Dates for your diary in 2013

Are you interested in raising money for your favourite charity? Perhaps you’re keen to show off your prize pooch, or want to learn more about training your animal. Whatever interests you, here’s our pick of the best UK pet events taking place over the next few months. 

26-27 January
Burgess Premier Small Animal Show
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
With 3,000 animals appearing in two days, this is a one-stop shop for anyone wanting to know more about keeping and breeding small animals including cavies, chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rabbits and rats. The show, hosted by the Yorkshire Event Centre, was originally known as the Bradford Championship Show and started in 1921, making it the oldest of its kind. For more information, visit the website.

10 February
Scottish Show Dog of the Year
Glasgow
Founded in 1881, the Scottish Kennel Club aims to promote the wellbeing of dogs in Scotland. It hosts numerous dog shows every year, all of which are a great opportunity to talk to experienced owners and breeders. For further details, visit the website, email info@scottishkennelclub.org or call 0131 665 3920.

23 February
Thames Hospicecare Woofs and Wellies
Windsor, Berkshire
The charity Thames Hospicecare is staging another 9km walk for pooches and their owners through Windsor Great Park. With an entry fee of £10, every registered dog will receive a dog tag and its very own doggy bag. The money raised will help people in the local area to pay for hospice care. To find out more, visit the website, emailmichelle.bowdidge@thameshospicecare.org.uk or call 01753 848 963.

7-10 March
Crufts
Birmingham
Crufts is, quite simply, the world’s largest dog show. Held at Birmingham’s NEC, dogs of all types are put through their paces over four days of displays and competitions. There are also hundreds of stalls selling items for canines and their owners, making it quite the shopping experience as well. Crufts has been going since 1891 and has moved with times. This year, the the winners of ITV contest That Dog Can Dance!, Lucy Heath and her dog Indie, open Crufts’ very own four-legged talent show. For more details, visit the website or call 0844 444 9944 to book tickets.

21 April
Run with Team Battersea at the London Marathon
London
Take part in this fundraising event for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and you’ll receive a running vest, fundraising pack, training plans, plus an afternoon tour of Battersea with your fellow competitors followed by a meal with the team. The ballot for this year’s race has already been drawn and positions were being filled from October 2012. Application forms for those who were successful are available on the website. For more information, contact Tim Ridgewell, Battersea’s Events & Community Officer, by emailing events@battersea.org.uk or calling 020 7627 9339.

11-12 May
London Pet Show
London
Taking place at Earl’s Court Two, this huge educational and trade exhibition, featuring displays, demos, talks and stands is now in its third year. There are four zones to discover – Dogs, Cats, Small Furries and Animals Featuring Aquatics and Exotics. The latter includes reptiles, birds, ponies and even micro pigs. As well as traditional activities such as cat grooming, there are more unorthodox attractions including duck herding and show-jumping bunnies! For more details, visit the website, email julie@londonpetshow.co.uk or call 020 8995 5006.

27 May
South Wales Dog Charity Fun Day
Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
This relaxed and good-humoured dog show at Fonmon Castle Show Ground guarantees a rosette and prize for winners and losers in the various classes. Events range from ‘most handsome dog/prettiest bitch’ to ‘dog with the waggiest tail’! Registration takes place on the day, but can be made by post by 20 May (also the deadline for an ‘enter three classes and get the fourth free’ offer). All profits go to dog rescue organisations and charities. Visit the website for further information.

8 June
Battersea Nightrider Cycle Challenge
London
Here’s another innovative fundrasing venture put on by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. The challenge here is to complete a 100km moonlit cycle by and through various landmarks including Tower Bridge, London Zoo, Piccadilly Circus, the British Museum and the London Eye. Not only will you be raising money for Battersea, but you’ll also get a unique perspective of the nation’s capital. To find out more, visit the website.

8-9 June
APDT Dog Training Events
Worcester
At Top Barn Farm, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers offers six intriguing disciplines: Gundog, Search and Rescue, Agility, Treibball, Working Trials and Rally. Most of the categories are open to all dogs, though some breeds are better suited than others to certain disciplines. Among the more unusual pursuits are Treibball, essentially sheepdog trials with balls. Working Trials has been described as the canine equivalent of equine Three Day Eventing and Rally is a kind of pentathlon of exercises including: Sit Down Sit, Straight figure 8, Send over Jump, Recall over Jump, and Left Turn. For further information, visit the website.

20-21 July
Stoneleigh Park Pet Show
Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
Billed as the first exhibition of its type to be staged both indoors and outdoors, this pet jamboree covers all your favourite domestic companions including dogs, cats, small animals, birds, fish and horses. 20,000 people are expected to visit the 21,000 square-metres site to experience educational presentations, workshops, displays and to visit trade stands. The purpose of the event is to promote good pet ownership and for owners to swap best practice tips. Visit the website for more information.