The Pet People to Follow in 2020

The canine and feline scientists, pet professionals, bloggers, and organizations to follow on social media in 2020.

The pet people to follow on social media in 2020

By Zazie Todd, PhD

Are you looking for some new pet-related accounts to follow in 2020? I’ve updated my list of some of the best people and organizations to follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram if you’re interested in companion animals, science, and the human-animal bond.

These are people or groups who produce great content of their own and also have a varied feed that shares news, research and interesting snippets from around the web. And while the focus is mainly on pets, this year I've included a few people who study or write about wildlife too.

I’ve given links to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts so you can follow however you choose. The first link is always to Twitter so this is like a giant #FF. The list is in no particular order, so read through and see who you would like to follow.

And if you love dogs, cats and science, please follow me too (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) if you don’t already! 

But this list is not complete until you have added your favourite people and organizations to follow in the comments! There are many talented people in the world, and I would love to hear your suggestions.

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Dr. Marc Bekoff – animal emotions, moral behaviour, and conservation topics from the author of The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy ― and Why They Matter and Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do, plus a very active Psychology Today blog

Dr. John Bradshaw – anthrozoologist and best-selling author of The Animals Among Us: How Pets Make Us Human,Dog Sense (In Defence of Dogs), Cat Sense, and co-author of The Trainable Cat

Dr. Hal Herzog – Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Western Carolina University and author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.

Dr. Alexandra Horowitz (Facebook) – canine cognition scientist and best-selling author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know and Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond.

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) – stay up to date with all the best dog news with Julie's fun feed

Dr. Mia Cobb (Do You Believe in dog?, Instagram) – animal welfare science from Mia Cobb, and  Do You  Believe in Dog? is now a canine science community with guest posts from young scientists on the blog and news about canine science and women in STEM

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

Dr. Sarah Ellis (Facebook) – co-author of the The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat and feline behaviour specialist at International Cat Care

OVC Companion Animal Behavior and Welfare Lab (Facebook) – The team from Ontario Veterinary College has an active Facebook feed with news on the latest animal behaviour science, opportunities to take part in research, and articles on how to care for all kinds of pets

Dr. Lee Niel – companion animal welfare scientist at the OVC, University of  Guelph with a particular interest in preventing fear and aggression in cats, dogs, and rabbits

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

Dr. Pete Wedderburn (Facebook) – veterinary advice and news, regular Telegraph columnist, author of Pet Subjects: Animal Tales from the Telegraph's Resident Vet, and you’ll find a large library of articles on his website too.

Dr. Mikel Delgado (Feline Minds) – Certified Cat Behaviour Consultant, postdoctoral researcher, and co-author (with Jackson Galaxy) of Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat shares information about cats and squirrels

Ingrid Johnson (Fundamentally Feline, Instagram) –  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 videos packed with tips

Maddie’s Fund (Facebook, Instagram) – 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 and videos from Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers (“the Harvard of dog training”)

Dr. Patricia McConnell (Facebook) –  applied animal behaviourist, author of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs, and one of my favourite dog bloggers.

The pet people to follow on social media in 2020

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

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour (Facebook) – veterinarians and researchers with an interest in animal behaviour

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

Dr. Jessica Hekman DVM (Facebook) – the author of The Dog Zombie blog is a vet with a PhD in genomics, a postdoctoral associate at the Karlsson Lab, and a great explainer of canine genetics

Darwin's Ark – a nonprofit (formerly known as Darwin's Dogs) using citizen science to study dog evolution and find new insights into dog and human psychiatric diseases

Dr. Brian Hare (Facebook) – information on animal minds and evolution, especially dogs and bonobos, from the associate professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke, co-author of The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think and founder of Dognition

Dr. Gregory Berns (Instagram) – scientist who uses fMRI to study dogs’ brains, author of How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain and What It's Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

Pam Johnson-Bennett (Facebook, Instagram) – cat news and tips from the best-selling author of Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss and host of Animal Planet’s Psycho Kitty

Susan Little DVM (FacebookInstagram) – 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 wide-ranging science tweets and #SixIncredibleThingsBeforeBreakfast

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 – head of the Companion Animal dept at the RSPCA, with lots of tips to improve animal welfare and #EndBSL

The pet people to follow on social media in 2020
Photo: Shvaygert Ekaterina/Shutterstock

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

UCD Vet Behaviour Services (Facebook, Instagram) – recent research and behaviour information from the Behaviour Service at UCDavis

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 for the entertaining goat stories and photos of Jack the Lab

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, founder of Pupaid (Facebook), a UK group campaigning against puppy farms, with regular games of #GuessTheBreed

Dr Marty Becker DVM (Facebook) veterinary information and stories about the human-animal bond from America’s veterinarian, author of many books and co-author of From Fearful to Fear Free, and founder of Fear Free (Facebook), Fear Free Happy Homes, and Fear Free Shelters to help dogs and cats have a better experience at the veterinarian

Mikkel Becker (Facebook, Instagram)  – follow  on Facebook for expert advice from this professional dog trainer who is also co-author of From Fearful to Fear Free

Dr. Emily Blackwell  – clinical animal behaviourist, scientist at the University of Bristol, and TV expert, shares animal welfare and animal behaviour science and tips.

Dr. Jenny Stavisky – shelter vet and epidemiologist as well as uplifting tweets about how Vets in the Community help the most vulnerable pets

Dr. Sebastiaan Bol – researcher and found of Cowboy Cat Ranch, look out for all the cute kitty photos and occasional research updates

Dogs Trust Canine and Behaviour Research Team – find out about the canine behavour research being conducted at Dogs Trust and get highlights of conference talks and other research

Dr. Naomi Harvey – zoologist, ethologist and now part of the Dogs Trust research team

Dr. Lauren Samet – canine behaviour researcher at Dogs Trust

Dr. Katrina Holland – anthropologist and researcher of the human-dog relationship at Dogs Trust

Tim Steele (Behavior Matters Academy) – quality information on dog training and a popular blog from this graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers

Dr. Kat Littlewood (Facebook) – small animal veterinarian and PhD student especially interested in cats and animal welfare, with an interesting blog too 

Dr. Sandra McCune – former scientific leader in Human Animal Interaction at WALTHAM, expert info on a wide range of animal issues

The pet people to follow on social media 2020
Photo: dezy/Shutterstock

Kim Monteith – manager of animal welfare at the BC SPCA and volunteer at Charlie’s Food Bank helping the pets of the homeless in Vancouver

Bronwen Dickey – writer, editor, and author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon

Dr Kate Mornement (Facebook, Instagram) – PhD-qualified behaviourist at Pets Behaving Badly – Solutions with Dr Kate with an interesting blog on dogs, cats and parrots; also at People and Animals in the Workplace

Sassafras Lowrey (Instagram) – writer, trick dog instructor, and author of Tricks in the City

Dr. Carri Westgarth – research fellow in human animal interaction and dog trainer, specializing in research on dog walking and dog bites

Dr. Zoe Belshaw – evidence-based approaches to veterinary science from this veterinary specialist at the University of Nottingham

Dr. Emma Milne (Facebook) – the vet behind vets against brachycephalism, author of several books including Picking a Pedigree, and animal welfare enthusiast 

David Grimm (Facebook) - the latest science news from a deputy editor at Science and author of Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs

Dr. Patrizia Piotti – postdoctoral research on dog behaviour and cognition 

Dr. Taryn M Graham – interested in how pet friendly policies can help promote health in cities, and founder of PAWSitive Leadership which takes certified dogs into classrooms to teach children.

Dr. Christy Hoffman (Facebook) – regular updates on anthrozoology from the Canisius Canine research team

Dr. Debra Horwitz (Facebook) – veterinary behaviourist, author of Blackwell's Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Canine and Feline Behavior, and co-editor of the upcoming Decoding Your Cat.

Dr. Christine Calder (Facebook) – veterinary behaviourist with tons of tips and articles on dog and cat behaviour

Cats Protection (Facebook, Instagram) – cat videos and advice on how to care for your cat as well as lots of cute pics from this large UK charity

Dr. Tamara Montrose – animal welfare and behaviour scientist who researches sensory environmental enrichment and how to increase shelter adoptions

Dr. Nik Taylor – research and news on the sociology of human-animal interaction

The pet people to follow on social media in 2020
Photo: Oksana Shufrych/Shutterstock

Dr. Christian Nawroth – postdoctoral researcher in animal cognition including goats and pigs, look for fun clips from research studies and updates on the latest science (and don't miss his post for Companion Animal Psychology on why goats are not the new dogs!)

Kathy Sdao - certified applied animal behaviourist and dog trainer and author of Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace

Malena de Martini (Facebook) – training and resources on separation anxiety from the author of Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Laura Monaco Torelli (Facebook) – dog trainer and Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, with a feed full of interesting dog training and animal behaviour info

Clare Ellis - PhD candidate interested in animal welfare and the reasons for relinquishment of rabbits

Janetta Harvey (Facebook) – tireless campaigner against puppy farms and sharer of information on dogs in general and Schnauzers in particular.

Joanna Berger – animal behaviourist and trainer who shares lots of information on behaviour and welfare for dogs, cats, and birds

Dr. Catherine Amiot – social psychologist who studies self and identity and human-animal relations

Sharklab – Dr Khristof Dhont’s group at the University of Kent studies the psychology of intergroup relations and human-animal relations, with insights not just into animals but also into racism, sexism, and how to build compassion.

Dr. Kristof Dhont – psychological scientist and co-editor (with Dr. Gordon Hodson) of Why We Love and Exploit Animals

Hunter College ABC – animal science from the Hunter College Psychology department

Dr. Sarah-Elizabeth Byosiere –  studies social play behaviour in canids and dog perception and behaviour at the Thinking Dog Centre at Hunter College

American College of Veterinary Behaviourists (Facebook) – Veterinary behaviourists are specially trained veterinarians who can help with your pet’s behaviour problems and even prescribe psychotropic medication if needed. Follow the ACVB for up-to-date information that will help you understand your pet better; they are also the authors of Decoding Your Dog.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK (Facebook) – dog training news and advice from this force-free dog training organization

The pet people to follow on social media in 2020
Photo: KM-Photography/Shutterstock

Debbie Jacobs (Facebook) – if you have a fearful dog, don't miss the essential tips from Debbie Jacobs, author of A Guide to Living with & Training a Fearful Dog; there's also an associated Facebook group for those with a fearful dog in their life

Dr. Wailani Sung – Veterinary behaviourist, self-confessed animal behaviour geek, and co-author (with Dr. Marty Becker and others) of From Fearful to Fear Free

Insightful Animals (Facebook) – the Twitter feed of veterinary behaviourist Dr. Kelly Ballantyne  shares insights into our companion animals and their behaviour

Marilyn Krieger (Facebook) – Cat Coach and author of Naughty No More, Krieger shares tips about feline behaviour and wildlife conservation 

Dr. Lucia Lazarowska – postdoc canine scientist at Auburn studying canine olfactory detection who shares her research and general canine science articles and info

Dr. Clive Wynne – Director of the Canine Science Collaboratory and author of Dog Is Love, Wynne tweets on canine science and all things dog

Dr. Susan Hazel – with a background in veterinary science, animal welfare, and animal behaviour, Hazel’s research includes dogs, sheep and chickens

Dr. Molly Crossman – Clinical psychologist who looks at the benefits of interactions with animals for human stress and mental health

Dr. Páraic Ó Súilleabháin (Facebook) –  This psychologist studies animal behaviour and personality, including breed specific legislation, his feed has stories about many species of animal

Bronwyn Orr – This vet and animal welfare PhD candidate writes for The Conversation and has an interesting feed about companion animals and wildlife

Melissa McCue McGrath – The author of Considerations for the City Dog tweets about modern dog training and current affairs.

O’HaireLab – Dr. Maggie O’Haire is an associate professor of human-animal interaction who tweets about the benefits of pet companionship and how service dogs can help veterans with PTSD

Victoria Stilwell (Facebook, Instagram) – dog training advice and rescue stories from the TV star and author of It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet

The pet people to follow on social media in 2020
Photo: Konstantin Aksenov/Shutterstock

Cat Warren (Facebook, Instagram) – the bestselling author of What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World has a fun feed and a very photogenic dog called Rev

Karin Brulliard – all the latest news about all kinds of animals from this Washington Post writer and editor

Barbara J. King – anthropology and animal science from the author of How Animals Grieve

Dr. Mark Evans (Facebook) – veterinarian-turned-TV-presenter shares animal welfare (and a lot of cars - look for the animal welfare stuff on Twitter, mostly cars on Facebook)

Dr. Alexandra Moesta – veterinary behaviourist who shares articles on canine science and the welfare of pets

Corina Newsome – wildlife biologist with a focus on conservation and birds

Kim Campbell Thornton – journalist who writes about pets and wildlife, and editor of From Fearful to Fear Free

Nick Honor K9 and Puppy Stars (Facebook) – cute photos of pets mingle with news and advice on dog training

Lori Nanan (Facebook, Instagram) – excellent dog training tips and a podcast too

Victoria Schade (FacebookInstagram) – this former dog trainer turned novelist (Life on the Leash, Who Rescued Who) has many cute dog photos in her feed

Family Paws (Facebook) – Tips on how to properly supervise babies and children with dogs, and how to use baby gates, pens and the layout of your house to set your dog and child up for success

Dewdney Animal Hospital (Facebook, Instagram) – veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton has a feed that is both local (for his clients) and broad in themes that resonate for all pet owners, like puppy mills and his pink tutus for pit bulls campaign

Dr. Judy Puddifoot (Facebook) – veterinarian and TV presenter with a varied feed on animal welfare and life as a vet

Megan O-Connor – beautiful photos of her stunning but fearful dog Lyra, and tips on how she is working with her

Dr. Kristyn Vitale (Instagram) – cat cognition, training and behaviour, and of course many cute photos of cats

Welfare for Animals (Facebook, Instagram) – positive reinforcement dog training and positive messages about animal welfare

Now it's your turn. Who would you add to the list? Add a comment below to share your favourite people to follow.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, writes The Pawsitive Post premium newsletter, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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