'Biggest year yet' for annual Doggie Expo held in Dartmouth

1 / 2
'Biggest year yet' for annual Doggie Expo held in Dartmouth

Kelly Perron, along with her dogs Chewbacca and Penny, navigated a sea of dogs and their owners at the 13th annual Doggie Expo at the Dartmouth Sportsplex.

"We've come since the very first doggie expo and it's been getting really, really big," Perron said. "The first one there was maybe a dozen and a half booths. It's really nice to see all this out for dogs."

This year's event had 90 vendors and 115 booths.

Pet owners could browse the latest trends in food, toys, clothing and gadgets for their pooches, as well as connect with  animal rescue groups and kennel clubs.

"It is our biggest year yet," said Haley McIntosh, fundraising chair of the Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada — the group that organizes the expo each year.

The event used to be held at the Halifax Forum, but it had to move to the Dartmouth Sportsplex about five years ago to accommodate the growing interest in the event.

For McIntosh, the appeal of the event is "100 per cent" about the dogs.

"We get to see so many different breeds and so many different animals from so many different walks of life," McIntosh said, calling it "an awesome opportunity."

The event is also a place where businesses network.

Patricia Pittman owns a dog bakery and has been coming to the Doggie Expo since it first opened. The treats she sells could easily be mistaken for human cookies because they're so appetizing and intricately decorated.

"It gives a really good chance for everybody to participate in a 'co-opetition' versus competition," Pittman said of the expo.

"I think that more networking you can do and get your product out there with other people, the better it is for everybody's business."