Hey Dog Lovers! It’s Time For The Park

February 18th, 2014


Some exciting news here from The Pet Network’s friends at Stornoway Productions:
Stornoway Productions has launched an original online series and interactive website called Dog Park Tales, exclusively available at www.dogparktales.ca.
A fun and informative look at dog culture in North America, the site features webisodes that explore everything from doggie cuisine and fashion, to the healing and helpful roles dogs play in human society. Featuring Tevya Heller and his energetic Beagle Buddy, Dog Park Tales celebrates our often obliging “best friends” by looking at developments in dog training, dog events and new discoveries from animal behaviour experts.

The website encourages dog lovers to engage in the conversation by sharing their thoughts, posting photos and voting on a variety of doggie issues. Users can join the community for additional features and updates. From the informative to the silly, Dog Park Tales provides viewers and users with an opportunity to explore the world of canine and human interaction – both in and outside of the dog park.
Dog Park Tales utilizes Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to encourage site visits and user-generated content. The website is available on standard, tablet and mobile devices.

This digital media project is supported by the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian specialty network The Pet Network, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.
To watch webisodes, check out the Dog Blog, join the community and more, CLICK HERE.


Your Pets & Halloween

October 29th, 2013


Trick or treat! It’s Halloween (almost), and Fido & Wine‘s Jen Mitchell Oddi and Laura Ducharme have a column in this month’s On The GO Magazine with some spook-tastic seasonal safety tip for pet owners. Read on … if you dare!

It is well known that we must keep our dogs away from chocolate, but there are many other pet safety hazards related to Halloween that you should be aware of.

Keep your pets indoors and in a safe place. Not only might they dash out the door during times of frenzied trick or treating, they are at risk for cruel treatment by so called Halloween pranksters. They can be taken and injured by these sick people. Many adoption agencies have banned adoption of black cats around Halloween for this very reason.

Make sure that your pet is not able to get near your jack-o’-lantern or any candles. One wag of a tail or an acrobatic cat can knock them over and start a fire. Consider using battery operated LED candles instead.

It’s not just chocolate that shouldn’t be fed to dogs (or cats for that matter). Some candy includes xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic and can cause seizures. Wrappers and sticks can pose a risk as well. Keep the candy bowls away from your pets and make sure your kids understand the dangers of sharing their loot with their furry friends.

Cute costumes are hard to resist — but if you’re going to dress up your pet in costume, make sure they’re comfortable and safe. Never, ever leave them unsupervised when in a costume.

Halloween is a great time to remind us to make sure our pets are identifiable with a microchip or tattoo, preferably. At the very least, make sure your pet’s wearing a collar with a tag.

Catch the Pet Network original series Fido & Wine weeknights at 6:30 pm Eastern.

And don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. She posts a ton of great recipes and ideas for folks who want to prepare healthy and delicious meals for their canine companions.

A Helping Hand For Toronto Beagles

October 23rd, 2013


Fido & Wine‘s Jen Mitchell Oddi and Laura Ducharme published a column recently in On The GO Magazine about the great work being done by Toronto’s Big On Beagles. We’re grateful to Jen and Laura for giving us an opportunity to share the article on The Pet Network blog!

Our friend and colleague Angela Jager and her husband Nick are blessed with the most entertaining and cuddly little beagle named Olive. One of the many things we respect and admire about Angela is that she has committed to helping fundraise and promote the assistance/adoption agency Big On Beagles. Here’s what she has to say about the dogs and the cause.

Beagles have an insatiable zest for life and are known for following their noses — and hearts — in most situations. Along with soulful eyes and silly grins, they have amiable, even-tempered personalities and rank high on the intelligence scale. Despite these great qualities, their stubborn tenacity combined with a tendency to howl first and think later get these often misunderstood hounds landed in shelters at an alarming rate.

That’s where Big On Beagles comes in. A Toronto-based assistance agency for beagles experiencing troubled times, B.O.B has spent over 10 years helping down-on-their-luck beagles with health, weight, and emotional issues find foster and forever homes. Veterinary care for these homeless howlers is expensive, but B.O.B is committed to getting every beagle that enters the program the best care possible, regardless of cost.

Fundraising events like the annual “Beagle Bash for Cash” along with donations — both big and small — make these life-changing efforts possible. In short, B.O.B founder Marna Gale and the rest of the B.O.B team strive to give second chances to dogs that might otherwise be forgotten.

If you have a big heart for hounds, the Big on Beagles community would love to meet you! B.O.B meets frequently in dog parks all over the Toronto & Mississauga area to fundraise, mingle, and watch their dogs play. It’s a great way to meet new people and socialize your dog.

For more information on fostering, adoption and meet-ups, please visit www.bigonbeagles.ca.

Stay tuned: we’ll be posting Jen and Laura’s Halloween tips for pet owners soon!

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. She posts a ton of great recipes and ideas for folks who want to prepare healthy and delicious meals for their canine companions.


Be Part Of ‘Dog Park Tales’

August 16th, 2013


Want to be part of The Pet Network’s new series Dog Park Tales? Find out how below!

CLICK HERE to submit your pics and info!


Snout and about: Woofstock 2013

June 10th, 2013


Photos by Mark Bandura

On Saturday, The Pet Network’s Mark Bandura dropped in on Woofstock in Toronto, North America’s largest celebration of all things canine, and got a dog’s-eye-view of the furry festivities. Check out some of his great pics here, or CLICK THIS LINK to see the full photo gallery!


Family Portrait

March 7th, 2013


This photo just made our day. Laura Ducharme, host of our series FIDO & WINE, snapped this pic of her gorgeous Lab/Beagle mix Phoenix enjoying some time with Laura’s grandmother (age 90) and grandfather (age 93). A moment of togetherness that we just had to share!


Better Than Boyfriends?

February 14th, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day! The Honest Kitchen, a California-based company specializing in all-natural dog foods, recently sent out this infographic explaining Why Dogs Are Better Than Boyfriends. We thought it was too good not to share, on today of all days. Some of the lads may protest, but it’s pretty hard to argue with such observations as “they’ll cuddle with you for hours and won’t say a word about your current aesthetic state or number of Kleenexes on the bed,” or “they won’t ask you to explain why you love sappy chick flicks or vampire dramas.”

Whether you’re spending it with your best boy, girl or canine compatriot, we hope this Valentine’s is a happy one for you. Much love to all The Pet Network’s friends out there!



February 1st, 2013


From puppy pret-a-porter to kitty couture, PET FASHION is your guide to what the world’s best-dressed pets are wearing. This one-of-a-kind Canadian series returns to The Pet Network this weekend with brand new episodes. Here’s the official announcement from the producers, our friends at FRONT TV:

PET FASHION, the only show of its kind that brings pet chic into focus, is returning for a fourth season on The Pet Network. New episodes of the half-hour program, hosted by Kristina Ejem (pictured below) will make their broadcast premiere on Saturdays and Sundays, starting February 2, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. ET. (Repeats at 1 am ET.)

PET FASHION, a fun and innovative lifestyle series, offers an in-depth look at the evolving world of the companion-animal kingdom – from educators and innovators creating the latest pet products, to visionary designers who are shaping the current pet fashions and trends of tomorrow, to the pet lovers who share their stories and the contents of their pet’s closets.

The new season will include a salute to all things fandom-licious, an interview with a real-life Dr. Dolittle, a discussion of pet reincarnation, and an introduction to a canine whose resumé reads like an A-list celeb. We’ll also meet a pet-advocate Italian Prince, go gaga over pet fashion, get the inside scoop on the latest pet-centric events, and more.

“This is this only program that shines a positive light on pet fashion designers,” says PET FASHION producer Bianca Kapteyn. “Usually, the editorial slant on these stories is jokey and frivolous. We take pet fashion designers seriously. Some of them are practically rock stars.”

PET FASHION is produced by FRONT TV, an international award winning and broadcast design and branding agency with its own TV production and animation arm that is aimed at producing high-quality, ground breaking entertainment. FRONTS’ headquarters, TV studio, animation and post-production facilities are located in Toronto, ON. For more info: www.front.tv.


Talent Hounds: Behind The Scenes, Part Three

January 18th, 2013


The producers of Talent Hounds, a new documentary slated to air on The Pet Network in 2013, are back with another update on their search for some of Canada’s most gifted canines:

The Talent Hounds crew most recent stop was in Ajax at Who’s Walking Who for an Open Casting Call. The team was on the hunt for cuties, tricksters, athletes and rescue success stories to be featured in our upcoming documentary for The Pet Network. Dog training studio Who’s Walking Who is owned and operated by “Top Dog” Gillian Ridgeway, a well-respected trainer with many years of experience.

Many talented dogs and their pet parents braved the cold and drizzling rain to come out and strut their stuff — among them a couple who had driven all the way from Toronto accompanied by the gorgeous Airedale Sylvie, a charmer dressed for success in an eye-catching red bandanna. Also present were the handsome pups Shelby (a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) and Stella (an Australian Cattle Dog), for whom the camera crew performed their very best Marlon Brando impersonations.

The pup Twizzler was quite the delight. Her owner explained that she had two other dogs at home: a senior in its sunset years, and a shy, anxious middle-aged dog. The latter might have difficulty handling either the loss of a longtime companion or the sudden arrival of a “replacement-friend” in the form of a rambunctious puppy. So Twizzler has been adopted to help smooth the transition now, and has quickly become a welcome addition to the family.

One special guy, Arthur (above), was born without eyes. Margaret of Helping Homeless Pets explained that Arthur’s breeder originally took him to a vet to be euthanized at the age of nine weeks, after the adorable dachshund failed to find an owner. The vet refused to kill the otherwise healthy animal, gained custody of the puppy and called rescue services. Margaret, now the puppy’s foster mom, named the him after her father, who had lived with blindness for the last 30 years of his life, and yet – like Arthur — was never “handicapped.”

While Arthur requires certain adaptations, Margaret never gives him special treatment. He is house-trained, has finished puppy preschool, and will be taking regular obedience classes this year, freely interacting with the other pups — running, wrestling, and playing just like any other dog.

Other heartwarming rescue success stories showed up to demonstrate their talents for the cameras — including a trio of Labrador Retrievers with mom Kate. While Kate and her dogs auditioned, Gillian explained how much the dogs had been transformed by the patience and diligence of their loving human companion.

Not surprisingly, professionally trained canine actors Noah and Yardley — both owned by Gillian Ridgeway herself — stole the show. Gillian has trained several of her dogs as actors for film, television and commercials – among them Levi, the star of many memorable advertisements over the years.

To learn more about Talent Hounds CLICK HERE.

Photos: Trish Aleve, Pawsome Pet Photography


FIDO & WINE Sneak Peek: Buddy’s Kitchen

January 18th, 2013


Catch a brand new episode of Fido & Wine online HERE, starting Monday January 21.

In this episode, host Laura Ducharme visits red seal chef Maurizio Barbiere and marketing guru Tyler Philps at Buddy’s Kitchen in Aurora, Ontario to learn about their fresh, natural foods. (That’s the Buddy’s Kitchen fresh food patty pictured above!) Their menu inspires Laura to create a gourmet style lamb and melon salsa dish for Tyler and his pug, Moxie. Here’s a sneak preview:

You can see more Fido & Wine videos HERE.


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