No doubt about it, our pet expos are CROWDED. As with any event that attracts large crowds, we've found that people who prepare for it tend to have a much better experience. With that being said, here are some tips that we've come up with to help ensure that our guests have the best day possible at the show:
Only bring your pet along if it is well-behaved, non-aggressive and doesn't get stressed out in crowded, stimulating and noisy situations. There are all kinds of other animals, small children, wheelchairs and lots of people at the event. Your pet will be exposed to dogs barking, people speaking loudly on microphones, crowds clapping and attendees cheering. You know your pet best, so please use your best judgment to make sure that your pet will enjoy the expo just as much as you will.
We only have a few rules for bringing pets: Your pet must be current on all shots or you should plan to have your pet's immunizations updated at the event; low-cost vaccinations and microchipping are offered on-site. The immunization requirement only applies to dogs, cats and ferrets. A rabies tag is acceptable as proof of immunization, as are blood titer results for those pet owners who don't immunize annually. Dogs must be on a fixed lead or a locked retractible lead, no longer than 6 feet, at all times. You'll be required to sign a pet waiver at the entrance, but you can avoid the line by visiting the Phoenix Pet Expo website to fill your pet waiver form out in advance.
3. Once inside, stop by the prize entry table to register for awesome giveaways and prizes from our exhibitors. Does your pet have an amazing talent or enjoy being the center of attention? Make sure to enter them in the pet talent and costume contests. These popular events (and the great winning prize packages) draw a large crowd!
4. Bring cash. There are many opportunities for shopping and donations here and some rescue groups may not accept credit cards. There is an ATM on site as well.
5. The Pet Expo program includes all the vendor names and locations, a map of the show floor, as well as the full schedule of events and activities at the expo. You'll be offered one at the entrance so make sure that you pick up your copy!
6. If you are interested in adopting a pet, the Mega-Adoption area could be just what you're looking for, plus the majority of rescue groups have pets in their booths too. Hundreds of pets will be available for adoption or application (for those groups that don't do on-site adoptions).
7. High traffic events for the day will be agility, flyball and activity courses, as well as the entertainment stage. You may want to take a moment, either before the event by looking online, or once you arrive, to review the show program so that you have a general idea of how you want to spend your time at the expo. Plus you don't want to miss anything!
8. Take note of the pet-potty areas located both indoors and out. While we do have pet clean-up teams at the event, you'll also be given bags for your pet's waste pick-up when you enter. Please be kind and pick up after your pet.
9. Pet water stations be will scattered throughout the expo so that your excited companion doesn't get dehydrated. These are communal bowls, so if you have a puppy, please keep it safe and bring a travel or disposable bowl for their use.
10. Pace yourself! It's a long day and there are many things to see. Make sure you take periodic breaks and give your pet a chance to rest - or step out of the expo for a few moments of quiet - if you plan to stay all day.
11. Many exhibitors offer some sort of treat for pets. If your pet has a sensitive stomach or is super excited, you may want to consider allowing your pet one or two treats and then allowing her/him to enjoy the rest at home. We see a lot of dogs gobble up as many treats as possible only to - ahem - urp them up a few hours later.
12. If you have a small or tiny dog, you may want to be prepared to either carry it or have a stroller available. There are so many large and super large dogs at the expos that some small pet owners feel overwhelmed and their little fur-babies may unintentionally get stepped on.
13. If you are attending the expo with the intent of adopting a new family member, you may want to either bring a crate or some sort of car restraint with you or be prepared to purchase something along those lines at the show. We often have people ask us at the show if we have any boxes or crates that they can have/borrow. We don't and cage/pet carriers may sell out. So either bring one with you or plan to arrive extra early.
Amazing Pet Expos currently produces more than a dozen pet expos around the country; all of them indoors and free to the general public.