Startup focused on helping people communicate with their pets wins Pet Care Innovation Prize

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SOURCE: Nestle Purina PetCare

Nominations open for canine heroes

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The AKC Humane FundSM is seeking nominations for its AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) to celebrate the dogs who do extraordinary things in the service of humankind.

Nominations are open now through July 1, and winners will be announced in late 2022. Winners will be highlighted in a made-for-tv special created by AKC productions.

Each year, the AKC Humane Fund honors five dedicated, hardworking dogs for making significant contributions to an individual or entire community.

One award is given in each of the following five categories:

Uniformed Service K-9
Eligibility: Full-time working K-9s in the realms of city, county, state, or federal law enforcement; the military; firefighting; customs and border patrol; emergency services.

Exemplary Companion
Eligibility: Dogs without formal training or certification that have nonetheless distinguished themselves in some way and have made a meaningful contribution to their owners or communities.

Search and Rescue
Eligibility: Dogs certified to assist in wilderness and urban tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events and locating missing people.

Eligibility: Certified therapy dogs working in hospitals, schools, disaster sites, war zones, and wherever else the affection of a good dog can provide comfort.

Eligibility: Service dogs who enrich the lives of physically or mentally disabled owners, including, but not limited to, guide dogs for the blind, seizure-alert dogs, hearing dogs, balance dogs.

Nominees doing therapy work without certification are considered in the Exemplary Companion category.

The 2022 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence are sponsored by Eukanuba™. Honorees of the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) will receive $1,000 to be awarded to a pet-related charity of their choice, a one-year supply of Eukanuba premium dog nutrition, and an engraved sterling silver medallion.

Anyone, including the dog’s owner or handler, may submit a nomination. Past nominations are eligible for resubmission for these awards. Submissions for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for 2022 must include:

  • A digital photograph of the dog. Files must be larger than 1MB in size and a minimum of 300 dpi. The photo should feature solely the nominated dog.
  • A 500-word-or-less description of how the dog has demonstrated excellence.
  • Dog’s call name, breed, age and sex.
  • Owner’s/Nominator’s name(s), address, phone number and e-mail address.

Nominations can be submitted here, with a photo sent to

For more information about the ACE awards or to nominate a dog, visit the AKC Humane Fund Awards For Canine Excellence (ACE) page.


SOURCE AKC Humane Fund

Busch seeking dog to fill chief tasting officer position

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As Busch Dog Brew expands, it’s also looking to expand its Senior Leadership Team to include a four-legged member with a discerning palate — a Chief Tasting Officer (CTO) — according to a press release.

Last year, Busch released its first-ever product made not for fans, but for its fan’s dogs: Busch Dog Brew. According to the press release, the alcohol-free, bone broth brew provides owners with the perfect opportunity to crack a cold one with their favorite canine companions.

“The reaction to Busch Dog Brew’s release last year was so overwhelmingly positive that we knew we had a big challenge in Year 2 to keep the momentum going. So, to expand the brand this year, we needed a true expert in the space on our team,” said Daniel Blake, Vice President of Value Brands at Anheuser-Busch in the press release. “We’re excited to give one qualified canine a real, paying job and to tap into their insider knowledge of our target consumer to expand Busch Dog Brew in 2021!”

The  full-time CTO role will have very important responsibilities, including taste-testing and fulfilling duties as an ambassador for the product and featured content creator on Busch’s social channels.

The role of Busch CTO comes with a salary of $20,000 and dog-friendly perks including healthcare (pet) coverage, and free Busch Dog Brew.

Is your pup qualified to be Busch Dog Brew’s, Chief Tasting Officer? You can apply by posting a picture of your dog on social media, along with their qualifications and #BuschCTOcontest. For additional details on how to apply, visit

Busch Dog Brew

Busch Dog Brew is available for purchase in 4-packs at


Study shows pets in the workplace have a lot of positive benefits



Smiliest dog cities in America revealed by survey

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February is Pet Dental Health Month, and WHIMZEES®, the creator of all-natural, daily dental chews for dogs, surveyed Americans across the nation’s 10 largest cities to see how pet dental healthcare habits stack up.

Here are the WHIMZEES Smiliest Dog Cities in America:

  1. Los Angeles
    Three-quarters of Los Angeles pet parents admit that they like the smell of their dog’s breath, which is no surprise as an overwhelming 84 percent of residents devoted extra attention to their pet’s dental health while spending more time at home over the past year. 65 percent of L.A. pet parents also think their dog’s dental health is very important for a longer, happier life, which inspires consistent habits and helped Los Angeles secure the number-one position.
  2.  New York City
    New York City pet parents stepped up during the pandemic, with 60 percent of them taking advantage of more time at home to put in extra care for their pup’s pearly whites. 72 percent also said they would give up their own dental work for a year if it meant their dog could have healthy teeth and an overall healthy life.
  3. Atlanta
    In Atlanta, 70 percent of pet parents believe their dog’s dental health impacts overall health, so they take measures like professional vet cleanings (50 percent), brushing their dog’s teeth with a toothbrush (43 percent) and giving edible dental chews (52 percent), all of which help prevent dental disease from developing.
  4. Boston
    60 percent worry about their dog developing dental disease and more than half believe dental health is very important to build a longer and happier life for pets. Boston pet parents are a big fan of edible dental chews; 60 percent use them as a measure to care for their dog’s teeth.
  5. Chicago
    80 percent would forego their own dental health for a year if it meant their dog could have healthy teeth and an overall healthy life. Over 60 percent also worry about their dog developing dental disease, which motivates reliable dental care.

“With more time at home with furry friends amidst the pandemic, we’re encouraged to see how pet parents across American cities have stepped up to care for their dog’s teeth, which helps set the foundation for a long, happy life,” said Dr. Danielle Bernal, staff veterinarian for WHIMZEES, in the press release announcing the survey results. “Dental disease is the number one health issue for dogs, affecting 80 percent of adult dogs and up 96 percent of senior dogs, and if left untreated, can lead to serious quality of life and health issues.”

Check out the WHIMZEES Smile Tracker and upload a picture of your dog’s smile for a chance to win free WHIMZEES for a year.

WHIMZEES dental chews are conveniently available at pet specialty retailers nationwide and online retailers, including Chewy and Amazon, with new distribution to national retailers including Target and Meijer.

To learn more about WHIMZEES, visit the brand on Facebook @WHIMZEESUS and Instagram @WHIMZEESUS.

Survey Methodology
Conducted in January 2021, SWNS collected data via an online survey from a random sampling of 2,018 adult dog owners across 10 U.S. cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas Ft. Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Scoring from the Smiliest Cities List was based on an average across a variety of dog dental care questions examining pet dental care habits, attitudes towards the importance of pet dental health for overall health and concerns about dental disease. 


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Australian shepherd wins ‘Farm Dog of the Year’ award for hard work, devotion and making life better

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Bindi and Sonja

Sonja Galley and Bindi, the 2021 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year Credit: Nestle Purina PetCare

The winner of the 2021 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award was recently announced as being Bindi, a 5-year-old life-saving Australian shepherd from New York, according to a press release.

Recognizing that work on the family farm takes everyone pitching in and doing their part, including four-legged friends, Farm Bureau launched the Farm Dog of the Year contest three years ago.

Purina donated prizes for the contest again this year. This included $5,000 in prize money, a trophy plate, a year’s supply of dog food and other Purina products for Bindi.

The contest celebrates farm dogs that work alongside farmers and ranchers to produce nutritious food for families and their pets across America, and is popular with farmers and the general public alike, reaching nearly 400,000 users on social media through People’s Choice Pup.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, with support from Nestlé Purina PetCare, recognized Bindi, four regional runners-up and a People’s Choice Pup at the American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention.

You can check out Bindi, along with her striking, two different colored eyes, and her human, Sonja Galley in this video:



Bindi has been part of the family dairy farm since she was a puppy.

“Bindi is especially good at working in tight spaces to help move animals around the farm,” Galley said in the press release. “She stays calm even when the calves kick up their heels at her.”

The hard working dog is also very protective and once pushed back a young cow that had pinned Galley in the corner of a pen.

“We do a lot of things together, and she’s a big source of joy in my life,” Galley said.

A panel of judges with expertise in the pet care industry, veterinary medicine and communications reviewed 90 nominations to select the 2021 Farm Dog of the Year.

Judging criteria included the dog’s helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and their role in making life better on and off the farm. Farm Bureau members submitted written responses to questions, photos and video clips to nominate their dogs for Farm Dog of the Year.

Four regional runners-up in the contest will each also receive $1,000 in prize money, a trophy plate and Purina products. They are:

•Rayne, owned by Illinois Farm Bureau member Julie Willis, from the Midwest region;


    Rayne, owned by Illinois Farm Bureau member Julie Willis Credit: Julie Willis

•Sawyer, owned by Massachusetts Farm Bureau member Elizabeth Smith, from the Northeast region. Sawyer was also named People’s Choice Pup in a social media contest with online voting as part of the overall competition. Sawyer won bragging rights, a year’s supply of dog food and other Purina products.


Sawyer, owned by Massachusetts Farm Bureau member Elizabeth Smith Credit: Elizabeth Smith

Mike, owned by Montana Farm Bureau member Tim Feddes, from the Western region;


Mike, owned by Montana Farm Bureau member Tim Feddes Credit: Tim Feddes

and Ajax, owned by Texas Farm Bureau member Alexis Ender, from the Southern region.


Ajax, owned by Texas Farm Bureau member Alexis Ender Credit: Alexis Ender


Five other dogs rounded out the top 10 in the overall Farm Dog of the Year contest and were contenders for People’s Choice Pup:

•Jade, owned by California Farm Bureau member Lindsey Swall;

•Cash, owned by Idaho Farm Bureau member Carol Gerken;

•Keeper, owned by Kansas Farm Bureau member Donna Ashcraft;

•Pepper, owned by Tennessee Farm Bureau members Tom and Stephanie Barnett;

•and Dasher, owned by Virginia Farm Bureau member Sandy Riepe.

Learn more about the contest at

Purina is a sponsor of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Night In at the American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention.

About American Farm Bureau Federation
The American Farm Bureau Federation is the Voice of Agriculture working together to build a sustainable future of safe and abundant food, fiber and renewable fuel for our nation and the world.


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Pet Etiquette Fails Photo Contest winner announced

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Daily Paws  announced today in a press release that Besa the Bulldog is the winner of its first-ever Pet Etiquette Fails Photo Contest sponsored by Mars Petcare’s GREENIES™ brand.

The contest recognizes good dogs who sometimes mess up, such as taking mud baths or playing with toilet paper.

“All dogs are good boys and girls! They just sometimes forget their manners,” says Karman Hotchkiss, Editorial Director for Daily Paws in the press release. “We editors had a wonderful time looking at the hundreds of submissions to this contest. Dogs are endlessly entertaining, and it was really hard to narrow down the list to the 10 finalists.”

Besa is 15 months old and from Bellingham, Washington. She is also apprently “obsessed with toilet paper,” according to her pet parent, Cheryl Knapp.

Daily Paws received more than 600 submissions from pet parents who shared their photos and wrote brief essays about the story behind each image. Daily Paws editors narrowed the pool down to 10 finalists based 50% on originality of story, 30% on quality of photo and media provided, and 20% on thoroughness of entry completion.

The winner receives a $2,500 grand prize, plus a one-month supply of Mars Petcare’s GREENIES™ Dental Treats, which will hopefully distract Besa from toilet paper.

For more information on the contest and to read about the winner, visit

Daily Paws ieducates America’s growing number of pet parents at every stage of their journey—from adoption to parenting to senior care and more. Daily Paws’ premium pet-centric lifestyle and service-driven content is now accessible on, Facebook and Instagram. Site visitors are also able to sign up for three editorial newsletters and browser notifications.

For more about Mars Petcare, visit:  Mars Petcare

SOURCE Meredith Corporation


Photographer creates site for beloved pet to help give to other animals

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More stuff you can do with your pet photos

Yet more stuff you can do with your pet photos


Cat competitions move online, bring the special attributes of cats to more people than ever

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Now is the PURRFECT time to check out the fabulous multitude of cats competing for prizes on The Cat Fanciers’ Association Virtual Cat Competition web site, according to a press release from The Cat Fanciers’ Association.

What is a VCC?

VCC was conceived to help promote the enormous variety of pedigreed cats to the public via the Internet since in-person cat shows have been cancelled because of COVID. One recent VCC event drew 796 entries from all over the world.

Most VCCs also raise funds for cat-related causes. Spectators can vote for their favorite cats and prizes go to the most popular cats. Money raised supports organizations like local shelters, a charity that helps provide assistance to cats affected by wildfires and other natural disasters, and a research project devoted to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Sphynx (hairless) cats.

Showcasing their poise and talent

These events aren’t just parades of pedigreed cats. According to the release, they feature “fun” classes, providing cat owners an opportunity to showcase their feline travel buddies, agility antics, costume contests, and just plain kitty weirdness.

Some competitions have featured celebrity guest judges, such as Steve Dale (certified animal behaviorist and radio/TV personality of, Kate Benjamin (cat style expert, designer and blogger of and Trisha Seifried (a professional animal trainer and talent agent of presenting their top picks on video.

International Top Cat Challenge

The virtual excitement culminates in December with CFA’s International Top Cat Challenge, a massive event featuring 20 conformation judging rings and an exciting array of fun classes.

The “CITCC” is the brainchild of breeder-exhibitor Lorna Dawn Friemoth, whose intention was to attract people who have never heard of cat shows or pedigreed cats and enable them to easily explore all the breeds CFA recognizes.

The event also celebrates mixed-breed cats, who can compete in the Household Pet classes.

Iris Zinck, chair of CFA’s Virtual Cat Competition Committee, expects the enthusiasm to continue far beyond December.

“The cat fancy has never before been so accessible to so many people,” she says in the press release. “This isn’t just a placeholder for regular shows, it’s something new that offers the online public a whole different way to share their love of cats!”


Wow! These pets did what?! From a Boxer who swallowed a skewer to a Labrador who ate a beehive, Nationwide insurance looks at unusual pet claims

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According to the Nationwide website, Nationwide associates noticed some of the hundreds of thousands of pet insurance claims being reviewed involved rather unusual circumstances.

There was, for example, a pooch who was carried away by an owl and a cat who survived a three-story fall.

Inspired by these unique stories, in 2009 Nationwide created the annual Hambone Award® to honor the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year.

The Hambone award was originally named after a dog who ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator.

The Hambone Award also honors veterinary practices and provides them additional funds for pets in need.

This year’s five Hambone Award finalists were chosen from millions of claims on Nationwide’s database of more than 750,000 insured pets.

The winning animal will receive a basket of goodies, courtesy of Nationwide.

And the nominees are…

  • Tippy, an athletic Border Collie mix from Arroyo Grande, California, who barreled into a steel trailer hitch while playing fetch and injured her snout.
  • Jasper, at cat from Leander, Texas, who was treated for heat exposure after narrowly escaping a dryer disaster (he got stuck in the fluff cycle).
  • Frank, a Rottweiler from Keyport, New Jersey, who found himself in a prickly situation after sniffing a porcupine.
  • Minnow, an adventurous cat from Alpharetta, Georgia, who disappeared for 21 days, finally returning home sick with a broken rib.
  • Max, the Great Pyrenees from San Marcos, Texas, who got too close to a hog trap.

You can vote for one of the contestants between Oct. 7 – Oct. 13 at

Past winners include:

  • Kismet, a tiny but mighty Jack Russell terrier who sustained stab wounds while fighting off a home intruder;
  • Curtis, a Boxer who swallowed a barbecue skewer that disappeared in his body and nearly ended his life a year later;
  • Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants;
  • Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and a piece of a basketball;
  • Harley, a pug who ate and subsequently passed more than 100 rocks;
  • Peanut, a dachshund-terrier mix who survived a fierce squabble with a skunk;
  • Winnie, a mixed-breed dog who swallowed two pounds of uncooked onion rings;
  • and Ziva and Zeus, German shepherds who went missing for 22 days in an abandoned missile silo.

The winning pet claim this year will be decided by a public vote Oct. 7 – Oct. 13 at

All five veterinary practices that treated the “Most Unusual Pet Insurance Claim of the Year” finalists will receive a portion of the $30,000 Nationwide-funded award through the Veterinary Care Foundation to treat pets whose owners could otherwise not afford treatment. The winning practice will be awarded $10,000. The runner up will receive $7,000. Third place will earn $5,000. Fourth and fifth place will collect $4,000.

“Our annual Hambone Award is a great reminder that pets can make remarkable recoveries because of the diligence of their owners and the incredible skills of their treating veterinarians,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “These veterinary practices will now have the opportunity to save more animals in need without as much financial concern.”

All nominated pets have made full recoveries and received Nationwide insurance reimbursements for eligible veterinary expenses.

Below are brief summaries of the unusual claims nominated for the 2019 Hambone Award. For a more detailed account of each story, photos of the nominees, or to vote (Oct. 7-Oct. 13), visit

About Nationwide pet insurance
With more than 750,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016). Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

Additional source:

Featured photo: Rooster, a previous Hambone award recipient.

Update: Minnow, the Georgia cat who disappeared for almost a month, but ended up home safely, was awared the 2019 Hambone award. For more, visit: