Dog Fest North 2017 was... very, very hot!
This was our second visit to Arley Hall in Cheshire for Britain's annual summer festival for dogs. We had such an amazing time last year; shopping, eating and enjoying the various activities including the fun dog show where Elsa won the top prize for being the 'Best Turned Out Dog of the Day'. We really enjoyed our day out, until the heavens opened and we ended up retreating to the car with a very soggy dog!
There was no chance of rain this year - the skies were blue and the sun was out all day! We went prepared with plenty of water, Elsa's cooling coat and kept her out of the sun as much as possible.
Top Dog Ring
Our first stop was the fun dog show where we entered into the 'Angelina Collie' and 'Best Turned Out Dog' categories.
Elsa didn't win any rosettes this year, but we still enjoyed the atmosphere in the Top Dog Ring and chatting with the other competitors. It was good to see that the size of the showing area had been expanded so that the dogs had more space too.
DogFest is a great place to find new products, and we love to shop!
Sadly we only managed to buy a couple of things as it was far too hot to walk Elsa around all of the shops.
This is one of our favourite brands so we stopped to pick up a 'goody bag' for Elsa. It was full to the brim with everything from food samples to full sized packets of treats. A bargain at just £4!
Our next stop was to look at some gorgeous accessories - WiffWaff Designs have a fantastic range of collars, leads and bandanas in very beautiful and quirky fabrics. We bought a few of these as gifts for Elsa's Muttley Crew.
(Thanks again to the lovely lady from WiffWaff who was making sure that all the dog's cooling coats were properly soaked with water!)
Although we didn't take part in any of the activities (other than the fun dog show at the beginning of the day), we did enjoy watching various demonstrations including The Amazing Shadowquest Dog Display and a few dogs attempting the agility course.
The Big Tick Project at DogFest
We've been actively following The Big Tick Project on social media so we stopped at their tent to say hello in person!
The Big Tick Team were on hand to answer all our questions and even gave us a hands-on demonstration of how to look for ticks in Elsa's dense fur.
The key is to check areas that have a good blood flow; these include the ears, face, rear/ groin, legs and even in between the paw pads as ticks also like to bury themselves in these crevices. We also got some useful advice about products that are available to help protect dogs against the risks of ticks and we'll definitely be speaking to Elsa's vet about better protection.
Chris Packham has joined forces with The Big Tick Project and was on hand to offer advice and raise awareness of tick borne diseases. He was kind enough to have his photo taken with Elsa and I, and we really enjoyed chatting with him about dog friendly places and discussing the different attitudes towards dogs accompanying owners in Britain and on the Continent.
[Tip from Chris: dogs are allowed in the café at the Isle of Wight Zoo!]
We also met another famous dog at The Big Tick Tent
Instagram's @pepeandcompany came over to say hi to us!
We loved meeting this gorgeous little pup!
The Dogs of DogFest
As much as we loved all the activities, food, shopping and meeting the lovely people, the best thing about DogFest is seeing all the dogs in every shape, size and colour! When we were too tired and too hot to keep walking around we just sat and dog-watched...
Unfortunately the weather eventually got the better of us and due to the soaring temperatures we decided to cut our day short. Elsa coped very well thanks to her cooling coat, lots of water and the shade from an umbrella that we took with us, but we didn't want to over-exert her.
The highlight of our visit to DogFest North 2017 was meeting Chris Packham!
We really admire him for the work that he is doing with The Big Tick Project, along with his ongoing efforts to conserve British wildlife and not forgetting the fact that he is a huge dog lover! He was very personable and cordial; meeting him really made our day.
DogFest takes place over two weekends in June, one in Cheshire and the other is based in Hertfordshire.