ExpoPet: Heavy petting

By Oli Pritchard October 31, 2019

Colombians are pet-mad and ExpoPet 2019 is a blockbuster event to see just how much they love all kinds of animals.

Expopet opens today, with the Corferias event space turned over to our four-legged friends, plus those that fly and crawl. The main focus is likely to be on dogcitos.

Cats might take second place in Colombia’s heart, but the cat exhibition will feature plenty of exotic breeds, safely caged away to not get eaten. Then there’s a whole row of fish tanks, and also birds. Not a big fan of that part, to be honest – seems cruel. Finally, last year we found minipigs and horses plodding around – you’ll never eat lechona again. Well, maybe not till December.

If you already have pets, there’s lots to check out: from nutrition and health advice, to groomers and beauty salons. With 120 exhibitors, there’ll be plenty of ways to treat your furbabies and a lot of things that can be hard to get hold of in regular shops. Artesanal cat trees made from polished oak, for example. Fancy, but cats deserve to be spoilt.

Aside from shops, there’s plenty of space to run your dogs along assault courses and training runs. With a whopping 20 sporting activities, even my enthusiastic huskies might get tired out. This year there’s also going to be Dog Diving – where your dogs run and launch themselves to see how far they can dive into water. Once they’re tired, try a class on Dog Yoga. We tried it out at the press event last week and I have to say – it did calm two pretty active dogs down.

If your dog or, less believably, cat, is happy to get dressed up for Halloween, there’s a fancy dress competition too. Poor little beasts. More normal competitions will reward Colombia’s most popular dog in Pitbullmania; the agilest leapers in the Expopet Agility Cup; the speed racers in the Canicross Championship. Dogs need to look good as well as run fast, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to get the groomers on your dog. If you’re so inclined, they can get into yet more competitions and beauty parades too.

If you don’t have pets, why not wander over to the darling beasts for adoption? There’ll be a number of places offering them up – the official Instituto Distrital as well as a few private foundations. The institute will also be offering vaccines, microchipping and even classes on animal maltreatment. Stopping it, one assumes.

So come on down – with pets there’s plenty to entertain and distract your furry friends. Without pets, there’s plenty of petting opportunities and the chance to lose your heart to a furball searching for a forever home. The facilities are well-managed, so don’t worry too much about bathroom breaks or water points. Do worry about cuteness overload though!

Expopet details
Cost: Adults – COP$15,000, Kids – COP$10,000
When: 10am to 8pm, Thursday to Monday
Where: Corferias