We preview the Middle East's biggest event for animal-lovers
Time Out Dubai staff
The Pedigree and Whiskas Dubai Pet Show will be held on Friday February 3 at The Sevens Stadium, with more than 15 different competition categories for pet owners (and their pets!) to enter. Regarded as the Middle East’s biggest event for animal lovers, the show is now in its 24th year, with previous years attracting an average 30,000 visitors and 600 pets, and the organisers anticipate this year will draw an even greater number of both.
During the event, which focuses on dogs and cats over more exotic animals, pet owners and visitors will have the option to attend free 15-minute interactive educational classes covering topics such as nutrition, behaviour training, registration and vaccination, raising puppies and kittens, adoptions and the benefits of pet ownership.
Younger members will be pleased to hear that the ever-popular puppy classes, crossbreed classes and child handler classes will feature again this year, and even adults will find that some of the more light-hearted competitions provide a great deal of entertainment. The category for ‘Dog Most Like Its Owner’ always draws a good audience and several laughs, while ‘Happiest Dog’ is a consistently good crowd cheerer (and can draw a few envious glances from those with more temperamental pooches). If your pet doesn’t object when you try to adorn them with amusing garb, ‘Fancy Dress’ is a good one to enter, and – as you might have guessed – particularly fun to watch.
New this year is the Pedigree and Whiskas pet health consultation area (think The Weight Loss Show, but for your four-legged friend), where experts from Waltham, a global research centre for pet nutrition, will be hosting talks on topics such as diet, training and health. There are also numerous activities for visitors on two legs., including Arabian heritage displays of the saluki breed (a hound also known as the Royal Dog of Egypt, Gazelle Hound and Persian Greyhound), believed to be one of the oldest breeds of domesticated dog.
Want to enter your canine friend? You can do so via the show’s website or on the day at the event. He or she must be at least six months old in order to enter the showground – puppies under six months will not be permitted – and it’s mandatory that pets have received all necessary vaccinations prior to the event to ensure the safety of all involved. Dhs10 entry fee; proceeds go to event partners K9 Friends and Sharjah Cat & Dog Shelter (SCADS). Doors open 8am. The Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road, www.dubaipetshow.com.
The contestants Name: Laura Binder, 29, British, and Betty, a two-year-old pug Competing in: Best Dressed
What costume do you have in mind? Betty has the ideal barrel shape for a bumble bee, with wings, antennae, insect legs and a striped suit. Failing that, her wrinkly face and waddle of a walk would make the perfect Yoda from Star Wars.
Is this her first competition? Yes. Betty’s a rescue dog – when she came to me, she had health problems and didn’t even have a name. All that’s changed, and now she’s fit and happy. It’s her time to show off her new look.
What next for Betty if she wins? Fame and fortune of Paris Hilton proportions. Failing that, more belly rubs.