Are you planning to attend your first pet show?
Competing in cat and dog shows is an incredibly rewarding pastime. It’s an opportunity to connect with enthusiastic members of the pet community, travel, learn more about different breeds, grooming, training, and of course bond more closely with your four-legged best friend.
But taking home that first place ribbon isn’t easy! A lot of preparation goes into pet shows…from behind the scenes coordinating to hands-on tasks on the day of the big event, there is plenty to think about. Luckily, LunaMarie is here with the top 5 tips to make your very first pet show a smashing success!
5 Helpful Tips for Your First Pet Show
There are dozens of different pet shows, ranging from conformation competitions, agility, and best of breed to dock diving, scent work, and even freestyle doggy dance. Whether you are entering a cat show or dog show, one thing is certain: to do well and have a good time, planning ahead is key. Below are some pet show tips from the experts. Plus, all of the bandanas, shampoos, brushes and paw balms you’ll need.
1. Create a Schedule for the Day. It’s officially showtime!
The first thing competitors will want to do is make an airtight schedule. Ask yourself the following questions.
⦁ What time should I arrive? (Always aim to be early)
⦁ What competition categories are most relevant to my pet?
⦁ If I must drive a long distance, what is the best route?
⦁ When will I feed my pet?
⦁ When and where will I exercise my pet?
⦁ How long do the judges spend?
Print out an itinerary for the day.
2. Learn About Proper Show Etiquette
Get informed about show etiquette and rules. Even though this is your first pet show, judges and fellow participants will expect you (and your pet) to behave appropriately. That means respecting other cat and dogs’ boundaries, no photos, zero petting without permission, turning cellphones on silent, not entering sick or injured pets, never talking over exhibitors and judges, and no foul language.
Minor mistakes are okay – don’t worry. You are a beginner, after all! However, it’s important to learn the lingo and follow the rules of the land.
Bonus tip: Dress nicely. Jeans are no-go. Instead, men should wear dress shirts and pants with a tie and women can opt for a dress, skirt, blouse, or dressy shorts and capris, as suggested by American Dog Fancier.
3. Don’t Forget Your Grooming Kit
At LunaMarie, we love helping pets feel beautiful. Which is why we specialize in quality spa products that are paw-some for attending your first dog show or cat show! Our favorite must-have? The bestselling LunaMarie Spa Kit. Each hand-selected item was carefully chosen for the ultimate pet pampering experience. The ultrasoft brush gets rid of tangles while the lavender mint shampoo guarantees Fluffy smells fresh as a daisy.
A cat or dog show checklist should also include the items:
⦁ Comb or brush
⦁ Nail clippers
⦁ Paper towels (for accidents – oops!)
⦁ Food and water
⦁ Canine / feline first-aid kit
⦁ Poop bags
⦁ Pet hair remover
⦁ Show collar and lead
⦁ Bed or crate
4. Obedience Training is a Must
Fourth, remember to practice, practice, practice. During a pet show, animals must have basic obedience skills. Judges will potentially touch your cat or dog’s legs, paws, ears, tail, and check their mouth and teeth. A growl or bite is an automatic disqualification. So, socialize and train your pet.
5. Be Patient
Finally, our last piece of advice for attending your first pet show is simple – be patient.
This is all brand-new. Understandably, your pet may be nervous. There are tons of odd sights, smells, and sounds. Always reward good behavior with praise and treats. Watch out for signs of discomfort. Excessive meowing, hissing, barking, trembling, pulling away, trying to escape, hiding, etc. could signal that your pet isn’t enjoying the experience and requires more training and time to feel at ease.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.
Above All, Have Fun! Ready to win those ribbons? Of course, you are!
At LunaMarie, we know that the first pet show can feel intimidating. But it’s also an exciting opportunity. Going to cat or dog shows is a wonderful and rewarding pastime filled with lovely people who are just as passionate about their furry companions as you are. Follow these tips, prepare in advance, and together you and your pet are sure to win hearts, steal the show, and have a fun time.
For all your pet apparel and grooming needs, visit www.shoplunamarie.com