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The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo: A Pet’s Playground

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The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks was recently transformed into a giant playground- for pets. Birds, dogs, cats, pigs, reptiles, horses, Greater Philadelphia Pet Expollamas, and my favorite- a giant tiger- all took up residence for the weekend.

“Our objective is to educate and entertain the public about the wonderful world of pets and teach everyone about responsible pet ownership. That’s why we encourage all pet rescue and adoption agencies to be a part of the show so that they can talk to people about owning a pet and how to care for them,” said Bill Bohn, BG Graphics Incorporated, “We also have nationally acclaimed dog trainers at show – this year we have Joel Silverman  2008 Dog Trainer of the Year and star of Animal Planet’s “Good Dog-U,” says Bohn.

The primary purpose of the Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo: “is to promote responsible pet ownership and care and to bring together representatives from all areas of the companion animal world, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, breeders, hobbyists, clubs, veterinarians, and animal care professionals in order to provide the pet loving public and consumers with the most comprehensive and exciting exhibitions possible. The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo has something for every animal lover, pet enthusiasts and the general public”.

Our World of Dogs Program, Rainforest Reptile Shows, Piggyvilla, a petting zoo and Pony Rides, a pet photo, all were offered through the weekend to entertain the attendees. I have to say Piggyvilla was hysterical- cute pot-bellied and otherwise pigs- BIG pigs were hanging out in little beds and snuffling hello to those who walked by.

The World of Dogs program in the Dog Arena offered educational info to families and kids wanting to learn more about dogs and could also see them perform and play games. “Rainforest Reptile Shows are not only educational and fun but offer everyone a look into the world of snakes, alligators, turtles, lizards and the more exotic animals of the rainforest,” Bohn explained.

Behind that was the giant tiger from T&D'S Cats. This kitty sat up and surveyed everyone, yawned, then flopped over to go back to sleep. He was huge and pretty, and I really wanted to hear him roar! But he didn’t. T&D’S Cats is an animal refuge specializing in exotic felines including lions, tigers, cougars and bobcats, and saves them from abuse and mistreatment.

A Petting Zoo, Bird Sanctuary, Pony Ride area and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and their Parade of Breeds also had a huge crowd around it at all times.

Many vendors, such as those for pet photography, supplies, services, toys, food, animal communication, linens, vitamins and pet nutrition, invisible fences, and animal behavior information offered deals and info. Agencies, such as Rescue and Adoption for all kinds of animals, and the Elmwood Park Zoo were also there to remind people to take care of animals and pets.

“One of the most entertaining parts of the show is that we let the public bring in their own animals (they must sign a waiver) and it’s awesome to see all of the various breeds of dogs and how people dress them up for a day at the pet expo. For example, at Greater Phil Pet Expo we had over 600 people bring in their pets and all of them were well-behaved and used the designated exercise areas – you can see a huge Great Dane next to a little Pug and they can enjoy the pet expo as much as the rest of their family,” Bohn explained. “You can also bring your pet to a specific vendors booth and check out a new collar or leash and size it perfectly before you buy it. It’s really gratifying.”

Check out the next local shows if you can- fun for all and you get to see all kinds of different animals! The next couple of pet shows are: the Meadowlands Pet Expo in Secaucus, NJ at the Meadowlands Expo Center Nov. 21-22. Then March 19-21 at the Reading Expo Center for the Reading Pet Expo, their largest show.