What Is Woofstock?
This past weekend my husband and I attended Woofstock. Woofstock is North America?s largest outdoor festival for dogs. This year was the 15th anniversary of the festival and was held at Woodbine Park in Toronto, ON. The list of vendors and attractions for dogs and their hoomans was endless. Some of them included, PureBites, foufouBRANDS, Big Country Raw, Westies in Need, Mega Dog Raw, Open Farm, PetValu, kijiji, dyson, Canine Cupcakes and Couture, The Body Shop, VitaLife, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Canadian Tire, Benny Bully?s, MuttLuks, Canada Pooch and so many more!
When Did We Go?
We went to Woofstock on the Sunday, which was May 27th, since we were busy on the Saturday. My husband and I also agreed that while we would have loved to bring Marlee along, it didn?t make sense for us to. Marlee absolutely hates car rides, they give her anxiety and it?s really just not comfortable for anyone. Woofstock was about an hour and a half to two hours away from our house depending on the traffic. It was also a super hot day, which mixed with the long car ride, just didn?t seem fair. But that?s okay because we still had a great time and were able to bring some goodies home from Woofstock for Marlee.
What Did We See?
Woofstock had a variety of different exhibitors and attractions. As we got closer to Woodbine Park and were looking for a parking spot, we could already see many hoomans and their dogs walking around. Once we entered Woofstock there were so many dogs and people around all enjoying the day. The entrance that we entered from was the main entrance and was right in front of the information booth. This is a great spot to stop off at first because you can enter some contests, fill out a survey and get a map! There is also a big legend/map to the left of the booth, so if you?re looking for specific vendors, you can do so very easily.
The map you receive from the information booth is extremely useful. All of the tents are labeled with a number and colour coordinated. The colours let you know if the company is a sponsor, exhibitor, apart of the rescue village, food and bar or the puppy patch. Other symbols let you know where to find the information booth, washrooms, first aid, the entrances and exits, ATMs, as well as water stations. If you?re bringing your dog along, you will definitely want to know where water stations are. This weekend was especially hot and fresh water for your dog all day out in the sun is of the upmost importance.
Other things to note on the map are the schedules. There were several areas located around the park that had different events going on. Some of these included events at the Main Stage, which was located near the Main Entrance. As well as, the Crumps? Arena, PC SuperDogs, Ultimutts Stunt Dogs, and Blue Buffalo Dock Dogs Competition. All of these areas had their own events happening at scheduled times throughout the day.
You also could have your doggie participate in Toronto?s Biggest Doggie Meet Up with Open Farm?s Off Leash area. This is a doggie favourite along with unlimited free lure courses by Eukanuba and Benny Bully?s, visiting the Woofstock Rescue Village, the Breeders Village and the Kitty Korner. Since we didn?t bring Marlee along we obviously weren?t able to have her participate in these, but it was still fun to walk around and see the other dogs enjoying them.
What Booths Did We Visit?
There was one booth that I really wanted to visit and that was the Canada Pooch booth. It was too bad that we didn?t bring Marlee along for this because Canada Pooch was holding a super cute contest. Where the dogs could try out some of the Canada Pooch products such as t-shirts and jackets and have their picture taken. They were then entered into a contest with the chance to win a $150 gift certificate, be a model in their upcoming shoot, be featured on their website, as well as on their instagram account. So that would have been pretty cool. But we were able to see a ton of dogs dress up and get their pictures taken me.
Canada Pooch also had great customer service and helped us out with purchasing a new rain jacket for Marlee. We had been waiting in their line for a while and my husband asked if it was possible to just purchase a rain jacket. Everyone else in line had their dogs with them and were waiting for pictures. However, all we wanted was a watermelon rain jacket for Marlee, which I had been eyeing for a while. I hate speaking up and truly would have waited in that line all day but it was super hot and my husband was antsy. So he asked one of the girls working at the booth if it was possible just to purchase one of the rain jackets and not have to wait for all the dogs to get their pictures taken.
The Canada Pooch employees were so amazing; they let us purchase the exact rain jacket that we wanted 40 minutes early. They told us that they were only selling product between 4pm and 5pm. But since we didn?t have our dog with us and we drove almost 2 hours there, they made an exception. Their customer service was amazing, and this alone was worth the trip to Woofstock!
Some of the other booths that we visited were Benny Bully?s and VitaLife. Both of these companies make Marlee?s favourite dog treats. We also walked around and looked at pother products that were being sold. We watched some of the lure courses, which were super fun. Marlee loves to run but her agility isn?t up to par and since she isn?t very motivated it?s hard to get her to even bring back a ball once you have thrown it. So we always love watching dogs that are able to run really fast and do obstacle courses.
What Did We Buy?
We purchased the watermelon rain jacket from Canada Pooch as I mentioned above. This was a great experience; they were so nice and sold us the rain jacket for $20. If you go on their website you will see the Pick Me Poncho in the Watermelon print is regularly $24. You then also have to pay taxes and shipping. Unless you purchase $60 or more then you get free shipping. So we saved quite a bit of money by purchasing this rain jacket at Woofstock.
One of the other vendors that I really wanted to stop by was Benny Bully?s. These are one of the top two of Marlee?s favourite treats. For as long as we have had Marlee she has loved beef liver treats. They are tasty for dogs and have a small amount of calories. This makes them great for training your dog, as well as just a regular reward treat. Benny Bully?s makes a variety of different flavours, as well as many different sized bags.
We usually buy Benny Bully?s at our local Ruffin?s Pet Centres and they have a fairly good selection. However, I have been on the hunt for some of the newer flavours that Benny Bully?s has out. So while we were at Woofstock this was one of the stops on my list. The regular 58g (2.1 oz.) bags that we purchase are generally around $7.99 at out Ruffin?s Pet Centre but most places sell them for $8.99. At the Benny Bully?s booth they had baskets filled with treats, and so many different types.
They were selling the 58g bags 2 for $10, which is a great price and you could mix and match between flavours. We ended up purchasing 2 bags, one flavour Beef Liver & Real Cranberry and the other Beef Liver and Real Blueberry. These are two flavours I have been looking for so I was happy to find them at Woofstock. I was worried that Marlee potentially would not have liked them to I only purchased one bag of each, but now I wish I had bought more. We may be in trouble when we run out and are looking for these again.
The last stop we made was to the VitaLife booth. These are Marlee?s absolute favourite treats she would be lost without the VitaLife Duck Tenders. They are one of the few treats that she has faithfully loved since we rescued her almost two years ago. As I have mentioned many times in previous posts, she is an extremely picky dog when it comes to food. When we first recused her she was severely under weight and she didn?t like to eat at all. We tried a number of different foods and she wouldn?t eat very much of any of them or she would start on one and quickly lose interest.
It was the VitaLife Duck Tenders that helped us to put some weight on Marlee. Once she tried these she was hooked. I don?t think we have gone many days since without her eating them. Like I said, they are her favourite and the only food she has faithfully eaten since we rescued her. She continues to be excited when she sees them and gobbles them down like she?s scared someone will steal them. Since they are duck, it is a fattier meat so they really helped with her gaining a bit of weight.
Marlee is allergic to chicken, so that is a no go for her. We used to give her the VitaLife Chicken Tenders as well as the Chicken Wrapped Apples and she loved those. But unfortunately after a while we learned she is badly allergic to chicken so we now only give her the Duck Tenders. I don?t think she cares too much since she loves duck! Due to this reason we stopped by the VitaLife booth at Woodstock.
They were selling their 454g bags of treats 2 for $10 and their 908g bags of treats 2 for $30. While we can always use the biggest bags of treats in our house we opted to purchase 2 of the 454g bags of Duck Tenders for $10. I actually realized that it would have made the most sense to purchase four bags of the 454g treats for $20 than 2 908g bags for $30. Unfortunately I realized this after we left but that?s okay because we still got 2 bags and will be stocked up for a little while.
We only purchased products from 3 vendors since these were Marlee?s absolute favourite. However, there were so many vendors that were selling products. We checked out some of the other vendors. But our main priorities for the day were to visit our favourite companies and save some money on their products.
Was the Day Worth It?
At the end of the day we were extremely happy and felt that the day was worth it. Even though we didn?t bring Marlee along, it was still a great day for us hoomans. We were able to walk around and stay out in the sun with no stress about our pooch. It was also really fun just to see all the dogs; it is always nice to see different breeds and their personalities.
I feel that the experience and the savings on what we purchased was well worth the money spent on gas and entry into Woofstock. Even without our dog we had a great experience. Our interaction with Canada Pooch was also the highlight of our day and made it all worth it. If you are planning on going next year and bringing your doggie along, I recommend doing some research in advance. It can be an exhausting day for the dog and the human.
Will We Be Going Again?
We are planning on attending Woofstock again next year and this time bringing Marlee along. We are thinking about staying at my parent?s house in the GTA the night before so that the drive is shorter. While we had a great time without bringing Marlee along this trip, I feel like you get the most out of Woofstock if you bring along your four-legged friend. We also plan on taking advantage of all of the contests that are being held and the extra activities that the dogs are participate in.
7 Tips for Bringing Your Dog to Woofstock
1. Get There Early
We had to walk really far since it was impossible to find a parking spot. This would not have been fun with our little dog along. She would have gotten tired early on and we would have had to hold her most of the day. Needless to say, get there are easrly as possible so that you get a good parking spot. You also don’t want to miss any of the events!
2. Purchase Your Tickets in Advance
The online advance ticket price is cheaper than purchasing at the door. You also get to skip one of the lines and can get your ticket scanned right away. If you purchase at Woofstock you need to go to two different lines.
3. Bring Water and a Collapsible Dog Bowl
The water stations are great, but all of the ones we saw were shared bowls. If you have a picky dog bring your own along. I know Marlee would have turned her nose up at the bowls even though they refill them regularly. You will also want water for the humans! You may even want to bring along some human snacks and dog treats.
4. Plan Out Your Day
When you first get there it is extremely overwhelming. I recommend looking up the vendors before hand so you know who is there and what not to miss. Then when you enter the festival you can map out where to go without wasting any time or missing any vendors.
5. Don?t Forget Poop Bags!
This is so important. You?re outside on grass all day with tons of dogs around. Chances are anyone around you will have some if your dog does their business but you don?t want to be that person asking people for favours. Remember your poop bags, because well shit happens.
6. Bring a Backpack/Bag
Unlike many other festivals Woodstock doesn?t seem to prohibit them. While I won?t get into how this could be a potential safety problem, it is also nice to be able to bring in bags. The purchases we made were pretty heavy by the end of the day and the walk back to our car was long. Now add in having a dog with you, this could get exhausting.
7. Bring Cash
There are ATMs available and some vendors had debit and credit card machines, but almost all of the vendors require cash. Stop at the bank before you come along to save some money and not waste time. We spent around $70 on the day not including gas and this was on the lower side. We didn?t want to spend too much money and we didn?t purchase food in the festival. I imagine most people probably spend around $200 depending on their purchases.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
Overall Woofstock was definitely a success. We had a great day, it was well worth the drive and the heat. The vendors we saw and interacted with were so nice and had great customer service. The sales were also amazing and Marlee was extremely happy when we got home with her goodies. You will definitely see us there next year with Marlee leading the way!
Let us know if you attended Woofstock this year, or if you plan to next year in the comments! Also check out our Events page, for all the events in Ontario this year!
Wet Kisses and Tail Wags,
Karlee and Marlee