Animal Welfare Guidelines

Just like you, nothing is more important to DogFest than the health and welfare of every dog attending. DogFest is about fun but also about promoting responsible dog ownership, please follow these guidelines.


  • Ensure your dog(s) are transported in a safe secure environment. Follow the advice of your vet or major charities and the highway code that states they should be either secured with a harness, behind a dog guard or in a suitable carrier.
  • Always have fresh water available for your dog in your car and bring some into the event with you. There will be water points around the event that you can replenish your water containers
  • Never leave your dog unattended in the car. Even if the weather might feel ok, it only takes a few minutes for the temperature to become dangerously hot. If we see any dogs locked or left in vehicles in unsuitable conditions, our staff may need to seek assistance to forcibly remove that dog from your vehicle. Dogs die in hot cars.
    Whilst your dog might like hanging out of the car window itís not a safe way to travel. The same if your car is a convertible.
    If you feel your dog(s) are suffering or are experiencing sudden health issues whilst at the event, please consult a member of our team and take them to the animal welfare tent as marked on the map.
  • For humans, if you are feeling unwell, please find a member of the DogFest team or check the site map for the First Aid Tent or Organiserís Office.
  • The show will be busy and if thatís not the sort of place your dog enjoys, it might not be right for them to attend.
  • Sorry, dogs must be kept on their lead unless itís in a designated area and permitted by DOGFEST staff. These will be clearly signposted. If they are allowed to be off the lead, ensure they have a good level of recall as they must be under your supervision and control at all times.
  • Howís your dogís health? If itís getting old, struggling to walk very far consider whether its appropriate for them to attend and if they do take advantage of the many places for them to rest and relax.
  • Bitches in season must not be brought on site. If your bitch is due to come into season we recommend they do not attend and if they come into season whilst on site please remove them from the site to a place of safety.
    Is your dog well socialised with other dogs or strangers? If not, or it is anxious/ fearful around other dogs or people then please donít bring it to DogFest- it wonít enjoy it.
  • Legally, and therefore any dogs brought onto the DogFest site, should have a collar with a tag displaying their ownerís name and up to date contact details. Ideally a phone number in case of emergencies.
  • Please ensure your dog is up to date with their annual vaccinations.
  • If your dog is unwell and/or suffering with any medical conditions requiring medication or that pose a risk to other dogs they should definitely not be attending.
  • Please keep an eye on the weather forecast prior to arrival. Make sure you and your dog are properly prepared for a day out. Weíll have lots of water to keep them hydrated plus shaded areas to relax in. What your dog can cope with will depend on their age, breed, health and conditions on the day. Some dogs are more prone than others, e.g. those who are old, young, overweight, with thick coats or with short faces such as Pugs and French Bulldogs. Dogs on some types of medication are also more at risk. You can find more information on the RSPCA website here.
  • If you want your dog to take part in our ĎHave-A-Go activitiesí, itís your responsibility to ensure they are fit and able to take part. Please donít ask your dog to do things it doesnít want to and be aware some dogs will do activities despite the risk to their health as they are driven by natural behaviour. Not all dogs will enjoy all the activities.
    Make sure you clean up after your dog. Failing to pick up is irresponsible and potentially dangerous to young children and other animals. Carry plenty of bags. Bins will be sited across the festival.
  • Extendable dog leads arenít a good idea. Everything gets tangled up. Dogs are also much more difficult to control if they are 20 feet out in front!
    Anyone seen mistreating their dog or handling it poorly will be immediately asked to leave DogFest. No dog will be allowed to participate if an inappropriate training device is being used. This includes electric shock collars, choke chains and spray collars.
  • Please do enjoy the lovely food and drink on offer but be careful what you drop on the floor and in particular be aware certain foods that are poisonous to dogs such as chocolate or onions. Please use the bins provided.
  • Please do not bring any glass onto the festival site.
  • Dogs should not be dressed up in costumes. These can be uncomfortable, hot and restrictive for the dogs wearing them and can cause anxiety and confusion to other dogs seeing them.
  • The welfare of your dog and their behaviour is your responsibility and they must not be left unattended at any time. If they have any special needs or requirements please consider that before bringing them along. There will be a vet team and a number of welfare advisors on site at the event if you have any queries.
  • DogFest must abide by UK law and is keen to prioritise and promote animal welfare and responsible dog ownership. In England and Wales, ear cropping and tail docking is illegal under the Animal Welfare Act (2006) as it is considered a mutilation that can cause unnecessary suffering. Whilst dogs with these mutilations cannot take part in the fun dog show due to restrictions against the showing of such dogs, they are permitted to attend the event if they are not showing any evidence of being in pain, distress or discomfort from the procedure.
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