In a matter of days Crufts will take place at the Birmingham NEC. With no less than five huge halls, packed with breed fancying, canine competitions, dazzling dog displays and endless shop-til-you-drop ops, it’s a whirlwind of excitement. Plus with lots of new styles, products and generous show offers to tempt you, deciding what to buy is likely to send you into a tailspin. Follow our paw and footprints with Barkarama’s guide to shopping at Crufts, and you won’t go home to a disappointed dog.
Discover doggy massage and possibly a new career with Canine Massage Guild & Canine Massage Therapy Centre - stands 1-24 and 24A. Talk through your pooch problems with the home dog-training experts Barkbusters at stand 1-44. Read how they helped us with our dog toilet training issues.
This is THE hall to stock up on doggy eats including natural low fat dog treats from Love Sniffy’s (1-49); Billy & Margot (1-52) who offer doggy popcorn, venison bites, iced-treats for dogs and more; Lily’s Kitchen the number one organic dog food purveyor (1-85), plus Daisy’s Dog Deli (1-170) where you’ll find baked goodness galore. Or for a one-stop gift pick up a PawPost box, pre-packed with treats and toys of the highest quality with £5 off (see our PawPost review). They’ll also be sharing stand 1-100 with ethical dog treat company Beautiful Joe’s, who donate treats to a UK dog home for every tin sold. And learn about eating ‘raw’ and dine on Basil Barkarama’s dog food of choice – Natural Instinct. Find them at stand 1-126 and take advantage of their exclusive show hampers.
Score an eco and durable double-whammy for toys, bowls and more at BecoThings on 1-116, and add some pizzazz to your dog’s petwear with coordinated collars, leads and accessories in some of the loveliest prints around at Ditsy Pet (1-184).
For luxury handmade collars and leads in eye-catching styles such as bright polka dots and zebra print, Holly & Lil are the buy for you. Say hi at stand 2-12. Also make a beeline to Dogs & Horses (2-75a) and you might bump into us to picking up a new collar for Basil made from the finest saddlery leather. For a gift to stimulate your dog’s brain, The Company of Animals (2-108) stocks an extensive range of dog puzzles and more.
HALLS THREE & FOUR
For a woof of art of your beloved dog, check out artist Olivia Brown, who makes pretty damn pawesome ceramic sculptures of dogs. View her work at stand 3-86.
Every other week Basil and I volunteer for Pets As Therapy, visiting our local old folks home. It’s one of the most rewarding things we’ve ever done so if it sounds like your thing, find out more at stand 4-188.
Here you’ll discover some of our most-loved pet brands including Snuggle dog bed extraordinaires Charley Chau (5-26a) and made in Britain brand Poppy & Rufus,who boast coordinated lifestyle products for hounds and their humans. Visit them at stand 5-172 where you’ll be able to purchase some exciting new products including collars and oilcloth dog walking bags. Pause from the action with a tea break at 5-104 and discover a host of blends specifically for dogs by WOOF&BREW, and for natural skin and coat care for pets, Wildwash’s sweet-smelling wares can be found at stand 5-186b.
When you’re done swiping the credit card, there is plenty to entertain you. The 2015 Group Schedule is Thurs 5 March – Gundog; Fri 6 March – Working and Pastoral; Sat 7 March – Terrier and Hound, and Sun 8 March – Toy and Utility. The main Arena has a busy schedule of daily displays and competitions – think Dancing Dogs and Hero Hounds – and there’s other arenas hosting activities including the Good Citizen Dog Scheme displays, the Dog Activities Ring, where you can learn how to unleash your dog’s potential and special competitions such as Scruffts for the Best Crossbreed. Plan your day at Crufts What’s On. Also remember to look up high, as the big screens around the NEC will be showcasing the winning images from the #KCdogphotographer competition.
Crufts 2015 takes place 5-8 March 2015 at the Birmingham NEC. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Crufts.org.uk. We’ll be there on the Friday with our nose to the ground, hoping to sniff out some new doggy gems so look out for us. Have fun!