How to Make the Most of Your Time at Crufts 2024

Photo Credit: @wishuponatoller

The world’s greatest dog show is back for 2024, and we couldn’t be more excited! This year, Crufts will be taking place from the 7th to the 10th of March 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham. With over 500 trade stands with special offers just for you, the arena showcasing fantastic displays and competitions, and an exciting dog activities ring, it’s hard to know where to start! So, to help you make the most of your day at this fun-filled dog event, we’ve put together a handy list of tips, advice and must-dos!

Tip 1: Choose the Right Day

Crufts takes place over 4 days, Thursday to Sunday. If you can, we’d recommend attending on Thursday or Friday as the weekend is always much busier. You’re more likely to gain easy access to the main arena on the weekdays.

Of course, weekdays may not be possible for a lot of people, and besides, it’s more important that you go on a day that suits your interests the most. Take a good look at what’s on each day – for example, which type of dog are you more interested in seeing compete for Best in Show? This year Utility and Toy dogs are scheduled for Thursday, Gundogs for Friday, Pastoral and Working for Saturday and Terrier and Hound for Sunday.

Tip 2: Have a Plan

Crufts is enormous, with 5 different halls across the NEC in Birmingham, plus the Main Arena.

It’s easy to turn up with no plans and get overwhelmed, and potentially miss some of the things you would have liked to have seen. To avoid this, check out the What’s On section of the Crufts website before you go and pick out your must-sees. Then work out the best way to see them all depending on the times and locations to create a rough schedule for yourself.

If you plan on buying lots of things at the market stalls, we’d recommend leaving this until near the end. This way won’t be hauling bagfuls of shopping around with you for the whole day.

Alternatively, you can pop to the cloakrooms and leave your shopping there – though the cloakrooms are chargeable.

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Tip 3: Snag Your Discount Codes for DotDotPet and Hill’s Products at Animed!

Head over to the DotDotPet stand in hall 5, stall 109 and grab yourself a leaflet – there will be a special code just for Crufts attendees to use so they can get 10% off all DotDotPet products when they next shop with Animed!

DotDotPet is an up-and-coming pet brand offering a range of fantastic eco-conscious grooming products including towels and shampoos, as well as tasty wellness treats for cats and dogs.

Over at the Hill’s stall, you’ll also be able to get your hands on an exclusive discount code for Hill’s Science Plan products! Redeem your code at Animed for a great saving!

Tip 4: Get There Early

With so much to do and so much ground to cover, it’s best to get to Crufts as early as you can – especially if you’re only going for one day. Doors usually open at 8:15am, so try and get there as close to then as possible.

Trust us, the early wake-up will be worth it!

Tip 5: Be Comfortable

The sheer size of Crufts means you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Make sure you dress comfortably to make your day as enjoyable as possible!

You may also want to prepare for different temperatures. Some areas will be much warmer than others and you might need an extra jumper in the Main Arena, so layers are best. Make sure you have a bottle of water with you too.

As well as enjoying food and drinks from the many vendors available on the day, you can also take in your own snacks and drinks. This is a good idea if you want to stave off hunger from all that walking, as well as save some money and time.

Tip 6: Look Out for Seats

An empty chair at Crufts is like gold dust – if you see one, take the opportunity for a 2-minute sit down! It’s a long day and you’ll likely get tired, so having a couple of pit stops is a good idea.

The Main Arena, which you can access from Hall One, has free seating all around – although if you go on the Sunday, you’ll need an extra ticket in here for events after 2pm. The Main Arena is often very busy so you may struggle to get a seat for everything you want to see. If there’s a particular event you’re desperate to watch, it’s a good idea to go to the one before it too. That will help make sure you have a seat in time.

Tip 7: Take Plenty of Bags

Make sure the main bag you’ll be keeping with you is no bigger than A4 in size and has no more than 2 compartments (rucksacks are not permitted). This way you’ll have no trouble taking it into the arena.

On top of this, take plenty of shopping bags – many vendors won’t give you one when you buy something, so don’t get caught out! You may well be tempted by more products than you expect, not to mention all the free samples that will be given to you – so take more bags than you think you need to be safe! You may even want to bring a shopping trolley bag.

Must-See No.1: The Main Arena

No surprises here, but the Main Arena is where all the excitement is! The Main Arena is streamed on TV, so it’s often what comes to mind for most people when they think of Crufts. From agility and flyball competitions to police dog displays, there’s always something spectacular to watch, with most competition finals taking place here to see who will be crowned top dog.

Photo Credit: @wishuponatoller

Must-See No.2: Discover Dogs

A dog-lovers paradise, Discover Dogs is the place to be if you want to meet and greet over 200 different breeds!

You can chat to the owners and breeders for first-hand advice about the breeds, and say hello to their lovely dogs. Just make sure you always ask the owner before petting any dogs.

Must-See No.3: Trade Stands

It goes without saying that you can’t go to Crufts without bringing home a bagful of goodies! There will be over 500 trade stands with all manner of exciting products, exclusive offers just for Crufts attendees and plenty of free samples.

Must-See No.4: Dog Activities Ring

In Hall 3 you’ll find the Dog Activities Ring, which includes demonstrations of a variety of different sports. You’ll be close to the action, absorbing all the fun of flyball, the energetic obstacle courses of rally, heelwork to music and more!

You’lll no doubt be inspired to try with your own dog!

Must-See No.5: Young Kennel Club

If you’re visiting Crufts with youngsters aged between 6 and 24 years, be sure to visit the Young Kennel Club stand and their very own ring.

Demonstrating the youngest of Crufts competitors, the Young Kennel Club is sure to inspire budding dog handlers. Between exciting competitions and displays for you to watch, young people can also find out about the incredible activities available for them to get involved in firsthand from members.

Wrapping Up

Tickets for Crufts 2024 are on sale here, so if you haven’t already grabbed yours, make sure you snap them up quickly! With a bit of planning, a pair of comfy shoes and a big bag ready for some retail therapy, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy a fantastic day out at the ultimate dog event.

Sadly, you can’t bring your own dog with you to Crufts, unless they have been invited by The Kennel Club or they are an assistance dog. But don’t worry, you’ll get to meet plenty of other furry friends, and you can bring back a bagful of goodies for your pup to enjoy once you’re home!

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