22 Before and After Photos of Adopted Dogs


Adopting a pet can result in huge transformations, for animals and their humans alike. In a SubReddit called /r/BeforeNAfterAdoption, adoptive pet owners get together to share how much their pet has changed. Most animals have grown healthier and stronger—others feel so comfortable in their new digs, they have no qualms about showing off just how silly they can be.

1. Ziggy

Photo via Mykol225

Ziggy went from being skinny and scared to being a caped crusader. His owner isn't quite sure what breed he is, but he certainly is loved.

2. Vincent and Angelo

Photo from Deserett

These pups are best friends. They were found together, and while they no longer live together, Vincent and Angelo were both adopted out by an agency in Toronto and occasionally have playdates. 

3. Spokey

Photo via goldie0702

These pictures were taken just a day apart. Spokey was found in rural West Virginia; today, she's doing even better.

4. Lucy

Lucy was malnourished when she was adopted and had an array of other health problems too. It took her a while to adjust to life with her new owners, but she's now happy and healthy. Her owner posted a whole album if you want to check out her progress for yourself.

5. Walker

Photo via sweetdisaster

Found in New York City, Walker had a rough time before being adopted. He had some health problems at first, but once he got better he quickly adjusted to his new home. He likes playing with Bruno, the other dog of the family, and spending time outside. 

6. Herschel

Photo by littlewolfen

Herschel was taken in by a friend of his former owner, who tried to take him to a shelter. He was turned away because he was deemed too old to be adopted out. Today he's happy, healthy, and looking extra-distinguished.

7. Bella

Bella wasn't ready for adoption when her owner found her, but her owner never gave up and the two now live happily ever after together. For more happy dog park pictures, check out her album.

8. Mr. Whisker Party

Photo from glitterspecs

This adorable little guy was rescued from a shelter. He needed some minor medical care, but is now doing great.

9. Annabelle

Photo from jemartian

Annabella was a neglected, underweight puppy when she was adopted. A few months later, she's on the road to a healthy life with loving owners who really love taking her picture.

10. Polly

Photo from rocknroll_heart

Polly is a deaf, 12-year-old dog who has trouble with transitions. Now, her owner happily reports she's doing great and loves to play.

11. Bruno

Photo from hottovix

Bruno and his family are moving into a new house soon, which is great, because he's expected to be around 100 pounds when he's done growing!

12. Jasper

Jasper was nervous before his adoption. Now, he loves the dog park and is up for anything.

13. Ann

Photo from danceswithronin

Ann's owner says she went from pauper to princess. The pup's mother wasn't taking care of her, but now that Ann is in a better home, her owner says she's tripled in size.

14. Toby

Photo from oofie321

Reddit helped connect this dog with his new home. After seeing a video of the pup, his new owners tracked him down across the state to make sure Toby would end up in a loving home.

15. Bumble

Photo from MiniLurkette

Bumble had some serious medical problems when he was adopted. Now, he's assumed his rightful place as king of the castle.

16. Eleanor Pigsby

Photo from cashleyborin

Eleanor Pigsby was rescued from a city pound and could not be happier.

17. Mr. Lady

Photo from trickygonzalez

Mr. Lady was found on the streets of Los Angeles just days after his owner moved in. After a two hour bath and a whole lot of TLC, Mr. Lady is now affectionately referred to as "THE FATTEST DOG ALIVE."

18. Philip J. Fry (or Fry for short)

Photo from Beelzebot44

Philip was adopted during an event held by a local shelter after an immediate love connection.

19. Peach

Photo from thatg33kgirl

Like many pound dogs, Peach was found wandering around with a few infections. Luckily, her new owners have taken great care of her and nursed her back to health.

20. Lucy

Photo from psych0logy

The shelter this dog was adopted from believed that she had been hit by a car, and her medical bills made it difficult for her to get adopted. That didn't stop her current owners from taking her in and getting her the treatment she needed.

21. Bubba

Photo from nopowertoolsdale

Named after golfer Bubba Watson, dog Bubba was adopted from a foster group who found him tied to a pole. While he's still hesitant to trust people, he's doing much better and even has a new favorite sports team. 

22. Bingo

Bingo wasn't properly taken care by his first owners, which led to him having to get one of his legs amputated. But that hasn't stopped him from loving his new friends and owners with all his heart. Bingo is doing much better in his new home and now loves food and playing with everyone he meets.

Have your own adorable adoption story? Share it in the comments below!

Potato-Based Pet Food Could Be Linked to Heart Disease in Dogs

If you have a pup at home, you may want to check the ingredients listed on that bag of dog food in your cupboard. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has warned that potato-based pet foods might be linked to heart disease in dogs, Time reports.

Foods containing lentils, peas, and other legume seeds are also a potential risk, the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine announced.

“We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients,” Martine Hartogensis of the veterinary center said in a statement. “These reports are highly unusual as they are occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease.”

Recent cases of heart disease have been reported in various breeds—including golden and Labrador retrievers, miniature schnauzers, a whippet, a shih tzu, and a bulldog—and it was determined that all of the dogs had eaten food containing potatoes, peas, or lentils.

While heart disease is common in large dogs like Great Danes and Saint Bernards, it’s less common in small and medium-sized breeds (with the exception of cocker spaniels). If caught early enough, a dog’s heart function may improve with veterinary treatment and dietary changes, the FDA notes. While the department is still investigating the potential link, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid foods containing these ingredients until further notice.

As shown by the recent romaine lettuce scare linked to E. coli, the FDA is unable to request a food recall unless a specific manufacturer or supplier can be identified as the source of contamination. Instead, public notices are generally issued to warn consumers about a certain food while the agency continues its probe.

[h/t Time]

10 Science-Backed Tips for Getting a Cat to Like You

Like so many other humans, you might find cats to be mysterious creatures. But believe it or not, it’s not that hard to make friends with a feline, if you know what to do. Here are some tips on how to effectively buddy up with a kitty, drawn from scientific studies and my own experience as a researcher and cat behavioral consultant.


When we see cats, we really want to pet them—but according to two Swiss studies, the best approach is to let kitty make the first move.

Research done in 51 Swiss homes with cats has shown that when humans sit back and wait—and focus on something else, like a good book—a cat is more likely to approach, and less likely to withdraw when people respond. (This preference explains why so many kitties are attracted to people with allergies—because allergic people are usually trying to not pet them.) Another study found that interactions last longer and are more positive when the kitty both initiates the activity and decides when it ends. Play a little hard to get, and you might find that they can’t get enough of you.


person extending finger to cat's nose

Felines who are friendly with each other greet each other nose to nose. You can mimic that behavior by offering a non-threatening finger tip at their nose level, a few inches away. Don’t hover, just bend down and gently extend your hand. Many cats will walk up and sniff your finger, and may even rub into it. Now that's a successful greeting.


They're very sensitive to touch, and generally, they tend to like being petted in some places more than others. A small 2002 study demonstrated that cats showed more positive responses—like purring, blinking, and kneading their paws—to petting on the forehead area and the cheeks. They were more likely to react negatively—by hissing, swatting, or swishing their tails—when petted in the tail area. A more recent study validated these findings with a larger sample size—and many owners can testify to these preferences.

Of course, every animal is an individual, but these studies give us a good starting point, especially if you're meeting a cat for the first time.


There are plenty of signs that a cat doesn't like your actions. These can range from the overt—such as hissing and biting—to the more subtle: flattening their ears, looking at your hand, or twitching their tails. When you get one of those signals, it’s time to back off.

Many of the owners I work with to correct behavioral issues don't retreat when they should, partially because they enjoy the experience of petting their cat so much that they fail to recognize that kitty isn’t enjoying it too. You can’t force a feline to like being handled (this is especially true of feral cats), but when they learn that you’ll respect their terms, the more likely they will be to trust you—and come back for more attention when they're ready.


Many think that food equals love, and that withholding food might make your kitty hate you, but a recent study of obese felines from Cornell University showed the opposite is true—at least for a period of time. About a month after 58 overweight kitties were placed on a diet, three-quarters of their owners reported that their dieting felines were more affectionate, purred more often, and were more likely to sit in their owner's lap. This adorable behavior came with some not-so-cute side effects—the cats also begged and meowed more—but by week eight, both the good and bad behavior had abated for about half the animals.

Regardless of whether a diet makes your pet cuddlier, keeping your pet on the slender side is a great way to help them stay healthy and ward off problems like diabetes, joint pain, and uncleanliness. (Overweight animals have difficulty grooming themselves—and do you really want them sitting on your lap if they can’t keep their butt clean?)


woman, cat, and feather toy

Most of the behavior problems that I've witnessed stem from boredom and a lack of routine playtime. No one thinks twice about walking their dog every day, but many people fail to recognize that felines are stealth predators who need a regular outlet for that energy. A recent study suggested that cats prefer human interaction over food, but a closer look at the data demonstrated that what really attracted them to humans was the presence of an interactive toy. One of their top choices is a wand-style toy with feathers, strings, or other prey-like attachments that evoke predatory behavior. Daily interactive play is a great way to bond with them when they’re not in the mood to cuddle—and to keep them fit. Try the Go-Cat Da Bird or any of Neko Flies interchangeable cat toys.  


A study conducted in Italy showed that felines who stayed mostly indoors (they had one hour of supervised access to a small garden each day) were more “in sync” with their owners than felines who were allowed free access to the outdoors. The indoor kitties were more active during the day, when their owners were likely to be active, and less active at night, when humans like to sleep. (Many people believe cats are nocturnal, but they are naturally crepuscular—active at dawn and dusk.)


Multiple studies have shown that just a few minutes a day of positive handling by humans helps kittens grow up to be friendlier and more trusting of humans. The ideal age to socialize kittens is when they're between 2 and 9 weeks old. One 2008 study found that shelter kittens that had been given a lot of "enhanced socialization"—additional attention, affection, and play—were, a year later, more affectionate with their owners and less fearful than other kittens adopted from the same shelters.

You can help socialize kittens by volunteering as a foster caretaker. Fostering ensures they get plenty of interaction with people, which will help them will be comfortable around potential adopters. You'll also be doing your local shelter a huge favor by alleviating overcrowding.


If you want to adopt an older animal, take some time at the shelter to get to know them first, since adopters of adult cats report that personality played a big role in their decision to take an animal home permanently and had an impact on their satisfaction with their new companion. Better yet, foster one first. Shelters can be stressful, so you'll get a better sense of what an animal is really like when they're in your home. Not all cats are socialized well when they're young, so a cat may have their own unique rules about what kinds of interactions they're okay with.

It's also key to remember that a cat's appearance isn't indicative of their personality—and it's not just black cats who get a bad rap. In 2012, I published a study with 189 participants that showed that people were likely to assign personality traits to felines based solely on their fur color. Among other things, they tended to think orange cats would be the nicest and white cats the most aloof. (Needless to say, these are inaccurate assumptions.) And it's not just the kitty's personality that matters—yours is important too. Another study I conducted in 2014 of nearly 1100 pet owners suggested that self-identified “cat people” tend to be more introverted and anxious when compared to dog people. (We’re also more prone to being open-minded and creative, so it’s not all bad.) If you’re outgoing and active, a more playful feline could be for you. If you prefer nights spent snuggling on the couch, a mellow, shy-but-sweet lovebug could be your perfect pet.


Overall, use your common sense. Be a diligent and objective observer of how they respond to your actions. Feline body language can be subtle—something as small as an eye-blink can indicate contentment, while ear twitches might signal irritation—but as you learn their cues, you'll find yourself much more in tune with how they're feeling. And if you adjust your behaviors accordingly, you'll find soon enough that you've earned a cat's trust.

Mikel Delgado received her Ph.D. at UC-Berkeley in psychology studying animal behavior and human-pet relationships. She's a researcher at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and co-founder of the cat behavior consulting company Feline Minds.


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