Clifford the Big Red Dog (image via CtBRD Facebook)
Clifford the Big Red Dog (image via CBRD via Facebook)


There’s a new team in town to teach kids the importance of proper pet care. We learn as children what’s right and wrong and what’s important in life. These early life lessons should serve us well throughout our days and guide us in our behavior. Teaching little ones the dos and don’ts of proper pet care and handling can help ensure that they will grow up to be compassionate human beings who will hopefully never harm or abuse an animal and keep them up on their vaccinations and preventative veterinarian care during their own pet’s lifetime. Clifford the Big Red Dog and Bayer Animal Health are here to help that objective.

Clifford the Big Red Dog

As children’s series go, Clifford the Big Red Dog is one of the most popular and enduring. First published in 1963, the story of Clifford was written by author Norman Bridwell. Beyond the many, many books Bridwell has written, the lovable character could be seen for a few years there on PBS Kids in an original television program voiced by actors John Ritter, Grey Griffin, Cree Summer and Kel Mitchell, and in videos and DVD video games. There was even or still is a movie in the works. That one got kind of confusing. It doesn’t matter, though, because no matter what the media source, Clifford and his owner Emily teach kids invaluable lessons in a delightful manner.

Bayer Animal Health

Bayer, probably best known for its aspirin (at least here in the United States), has been around since 1863. Between 1881 and 1914, Bayer developed into a chemical company with international operations. At some point, they became involved in the care and treatment of domesticated pets and farm animals along with an interest in animal welfare and bee care. Bees are our pollinators, and unfortunately their numbers are on the decline. According to their Website, “For more than 25 years, Bayer has actively developed solutions to improve honey bee health.” This, along with their interest and commitment to animal health and welfare, is what brought them into the literary world.

Clifford Goes to the Doctor

Bridwell’s latest Clifford book is entitled Clifford Goes to the Doctor. It’s currently being published through Scholastic, and it’s about the fact that “Clifford goes in for his annual checkup, and Dr. Smart has to be very creative to check Clifford's heartbeat, look into his mouth, ears, and eyes, because Clifford is so big. Clifford is very brave when he has to get his shot, and he gets a treat at the end!” While hardly groundbreaking, it gives kids the opportunity to see that animals, just like people, need checkups, preventative care and medical attention from time to time in order to stay healthy. Learning these things has the potential for making them better pet owners later on in life.

Responsible Pet Ownership

There are sadly many pet owners in the world that should probably not be pet owners. There are others that could improve drastically in their stewardship with a little bit of guidance. It’s better if you’re taught from an early age, however. How many times do you hear of people feeding their pets the cheapest dog food they can find in the belief they’re all the same? Or how about forgoing vaccinations, checkups and flea, tick and heart worm preventatives because, in their view, they’re fine without them? Others force their pets to stay outside 24/7 braving extreme heat and cold saying, “They’re dogs, for Pete’s sake. It’s just an animal, not a kid.” Hopefully, Clifford’s new book can help future generations see things differently.