Dog-friendly Niagara: Muddy Paws Festival Pairs Dogs and Vino. Cheers!

muddy paws Victor in the wineryWho knew wine, vines and dog walking would be so exhausting.

Victor and I do now, after spending at afternoon at Muddy Paws Festival, an annual fundraiser at two Niagara, Ontario wineries that invites participants to stroll the vineyards … with their dogs.

For $20, you get admission to the event, one glass of wine and a gift bag for your puppy. Food is extra and each winery had butter chicken, grilled pulled pork tacos or wraps for purchase. Free dog treats, along with bone-shaped garlic bread for people, baked all day in the outdoor stone oven.

That’s right – two wineries participated: Featherstone Estate Winery and Vineland Estates, both in Vineland, Ontario. Park and start wine tasting at either, then follow the clearly-marked path through the vineyard, and into the forest along a well-worn hiking trail that links both properties.muddy paws dog bowl dogtrotting

The walk was Victor’s favourite part. It’s likely what worn us out. Organizers claimed it was a 10- to 15-minute walk over stone paths and fallen logs, but if you stop to stiff (or rest) even off leash (which we did part way and so did others) it was closer to 20 to 30 minutes.

At Vineland Estates, a row of dog vendors lined the yard, including one of our favourite: Doggie Bowtique dog collars. Victor got a new cowboy collar with matching plaid bow. Hey, you never know when you’re going to be invited to a canine hoedown.

All was well in the sun then the realization set in: we have to walk back to the car.

So, another 30-minute hike through the woods (after a glass of wine) and  we’re back at Featherstone. No wonder we’re dog-tired.

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This year the second Muddy Paws Festival was noon to 5 pm, July 9 and 10, 2016.

A percentage of the Muddy Paws wine sales is donated to the National Service Dogs organization:

“In 1996, National Service Dogs pioneered the program of breeding, training and placing certified service dogs with children with autism. Since then, NSD has graduated over 350 Certified Service Dog Teams, helped many service dog organizations around the world start their own autism programs, and has started three new programs: Certified Service Dogs for PTSD, Canine Assisted Intervention and Companion Dog Services.”

Check out another NSD fundraiser in Rockton, Ontario at Pavlo Pottery here.
If you want to check out the Niagara, Ontario wine region, pick up a copy of Fodor’s Guide to Toronto and the Niagara Region from Amazon.

Ever been to a doggie wine festival? Let us know in the comments:


  1. […] This isn’t the first year for Muddy Paws dog-friendly winery festival – it began pre-pandemic as an event between two neighbouring wineries – Featherstone Estate Wineries and Vineland Estate Winery – connected by a hiking trail perfect for walking the dog through Niagara Escarpment forest. (Check out our previous Muddy Paws adventures here). […]

  2. […] the Dog Bakery was one of about 20 vendors at the two-day annual Muddy Paws event sponsored by Boreal Pet Food. Muddy Paws is a joint venture between Featherstone Estate Winery […]

  3. You have some really great dog friendly events there! This sounds like it was a lot of fun!

    1. There’s getting to be more and more…

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