TORONTO – Woofstock, North America’s largest festival for dogs, kicks off its 14th annual outdoor event on Saturday, May 27th from 10am to 6 pm and Sunday, May 28th from 10:00 am to 5 pm at Toronto’s Woodbine Park, from 10am to 6pm. This event has grown into a festive tour de force, drawing tens of thousands of dogs and their human companions from across Canada and the U.S. every year. With its attendance increasing every year, and the continued support and participation of top pet brands, Woofstock remains the largest dog festival, with the most attractions and entertainers of any animal-related event.


“We are excited for this season of Woofstock because this year there will be more vendors, more entertainment, and more excitement than ever before,” says Teanna Lindsay, co-owner of Woofstock. “In this 14th season, we are bringing back our classic activity and product favourites for our guests, and introducing some sensational surprises and new sponsors to the event.”


For 2017, Woofstock welcomes PetSmart as the event’s presenting partner. This new sponsorship partnership is a natural fit for Woofstock, bringing together two large brands whose passions are pets, pet care, and animal education.


“At PetSmart, everything we do is for the love of pets, and we truly believe that pets make us better people,” said John DeFranco, President, PetSmart Canada. “It’s a natural fit to partner with an organization that brings pets and pet parents together, and we’re proud to be the presenting sponsor for Woofstock this year. We can’t wait to see all our pooch pals and their humans at this year’s event!”


Not to be missed at this year’s Woofstock is the Lucy Pets Gnarly Crankin’ K-9 Wave Maker. All dog guests will have the unique opportunity to participate in doggy surf lessons in Lucy Pets’ 5000 gallon, outdoor canine surfing simulator.


“We are really excited to bring Lucy Pet’s Gnarly Crankin' K-9 Wave Maker up north and across the Canadian border to make new friends,” said Joey Herrick.  “After so much success in the U.S. last year, we wanted to share the experience with Canadian pet parents too. Participating in Woofstock, named the Best Festival in Canada, is the perfect opportunity to do just that.  We can’t wait!”


Pedigree will be back on site this year with its special Rescue Village, which plays host to the brand’s Doggie Picture Day – a concept presented by DENTA STIX and adoption onsite. Attendees will learn more about how to improve their dog’s dental hygiene plus receive a branded tote bag.


Pure Balance by Walmart will be bringing the fun to the festival with its giant Kibble Pit – a huge dog bowl full of balls for our furry guests to play in.


In addition to these exciting activities, our adorable furry guests, their owners and all dog lovers can participate and enjoy events such as FREE lure courses, Woofstock’s annual Fashion Show, the Mr. and Ms. Canine Canada Pageant, Canine’s Got Talent, Annual Running of the Pugs and Weiner Dog Races, the NEW Chihuahua Chase and Frenchy Flash racing events, as well as the Woofstock Games, an Olympic style sporting competition for dogs. Returning favourite attractions include an animal communicator and security dog demonstrations, multiple product launches onsite and tons of free samples to enjoy.


To facilitate easy access to the event grounds, Petsmart will be sponsoring Woofstock Wheels – a free shuttle service transporting guests from an off-site parking lot on Cherry Street, as well as Union Station. Attendees won’t go hungry either as Woofstock hosts a mini food truck festival with a fully licensed area complete with a Wooftini cocktail.


With upwards of 100,000 dog lovers and more than 150,000 of their four-legged loved ones in attendance last year, Woofstock management is looking forward to making this 14th annual festival the best yet.







WHERE:  Woodbine Park (1695 Queen St E Toronto, ON M4L 1G7)


DATES & TIMES: Saturday, May 27th 10am to 6 pm and Sunday, May 28th, from 10am to 5pm


TICKET PRICE: $10 in advance (weekend pass); $12 at the event gates (weekend pass); Children under 10 and Dogs are FREE.


***Proceeds from this year’s Woofstock ticket sales will be donated to all dog rescue organizations who have partnered with Woofstock for 2017.***


Seven tricks of turning your Dog walks into Workouts

Taking your furry friend for a walk probably involves lots of sniffing about and a hello here and there to fellow dog walkers – all at a leisurely pace that doesn’t amount to much exercise.

But believe it or not, your canine buddy makes the best workout partner. Unlike humans, he has no last-minute cancellations, never complains how hilly the terrain is and will happily remind you when the clock hits workout time.

As your biological reminder, your dog will keep you in check even on those cold training days you want to lazy around. Then why not turn your daily dog walks into a workout? Remember, working out together not only improves your health but boost the bond between man and dog. So, if you are considering that as an option, here are seven ways to turn your dog walks into workouts.

  1. Get to know your dog’s limits

A puppy’s walking ability varies greatly from that of a senior canine while a German shepherd needs more exercise than a Labradoodle. Different dogs have different energy levels. It is best to first understand your dog's physical constraints before turning your morning walks into a great workout session.  Find a rhythm that works for the both of you.

  1. Establish a workout routine

Dogs are great at following schedules, especially if it is one that involves a lot of outdoor time. Look for a daily walk routine that fits your lifestyle and gives you enough room to incorporate exercise in-to it. It can be a twenty to thirty minutes’ stroll that rewards both you and your four-legged friend with plenty of mental, physical and emotional stimuli.

  1. Change the train

Instead of your normal power walks down the park, try going hiking- it’s a bit more challenging with a change of scenery.  Remember, terrain and pace matter more than distance. When you get a hilly trail that is covered in green, you tend to build more strength and endurance due to the challenge this terrain offers. Furthermore, the change of view mentally stimulates your dog -  he will find it adventurous and will be eager to go out on the run next time hoping for more discovery.

  1. Start slow

Try reprogramming your dog slowly especially if he has grown fond of leisurely strolls. This might take several sessions before he gets used to the new routine.  However, this does not mean that you completely sideline those relaxing walks – it basically involves having clear distinctions from regular strolls to more powerful energizing walk up the hill. For instance, many dogs can distinguish the kind of walk based on whether they get to wear a leash or not.

  1. Switch things up

A walking routine gets boring over time, so how do you keep things fresh even on day twenty-two of your workout session? Well, a change of routine should do the trick. Try changing the pace, increasing the distance, adding more physical and mental stimuli to keep both you and your dog motivated and involved in the workout session.

  1. Look out for jumping, skipping, and pull up opportunities

An excellent way to turn your world in-to a gym is to look out for trees, monkey bars, park benches, and other nature furniture to get your heart rate up. And to motivate your dog during the workout is by giving them a reward – it could be a snack or a favorite puzzle toy they like. By doing so, your dog will be inspired to join you for the next morning run. He will even remind you when the time to go out for a walk comes.

  1. Try adding weights to the workout plan

Weights are a great way to add extra effort to your workout program. If you prefer no leash jogs, try carrying some extra weight on your hands. For your dog, you can add weight vests, but it is important to consult a vet first. Weight vests tend to cause unnecessary knee, back and hip problems for your dog.

Getting the most out of your walk workouts

In order for both you and your dog to get the most from walk workouts, your dog needs to know how to move at the same pace beside you, rather than being behind or in front of you. Whether jogging, power walking, or running with your dog, she should be in the shoulder-at-knee heel position. This position allows the two of you to move as one, reducing the risk of colliding into each other along the way.

Furthermore, try increasing your pace and distance after short warm-ups. Keep in mind that your dog benefits physically and mentally from playtime. As a result, it is best to get creative by finding ways to play with your dog that also provides plenty of exercise for you. If he or she likes running off leash free at the park, run along with her. If retrieving a ball gives her a blood rush, throw it and race her for it.

Benefits of daily walks for you and the dog

Tired, under-exercised dogs tend to develop behavior problems that can be resolved through adding more physical activity into their daily schedule. When you turn your daily walks into a workout there are plenty of benefits both you and your dog tend to gain. They include:

  • Lowering obesity chances.

  • Reduce chances of heart disease.

  • Lowers diabetes rates due to cholesterol build up.

  • Prevents joint diseases due to tensed muscles.

  • Strengthens the bond between you and the dog as you spend more time together.

  • Mental stimulation for both you and the dog through increased blood circulation.

  • Emotional balance through stimulation of antidepressant hormones.

  • Prevents dementia in senior dogs.


When done correctly, your daily walks can turn into a powerful energy-boosting workout session. All you need is to establish a strike routine accompanied with occasional twists and plots to keep it fresh and motivational for both you and the dog. By doing so, you stand to benefit greatly in terms of physical, mental and emotional health. Rather than hitting the gym for a workout and leaving your canine friend out in the dark, why not try powerful walk sessions that boost your friendship level as well as your physical health.

Bio: Andy is the owner at Pet Gear Lab, a pet blog that provides information, humour, and help and advice to dog owners.

Retired Teacher Pens Book to Help Deal with Loss of a Pet 


Do you have a child and an older or sick pet? This book is for you then. This beautifully illustrated book "The Time of My Life" by Karen Nicksich and Illustrated by Earlene Gayle Escalon.  List price of $41.99 is for you. The book is a bit lengthy as it is 73 pages with color illustrations throughout but it is well worth the read if you are looking to help your young one understand the passing of a pet. It is available in both hardcover, also available in softcover and Kindle editions. I received a softcover signed copy with book marks as well.  I will keep this signed copy with me for years to come as I have pets and someday hope to have children. I definitely think it is a good book to keep in your reading library even if you don't have children yet.  It is beautifully written and easy to follow for any age.

Karen Nicksich the author is experienced the unconditional love and devotion the came from her dog Max for eleven years. When he died, she decided to write a special book that seeks to help anyone who has lost a companion animal and to help children better understand the passing of a pet.


Her book, The “Time of My Life”, tells the story about a young girl named Anna who lives with her family at the Lilac Doggie Rescue Ranch.

Anna shares many of the most important things she learns about staying healthy and being happy from a wise old tree.  The Wise Old Tree told her:

  • Stand tall and be proud of who you are.
  • Go out on a limb to help someone, be it an animal or a man.
  • Remember your roots so that you may always be grounded, and respect what nature has given you.
  • Drink plenty of water so that you will always be healthy.
  • Be content with your natural beauty and that of others.
  • Show kindness to all animals, big and small, and in return, you will teach the animals to do the same.


With the help of Duke the Great Dane, Anna and the animals at the ranch learn about the importance of “Divine Time” and being “Grateful” as they celebrate the life and passing of one of their dearest friends, an aging golden retriever named Dante. The story is told through the wisdom and love of angels, a Wise Old Tree and the many animals living at the ranch.

I highly recommend this book and thank you so much Karen for allowing me to review it! Please go get her book.  Click the link below to take you to the books amazon page: