It’s time for another Windy City Pet Expo tomorrow at the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park. The free expo focuses on all things pets and the great part is that it’s also pet friendly – which means your friendly, well-behaved, leashed pet can come along for the fun. There will be over 135 exhibitors ranging from agility, to entertainment, vets, groomers, pet products and rescue organizations with over 200 pets looking for homes.
You’ll get a chance to meet Shorty Rossi and Hercules from Animal Planet’s Pit Boss. Before you head out to the show with your pet in tow. To get the most out of the expo, be prepared and consider the following –
Only bring your pet along if he or she does well in crowds. There are tons of kids, people, other animals, loud speakers, strollers, wheelchairs and many other things that will set certain pets off. If these are a problem, please leave your pet at home.
Make sure your child is also prepared. It takes just a second for a bite to occur. Sit down with your children and review proper etiquette for greeting and petting dogs and other animals – asking permission to pet, allowing an animal to sniff their hand, speaking calmly and quietly, etc. If a dog seems stressed or hyper, walk away with your child.
Follow the rules with your pet. Your pet should be up to date on vaccinations (a rabies tag is acceptable proof) unless you plan to have your pet vaccinated there. Low-cost vaccinations and microchipping are offered at the event. Dogs must be on a fixed lead (or locked lead) not longer than six feet at all times and no female pets in heat. You may avoid the lines to sign your pet waiver by doing it online first.
Be ready to shop. Stop by the prize table to register for giveaways from exhibitors and to enter your pet in one of the many competitions at the event. Bring plenty of cash to shop since not all vendors and rescues take credit cards.
Be prepared. Pick up a program with a map when you enter the expo. High traffic areas are for Shorty Rossi, the agility courses and entertainment stages. Check out details online and plan to get to those areas early. If you’re in the market for a pet – check out the Mega Adoption area as well. Make sure you have a crate, carrier, leash or car restraint if you’re planning to adopt since many of these products often sell out.
Clean up after your pet. There are pet potty areas indoors. You’ll be given pet waste bags when you enter to pick up after your pet.
Keep hydrated. There are plenty of pet water stations. If your don’t want your pooch drinking out of a communal bowl, bring your own.
Consider a stroller or wagon or other option for your pet. If you have a smaller dog or dog that can’t take a lot of exertion, consider bringing a pet stroller or wagon to make it easier on him or her. If you have a smaller breed, you may want to consider a stroller or option to carry your pet so they don’t get stepped on or have to deal with larger dogs.
Pace yourself. There’s a lot to see. Make sure you take periodic breaks and give your pet a chance to rest - or step out of the expo for a few moments of quiet - if you plan to stay all day.
The expo is indoors and it’s air conditioned, but the parking lot is still hot and the asphalt could be too hot for your pet. Consider booties or protective footwear for your four-legged friend.
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