The Companion Animal Psychology Posts (and Podcasts) of the Year 2023


A look back at the most popular articles and podcasts about dogs and cats over the last year.

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By Zazie Todd PhD

It’s time for the annual list of the most popular posts of the year here at Companion Animal Psychology. And there’s a countdown of the most popular podcast episodes too.

You’ll find a lot of wisdom about dogs and cats in these posts and episodes. My guest authors and interviewees are fun and inspiring in equal measure. So without further ado…

The dog and cat posts of the year

These were the top posts of the year on Companion Animal Psychology:

10. You can set your puppy up to be friends with your cat–if you get the intro right.

9. What are reward-based training methods for dogs (and cats)?

8. Understanding resource-guarding in dogs (and how to fix it) with Lisa Skavienski. (This is the blog post that accompanies episode 8 of The Pawsitive Post in Conversation). 

7. What are cat pheromones and what do they do?

6. 3 more reasons why it’s better to use (only) reward-based methods to train dogs.

5. Is your dog’s food bowl half full or half empty? by Sky Sobol

4. Can you imagine? Those barking and snarling dogs are upset, not misbehaving by Kristi Benson Special Correspondent.

3. Friendly felines: How to tell if your cats get along. 

2. Saying goodbye to a beloved dog: A life well lived? by Kristi Benson Special Correspondent.

1. The feline grimace scale helps you know if your cat is in pain. 

This year, I wasn’t able to write as much as usual at my Psychology Today blog. I’ll be back there sometime in the new year. These were my top 3 posts at Psych Today:

3. Should we treat big and small dogs the same way?

2. You have to read dog trainers’ websites closely, study says.

1. 25 ways to make a cat happier

The podcast episodes of the year

This year was the year that I launched my podcast, The Pawsitive Post in Conversation, with my co-host (and Special Correspondent) Kristi Benson, and we’ve had 15 episodes so far. 

This list is based on the number of audio downloads of the podcast. The link is to the corresponding blog post where you’ll find both the audio and video, along with a transcript of the highlights, so you have a choice of how to enjoy each episode.

These were the most popular episodes:

5. Understanding resource-guarding in dogs (and how to fix it) with Lisa Skavienski. 

4. Cat husbandry: How to groom your cat, trim nails, get scratching posts, and give meds.

3. Enrichment for cats and writing about dogs and cats with Sassafras Lowrey.

2. Victoria Schade, Unleashed Holiday, and delightful romcoms with dogs.

1. Teaching recall and stopping dogs from getting lost with Maria Karunungan.

Thank you

Sometimes people write to me as if Companion Animal Psychology is a team of people with staff. It’s still just me. But there a lot of people who help to keep it going and it feels like there’s a wonderful community around CAP.

I’m especially grateful to Kristi Benson for being such a fun and fabulous person, for writing pieces that are so witty and inspirational and beautiful, and for helping to make every podcast episode flow so well.

Thank you to all of our interviewees on the podcast: Jane Wolff, Lisa Skavienski, Victoria Schade, Sassafras Lowrey, Maria Karunungan, Jean Donaldson (whose name comes up in multiple episodes!), Erica Beckwith, and the people with whom we’ve recorded episodes that will air soon (you’ll find out their names soon enough!). And thank you to Sky Sobol for an excellent piece of science communication about optimism and pessimism. 

Special thanks to Dr. Jill Bradshaw, Sarah, Janet, Audrey v, Kerryn Martin, Anne-Marie Reed, Jeff, Penny dog, and everyone who has supported me on Kofi this year.

Above all, thank you to you for reading and sharing my posts.

Wishing you and your pets a wonderful 2024!

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