Keeping the Well in Well-thy

Keeping the Well in Well-thy


Pets & People, Happier Together with Annie Valuska, Ph.D. (Ep. 16)

April 13, 2023

Are you aware of just how much a pet can positively impact your life? Do you find that taking care of a pet has increased your happiness, and helps you to stay grounded and stress-free when you need it the most? 


In this episode, Barbara Archer is joined by Annie Valuska, Ph.D., Principal Scientist at Nestle Purina North America who specializes in pet behavior and welfare. She received her Ph.D. in animal behavior from the University of California Davis then went on to serve as the post-doctoral behavior research fellow at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She uses her expertise to serve as the voice of pets, ensuring that the needs of dogs and cats are kept top of mind in all of Purina’s products and outreach efforts, and is here to talk about just how much your pet is positively impacting your life. 


Barbara and Dr. Valuska discuss: 


  • The short and long-term mental health benefits of owning a pet 
  • How active habits can be picked up quicker and last longer when owning a dog
  • How service dogs may differ from household pets
  • And more

Connect with Barbara: 


About our Guest:


Dr. Annie Valuska brings over 15 years of animal behavior experience to her role as a Senior Scientist on Purina’s Pet Behavior team. After a variety of undergraduate research experiences at Kenyon College, Annie received her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis, then went on to serve as the Post-Doctoral Behavior Research Fellow at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Since joining Purina in 2013, Annie has gotten to use her expertise to serve as the “voice of pets,” ensuring that the needs of cats and dogs are kept top of mind in all of Purina’s products and outreach efforts. Annie’s passion for pets extends into her personal life – she is an award-winning animal shelter volunteer and currently has a rescued pit bull/Shih-Tzu mix (Arya), a beagle (Bubblegum), and a black cat (Jack) sharing her home in St. Louis, MO.


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