Animal Welfare

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

There will be lots more infomation coming soon from the National Park Authority about responsible dog ownership in the New Forest.

Key things to consider

  • Ensure your dog(s) are transported in a safe secure environment. Follow the advice of your vet or major charities that states they should be either secured with a harness or in a suitable carrier.
  • Always have fresh water in your car and bring some into the event with you. There will be water points around the event that will refilled regularly
  • 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 it’s not a safe way to travel. The same if your car is a convertible.
  • Most importantly. 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 or onsite vet Vets 4 Pets Totton immediately. Animals at home will have an Animal Ambulance onsite for the duration of the event and it is all authorised by the Animals Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (part of DEFRA) as required by European Law to transport animals in safety and comfort. 
  • For humans, if you are feeling unwell, please find a member of the Dogstival team or check the site map for South Coast Medics tent. Both will be sited at the main event entrance.
  • The show will be busy and if that’s not the sort of place they enjoy, it might not be right for them.
  • Sorry dogs must be kept on their lead unless it’s in a designated area. These will be clearly signposted. If they are allowed to be off the lead, ensure they have a good level of recall…they must be under your supervision and control at all times.
  • How’s your dog’s health? If it’s getting old, struggling to walk very far consider whether its appropriate to attend however there will be plenty of places to rest and relax
  • Bitches in season are not permitted to attend.
  • Is your dog well socialised with other dogs or strangers? If not, or it is anxious/ fearful around other dogs or people then please don't bring it to Dogstival - it won't enjoy it.
  • Legally, dogs should have a collar with a tag displaying their owner's name and contact details. Ideally a phone number in case of emergencies.
  • Please ensure your dog is up to date with any required vaccinations.
  • If your dog is unwell or suffering with any medical conditions that may be passed onto other dog’s they should definitely not be attending.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Make sure you and your dog are properly prepared for a day out. We’ll have lots of water to keep them hydrated plus shaded areas to relax in. This especially applies to certain breeds. 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 ‘have a go activities’, it’s your responsibility to ensure they are fit and able enough.
  • Please don’t force your dog to do things it doesn’t want to. 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 aren’t 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 Dogstival. 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.
  • Be careful what you drop on the floor and in particular certain foods that are poisonous to dogs such as chocolate or onions. Please do enjoy the lovely food and drink on offer but 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 coming along. There will be a vet and a number of welfare officers on site at the event if you have any queries.

Keeping Everyone Safe

Over the last two year's Dogstival has gone ahead safely whilst adhering to a range of guidelines. By June next year life should have returned to normal, but we'll keep our 11 Point Pawplan safely tucked away!

  1. First up, if you feel unwell a few days before the event, please don't come. Either give your ticket to a family member or friend, or get in touch and we'll work something out with your ticket for next year.  
  2. Everyone attending will likely be required to ‘scan in via the NHS ‘track and trace app’, we are waiting on formal guidance and clearly understand (unlike the government) that not everyone has a phone with this function. As back-up, we’ll probably have to note down your information.
  3. Dogstival Distancing. We've worked out the site plan so everyone's got about 10sqm (or 12 spaniels x 10 spaniels) of space. It's huge open field to stroll around. Seating will be spaced out across the site too. 
  4. There'll be hand sanitiser stations at the entrances, in the food areas, on each stand and of course in each loo. Feel free to bring your own, but we'll have that covered! 
  5. General Cleaning; we'll have an on-site A-team cleaning loo's, benches or any surfaces across the weekend. More than any other place you've visited in a past few weeks.
  6. Queues; we're aiming to get everyone in quickly and limit or manage any queues around the site at busy stands or arenas. Keep an eye out for markers or notices to help keep your distance. 
  7. Dogs Sharing; at the moment CFSG guidelines state 'we can provide water, but not shared drinking bowls.' So, please bring your dog's travel bowl to fill up and we'll supply the H2O.
  8. Foody Things; all our food retailers will have 'one serve condiments' so we're not sharing stuff.
  9. You; whilst we'll have lots of signage to remind us about keeping safe, we ask you as super responsible dog-owners to also take into account others.
  10. Sampling will be conducted in a controlled way using gloves.
  11. Facemasks, as we’re outside and similar to a local street market or another outdoor attraction the guidance states these are not compulsory to wear one.



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