The Easter Bunny might have left you a basket, but for me the first long weekend of spring has always meant one treat: the annual Spring Canadian Pet Expo.
Yes, April 7 to 9, 2023, Toronto’s International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario near Pearson Airport filled with excited pups all wondering why they’re being hauled around indoors on cement dotted with dog pee. (Of course, the dogs are supposed to go outside or in one of two sawdust relief stations – but sometimes the line up is longer than a girl can wait. Just saying, there will be pee).
The Spring Canadian Pet Expo is one of it’s kind in Toronto – others run fall and Christmas. If there’s any doubt about the size and enthusiasm for the pet industry, it’s quelled during a visit to what’s been dubbed ‘Canada’a Largest Family Pet Show.’
Early Friday morning, to get a jump on the competition, I harnessed up my crazy-but-kind spaniel and attached two leashes for increased control. Walking comfortably on leash is not something we’ve mastered, and I don’t hold out much hope we will. So, a solid grip on the crazy is needed. At least she’s not reactive.
On Friday, the Spring Canadian Pet Expo was packed by noon.
Despite attending this spring event for decades, I discover something new every visit – and I revisit a few favourites each time.
Here’s what’s we discovered at the Spring Canadian Pet Expo 2023:
1. First stop: the Dog Days Lure Course
I tried my previous dog on the lure course and some days he got it, and some days he didn’t. My current dog – half Cocker and half Springer Spaniel – is a monster on the lure course. She needed no coaxing, training or guidance. Start the tuff tied to the wire on the ground, and she’s sent in circles around the course.
This year, there was a contest, which we should have entered given my dog’s speed. All contest fees ($5 in addition to the $10 course fee) went to dog rescues. Top three fastest dogs won prizes.
We didn’t enter, but we did go home with (another) photo of my spunky pup getting her groove on around the course. This articular pic had a glint of devil in her eye. (Print photos are $20).
2. Second stop: juice pulp and bug dog treats
Just when I thought I’ve seen every dog treat possible, enter Pulp Habits. These crunchy dog treats are apparently high-fibre, rich in Omega-3s, and protein-packed because the star protein is a bug – specifically, the black soldier fly larvae. However, the selling feature (because insects rarely are) is the base ingredient: fruit pulp upcycled from smoothies.
Sabrina, owner of Pulp Habits, previously owned a juice bar where they pulverized various fruits into liquid leaving behind a slurry or pulp. Not big on wasting this still healthy ingredient, the idea to dehydrate it into crunchy dog treats was born.
The only catch is that flavours each month are a surprise. The type of juice bar pulp Sabrina acquires (now from other suppliers), determines the flavour mixed with the protein. However, all Pulp Habits treats are all-natural and free from preservatives, fillers, and chicken, fish, or meat-by products.
3. Third stop: beads and bobbles for the dog
My dog doesn’t need more collars and doesn’t seem to notice when I change them out. But I sure do. Given the opportunity to decorate her in beads, I took it.
Rivet Dawg Bead Collars are handmade locally using stainless steel aircraft cable with tensile strength of 368 pounds. Beads are silicone and light with a leash-like clasp to keep it secure. My girl looked so cute in pink beads – unfortunately, the size they sold me is too tight. I’m hoping to hear back from them to exchange it for a bigger size. (Cost $35).
4. Close to the end stop: obstacle course and training
We were heading out the door when I saw it: an obstacle course of boxes attached to a wall. This is something I’d wait in line for because my high-energy spaniel would do obstacles in a heartbeat – and she did. Until the bridge. Instability isn’t here thing, but the bin of empty water bottles underneath certain was.
I’m planning to check out BP Athletics in Mississauga, Ontario to check out their activities and training options. Yes, I might try training. One. More. Time. We’ll see what Mike at BP Athletics can do.
5. Final discover: Family Guard cleaning supplies (#sponsor)
New to the show – and market – is Family Guard, a spray cleaner (affiliate link) for bathrooms, kitchens, and counter tops that recently launched in Canada. The cleaner is formulated to use in homes with pets and doesn’t have an offensive odor.
Family Guard sent us a gift box to check out their product. My dog like the bandana and snuffle ball (as toy I’ve been meaning to buy or make). I, however, headed to the bathroom with my new bottle of Family Guard cleaner.
Does Family Guard clean well?
First, let me thank the company for motivating me to clean the bathroom. (Not my favourite task). Second, yes, I found the cleaner do as good a job as the spray-on scrubbing bubbles I usually use, but with a lot less smell.
Plus, Family Guard (affiliate link) claims to kill the COVID virus on contact. It was quick, easy to use, and after seeing the results, realize I need to clean more often. Safe for pets too.
UPCOMING PET EXPOS:
The Fall Canadian Pet Expo, September 16 & 17, 2023 at the International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Ottawa Pet Expo, October 14 & 15, 2023, Ex Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Christmas Pet Show, November 18 & 19, 2023, International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario. Canada
NOTE: Get $3 off with code: CPEFAMILY23
FOR MORE PET EVENTS AND FESTIVALS, CHECKOUT OUR EVENTS PAGE.
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and a travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria. All written content is original, written by a person, and based on experience and research.