The Pet People to Follow in 2017

The canine and feline scientists, pet professionals, bloggers and organizations to follow on social media in 2017.

Beagle in a winter wonderland

By Zazie Todd, PhD

Are you looking for some new accounts to follow in 2017? I’ve compiled a list of some of the best people and organizations to follow on twitter and Facebook if you’re interested in companion animals, science, and the human-animal bond.

Not only do they produce great content of their own, they also have a varied feed that includes news, research and interesting snippets from around the web.

I’ve given links to twitter and Facebook accounts so you can follow however you choose (some are more active on one than the other). The first link is always to twitter, Facebook second if they are on there too.

The list is in no particular order, so read through and see who you would like to follow.

Of course, there are many talented people in the world, so please add your own suggestions for people or organizations to follow in the comments below.

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Dr. John Bradshaw – anthrozoologist and best-selling author of Dog Sense (In Defence of Dogs), Cat Sense, and co-author of The Trainable Cat

Dr. Sarah Ellis (Facebook) – co-author of the The Trainable Cat and feline behaviour specialist at International Cat Care

Dr. Hal Herzog – Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Western Carolina University and author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals (P.S.)

Dr. Alexandra Horowitz – canine cognition scientist and author of the best-selling books Inside of a Dog and Being a Dog.

Family Dog Project (Facebook) – the canine behaviour research group shares frequent updates on the latest scientific research from their team and others around the globe

Julie Hecht (Dog Spies) – don't miss the fantastic posts on canine science at Julie's Scientific American blog Dog Spies

Mia Cobb (Do You Believe in dog?) – now a canine science community with guest posts from young scientists on the blog and a feed full of news about canine science, including opportunities to participate

International Cat Care (Facebook) – a great resource for cat lovers, with information and advice for owners and professionals, as well as cute cat pictures too

Dr. Ilana Reisner (Facebook) – this veterinary behaviourist regularly deconstructs dog bite incidents to teach you how to prevent dog bites, and shares interesting and evidence-based items on animal behaviour and training

Mikel Delgado (Feline Minds) – Certified Cat Behaviour Consultant and PhD candidate shares information about cats and squirrels, with especially useful information on food puzzles for cats

Ingrid Johnson (Fundamentally Feline) –  education about cats and gorgeous photos from this Certified Cat Behaviour Consultant

BC SPCA (Facebook) – in amongst the photos of adoptable animals there is plenty of advice on how to care for pets, including #TipTuesday videos

Maddie’s Fund (Facebook) – lots of tips to help shelter dogs and cats, along with social media and website advice for the people running the shelters #ThankstoMaddie

The Academy for Dog Trainers (Facebook) – for links to top-notch dog training advice from Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers (“the Harvard of dog training”)

Kristi Benson (Facebook) – dog trainer, sled dog rescuer, and Academy tutor, with a funny and entertaining dog training blog

Maureen Backman (Mutt About Town) – a philosophical approach to reward-based dog training, plus lots of useful info on muzzles via the Muzzle Up project

Pet Professional Guild (Facebook) – advice on dog training and news from the organization for force free pet professionals

IAABC – information on behaviour problems in pets and links to journal articles and mentorships from the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants

Jessica Perry Hekman DVM (Facebook) – the author of The Dog Zombie blog is also a PhD candidate in genomics and is a great explainer of canine genetics

Dr. Brian Hare (Facebook) – information on animal minds and evolution, especially dogs and bonobos, from the associate professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke and founder of Dognition

Pam Johnson-Bennett (Facebook) – cat news and tips from the best-selling author of Think Like a Cat and host of Animal Planet’s Psycho Kitty

Susan Little DVM – this veterinarian specializes in feline medicine and has a twitter feed packed with intriguing facts about cats

Dr. Melanie Rock – information about non-human animals and health, including dog parks and dog bite prevention, from this Associate Professor at the University of Calgary

Martha Smith-Blackmore DVM – this compassionate expert in veterinary forensics is a Faculty Fellow at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and shares information on animal cruelty and animal welfare

Dr. Malcolm Campbell – biologist and Vice President (Research) at the University of Guelph, follow Malcolm for science tweets and #SixIncredibleThingsBeforeBreakfast that will blow your mind about animals and the universe

Katzenworld Blog (Facebook) – for chatty posts, product reviews and cute cat photos, with some articles on cat health and behaviour too

Fear Free (Facebook) – the new movement to help dogs and cats have a better experience at the veterinarian

The Centre for Shelter Dogs (Facebook) – part of the Cummings Veterinary School at Tufts University and brings you lots of resources to help shelter dogs

Anthrozoology Research Group (Facebook)  – shares links to interesting anthrozoological research by themselves and from around the globe

Dr. Sam Gaines (Sidney Snippets) – head of the Companion Animal dept at the RSPCA, with lots of tips to improve animal welfare and #EndBSL

Dr. Rachel Casey – veterinary behaviourist and animal welfare scientist at Dogs Trust, so look out for lots of great info on canine behaviour

Dr. Chris Blazina – psychologist with a special interest in understanding men and their canine best friends, shares interesting links about human animal interaction

Dr. Alan McElligott – tweets about his research and about animal behaviour, welfare and cognition generally; look out especially for the entertaining goat stories

ASA Animals Society (Facebook) – the American Sociological Association looks at the complex relationships between humans and animals

Dr. Marc Abraham (Facebook) – animal welfare campaigner and veterinarian of the year, with regular games of #GuessTheBreed

Dr. Pete Wedderburn (Facebook) – veterinary advice and news, and you’ll find a large library of articles on his website too.

Pupaid (Facebook) – a UK group campaigning against puppy farms and sharing followers’ photos of their adopted pets

Dr. Sophia Yin (Facebook) – the account of the company set up by the late Dr. Sophia Yin, CattleDog Publishing, shares her writings and educational links on animal behaviour.

Dr Marty Becker DVM (Facebook) veterinary information and stories about the human-animal bond from America’s veterinarian

Montreal SPCA (Facebook) – help them campaign against Breed Specific Legislation by following them and their hashtag #SaferKinderCommunities

How to follow people on twitter and facebook

On twitter: 

Following someone is as simple as clicking the follow button, but did you know you can make lists to make it easy to keep track of your favourite accounts? They can be private (so that only you know about them) or public (so the people on the list get a notification, and anyone can follow your list).

You will find a lists tab on your profile page, or you can use the gear icon drop-down menu.

On Facebook: 

When you like a page, you automatically also follow it, which means you should see page updates in your feed. You can follow a page without liking it if you prefer. Whichever you pick, Facebook’s algorithm will choose what you see. If you regularly interact with a page (like, comment, share), you are more likely to see their posts.

You can also select the option to get notifications from your favourite pages (go to the page, click on the ‘following’ tab, turn notifications on and choose the options you want e.g. ‘all posts’).

Looking for even more people to follow?

This is easiest on twitter. Pick some of your favourite accounts, see who they retweet and talk to, look at who they are following, and go follow the accounts you like the look of.

If you're looking for dogs to follow (rather than dog people), then Julie Hecht (details above) has published a list of dogs that rock on social media.

You will also always find interesting reading in my blogs to follow list, which updates automatically each time there is a new post.

Now it’s your turn to add to the list! Please leave your suggestions in the comments box.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. She is the founder of the popular blog Companion Animal Psychology, where she writes about everything from training methods to the human-canine relationship. She also writes a column for Psychology Today and has received the prestigious Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Article in 2017. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband and two cats.

Useful links:

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  1. I like the following too

  2. What a great and comprehensive list, thank you so much for sharing! catchatwithcarenandcody and DakotasDen

  3. Jade Fountain from Animal Behaviour Matters posts some of the best informed articles that I have read.

  4. My own site and Facebook - - Veterinary behaviour site Western Australia

  5. I would add Linda P. Chase from The Science Dog:

  6. I would add @TarynMGraham - PhD candidate promoting health in Canadian cities via dogs. Also founder of and humane educator at PAWSitive Leadership, a program that uses human-animal bond research to teach kids compassion.

  7. Visit my blog and try my App SNAP Smart Nutritional Advise for Pets: a life time record of your pets' nutrition and health.

  8. Here's something little different to add to the list: by sisters Julia Morton and Sylvia Currie. We're bringing our childhood characters back to life in an effort to explain companion dog training and behaviour issues in a simple but compelling way. (I told you it was different! :) )

  9. Thank you so much for including our Blog Katzenworld! :D

  10. This is a nice dog group where you can post pics and stories about your dog.

  11. For peeks into a school and residential treatment center that incorporates animal-assisted activities and therapies as well as other nature-based programming, please visit:\greenchimneys\gcbrewster

  12. I like to follow Caroline Zambrano, Pet Journalist (@Petjourno), who posts the latest press releases mostly regarding Australian pet news.

  13. I follow Caroline Zambrano @PetJourno too. She covers a range of animal topics.

    Verena, Austria

  14. Animals on Course is a good site


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