Travel Caledonia: Dog-friendly Canada Day!

dog clown at Caledonia July 1 FestivalThe long weekend is over (in both North American countries) and you’re likely done hearing about Canada Day fun and Fourth of July festivities … along with plenty of advice about how to keep your pets safe during fireworks.

Well, I have none of the latter and a recap of the former because I took my 11-year-old schnoodle Victor to July 1st afternoon festivities and he did ok.

As usual, he made out better at the concessions…

Every July 1, Canada Day in the small town of Caledonia, Ontario, which happens to be where Victor and I live, is a big deal: parade, outdoor concerts, afternoon festival, special t-shirts and evening fireworks I can see from my house. This year rain almost threatened to shut down the parade, but it went on as planned. Afterward Kinsmen Park along the Grand River filled up with family fun, bouncy castles, food trucks, and craft vendors.

Even horses from nearby Big Creek Riding Stables (see review on took the willing on slow moving circle rides, beside a gaggle of petting zoo farm animals including a donkey, miniature horses, a pot-bellied pig, and rabbits that interested Victor way too much.

This riverside park with public pool and splash pad is on our usually walking route, so Victor was a bit overwhelmed today pulling me through the crowd (I know, I know) on our festival going Kurgo Quantum (Amazon) walking leash that attaches around my waist. He developed a serious bro-crush on a Jack Russell cross and actually growled at a calm lab training as a service dog sitting near a at Canada Day festival

Yes, a clown. Apparently, Victor is not fond of clowns.

Under the craft tents, dog products almost dominated as the sideline business of choice (gets me thinking). Canine Karma from Burlington, Ontario offered a selection of uber-cute dog collars (Russian dolls were irresistible).

Pretty Fancy Soaps from Jarvis, Ontario added a Doggie Spa Bar to its line of people products, which we had to go home with.

Victor got a peanut butter dog bone treat from Connie’s Canine Cookies from Haggersville, Ontario which he ‘buried’ somewhere in my walk-in closet when we got home and I’ll likely find at an inopportune moment.

The evening fireworks I watched from my upstairs window while Victor hid under the bed – something he didn’t do when my cat Kaitlynn was here. She was unmoved by fireworks. Maybe she kept him brave.

Fortunately, the fireworks didn’t last long and maybe, just maybe, Victor retrieved his closet cookie before I find it.

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Next up: Watch for’s Tips for Camping with your dog and interview with Bingemans Camping Resort President Mark Bingeman.

Where did you take your dog on the long weekend? Let us know below…..


  1. […] Day is a big deal in this town every year (see last year’s festival coverage). This year, 2017, the festival was moved to the fair grounds and the usual vendors, food trucks, […]

  2. We stay in during the fireworks as Henry will hide under our bed. I’m glad Victor enjoys all the goings on though. It looks like it was a fun day!

    1. No loud noise during the day fortunately. Only after dusk.

  3. Well I hope you had a great Canada Day. DId you see us cowering from the fireworks here in the states? I am always pleased when the big fireworks are over here <3

    1. An hour or so and they are basically done here. We don’t really go big – we just go home.

  4. […] TRAVEL GUIDE: Technically in Brant County, Ontario, Big Creek Stables is near Caledonia a small town part of Haldimand County. (The stable had horses at the Caledonia Canada Day Festival – see […]

  5. maryehaight · · Reply

    Wow, what a jam-packed event! And by the way, I’m totally with Victor on the whole clown thing =)

    Looks like you had a pretty fabulous day and left with some fun purchases. Sorry to hear Victor’s threat assessment of fireworks has changed. He must miss his brave Kaitlynn.

    1. You know… no offence to those who might be clowns … but I’ve never met anyone who likes clowns. Most people admit fearing them. Speaking of fear, I was surprised Victor reacted to fireworks. I used to joke that Kaitlynn was our pack leader but maybe it was true.

  6. I don’t blame Victor for growling at the clown, they can be kinda creepy! We travel extensively with our dogs but not on 4th of July because my Husky is terrified of fireworks. We stayed home, doors & Windows closed! Great photos, thanks for sharing your wonderful day with us.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. He was not down with the clown, or his dog. Next is a road trip through PA, WV, NC and maybe Lexington, KY. Any suggestions for dog friendly stops are welcome.

  7. That’s interesting that Victor was never afraid of fireworks when Kaitlynn was with him. He must have felt safe with her. Our cats aren’t bothered by fireworks either. Ruby (our dog) usually isn’t bothered by them, but this year they were extra loud and she definitely was anxious.

    1. Yes, I think he either felt safe or didn’t want to miss out. She would sit with me on the couch and he would too, so I was surprised when he did hid on Friday. When she was here, he also insisted on sleeping on the bed with us, which didn’t thrill my cat. Now that she’s not here, he’s slept on the floor four nights in a row.

  8. That looks like you had an amazing time! I love that it’s pet friendly. There are a number of events that we’ve attended that required dogs to remain on the perimeter.

    1. Really? I can’t imagine an outdoor event that didn’t allow dogs in … then again, food festivals do it here. I’m not sure what the difference is. There was food at this festival.

  9. Mr. N never ever hoards treats. He eats them right away. He is not fond of fireworks so we mostly stayed home. I’m probably going to take him to a street fair this weekend though.

    1. I love taking the dog to fairs. You have to be willing to talk to a lot of people though – nothing attracts conversation like a dog. My dog almost always ‘hides’ treats somewhere. Often in my bed.

  10. Such a nice way to enjoy Canada day and the weekend. We suffered through several days of fireworks because it’s legal to shoot them in neighborhoods in SC.

    1. I think we have a lot of regulations about fireworks where and when. We have regulations about everything else. Also, people here are cheap. Why blow up your money?

  11. Ah, so fantastic to read this post about Caledonia! I live in Los Angeles now but am from Hamilton, Ontario and miss the very special country and town festivals! Looks like it was a fantastic time! From one dog-loving Canadian sister to another, Happy Canada Day!

    1. Thanks. I moved out of the city about five years ago – like walking half a block from my front door to the river. I moved here before I got a dog. When Victor arrived, it seemed I moved for a reason.

  12. Loved seeing your pics and I honestly think fairs like these are great to walk around in the summer. It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours. Those cookies and treats in the sideshow looked awesome. And who is the large character? Is he a Canada Day character? He’s awesome! Thanks for this post.

    1. I actually don’t know who that large Scottish character is suppose to be but it shows up at a lot of local events and appears in the local paper every year. Makes an eye catching pic. I should ask at my hairdressers what he is – they know everything about this town.

  13. It sounds like Canada Day was great and I hope Victor gets his cookie before you find it.

    1. I’m scared to clean the closet. I suspect some things are rotting in there….

  14. Kelly · · Reply

    Sounds like you and Victor had an awesome Canada Day! Well, except for the fireworks 🙁
    And who would have though that it’s not only humans that don’t like clowns!
    Happy Canada Day!

    1. Yes, it seems to be a universal fear….

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