The Sarasota Pets Festival

Saturday, February 6, 2016 - 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Annual Sarasota Pets Festival known as the “Celebration of Pets” is one giant love fest between man and his/her best friends, whether 4 legged or otherwise. I can sum it up best as: Happy People - Happy Pets!

This event  may return later in 2017/18 pending factors including a better date for organizers.

This festival for pets takes place at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds and features some fun events and challenges for dogs: There's the Dock Diving Competition, The Weave-Pole Competition, The Agility Demonstrations and Lure Coursing.

You have to see the dogs participate in these games and challenges to believe how good they are at them.

And, If you want to learn more about caring for your pet this is the event at which you can do so.

Anyone who has any kind of pet care business from pet grooming, Sarasota charity or foundation to Sarasota pet shelters is in attendance.

In fact there's usually around 150 vendor booths at which you can find information and helpful ideas and products to improve the life, health and happiness of your pet.


This is a very well organized event with lots of freebie handouts as well.

The Sarasota fairgrounds is the perfect venue for this festival as it’s large enough to accommodate both a lot of people and their pets. Yes, you are allowed (encouraged) to bring your pet!

Mostly attending were people and their dogs, although I did see someone walking his dog while having his pet snake draped over the back of his neck. That kind of freaked out a lot of people!

We even had the chance to get up close and personal to a miniature horse in attendance.

Miniature horse at Sarasota Pet Festival
Miniature horse at Sarasota County Pet Festival

All the pets I encountered were well behaved and trained and lots of them looked like they were having fun, whether running the “Agility Course” or “Dock Diving” into the pool to chase and swim after a toy.

Agility Course at Sarasota Pet Festival
Dog agility course at Sarasota Pet Festival
Dock Diving at Sarasota Pets Festival

This was doggy heaven for them as I witnessed so many smiling dogs’ faces. Huh? You say dogs can’t smile? You should have seen some of the happy dogs I saw and you’d change your mind!

Also represented were animal shelters and rescues, the Cat Depot and pet vets as well as pet product vendors, both national and local, and sponsors such as many Sarasota pet supplies outlets.

Cat Depot at Sarasota Pet Festival
The Pets Fest at Sarasota
Sarasota Pets Fest at the fairgrounds

There was even information about Sarasota pet boarding along with on-site adoption available.

And while it may have a “ring” of commercialism to it (after all, what doesn’t today?), the four legged friends didn’t seem to mind and there was a lot of good information, helpful vendors and sponsors and a lot of happy attendees with their pets in tow.

I saw about every breed of dog known to man in attendance at the Sarasota Pets Fest: Beagles, Basset Hounds, Great Danes, Poodles, Alaskan Malamutes, Dalmatians, Grey Hounds, Boxers, Terriers and many more breeds which I can’t remember! That’s how many there were and how varied it was.

Celebration of Pets Fest at Sarasota Fairgrounds

There were special events as well including The Humane Society of Sarasota County’s “"Poodle Paloooza," which included prizes for: Best Costume, Most Unique Mix, Best Poodle Strut and Best Curls: Tiniest/Largest.

It’s a wonderful and fun event to attend with your kids and you pet, or if you’re looking for one (a pet, that is!), this is the place to find one.

Actually I’ve always believed that your new pet will find you, not the other way around.

The Pet Fest at Sarasota Fairgrounds
Sarasota County fairgrounds Pet Fest and Celebration

The Sarasota Pets Fest is a kind of “convention" for people and their pets! Have fun and pick up some free stuff from some of the sponsors along with local and national retailers.

Admission in 2015 was $5 for adults, kids 12 & under and pets on leashes were  free, plus there's lots of free parking, live music and food and drink available. Kids and leashed pets are admitted free.

What more could you ask for?

It’s an annual event at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, Fruitville Road, behind Robarts Arena. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Directions: Take Rt. 41 to Fruitville road. Turn east on to Fruitville Road. Look for the fairgrounds. From I-75 exit at Fruitville Road westbound, continue to the fairgrounds on the south side of Fruitville Road.

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