Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pet mags worth their weight in paper

When I’m not busy skulking about on the Internet, one can frequently find me nose-deep in a magazine, that being another of my favorite addictions in life. There’s something about the printed word that draws me to it like a moth to a flame. Naturally, some of my very favorite reads are magazines dealing with pets and pet issues, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.

Hands-down, my number one pick for critter mags is The Bark. I nearly leapt for joy when this magazine arrived on the scene. The Bark accomplished something many magazine publishers didn’t think could be done --- they created a dog-specific magazine without accepting any ads from breeders, and in doing so developed a loyal audience of people involved in rescue and adoption. The Bark is full of fun features, health news, travel ideas and fiction, and I dare anyone to look at their “Smiling Dogs” features and not crack a smile. It’s just not possible.

Another favorite, for entirely different reasons, is The Whole Dog Journal. What makes this product unique is that the publishers accept no advertising. While this makes the subscription costs a wee bit higher than some are used to seeing, it also means readers can be confident that the reviews they provide on food and toys are honest reviews, not tainted by financial relationships. Granted, some of the articles embrace complimentary health practices such as chiropractic, acupuncture and flower essences, and may not be for everyone, but this is a solid publication that has the best interests of dogs and their owners at heart.

For cats, the pickings are a little slimmer, especially for someone like me who tries to avoid magazines that offer breeder ads. One magazine of note is Catnip, published by the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Much like Whole Dog Journal, Catnip does not accept advertising. It’s a great general interest publication for cat owners, even if it’s a wee bit short on the warm, fuzzy stories people like to read.

If you’re looking for something that speaks to people with both dogs and cats, Animal Wellness is a solid pet care magazine, especially for those owners who want to approach pet care from a more natural and holistic standpoint. Again, some of the more “new age” items might be a bit more than most people are looking for, but they definitely provide food for thought. A mix of stories, informative articles and health news, Animal Wellness is a great magazine pick.

Well, that’s enough to get you, or any animal-loving friends who are in need of a birthday gift, started. Did I miss one of your favorites? Drop me a line and let me know.

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