Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
recent Politico article rounded up photos of GOP presidential candidates cozying up to some cute and cuddly four-legged constituents.
But what we really wanted to know is what kind of furry critters do these politicians snuggle up to in the confines of their own homes — and what do those choices reveal about them.
As the American public has learned, current front-runner Newt Gingrich likes to keep an open mind about things. This philosophy also seems to apply to his choice in critters — exotic ones, to be precise.
Compared with many of his fellow contenders for the nation's top job, Gingrich does not appear to own any pets — although he apparently had a penchant for collecting snakes and lizards as a kid. (There's no mention of his namesake reptile.) He also told ABC news that he had a few canine companions growing up: "When I was a child, I had a Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher and German Shepherd."
As savvy PR pros know, pets are a boon to anyone's self-image (well, unless you're strapping them to your car's roof, but we'll have more on that later), so the Gingrich campaign launched Pets With Newt, a site that highlights his top zoo picks and features photos of him hanging out with lemurs.
Of course, this doesn't mean that he's averse to having a dog lumber through the halls of the White House. According to the ABC news interview, he's a big dog kind of guy, although breeds like the Great Dane are too much dog to handle — unlike snakes.
Thanks to those same PR folks in the Gingrich camp, Mitt Romney has been dogged recently with some unwanted canine controversy surrounding an incident from way back in the 1980s, when he took a road trip with his dog tethered to the roof of his station wagon. A video titled "For the Dog" that Gingrich ran mentioning the doggie faux pas got, ahem, a lot of mileage.
The joyriding dog in question was an Irish Setter named Seamus. Words like "tireless" and "enthusiastic" are often used to describe the breed — along with "stubborn."
If Romney were to bring one of these crimson-haired beauties into the White House, the pup would be in good company: President Richard Nixon had an Irish Setter named King Timahoe.
While Romney works to improve his lackluster animal safety image, Rick Santorum seems to already be in the good graces of the animal-loving set. The candidate pushed for legislation that would shutter puppy mills, earning him this glowing plug from a PETA spokesperson: "He's a man with a heart."
That big heart partly belongs to his beloved dog Schatzie, a German Shepherd. The breed tends to be a go-getter in canine circles, excelling as a police and military dog, guide and assistance canine, search and rescue dog and a drug detector. President Herbert Hoover had one named King Tut — thankfully for the dog, the president's Cadillac had a soft top.
There are a couple of once-hot-ticket front-runners who've since dropped out of the GOP presidential race, but the good news is that they'll now have more time to spend with their much-loved pets.
Michele Bachmann's well-accessorized Beagle is likely looking forward to some "me" time with mom.
During Bachmann's caucus concession speech, she shared just how beloved Boomer really is, when she detailed her husband's shopping outing in Des Moines: "Yesterday, when we were out on Main Street, he was out buying doggie sunglasses for our dog Boomer while we were out visiting all of the many businesses."
Back in Texas, Rick Perry now has the luxury of going for more jogs with his daughter's Labrador Retriever.
In 2010, he took down a menacing coyote who tried to attack the dog while they were out for a joint run near Austin. Perry was lucky enough to be packing a laser-sighted pistol in his running shorts. Why, you ask? Seems that, unlike Gingrich, he's afraid of snakes.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Freeway Frida, who was rescued from a
highway median, is headed home with the officer who helped save her life.
Get expert advice on keeping pets safe
during fireworks, barbecues, hot weather
and other Independence Day hazards.
Meet a dozen cat and dog "foster failures"
who were adopted by their temporary
owners and given homes for…
Many canines who panic at the sound of storms, fireworks and other noises might benefit from these coping strategies.
Just in time for Independence Day, we honor the select few pooches who can proudly claim to be "made in the…
Dr. Marty Becker offers his advice for managing your animal's fear and anxiety toward Fourth of July pyrotechnics.
The medium-size Mudi is a sheepdog
who tends to make an intelligent, active
and easy-to-groom companion.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
A dog diagnosed with the dangerous parasite may have to take antibiotics, get drug injections and stop exercising.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Visit HealthyPet magazine for interviews with pet-loving celebrities, health advice from our experts, training tips and…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.