PetExpo South Africa, hosted at Montecasino, was definitely the place to be the weekend of 16–17 July 2022. This expo is the largest of its kind in the country. Formerly known as WODAC—World Of Dogs and Cats, this highly anticipated event has over 10,000 attendees and has been going for 20 years!
This year’s new and improved PetExpo did not disappoint—with over 400 dogs, 120 cats, and a reptile exhibit. It truly was a place where pet owners, pet lovers, the pet-curious, and their families could celebrate and learn about the wonderful world of companion animals.
The event was held outdoors and, as it is currently winter in South Africa, it was expected to be a moderately chilly day. However, the African sun surprised everyone and was shining in full force, making the conditions ideal for an outdoor expo.
Crystal from PetKeen and Isabel from Excited Cats could not wait to explore all that the expo had to offer and documented their experience along the way to make sure everyone gets to sneak a peek at what went down (check out the official after-movie below!).
“We arrived about an hour before the gates officially opened, but to our surprise, the queues were already long, filled with excited pet owners—and us, of course,” said Isabel, Marketing Director of Excited Cats. “That really got us excited!”
“We honestly didn’t know where to start!”, Crystal, marketing manager of PetKeen said. And this was completely understandable, considering all that there was to see: Kusa-affiliated all-breed championships, SA dog jumping and agility competitions, cat shows, live pet demonstrations, and a newly incorporated reptile and exotic pet hall.
“Upon entry, each person received a goodie bag filled with informational pamphlets from different companies, as well as a branded tennis ball and dog treats,” said Crystal. “I couldn’t wait to treat my furry friend later that day, especially with the super cute DIY dog cookie mix from Marltons.”
The first tent consisted of a wide array of pet service stalls such as pet insurance, as well as cat & dog rescue brands looking to gain some exposure and donations. There we could pet service dogs and find out more about certain brands and charitable causes.
Up next was the cat tent—and we must say, WOW! There were cats of all breeds, sizes, and colors, and it was definitely a sight to behold. We saw pedigree cats there that we have only seen in pictures, such as the majestic Siberian cat, the Peterbald and the Devon Rex. On top of this, the owners and breeders were extremely receptive and loved educating the public on these lesser-known, exotic cat breeds. It was great having so many cat lovers and cats in one tent.
We also paid a visit to the reptile tent—there was not as much to see compared to the other tents, but still worth a visit. Here we saw a massive iguana, bearded dragons, snakes that have been in fashion shows and all sorts of creepy crawlies. Oh and also—chinchillas! There was truly something for everyone including tons of opportunities to interact with the scaly critters, or to ask some burning questions one might have about these interesting creatures.
The dog arena stole the show, with a huge amount of pedigree breeds competing, dancing, and showing off. A few of which definitely stole our hearts. Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, French Bulldogs, Corgis—name any dog breed, it was almost certainly there! We got the chance to interact with all of these breeds and were left with happy hearts full of love (and arms full of drool).
“A definite ‘must attend’ for all pet lovers and families, complete with food stalls and beer tents to cool down after a day in the sun,” says Isabel. “Clean portable bathrooms, safe parking, and shaded seating made the whole experience extra enjoyable. We can’t wait to attend again next year! A big thanks to Montecasino, the event organisers, and everyone who came to compete and attend!”
And that’s South Africa’s biggest pet expo in a nutshell—be sure to check out the official after-movie below and don’t forget to subscribe to Excited Cats’ YouTube channel for the after-movie and some awesome weekly cat care tips! You can visit their website for more information about the expo details and upcoming events. Make sure to check out their social media pages for updates.
All images were taken by Renier van Heerden