For pet owners and animal enthusiasts alike, the Long Island Pet Expo on March 3 and 4 is sure to please attendees of all ages. Hosted at the Suffolk Community College Health and Exposition Center in Brentwood, the expo will feature a wide variety of performers and vendors for both entertainment and educational purposes.
This year marks the expo’s ninth visit to the college and will present attractions such as a rabbit and guinea pig agility course, a cat show, dancing dogs, a reptile show with alligators, snakes and more, a butterfly garden and a dog lure course. Tickets to the expo cover the cost of everything you see, but interactive acts, like the butterfly garden and lure course, come with a fee of just a few dollars. At a nominal cost, children will also be able to enjoy a petting zoo and pony rides.
Dennis and Karen Garetano, who have owned Family Pet Shows since 2003, have been organizing and running the expo at Suffolk Community College since 2009—it was previously held at Nassau Coliseum. Karen said the event sees anywhere between 10,000 and 14,000 visitors, not including the hundreds of pets that come along for the show.
“This is a great family event,” Garetano said. “It’s a very different type of event. Everyone should come down and enjoy a day with their family.”
While many of the acts that come to perform at the expo are for entertainment, there are also plenty of opportunities for attendees to learn something new. Reptile and bird shows will inform crowds about exotic animals, The Martial ARFS will demonstrate obedience and exercise for your dog, Doggie U K9 Academy will demonstrate dog agility and some of Long Island’s animal rescue groups will be at the show to educate visitors on responsible pet ownership and offer pets in need of a home.
More than 100 vendors will have booths set up around the expo, offering crowds the latest and greatest products for their pets. Veterinarians and groomers will also be available to speak with to learn everything you need to know to keep your pet happy and healthy. To keep human guests happy and healthy, the show will have concession stands available for drink and food purchases at attendees’ convenience.
A major hit with residents around the island, the Long Island Pet Expo is expecting to draw in a crowd in excess of 12,000 people for its 2018 weekend. Garetano said the best part of the event for her is seeing the way they are able to delight guests.
“We like to see how people enjoy themselves,” Garetano said. “Kids are amazed at some of the stuff they see.”
Pet owners are more than welcome to bring their well-behaved, leashed friends to the show. As long as a waiver is filled out and your pet is up to date on vaccinations, pets of all shapes and sizes may roam the expo.
Miniature horses, potbelly pigs, snakes and even skunks are some of the more unconventional pets Garetano has seen visiting the show. It’s only fitting that such a wide variety of both furry and scaly guests come to the expo, as Garetano explained it is “an event for all animals.”
The show runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. One-day tickets, which include reentry throughout the day, cost $13 for adults and $6 for children. Tickets covering entry for both days are also available for purchase. Discounted tickets can be bought on the expo’s website.
For more information, visit familypetshows.com/long-island-pet-expo or call 631-423-0620.