Before extending your family to include a pet, there are a few things to know. Get informed at the Long Island Pet Expo at Suffolk County Community College’s Health, Sports and Education Center this weekend, which features more than 100 vendors.
“The event aims to both entertain and educate the public about the wonderful world of pets,” says show promoter Karen Garetano. “We want people to learn about responsible pet ownership and care in a fun environment.”
Here are live animal attractions and some interactive activities you can engage in:
GONE TO THE DOGS
Yuk it up with Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix where 15 dogs do comical tricks like jumping rope and pranking Mr. Peers. Or, watch Diana Frohman dance with her golden retrievers choreographed to music or agility demonstrations from Doggie U K9 Academy and Maximum K9 Services.
Bring your dog to the Dog Lovers Days Lure Course ($5), where canines get to jump through hoops and over hurdles while chasing an electronic mouse.
“The dog has a good time and gets a ton of exercise,” says Mark Gross, the lure course's owner. “The most common thing we hear is, ‘I don’t know if my dog will do this.’ When the dog starts to do it, it’s actually more fun to watch the owner because they are jumping up and down with excitement.”
SHOWS Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix: Saturday — noon, 3:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., Sunday — 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Dancing Dogs: Saturday — 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., Sunday — 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Doggie U K9 Academy: Saturday — 10:30 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., Sunday — 10:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.; Maximum K9: Saturday — 12:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sunday — 12:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
REPTILES ALL THE RAGE
Rainforest Reptile offers a display with a live water monitor lizard and reticulated python as well as an interactive show that includes a small American alligator, a boa constrictor, a tortoise, a marine toad from South America and a tegu lizard.
“The animals are calm. They don’t strike anyone,” says general curator-herpetologist Michael Ralbovsky. “Snakes don’t eat people — that’s a lie. Truth is, they are no more dangerous than a dog or a cat if you know what you are doing.”
SHOWS Saturday at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
See a variety of registered cats from TICA — The International Cat Association — get shown in front of a panel of judges who score them on their physical appearance. There’s even a cat fashion show where they are dressed up in costume for the crowd.
“Cats are very smart,” says Sue Rivero, president of the Biker Cat Club of LI. “They are easier than a dog to take care of and more self-sufficient.”
SHOWS All day
RUN RABBIT RUN
Meet Creamsicle the Adventure Bunny, watch eight rabbits go wild jumping and hopping on an agility course or train your own bunny ($12) or guinea pig ($5) in agility with Alikatt Rabbit Hopping and Agility.
“Rabbits are a quiet, intellectual animal,” says ARHA owner Tammy Steele. “They communicate very clearly. You just have to listen to them.”
SHOWS Train Your Bunny: Saturday and Sunday — 10 a.m., Rabbit Hopping Competition: Saturday and Sunday — noon, Spectator Rabbit Hopping: Saturday — 3 p.m. and Sunday — 2 p.m. and Meet the Adventure Bunny: Saturday — 5:30 p.m. and Sunday — 3:30 p.m.
Come face-to-face with a cockatoo, an African grey or a Macaw parrot at the Long Island Parrot Society’s interactive booth where the birds will be on display. They also offer a parrot placement program for those seeking a pet.
“It’s joyful to own a parrot,” says Diane Hyde, vice president and treasurer of the LI Parrot Society. “They are great companions who are very communicative and interactive.”
DISPLAY BOOTH All day
LONG ISLAND PET EXPO
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at Suffolk County Community College’s Health, Sports and Education Center, 1001 Crooked Hill Rd. in Brentwood
INFO 631-423-0620, familypetshows.com
ADMISSION $13 ($6 ages 4-12)