Four-legged friends, as well as their owners, will be made welcome this weekend to celebrate Suffolk Dog Day.

Suffolk’s largest family doggy event returns to Helmingham Hall on Sunday, July 31 and expects around 6,000 visitors.

The much-loved event, sponsored by Skinner’s Pet Foods and Poundgates, will again raise funds for Suffolk Community Foundation, the largest contributor to the voluntary sector in the area.

The family event, part of the Festival of Suffolk, will include special demonstrations, expert advice, the Royal Seven Breed Parades featuring westies, miniature schnauzers, labrador retrievers, a host of springer, cocker and King Charles spaniels as well as greyhounds.

There will also be many doggie attractions, light-hearted show ring competitions, food and drink from Suffolk producers and children’s entertainment.

Tim Holder, head of public affairs at Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “Our aims are simple really, we want to provide a safe and fabulous day out for thousands of families and their fine four-legged friends and raise tens of thousands of pounds for Suffolk charities and the people they support.”

Suffolk Dog Day started as a small-scale dog show and in 12 years, with the help of more than 100 volunteers, raised over £600,000 for Suffolk's good causes.

This year, the organisers will focus on making sure that everyone can safely make the most of the fabulous weather.

Richard Cooper, the lead volunteer and chairman of Suffolk Dog Day said: “Safety is our priority for the whole family on two legs and four.

“Of course, dog owners are best placed to know what their dogs are able to do in this kind of weather, they are the experts, but we are so lucky at Helmingham Hall that the site itself provides a lot of natural shade for everyone, particularly with its avenue of magnificent trees positioned right in the centre of everything.

“We will also be stepping up access to water with extra points and cooling zones.”

Tickets are available on the day priced at £13 for adults and £5 for children with a family ticket (two adults and up to three children under 16) for £30. Parking is free, as is the event programme and entry to Helmingham Hall’s award-winning gardens.

Gates open at 10am with classes starting at 10.45pm. For more information about the day and to cast your vote for The Suffolk Dog Day’s ‘Royal Seven’ visit