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Victoria Pet Expo a goldmine for pet owners

Well behaved pets are welcome to join in the fun
The Victoria Pet Expo is taking place at the Pearkes Rec Centre and will run on May 4 and 5 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on both days. (Contributed)

By Tim Collins

Pets are wonderful.

They’re members of the family, and it comes as no surprise that there are more than 28 million pets in Canada. That translates into more than 80 per cent of Canadian households having a pet.

Now, the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) reports that pets provide a host of benefits for their owners, including improved mental health, companionship and help in coping with stressful situations, so the popularity of pets makes sense, particularly in turbulent times.

“It comes as no surprise that the trends show an increase in both the Canadian dog and cat populations, with the largest increases happening from 2020-2022,” said Dr. Emily Bond, Programs Director for CAHI.

And while dogs and cats tend to dominate the pet population, people have made pets of just about every kind of animal you can imagine. That includes everything from tarantulas to mini donkeys and pot-bellied pigs.

Enter the Victoria Pet Expo.

“Our focus tends to be on well-behaved cats and dogs, although we have had other pets that range from a bearded lizard to a ferret,” said Virginia Ritchie, co-producer of the Pet Expo.

“Actually, the only pets we don’t allow are snakes. They tend to make people nervous,” said Ritchie. “Although, I have to tell you, it’s ironic that most snake owners tend to be absolutely lovely people.”

Ritchie emphasized that the Expo largely focuses on providing education and information.

To that end, a cornucopia of expo pet exhibitors will be on hand to help pet owners with information on everything from learning about your pet’s health, to understanding what your buddy is trying to tell you through their non-verbal communication.

There’ll be information on nutrition, insurance, pet furniture, training opportunities, grief counselling, pet clothing, and just about anything one could imagine for their pet.

Dr. Kristin Zajaczkowski, from the Pacific Cat Clinic, will be on hand to share her tips on how to enjoy travelling with your feline pals (although some may say that cats are never happy unless travelling first class).

There’ll also be a chance to meet some real-life sled dogs and we have an unconfirmed report that they have a lot of stories to tell (reference the non-verbal communication clinic to make this more possible).

And of course, what would any Pet Expo be without watching those speedy gung-ho, never-say-die dachshunds show off their running skills in the Dachshund Dash.

“Another really neat thing is that we’ll have a chance to get your pet’s photograph taken and even a portrait by exhibitors at the show,” said Ritchie.

This year’s expo will take place at the Pearkes Rec Centre and will run on May 4 and 5 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on both days.

“Children love pets, of course and we’re happy to say that children 12 years of age are admitted free of charge,” said Ritchie. “Seniors and military are $5.00, and adults are $8.00 at the door.”

The Expo will feature food choices for pet parents as well as treats for the pups. There’ll also be a kid’s area with a variety of activities.

Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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