartbreakingly, the most memorable stand was the No To Dog Meat stand. Julia de Cadenet, a passionate campaigner, set up this charity following a visit to China where she witnessed first-hand the horrors of the live meat market. Since then, she has been lobbying to stop this brutal practice by raising awareness and driving adoptions. You can even sponsor a dogmeat trade survivor for $10 per month – photos and info can be found on the website, but if you are like me, this will bring tears to your eyes! ☹
3 | Performance Arena’s
There were two larger arenas and two smaller show areas, all hosting events throughout the day. We stopped by one of the larger arenas in time to watch a hilarious Golden Retriever show, where 18 Retrievers and their owners performed a synchronised routine. This actually made me laugh out loud, especially at the one Golden who messed up at the very end. Other shows included an agility contest, and extremely clever dogs performing routines, just like Pudsey from Britain’s Got Talent.
4 | Pet A Puppy
Yes, you read it right. Pet. A. Puppy!! Dogs are well known for helping with stress and can make amazing support buddies for their humans. The Pet a Puppy Stressbuster Clinic, had Golden Retriever and Alsatian puppies for the ultimate puppy petting experience. Literally the stuff dreams are made of!
5 | The Young Kennel Club
The Young Kennel Club is the largest youth club for dog actives in the UK. They had their own space where children could take part in activities and play with the dogs. Sadly, I am too old for this, so I left this to the kiddies to have fun!
6 | Pet Grooming
There was a sectioned off area where several dogs were being groomed, like this handsome spaniel. Four groomers each had different breeds of dogs on their tables, all of whom were well behaved as they were brushed, cleaned, cut and trimmed into shape! Depending what type of dog you have, grooming can be a very important part of their up keep. Usually a weekly brush should be enough, but some of those longer haired doggo’s can require a lot more maintenance!
7 | Meet Some Of The Doggo’s!
With so many different breeds on show, this was doggy heaven for us! 🙂 Here’s a few of my favorite dogs that we met at the expo. Which one would you choose to pet first? I honestly didn’t know where to begin with so many funny faces all around us. What a great day out that I’d recommend to anyone looking to buy a dog, or any other doggo lovers like us!