This weekend Expopet will pack Corferias with all kinds of pet paraphernalia and plenty of pettable pets.
Corferias will be filled with all things furred and feathered from 18 to 21 October with the fifth edition of Expopet. It promises animal-related delights for every member of the family, from culinary pet treats to competitions, shows and accessories. And of course plenty of chances to meet new four-legged friends, in all shapes, sizes and even outfits.
Walking around the various exhibitor stalls and observing the our fellow visitors, it is clear which pet steals centre stage and who Colombia’s true best friend is. Every few metres, friendly and excited dogs are waiting for you to stroke them, with proud owners ready to chat about their personalities and breeds. The star of the show features heavily on the programme, with competitions showcasing the strength and competencies of various dog breeds (such as sheep-herding with border collies), beauty pageants resembling a Miss Colombia for dogs, a festival of pitbullmania, and a bulldog costume party.
Dogs are not the only pet you’ll find at Expopet. There’s plenty of space for the rest of the family and other animals. Cats receive their own floor to display their proud grandeur and magnificence, far enough from the colourful chirping of the bird exhibition. There are even horses, rabbits, ducks, and mini-pigs representing rural animal life for those needing inspiration for their fincas. If the idea of making your own bacon appeals, it’s not cheap: the pigs-as-pets start at COP$1.2 million.
Besides leaving with a heart full from cuteness overload, you will not go home empty-handed. You’ll find it hard not to buy at least one gift for your pet, especially since many stalls offer a reduced expo sale price. The biggest brands of pet food are represented, but you’ll also find niche natural pet food, all ready with degustation samples – hopefully not for you! There are stands with the latest designs in practical foldable pet carriers for the travelling pet owner, to sand litter that sparkles. One fashion design that stood out from the rest was the creative mixing of Wayuu inspired handcrafted bracelets into dog and cat collars. Do not miss the chance to get your pet weekend-ready with the on the spot spa and grooming facilities – you can top it off with a fittingly bedazzling Halloween-themed outfit.
Your money can also be well spent on helping out the some of the overlooked, forgotten and abandoned street animals. The number of heartbreaking cases of dogs and cats that were either born on the street or discarded by jaded pet owners is increasing. Various foundations, surviving solely on volunteer time and donations, which are dedicated to spaying, neutering and finding a loving responsible home for these animals are well represented. ‘Adopt don’t shop’ is a tagline that desperately needs more attention, with over 300 dogs in just one of the shelters we talked to waiting to find homes.
The event is of course, pet-friendly, just keep them on a leash and make sure not to overdo it on the festival candy.
Photos: Artemis Maria Papoutsakis