10 must-dos at the Pet Lover Show

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Cats? Check. Dogs? Check. Birds? Check. Reptiles? Check. Horses? Check. Very wee horses? Also check.

The Pet Lover Show is returning, and organizers promise the third-annual event promises to be bigger than ever. And literally, it’s the biggest one yet, having just doubled in space to 120,000 square feet of exhibit space.

But between veterinarians, animal exhibitors, dogs in costumes, raptor shows, drug-sniffing dogs, guide dogs, pet behaviour experts and featured performers, there’s a lot to get through. Almost too much for one visit, frankly.

Vancity Buzz is bringing you the Top 10 “Must Dos” at the show, which runs February 27 to March 1 at Tradex in Abbotsford.

The Wonderful World of Llamas

Not totally sure why someone would buy or keep llamas? Well, yeah, me too. But Sarah Nicholls from Fat Chance Ranch has trained hers for TV and movie appearances, and swears they’re as social as your family dog. She’s clicker trained hers and they’re even allowed into the house. These members of the camel family are gregarious, curious and they spit when they’re mad. So, kinda cool that you can meet them at this unique meet and greet.

Courtesy Pet Lover Show.

Image: Pet Lover Show

Miniature horses

This demo is for anyone who was a big fan of Lil’ Sebastian on Parks and Recreation. Tina Harrison and the B.C. Miniature Horse Club will introduce you to these remarkable tiny horses and show off the amazing abilities of the unique small breed. With scaled-down requirements for space and feed, the group says the horses can even come in the house! You’ll be amazed what these pint-sized dynamos can do.

Courtesy B.C. Miniature Horse Club

Image: B.C. Miniature Horse Club

Best in Breed TICA cat show

This is for all the haters out there who think ‘Best in Show’ is just for dogs. Presented by the Can-Am Cat Club, eight judges from as far away from Texas will judge 50 breeds of purebred cats in this championship competition. Many recognized breeds will be competing, from the huge Maine Coon, to the smallest Singapura. There’s even a hairless cat.

Cat judging (Pet Lover Show)

Cat judging (Pet Lover Show)

Barnyard experience

Presented by Cedars Equestrian Centre, this family-friendly area lets you come face-to-face with adorable barnyard animals, including sheep, miniature donkeys, goats, chicks, potbellied pigs and more.

The Barnyard Experience (Pet Lover Show)

The Barnyard Experience (Pet Lover Show)

Neuterhead: Ace of Spays

While heavy metal music and concern for animal welfare aren’t normally terms you hear in the same conversation, Neuterhead: Ace of Spays has a mission to make a positive difference in the lives of animals through supporting no-kill shelters and spay/neuter initiatives. These rockers, including the guitarist for local band ‘3 Inches of Blood,’ aren’t performing, but instead will be meeting with people to talk about how they’re helping animals in need. The biggest draw at this booth is their rockin pet-themed merchandise, including pins, cat and dog beer Koozies and t-shirts.

Neuterhead: Ace of Spays (Pet Lover Show)

Neuterhead: Ace of Spays (Pet Lover Show)

Goldens & Newfie Drill Team

When you think of dog agility, certain breeds may come to mind, like high-energy Border Collies, Australian Shepherds or Jack Russells. Well, trainer Linda Fedje puts that notion to rest with her 4 Paws on the Run agility demonstration. With the belief that all dogs can be great dogs with proper obedience work, the longtime trainer uses unlikely breeds like Golden Retrievers and Newfoundlanders to perform agility stunts. You’ll be amazed at what these huge dogs can do.

Goldens & Newfie Drill Team (Pet Lover Show)

Goldens & Newfie Drill Team (Pet Lover Show)

Canadian K9 Detection Dogs

Ever wondered how dogs sniff out drugs? A dog has more than 220 million receptors in its nose responsible for detecting molecules, compared to just five million for humans. Come watch a nose work demonstration from these highly-trained detection dogs, often used in narcotics and explosives police investigations. These working dogs are also employed in search and rescue crews and inspecting visiting cruise ships.

A demonstration from the Canadian K9 Detection Dogs.

A demonstration from the Canadian K9 Detection Dogs.

Rabbit Agility

So here’s where we throw those conceptions about animal agility right out the window. The Vancouver Rabbit Agility Club will put domestic rabbits through the paces in its unique course, as bunnies leap through rings and dodge obstacles in this timed event. The agility course is much like a typical dog course, but the equipment is made much smaller. Check out these amazing bunnies.

The Vancouver Rabbit Agility Club will put domestic rabbits through the paces.

The Vancouver Rabbit Agility Club will put domestic rabbits through the paces.

Meet the Breed

Are you looking for the perfect dog for your family? This exhibition introduces breeders and breed clubs to interested pet parents, to tell you about the advantages and unique challenges of sharing your life with a certain breed. Among the breeds at the show are the Alaskan Klee Kai, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Poodle, Golden Retriever, Whippet and Portuguese Water Dog.

The Alaskan Klee Kai, one of the unique breeds you can meet. (Pet Lover Show)

The Alaskan Klee Kai, one of the unique breeds you can meet. (Pet Lover Show)

Mike the Reptile Guy

For more than 20 years, The Reptile Guy – aka Mike Hopcraft – has been working with reptiles, amphibians and spiders. He’s just opened his first Reptile Rescue Centre in Abbotsford. This highly interactive and entertaining show introduces you to exotic and feared creatures of the reptile world, like a rare Coral Albino Boa Constrictor.

Mike the Reptile Guy (Pet Lover Show).

Mike the Reptile Guy (Pet Lover Show).

The show runs Feb 27 to March 1 at Tradex in Abbotsford.
For more information and ticket prices, visit www.petlovershow.ca.

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About the author

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Darcy Matheson is the founder of PetFundr, a crowdfunding site for animal welfare projects. Her first book, "Greening Your Pet Care," is available on Amazon and in major book and pet stores.
@darcynews

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