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Dogs days upon us

WSSF wraps up, Whistler welcomes dogs

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Whistler may have cornered the gay market with Altitude Week.

It may have the arts and music market covered with the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

And surely Crankworx draws mountain bikers from around the world.

But now there's a new market segment to target – the pet market.

Research from Tourism Whistler shows it's a growing business and this has sparked the first Dog Days of Whistler event.

"Pet tourism is a growing trend," said events director Paula Mohammed.

Lest you think that Dog Days is just for the tourists, think again Whistler dog lovers.

There is something for every pooch and every owner during the next two weeks in the resort.

It all begins as the WSSF wraps up. Every year the festival puts on Dogfest. This year is no exception. This weekend, April 16-17, the village comes alive with barks and wags.

The annual dog parade takes place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the best dressed dog contest and the dog owner look-a-like contest.

The Superfly Canine Club will also show you just what some dogs are capable of with their dog agility presentation.

The following day all dogs will have the chance to enter a range of light-hearted competitions, from silly dog tricks to the naughty dog contest, the disco dog dance off and the canine singing contest.

Throughout the rest of April there will be sunset guided hikes with your dog around Lost Lake, Logger's Lake and to Rainbow Park.

There will also be a dog wash, a dog cookie bake off and a dog launching contest, where the pooches can take a running leap off the dock at Lost Lake. The less competitive can just take a dip in the water.

The week coincides with WAG's move to Whistler's new animal shelter. The open house on April 27 will celebrate all the work and volunteer man hours that went in to building the new shelter close to Nesters.

A B-I-N-G-O fundraiser on Friday, April 29 will help raise money for the shelter.

Dog experts will also be on hand over the last weekend of Dog Days to answer any questions about nutrition, health, training or exercise.

Dog Days runs from April 16 to May 1. Throughout that time participating hotels in Whistler will be waiving the nightly pet cleaning fee from the bill.

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