Photographing our furry best pals is not the easiest job in the world when they are full of energy and always on the go; and they’re not the biggest fans of posing for the ‘gram! That is why we compiled a list of the best pet photographers in Toronto. In no particular order, they are:
Off Leash Studio
Off Leash Studio stands out due to its ability to capture a dog or cat during their goofiest moments. This studio specifically focuses on bringing out your furry best pal’s unique and fun personality. The end result is professional, polished and guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Located on 165 Bathurst St., Off Leash Studio uses cinematic lighting techniques honed through years of experience shooting portraits to create classic and modern portraits with a fun twist. The official Instagram page (@offleashstudio) will definitely brighten up your day or visit them at: http://www.offleashstudio.com/
Doggy Dates Toronto takes the “nature walk” approach to bring you the most gorgeous shots of your pup with a breathtaking background on the beach, in the woods or anywhere else outdoors, running about and enjoying the fresh air! Expect to see your dog in action, like jumping up in the air and catching a ball, or running towards the waves on the beach. This kind of photoshoot is perfect for the puppers that love the outdoors and exercising. The packages start from $75 and the beautiful shots can be found at the official Facebook page /DoggyDatesToronto or on Instagram @doggydatestoronto
If you’re looking for a seasoned professional with lots of commercial photography experience as well as experience working with a variety of different animals, Jason is your guy! He has photographed exotic animals, farm animals, as well as taken commissions from humans to photograph their domestic pets. Sky is the limit for Jason Krygier-Baum, who always makes sure he has the animal’s owner or, in the case of an exotic animal, a professional animal handler on set (usually at his swanky studio) to make sure everyone involved is comfortable and everything runs smoothly.
After growing up in a house full of all kinds of different animals, Jason studied animal behaviour at the University of Toronto and decided to combine his love of animals with his passion for photography. While Jason’s rates are on the higher end price range, if you take a look at his pet portfolio at https://www.jasonkb.com/pet-portraits, you will see the extremely high quality of his work and realize that this is an unforgettable experience for both you and your furry pal, and a memory to last you a lifetime. Check out his work on Instagram @jasonkbphoto !
This one’s for the GTA folks, we haven’t forgotten about you! Based in Burlington and serving the GTA area, Happy Tails Pet Photography was founded and is operated by animal lover Stacey, who has a golden retriever and a cat of her own. Her portraits really showcase that extra personal touch that results from putting the research in to really discover which location, setting, and experience is perfect for both you and your pet. Stacey prefers shooting in outdoor locations with natural lighting, as opposed to shooting in a studio, as she believes that your furry best friend needs to be as comfortable as possible to let their true personality shine. Her portraits are as picturesque as a postcard, and if you don’t believe us, see it for yourself at https://happytailspetphotography.ca/ and on Instagram @happytailsphoto
Fetching Fotos founder (and photographer) – phew, say that 5 times fast! – Lisa and her team really care, and it shows. From a pre-photoshoot meeting to discuss session ideas, products and budget planning, to a post-photoshoot preview session of over 30 images, everything is designated to put you at ease and make sure this is an incredible experience to remember. Session options include: Simple Pet Session of 1-2 hours at a single location, Us Together Session of owner with pet for 2-3 hours at 1 or 2 locations, The Dogumentary Day of 4-5 hours of following you and your dog around doing your favourite things together, and the Four Seasons Pet Symphony with four sessions throughout the year, each 1-2 hours long. There is also the Old Faithful Session for those with senior pets or ill pets who might have mobility issues, in which case the entire photoshoot is set up for their and their owners’ convenience. Take a closer look at www.fetchingfotos.com or @fetching_fotos on Instagram.
Whether you are at the beginning of your journey with your four-legged best friend, or you are sadly near the end of your journey together and want to capture some beautiful moments, we hope this list helps you find your perfect photographer!
Who are we missing from the list? Shout them out in the comments!
Introduction to Episode 14: Phodography with El Keegan!
The Bark Show is a podcast where we discuss all things dogs, co-hosted by Pam Curry and Suzana Curcija, brought to you by Toronto Dog Walking and I Speak Dog. Today’s guest is pet photographer El Keegan of El Keegan Photography. El is als a food, product, wedding, and lifestyle photographer. El loves all fields of photography but raising two pups made her fall in love with photographing dogs. Her dogs are far from ordinary, they’re deeply emotional, hilarious and they regularly humiliate her and have done for years now. For El, it’s so important to capture their characters. Not all dogs are perfectly behaved but we love them fiercely. They are our best friends, after all.
Find us at www.TheBarkShow.dog
Instagram – @torontodogwalking & @ispeakdog
Podcast Episode Summary
Back in Ireland where she’s originally from, El didn’t really know what she wanted to do after graduating but had studied photography in college and got scouted by the Irish Independent newspaper and worked there for 5-6 years
Her and her partner decided to leave Dublin and move to Toronto with their 2 dogs
El took up any gigs she could get such as food and drink photography but would take her camera on dog walks to the dog park and take pictures of her dogs
Her two dogs are full of life and character, very wild when out on walks, so El wanted to bring that energy to her dog photography business
She has been trying different formats and styles with different dogs to see what suits them best.
Usually takes a full hour to do the shoot to leave time for the dog to get settled, sniff around, feel safe and El gets to know them with treats and toys. It’s about capturing a variety of different poses, it’s about the dog’s experience. People often put their dogs through a lot of stress to get the perfect picture but El is strictly against that
Dog owners might want to take the dogs for a walk before the shoot if they are hyper dogs
End result of her shoot is 5 really high quality images, each package comes with 8 x 10 canvas
She’s working on a coffee table book called The Secret Life of Dogs, to be offered in the next year, an elaborate dog lifestyle project. Huge concepts, dog centric, takes a month to shoot the dogs separately and then compose them together
She had the idea for a year and found a poker table on Kijiji to kick the project off, hoping to have 30 shoots in the final book
She is offering $50 off her “Phodography” package for shoots booked for the month of October – just mention The Bark Show!!
“So many people think dog photography is for the quiet, sweet dogs that will sit and pose for any amount of time, but it’s just not. Dogs are incredible, wild, hilarious and full of character. Sometimes the photos where they look deranged, with their tongue hanging out, is the perfect encapsulation of that dog.”
“I won’t let you leave until you have excellent photos, but I want to make sure it’s done in the right way.”
Want to have an active social life, attend lots of events, but don’t want to leave your furry best friend at home? Here is a list of events you can attend WITH your beloved pup, and get to spend quality time with them too!
Sunday, Sep 2: Summer Dog Swim
We may have said goodbye to the hot summer months but the heat remains, and our furry pals are dying to splash about in the water! Thankfully, the city is working with swimming pools across the city to open their doors to our furry companions and have the best day ever!! The Blantyre Park Outdoor Pool, Halbert Outdoor Pool, Knob Hill Outdoor Pool, Goulding Outdoor Pool, Ledbury Outdoor Pool, High Park Outdoor Pool, and Rotary Park Outdoor Pool will be welcoming doggos THIS SUNDAY from 4 pm to 5 pm, while Greenwood Outdoor Pool, Monarch Outdoor Pool, and Stanley Outdoor Pool will do so from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
All dogs must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older, and there is a limit of two doggos per adult. Owners are told to bring proof of current vaccinations for their dog and encouraged to bring their dog’s favourite toy and bring another toy to donate to Toronto Animal Services Shelters. We have never heard of anything more heart-warming. Tell your friends! Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/936678793185972/
Monday, Sep 3: PROMISE Cherry Beach Summer 2018 Finale
PROMISE on Cherry Beach is hosting its finale to give Summer 2018 one last goodbye on Monday, September 3 from 3 pm to 11 pm. This music and socializing event is for those who enjoy dancing to the DJ spinning house, techno, dub, disco, electro, and beach party grooves on the beach. This event is for owners and pups who aren’t easily overwhelmed by loud music and big crowds, so you have been warned!
That being said, four-legged friends are totally welcome, and participants are encouraged to bring their picnics, hammocks and anything else that will make their beach experience perfect. Tickets cost whatever you can spare, but a $20 donation is encouraged.
Friday, Sep 7 – Sunday, Sep 9: Taste of the Kingsway 2018
What a perfect opportunity to discover international cuisines, enjoy some live entertainment, and eat some delicious food with your faithful doggo by your side. You may have heard of this event from previous years, as it gets bigger and better every year, with over 100 vendors and exhibitors to participate this year. Stretched across Bloor Street West, from Prince Edward Drive to Montgomery Road, this event will also host demonstrations and interactive exhibits for you to enjoy.
Now for the best part: the Scotiabank Dog Show!! Pups will take front row and center at this event from 1 pm to 3 pm, where all of the proceeds go to the Etobicoke Humane Society. Some of the categories to be competed in include: Best Costume, Best Groomed, Best Looking, Best Trick, Cleanest Teeth, Owner/Pet Look-A-Like, Truest to the Breed, and Waggiest Tail!
Saturday, Sep 8: Zen Dogs Wellness DOGA Class at Veg Fest
Join ZEN DOGS WELLNESS for their special dog yoga session FOR FREE at the Veg Food Fest! This is a great food festival at the Harbourfront Centre where entrance is free and dogs are a-plenty. Starting at 12:30 pm on Saturday, participants need to bring their own yoga mat and a non-retractable leash for their pup.
ZEN DOGS WELLNESS host several great events that we have featured before, and this is a special one that you shouldn’t miss. The Doga classes are all about showing your furry best friend the love, appreciation and attention that they deserve.
Don’t let the title intimidate you, this is a 2 km walk through the streets of Cabbagetown, so walk or run at your own pace with your pupper by your side. ALL of the proceeds from this event will be used for children’s programming at Riverdale Farm and the revitalization of Riverdale Farm’s poultry barn. Every dollar donated up to $30,000 will be matched by Burnbrae Farms. So join the lovely folks at Riverdale Farm on this special occasion for a good cause, at the corner of Carlton and Parliament, rain or shine!
Registration is at 8 am for $25 on the day or $20 in advance, while the actual walk/run starts at 9 am. There will be awards and prizes to give away at the finish line, so for a full list of the sponsors, prizes and more info, visit: http://blairsrun.ca/
Sunday, Sep 9: Doggy Paddle at Cherry Beach
This is the last doggy paddle event they are hosting this year so attendance is sure to be high, get your tickets ASAP! If tickets are sold out, come along anyway to watch what will surely be a fun session.
This is a 2-hour exercise for your pupper to build their core strength, ,balance and get a great workout on the paddleboard and in the water! Beginners and experienced folks and pups are all welcome to enjoy the most out of the rest of the summer. This event is hosted by Surf the Greats instructors certified by Paddle Canada, the International Surfing Association and Yoga Alliance. More info on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/127331584805859/?active_tab=about
Sunday, Sep 9: Senior Dog Seminar
This one is a very specific event, but one that we thought was important to include, for those with senior dogs who might be slowing down, or having difficulty getting up and moving about. While it is priced at $259 plus tax, it will be a very informative course about your beloved dog’s health conditions such as arthritis, hind end weakness, canine dementia, orthopaedic and neurological disorders, amongst others. Participants will gain hands-on practice after the lecture in order to approach their dog’s conditions proactively in the future. They will learn about pain assessing, exercises for the home, massage and acupressure techniques, senior proofing the house, assistive devices for pets, and more.
This outdoor event at Yonge & Davisville earlier this year was a big hit, so now it’s back from 9 am to 3 pm! Bring your pupper to this big puppy party at 1943 Yonge Street, in the east side parking lot. This is a FREE event that focuses on community and neighbourhood bonding, together to be enjoyed with dogs, families, and dog lovers alike. It is put together to exchange information with participants, exhibitors, shop, hear about great new products, learn about new pet services, make friends and more!
Expect to see free giveaways, contests, exhibitors, speakers on pet topics, experts, food, and friendly faces all around. For more info, visit: www.parkandbarkdogshow.com
Sunday, Sep 16: Toronto Artisan Market in Christie Pits Park
Hosted by the same folks that organize the arts market at Trinity Belwoods Park, this event is for arts & crafts lovers who wish to admire works from local artists and artisans with their pup in tow. Taking place at Christie Pits Park from 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday, it is always a fun and lively event that brings in lots of art lovers from all around Toronto and beyond.
If you’re looking for a chill atmosphere and are in the mood to shop for beautiful, unique, local pieces, then this is the event for you! For more info: https://www.torontoartisan.com/
Saturday, Sep 22: Park & Bark Show in Leslieville!
Same event as the Saturday before, but in Leslieville this time! Taking place at 1151 Queen Street East from 9 am to 3 pm, join at this location or at Yonge and Davisville the week before, but whatever you do, make sure you don’t miss it. www.parkandbarkdogshow.com
It’s not easy to think about your precious dog getting involved in an accident or having an illness, but that’s why it’s important to own pet insurance in case the unthinkable happens. This is why we prepared a chart and compiled some information for you so you will have an idea of the cost of pet insurance in Ontario and what to expect from the main pet insurance providers.
For a thorough and accurate comparison and analysis for your beloved dog’s insurance, we have gathered quotes and information from several pet insurance companies: CAA Pets, Toronto Humane Society (THS), PC/Petline Insurance, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), Pet Secure, GO PET Plan, and Trupanion. Just a heads up: PC Insurance let us know that while they are no longer selling pet insurance, their packages, coverage and general info still stands for their current customers who have already purchased their pet insurance. When you call their number you will be automatically directed to Petline Insurance, which covers a number of different pet insurance companies, such as Petsecure, OVMA, Desjardins, Personal Pet Insurance, CAA Pets, Hudson’s Bay Pet Insurance, THS, and Nova Scotia SPCA Pet Health.
Most of the pet insurance companies we looked at had the same or similar amount of accident and illness cover as well as general quote information. However, it’s important to note that GO PET PLAN did not have a separate accident cover, but the illness cover went up higher than most other companies, as well as offering an unlimited option. Of all the companies we looked at, CAA Pets and PC insurance did not offer unlimited coverage options for illness or accidents. One company that stood out in terms of illness coverage is GO PET PLAN which offers coverage plans up to $25,000 leading up to the unlimited option.
We compared quotes for different dog breeds and ages based on popular dog breeds in Toronto and a variety of ages for accurate analysis: A 3-year-old Golden Retriever, 6-year-old English Cocker Spaniel, 3-month old Goldendoodle, and 10-year old Shih tzu. Based on the quotes, CAA Pets had the lowest monthly costs, while Pet Secure stood out as the most reliable in terms of having the smallest difference between the quotes. For example, GO PET’s cheapest plan goes from $25.29 for a 3 month old Goldendoodle to a $101.98 for 10-year-old Shih tzu, which is a big difference, and something to consider if your pet is in the adult-senior age bracket. Pet Secure and CAA Pets seem to have the best rates for quotes.
It’s important to note that, out of all the companies, only CAA Pets, GO PET and Trupanion offer 90% reimbursement options while most companies only offer 80%. As for discounts when purchasing a plan, CAA Pets, THS and PC offer the best discounts while we couldn’t find any discounts available for Pet Secure and Trupanion.
Speaking of Trupanion, they offer Unlimited accident and Unlimited illness cover, for as many times in the year as your beloved dog would need it, which is remarkable. However, we should note that Trupanion insurance does NOT cover taxes, exam fees, as well as wellness and preventative care. (Taxes also not covered for OVMA). If you wish to cover unforeseen events, alternative and rehabilitative therapies, and extra protection for breeding dogs, these are available at an extra cost. Considering the high prices, Trupanion is definitely for those with a bigger budget who want to cover all their bases.
Unfortunately, none of these companies cover for pre-existing conditions of your pet.
Based on all these findings, the ones that stood out were CAA Pets (for those with smaller budget) and PET Secure for the amount of options and getting your money’s worth. It’s also helpful to note that Pet Secure and GO Pet had the most user-friendly websites, complete with testimonials and reviews, with the latter offering a 24 hour live chat with a friendly staff member for help! However, for those who are new to the pet insurance world, and find all this information a little overwhelming, it seems that Petline Insurance is the best option as they represent a variety of these pet insurance companies and can offer you the best plan most suitable for you and your furry pal’s needs. Good Luck!
Those of you who follow my blog or myself and Holly Instagram you will be aware of the following; number 1 she is fussy, and I mean really fussy and secondly we travel a lot so being able to bring food on the road with us is super important. Holly has been on the raw diet for the past 7 months and has recently lost her enthusiasm for her raw food and had a very upset tummy at the same time.
I love the benefits Holly has shown since the switch to raw. Firstly she leaned out and had looked great. Holly was previously fed a combination of a high quality dry food accompanied by human food. Holly was fed in line with guidelines and received more than average exercise, being a dog walker she came to work so exercise wasn’t the problem. With raw her body took all the goodness from the food and the waste was minimum. That’s the second benefit, teeny tiny poops! This is a clear indicator of quality food compared to her previous diet.
While at the beach for our morning swim myself and Holly got talking to a fellow dog owner who was just as crazy about her pooch (crazy dog people are my fav!). We got talking to food that we feed our pups and I was telling her that we feed raw but find it so hard when travelling to keep that up then she shared the light with me. She feeds her pooch freeze dried raw dog food. I had no idea such a product existed, I was aware of dehydrated treats but not freeze dried food.
Before heading off to the pet store to see our available options I was informed the following; freeze dried raw is expensive and secondly the amount that you feed your dog will not seem sufficient.
We headed to the pet store and the freeze dried raw section is TINY in such a huge store. There were three different options in the store. The store employee wasn’t up to date on the freeze dried products but was able to let us know the best seller so we picked up two different brands of freeze dried raw food – Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets Beef & Salmon and Stella & Chewy’s.
Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets Beef & Salmon
Okay first off we bought the Cat version of the food based on the ingredients beef and salmon just sounds delicious to pass on. A minor blip but hey let’s see how we get on with it, can’t be much of a difference in the food, right?!
What is in the food?
The most important question you as a dog pawrent should always be looking at. So many dog food companies use marketing as a ploy to make you think that there is actual food in the dog food. If you have Netflix I highly reccomend you watch Pet Fooled documentary on the pet food industry.
Okay before I go on a rant on how to select a good dog food let’s dive into what’s in Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets. As stated front and center on their packaging is that it contains 91% Beef, Salmon, Organs & Bone and 9% Produce & Supplements, sounds like we are off to a good start.
First thing I notice when I look at the ingredients is that the list is long and the second thing I notice is that it sounds like a grocery shopping list. I KNOW what all the ingredients are and even some of the ingredients are organic. When was the last time you looked at dog food ingredients and seen ORGANIC!!
The food is packed into nuggets which are approximately 2 x 1 x 1 inches. Based on your dogs weight there is a daily feeding guide for your pet. Holly weighs around 20lbs and her nugget per day guideline is 8. As you can see in the video we like to make mealtime frun so we divide the nugget into an enrichment mould so mealtime lasts longer.
The pack we bought is 14oz and this makes 3lbs of real food. You need to add water to the food which I didn’t. I poured some milk in as an extra treat.
A 14oz pack of pet food costs around $40 CAD. Based upon Holly’s mealplan this pack of food lasted 5.5 days. which works out around $3.50 per meal which is high compared to other options available within the pet industry. Some dog food meals could be under 30 cents a meal. You get what you pay for when it comes to dog food. Just look at the ingredients above you will not find any comparison is any dry dog food on the market. The ingredients are FOOD, no fillers, no grain, corn, wheat or soy and gluten free. The beef is antibiotic free raised without any hormones.
As I mentioned earlier Holly is a major food snob and will only eat the best of the best! I divided up a couple of nuggets up into a BPA Free Mould and milk to top. Holly dove right in and made sure that there wasn’t a crumb left. Holly enjoyed the food so much that after some of the meals she still looked for more. She would go over to her food cupboard stare at it, do a little dance, come paw me for more. And yes I am a sucker so I would divide up a nugget and pop it in the mould. If you are feeding your dog in an ordinary mould I would highly suggest some slow eating dog bowls, moulds it at least doubles the length of meals.
This food could also double as treats, the smell alone is amazing. This would be perfect for travelling and bringing on the road with us.
There are so many good things that myself and Holly can say about this food. It’s full of good nutritional ingredients, organic and hormone free. There were no side affects on the poop front which if you are reading this you will want to know. We didn’t try to re hydrate but did add some milk. Amazing food for travelling. The downside is the cost of the food but as I said before it is actual food and the cost is in line with other freeze dried raw food so if you are looking to buy freeze dried raw food be prepared to pay upwards of $40 per week depending on the weight of your pooch. This is a 5+ star pet food, your baby will not be disappointed.
Have you tried Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food or Cat Food? What are your thoughts, we want to know!