About Steve Dale

Steve Dale, certified animal behavior consultant (CABC), has reached more pet owners over the past few decades than any other pet journalist in America.

He is the host of two nationally syndicated radio shows, Steve Dale’s Pet World and The Pet Minute (together heard on more than 100 radio stations, syndicated Black Dog Radio Productions, since 2005). He’s also a special contributor at WGN Radio, Chicago, and program host of Steve Dale’s Pet World (since 1997), and host of Steve Dale’s Other World, a general talk show (2020). He formerly hosted the nationally broadcast Animal Planet Radio.

He’s currently a writer and contributing editor for CATster, columnist for DVM 360 where he also serves as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board. He’s also a columnist for the Journal of National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Steve is Chief Correspondent at Fear Free Happy Homes.

Steve’s daily award-winning blog posts can be found HERE.


Steve’s TV appearances include the The Oprah Winfrey ShowNational Geographic ExplorerGood Morning America; Pets: Part of the Family (PBS), Fox News, various Animal Planet shows, Daytime Chicago (WGN-TV) and countless others including The Pet Project and Balance TV (Canada) and TV shows in England, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere. For several years, Steve was a regular contributor to Superstation WGN-TV morning news, then appeared regularly on WMAQ-TV, Chicago. Steve was a contributor to nationally syndicated HouseSmarts TV and for two years announcer for Hero Dog Awards on Hallmark.

Steve’s also been a frequent host of satellite media tours and has his own YouTube channel.

David Frei


Steve co-edited Decoding Your Dog, written by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). He also authored the Introduction to Decoding Your Cat, written by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020).

Steve authored ebooks, Good Dog! and Good Cat! (Chicago Tribune, 2013). He’s also the author of several other books, including My New Puppy (Essentials Pet Care, 2018), DogGone Chicago (NTC/Contemporary  Books, 1998 and 2001) and American Zoos (Bantam-Doubleday-Dell, 1992).

Steve is a contributor to veterinary textbooks The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management (edited Dr. Susan Little, 2011), Treatment and Care of the Geriatric Veterinary Patient (edited by Dr. Mary Gardner and Dr. Dani McVety, 2017), and El Gato Atropellado (translated The Cat: Hit by a Car, edited Dr. Luis Tello, 2019). He wrote the foreword for Infectious Disease Handbook (Merck Animal Health, 2017), and was an external reviewer for the 2005 Feline Behavior Guidelines (American Association of Feline Practitioners).

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Steve has written introductions or contributed chapters and forewords to many books, including Helpful and Caring Cats: Felines Who Make a DifferenceHeartfelt Connections: How Animals and People Help One AnotherThe Pet Parent's Guide: Infectious Disease of DogsCats Revealed: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Living Happily with a Cat, Bonding With Your DogDog Spelled BackwardsThe Compassion of DogsRaising My Furry ChildrenChristmas CatsChicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, and Angel Animals and the Kids Who Love Them.

Steve Speaks

Steve’s presented numerous times at each of the major U.S. veterinary conferences, and regularly at state and regional meetings as well as at veterinary schools, and several times for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

He’s also spoken at the Congreso Veterinario de Leon (Leon, Mexico) seven times, as well as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Conference (Sydney, Australia); El Nación del Gato (Quito, Ecuador); CICA Animal Behavior Conference (Mexico City, Mexico); Latin American Veterinary Conference (Lima, Peru); Congreso Veterinario de Colombia (Pereira, Colombia); Caribbean Veterinary Conference (St. Kitts); Companion Animal Nutrition Summit (San Jose, Costa Rica); and (via Skype) Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Veterinary Behaviour Chapter Science Week (Brisbane, Australia). And at animal welfare meetings, and for countless fundraisers as a dinner or keynote speaker.

In addition, Steve has spoken at meetings and events unrelated to pets talking about how vital the human animal bond is, the healing power of pets and his own personal story, “From Covering Show Biz to Playing with Dogs and Cats.”

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Voice for Pets

In print, Steve has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA TodayLos Angeles TimesReader’s Digest, Newsweek, Popular Science, Redbook, various veterinary publications, and dozens more including many blogs. He has also appeared as an expert guest on the BBC and NPR many times, and hundreds of radio, TV programs and podcasts around the world. Steve was also featured twice on Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story.


For 21 years, Steve’s twice-weekly multi-award-winning newspaper column was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune (at one time in well over 100 newspapers), and he previously authored pet stories (as his “beat”) for the newspaper. He was a contributing editor for USA Weekend (2002 to 2014), and regular columnist at Cat Fancy magazine (2006 to 2014), then CATster until they went out of business in 2024.

Steve is the primary author of Think Twice Before You Declaw (with Beth Adelman, 2006) and CATegorical Care: An Owner’s Guide to America’s Number #1 Companion (reviewers include AVMA and SAWA), published by the American Humane Association/CATalyst Council, 2010. He co-authored (with Dr. Sagi Denenberg) the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Position Statement on Breed-Specific Legislation (2014). Also edited Preparing for the Future Celebrating the Winn Feline Foundation at 40 (2008) and 50 Years of Advancing Feline Medicine: Winn Feline Foundation Helping Every Cat, Every Day (2018).

He has written for a long list of magazines, from People, Psychology Today (co-authored with Dr. Marc Bekoff), Self  Magazine, Reader’s Digest to Veterinary Practice News (columnist), Dog World (columnist), Dog Fancy, Happy Paws, Pets Vet, Pet Life magazine (senior editor), Academy of Sciences Agenda, Zoo Monitor, and many others. His stories have appeared on a wide range of websites, including DVM360.com, Victoria Stilwell’s positively.com, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, dogdaily.com, and pets.com (national correspondent); contributing editor American Association of Pet Parents.

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Organization Involvement

Steve serves on the Board of Directors (currently Board Secretary) EveryCat Health Foundation, previously the Winn Feline Foundation (2007 to present) Human Animal Bond Association (2016 to present) and Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (2022 to present).

He’s on the Advisory Board Friends Chicago Animal Care & Control (2013 to present); National Advisory Council Member American Association of Feline Practitioners (2016 to present); Grey Muzzle Organization (2017 to present); National Link Coalition G-10 Steering Committee (2020 to present), DVM360 Editorial Advisory Board (2020 to present).

Steve’s a proud member of the Fear Free Advisory Council (2013 to present) and is the Chief Correspondent of Fear Free Happy Homes, and he is certified Fear Free.

Steve was named the first media participant of an AVMA/AAHA initiative to encourage preventive veterinary care, called Partners for Healthy Pets (2014 to 2017). He co-founded Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills (2014). He's also a co-founder of the CATalyst Council and served on the Board of Directors (2008 to 2012).

After six years, in 2012, he cycled off the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association where he also served as a National Ambassador.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of Tree House Humane Society, Chicago (2004 to 2016). He served on Pet Partners Human Animal Bond National Scientific Advisory Board (2015 to 2022); Advisory Board SPCA Puerto Vallarta (2016 to 2021); National Advisory Board Member of Angel on a Leash (2005 to 2016) and Task Force on Feline Sterilization (2015 to 2017).

After his beloved piano playing cat Ricky passed away in 2002 of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), Steve created the Ricky Fund with the Winn Feline Foundation to raise money to research this often-fatal disease. He’s helped to raise over $300,000 – and as a direct result a genetic test was created to determine if a gene defect for HCM exists for two breeds, and further studies are underway.

Steve co-organized and led the event, Purrsing FIP and Winning for the Winn Feline Foundation. at UC Davis (2019). Announced major advances regarding FIP and the meeting prompted a change from fatal to treatable; never before have so many researchers from around the world gathered at a symposium to discuss a single feline health issue. Also, co-organized Health Breakthroughs for Every Cat: FIP and Beyond at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (2022).


Animal Advocacy

In 2019, it was Steve's idea to create the first fire protection law for pets in the U.S. in kennels or dog day care, signed by Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker.

In Chicago, Steve created the Chicago Task Force on Companion Animals and Public Safety (2000 to 2010), which helped to three times overturn proposed breed bans and twice-overturned proposed mandated pediatric spay/neuter, as well as proposed pet limit laws. The Task Force also re-wrote the City’s animal control act and created guidelines for ‘doggy day care.’

As a pet advocate, Steve has testified many times around the country against breed-specific bans and pet limit laws, and in support of trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) programs for community cats and helped to advocate and write the protocol for dog parks in Chicago (known as dog friendly areas). Steve has also testified repeatedly on why dogs/cats should not be sold at pet stores, and helped to pass a humane ordinance in Chicago, Cook County and ultimately Illinois.

Steve regularly advised Illinois Governor Pat Quinn regarding pet-related issues and was a leading voice for bills to prohibit breed-specific bans and also it was Steve’s idea to create a law change to prosecute dog fighters with enhanced felony charges when convicted of fighting near schools, children’s play areas or daycare centers.



The first ever American Veterinary Medical Association Excellence in Media Award was presented to Steve, then renamed in perpetuity the Steve Dale AVMA Excellence in Media Award, 2022.

Among Steve’s many other awards are the AVMA Humane Award (2002) and Editor and Publisher syndicated newspaper Feature Writer of the Year Award (2001).

In 2012, Steve became the youngest person ever inducted into the Dog Writers Association of America Hall of Fame.

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Steve also earned the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award (twice); the HSUS Pets for Life Award; American Humane Association Media Award; American Pet Products Association Pet Industry Outstanding Media Representative of the Year;, Dog Writers Association for Distinguished Service Award; Cat Writers’ Association Shojai Mentor Award; and has been honored with over 15 Maxwell’s Awards from the Dog Writers Association of America and over 15 Muse Awards from the Cat Writers’ Association of America. He’s also been honored by the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control, and was the first recipient of the Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award (now called EveryCat Health Foundation Steve Dale Communications Award).


Did You Know?

December 19, 2021: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council proclaimed it "Steve Dale Day," thanking him at City Hall with a four page proclamation for his advocacy for animal welfare.


Steve’s persistence convinced the Chicago White Sox to allow dogs at a major league baseball game – today, ball parks around America have periodic “dog days” promotions. In 2004, he suggested Mercury Skyline Cruiseline create “The Canine Cruise,” a dog-friendly architecture cruise on Lake Michigan/Chicago River, with dog-friendly cruises now replicated in other cities.

Two more of Steve’s favorite honors: Commencement Speaker at Madison Square Garden for Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (2008), and appearing (in 2012) as 59 across in a TV Guide Crossword Puzzle (pet journalist Steve _ _ _ _).

Steve hosted a general podcast on WGN Radio for five years, which in 2020 was transformed into a Sunday afternoon WGN Radio show called Steve Dale’s Other World about topics generally unrelated to pets with guests ranging from Dr. Anthony Fauci to Dionne Warwick to U.S. Congressmen.

Steve once played music on various Chicago area radio stations, and covered the Chicago celebrity beat for USA Today and People Magazine, and authored a column called Celebrity Watch for the Chicago Tribune.

What Steve's Up To

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