You won’t often see me at a traditional festival (let’s face it…my welly wearing, camping days are probably over) but talk to me about a dog festival (yes, that’s a festival designed for dogs to have the best time ever) and I’m there – it’s amazing what the addition of one little three-letter word will do! Since starting The Dogvine, we’ve attended countless summer doggy events including doggy festivals, so we’ve put together our ‘What to Take to a Dog Festival Checklist’ with a list of everything hounds need to be festival ready.
Now that Spring is here, so is (dog) festival season and it’s not long before for what’s predicted to be the hottest dog festival of 2019 – Dogstival. Set in the New Forest in the stunning Pylewell Park, Dogstival is a festival specially designed for dogs (and humans) to have the best time – there’s even a dog-friendly beach which is a first for a UK dog festival.
Updated: Read our Dogstival Review here.
And if you’re going to Dogstival and making a weekend of the trip, then why not check out our guide to dog-friendly things to do in the New Forest for inspiration on other pawsome things to do nearby.
The Dogvine What to Take to a Dog Festival Checklist
You’ve got your dog festival tickets – be it for the day or for the weekend, now what do you decide to take? In the past, I’ve made the mistake of taking too many things or the wrong things, so here’s our ‘what to take to a dog festival checklist’ to keep pups feeling and looking good…
The What to Take to a Dog Festival Checklist – For Practical and Dapper Dogs
On the Go Hydration: Once the sun comes out, I simply don’t leave home without a dog travel water bottle. There are loads to choose from online but instead of carrying a separate travel bowl and bottle, integrated bottles and bowls are best such as the H20 Dog Travel Water Bottle. Plus, you can also get a handy neoprene carry sling for the bottle which keeps it cool too.
Cooling Canine Gear: a must-have on our list for those warm days is a cooling coat, harness or bandana depending on what your dog is used to wearing. You can easily top-up the cooling factor by just soaking it in water and there are plenty of practical options to choose from if you search on Amazon, Pets Pyjamas or Fetch. However, for cooling products that combine function with style, our go-to brand has to be Dogsnug who have an entire range of (glamourous) cooling products to choose from.
‘Furcare’ Wipes: Another essential to have for pup outings are the fantastic dog wipes from cruelty-free grooming brand Hownd. If your dog likes to roll in things that aren’t so pleasant these are an absolute godsend as they are a good size, really do the job and smell nice too. They can also double as human wipes if the need arises…if it’s good enough the dog, it’s good enough for me. Hownd will be at Dogstival so you can pick up a pack (or several) there.
Hydration for Fussy Hounds: If your pup is a fussy drinker when out and about like Belinha, then having a flavoured doggy hydration drink to hand can put human minds at ease. Slurps (who will also be at Dogstival) offer handy beef and chicken hydration drinks high in Omega 3 or another option is Oralade which we reviewed on the blog last summer.
Dry Dog Wear: Dog festivals like Dogstival offer pups the chance to get their paws wet, not only on the dog-friendly beach but when trying out doggy watersports such as dog dock diving. We personally haven’t tried this as none of our four-legged Dogvine crew are dock diving inclined, but it looks amazing fun for dogs who are.
After the fun, maybe your dog likes to dry off au naturel, but if they don’t, having a doggy drying coat to hand will speed up the process. Two of the best-known brands are Ruff and Tumble and Dogrobes who will have your dog dry in minutes. Catch Ruff and Tumble at Dogstival for some practical post dip pup wear.
Collars & Leads: No doubt you already have your special ‘doggy day out’ collar and lead but for a dog festival it needs to be both practical and stylish, so it doesn’t matter what your pup gets up to – especially if your pup is planning on doing some doggy dipping! Our picks are colourful yet practical collars and leads for active dogs from London brand Reg and Bob or biothane waterproof collars and leads from brands such as The Stately Hound or Rock it Dog. Catch both Reg and Bob and Rock it Dog at Dogstival.
Festival Flowers: Some would say it wouldn’t be a festival without wearing flowers – but we’re not talking about the humans but the hounds. Perhaps not for all day wear but definitely for that moment when pups need to look their best or put their best paw forwards in a dog show, Cupid Collars have a pawsome collection to choose from.
Training Treats: There will be a lot going on which could be overwhelming for some pups especially if it’s their first dog festival. Making sure you’ve got tasty treats to hand for positive reinforcement training throughout the day is a must. And you can always pick some up whilst you’re there if you need to. Seeing as we will be ‘beside the sea’ for Dogstival, we’ll be stopping by the Goodchaps stall to pick up some Mrs Cooks Doggy Fishcakes as not only do they sound healthy and delicious but they do good as well, donating a pack to Amicii Dog Rescue in Romania for every pack sold.
Treat Dispenser for Discerning Dogs: Of course, you also need to have the training treats easily dispensable whilst not sacrificing style. Our pick for this has to be the new Dog Pods from the Dog Pod Company which come in several stylish colours – our only problem is choosing which one.
Doggy Wheels: Finally, we’ll be taking our dog buggy as it gives older dogs like Belinha a chance to rest during the day as well as offering some on the go shade. Plus, it just happens to have a handy carry space for all the dog shopping we are likely to do. Not one for everyone’s packing list, but very useful if you do happen to have one.
Dog Festival Shopping
One thing I enjoy when going to dog festivals and events like these, is the chance to discover and support brands that you would otherwise only see online. For this post we’ve mentioned several brands that will be at Dogstival (and likely other dog festivals and events) so you can pick up some of the items on our ‘What to Take to a Dog Festival Checklist’ whilst you are there rather than take them with you – for a full list of all the brands attending to plan your shopping in advance, please check the stallholders page on the Dogstival website.