Virtual Dog Walking and Online Pet Events Hello 2020

dog and woman walking on bridgeMissing all the summer pet festivals? Me too – and it’s not even summer yet.

But watching the ‘cancellations’ add up on our Dog Events Pages and making Xs through dates in my calendar has me wondering if my dog Victor’s festival days are behind him – and me.

Hopefully, the fall will fulfill some postponements – Toronto’s Woofstock was rescheduled for September 26 & 17, 2020.

In the meantime, some events aren’t taking any risks and moving exclusively online – particularly fundraisers for non-profits often dependent on one big annual event.

For instance, The Dog Writers Association of America already moved its 2021 event online (February 2020’s awards banquet in New Jersey was my last trip of the year). Many 2020 pet events have done the same.

Virtual Pawlooza, London, OntarioDog at Pawlooza 2017

Pawlooza in London, Ontario – an event that’s become our mandatory yearly pilgrimage – has become a virtual event on August 15, 2020, taking no chances with an autumn rescheduling. Depending on the heat, my dog Victor’s enjoyed this event to varying degrees for the last six years.

The west coast was on my travel plans this summer – intentionally over-lapping with meowfest in Vancouver (to check out the difference from Toronto last year). Yes, this is all about cats, but my pup has two feline sisters at home making me a certified cat lady too.

Meowfest Vancouver, British Columbia

white cat at meowfest 2019However, Vancouver Dreaming will have to wait because we’re not leaving the couch this summer: meowfest Virtual is scheduled for the weekend of July 10 to 12, 2020. Event attendees will have exclusive access to all the tutorials, interviews, and live sessions.

If you’re involved with a rescue or charity organization concerned about cancelation of live fundraising events – consider a virtual option like this one supporting Autism Speaks Canada:

2020 marks Autism Speaks Canada’s first virtual dog walk event on June 7, 2020.

The connection between dogs and autism is likely obvious to any dog lover – “Children with autism may especially benefit from interacting with dogs, which can provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love and companionship ” according to Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, research fellow at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, sited by Autism Speaks Canada.spca walk a thon 2

According to Krista Clinch, the South Central Ontario Regional Coordinator for Autism Speaks Canada, “We recognize the vital role dogs are having by providing comfort, companionship and keeping us active in these unprecedented times.”

Want to participate? First, Register to join the Virtual Dog Walk. Next, walk, run or play fetch with your pup June 7, 2020. Local trails have opened in parts of Ontario (maintaining social distancing, of course). And provincial and national parks have opened for day use. (More on that coming up on

Finally, share your dog walk photos and videos on social media by tagging @autismspeakscan @autismspeakscanada #ASCVirtualDogWalk. Or send them directly to

As the summer unfolds, likely more pet events dependent on public gatherings will unfortunately become victims of an unprecedented year. However, internet connections offer some creative alternatives. One advantage is that we’ve all become much closer together without having to leave the house and some distant festivals and fundraiser might be more accessible.

Know of any virtual events in your area? Let everyone know in the comments below:


  1. Any virtual events coming up? Thank you!!!!!!!!

    1. I’ll research it – particularly at Christmas but I haven’t seen any since the summer.

      1. thanks sherri – very much appreciated

  2. Sandy Weinstein · · Reply

    i sure miss going to dog events and horse shows

    1. Me too. I have so many things crossed out in my date book.

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