4 April 2024

Bring your pup! Wagga Dog Day Out celebrates the community's canine companions

| Chris Roe
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Wagga's dogs are invited to the region's biggest canine party.

Wagga’s dogs are invited to the region’s biggest canine party. Photo: Dylan Xu.

Dog owners of the Riverina will get the chance to party this weekend without having to leave their canine besties at home.

This Sunday is the inaugural Wagga Dog Day Out at the Riverside pecinct with plenty planned for the whole family – including the furry members!

“Council was looking for an animal-friendly sort of event, and there’s just so many avenues that you could go down to bring something like that to Wagga,” said organiser Taylor Rutland-Grierson.

“These sorts of events are very popular, especially in the capital cities where they have multiple events every year.”

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Taylor is hopeful events like this will pave the way for a more dog-friendly community.

“Unfortunately in many parts of Australia, you’re not allowed to have your dog with you as you do things throughout the day,” she said.

“In Europe it’s very normal for your dog to be with you while doing anything and everything and we would like to support those people who would like to do that here too.

“There’s definitely a growing trend for people to have their dogs instead of actually having kids, so it’d be nice to have them be involved in our lives.”

Bluey and Bingo will help kick off Wagga Dog Day Out. Image: Supplied.

Wagga Dog Day Out is both a celebration of the community’s canine companions and a chance to promote responsible pet ownership.

Each year, around 1500 dogs and 600 cats pass through the council’s Glenfield Road Animal Shelter alone and Taylor said that money raised would be divided among participating rescue organisations.

“We want to help support those working with a crisis in rural Australia with unwanted and homeless pets,” she said.

“At the moment, I don’t know of a pet rescue in our region that isn’t over capacity and we want to help them provide the best welfare they can and to also raise awareness.

“So we are trying to help celebrate those of us with pets but also helping to support getting more animals into a situation where they are cared for.”

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Wagga Dog Day Out kicks off at 11 am with two of Australia’s most famous puppies, Bluey and Bingo, helping to get the party going.

“We’ll have live music going, there’s a ball pit for the dogs and there will be a range of competitions throughout the day, which will be very exciting,” said Taylor.

“We’ll have a Doggy Pie eating contest, a few costume-related contests and we’ll have owner and dog look-a-likes, golden oldies, tall dog and small dog and things like that.

“There’s lots and lots of things to do and once they’ve had their day they can also go and cool off in the river or the kids can play on the amazing new play park at the Riverside.”

As well as the information stalls, there will be markets for both people and dogs.

“We have quite a few vendors with a range of animal-related stalls and there are also human-related markets, so it’s not all for the dogs, it’s for humans as well.”

Taylor is hopeful that Sunday’s event will continue and become a tradition in Wagga.

“We’re definitely hoping to make an annual event and we will potentially do something similar again later this year,” she said.

“We want people to get out and have fun and share the day with their pets.”

Wagga Dog Day Out is on Sunday 7 April at the Riverside precinct.

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