Yes, you can bring your pet, but please READ the following information!

No doubt about it, Pet Fest gets crowded! As with any event that attracts large crowds, we’ve found that people who prepare for it tend to have a much better experience. With that being said, here are some tips to help ensure that you have the best day possible at Pet Fest:

DSC0481 For sanitary and health reason, you should bring your own portable water bowl for your dog. You can fill it at the water fountains at the Fairgrounds. Only bring your pet along if it is well-behaved, non-aggressive and doesn’t get stressed out in crowded, stimulating and noisy situations. There are all kinds of other animals, small children, wheelchairs and lots of people at the event. Your pet will be exposed to dogs barking, people speaking loudly on microphones, crowds clapping and attendees cheering. You know your pet best, so please use your best judgment to make sure that your pet will enjoy the expo just as much as you will.

While we have a number of staff and volunteers who are always carefully watching the crowds and pets to ensure everyone stays safe, it only takes a second for a dog bite to occur. Please review safe dog (and all pets, for that matter) greeting behaviors with your children before attending the show. Remind your child to always ask the owner’s permission to pet an animal, allow the calm pet to sniff their hands and then they should gently pet the animal’s chest, chin or back (not the top of its head), speaking calmly and quietly to the pet. Children should never “stare down” a dog, jump on it, grab it from behind or scream at it. If a dog is hyper and won’t sit for the owner, walk away and don’t allow your child to pet the dog. Sometimes the most well-behaved pets can be startled, especially if they’re already keyed up being at such an exciting event.

How to Register Your Pet for a Contest
Don’t wait in long lines to register for contests at Pet Fest! You can download and print your registration form. You must have ONE registration form completed for EACH contest and each pet so print as many as you need. Fill out each form completely and be sure to sign (must be signed by an adult over 18 years of age). Bring your completed form to Pet Fest and turn registrations in at the Curves purple tent, next to the Arena area, at least 30 minutes prior to each contest. Some contests may have limited participants so entries are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

We have a few rules for bringing pets: Your pet must be current on all shots or you should plan to have your pet’s immunizations updated at the event; low-cost vaccinations and microchipping MAY be offered on-site. The immunization requirement only applies to dogs, cats and ferrets. A rabies tag is acceptable as proof of immunization. Dogs must be on a fixed lead or a locked retractable lead, no longer than 6 feet, at all times. No female pets in heat can attend. Always pick up after your pet and encourage your pet to use outdooor areas. Please be considerate of our venue and clean up after your animals if an accident happens. Trash receptacles are provided around the area. Participants are required to clean up all animal messes with a plastic baggie immediately after an occurrence.

When you arrive, stop by the info tent next to the main stage to register for the Doggie Olympics and Wiener Dog Dash competitions. The Wiener Dog Dash draws a large crowd!

How to Register Your Pet for a Contest
Don’t wait in long lines to register for contests at Pet Fest! You can download and print your registration form. You must have ONE registration form completed for EACH contest and each pet so print as many as you need. Fill out each form completely and be sure to sign (must be signed by an adult over 18 years of age). Bring your completed form to Pet Fest and turn registrations in at the Curves purple tent, next to the Arena area, at least 30 minutes prior to each contest. Some contests may have limited participants so entries are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Bring cash. There are many opportunities for shopping and donations here and some rescue groups may not accept credit cards.

The full schedule of Doggie Olympic events will be posted near the Main Arena.

If you are interested in adopting a pet, the Pet Fest Mega Adoption could be just what you’re looking for. Many pets will be available for adoption or application (for those groups that don’t do on-site adoptions).

This a large event. If you have a pet breed with you that can’t tolerate this kind of exertion, please plan to bring a stroller or wagon for them. The weather is usually warm and it’s a lot of exercise for breeds that don’t handle heat or exercise well.

Pace yourself! There are many things to see. Make sure you take periodic breaks and give your pet a chance to rest if you plan to stay all day.

Some exhibitors may offer treats for pets. If your pet has a sensitive stomach or is super excited, you may want to consider allowing your pet one or two treats and then allowing her/him to enjoy the rest at home. We see a lot of dogs gobble up as many treats as possible only to be sick a few hours later.

If you have a small dog, you may want to be prepared to either carry it or have a stroller available. There are so many large dogs at Pet Fest that some small pet owners feel overwhelmed and their little fur-babies may unintentionally get stepped on.

If you are attending Pet Fest with the intent of adopting a new family member, you may want to either bring a crate or some sort of car restraint with you or be prepared to purchase something along those lines at the show.

Pet Fest does not assume any responsibility for lost or stolen animals at the show, that in bringing your pet into Pet Fest, you understand that you are doing so at your sole risk, cost and expense and any harm that comes to the animal shall be solely your responsibility; and in attending Pet Fest with your animal(s) and should any injury occur to any person, other animal or property as a result of the behavior of your animal(s) at the show, whether expected or unexpected, regardless of the stimulus for the behavior (i.e., animals spontaneous conduct, the conduct of another animal, the conduct of any person or thing, or a combination of any of these), you will be solely liable and be held responsible for any injury or property damage that results there from (including reasonable attorneys fees) and that you will indemnify, hold harmless, protect and defend Marketplace Media and the Missoula County Fairgrounds, for any and all claims of liability and damages from any injury, property damage, loss, claim, or expense resulting from the behavior of your animal; and to report any and all such injuries immediately to Pet Fest Management.

Participants shall abide by and observe all laws, rules, and regulations of the State of Montana and the City of Missoula and County of Missoula, and departments thereof and all rules of the University of Montana.

Management reserves the right to expel participants or pets if, in Managements opinion, their conduct or presentation is objectionable to the public.

Any photos, video, or audio taken by management are the property of Pet Fest and Participants image or likeness can be used by show management for any form of advertising or promotion. If you agree to these terms bring your critter along with a donation of dog or cat food!