The Best Of Animal Comedy: 25 Finalists Of The Comedy Pet Photography Awards 2023

Everyone deserves more sunshine and laughter in their lives. But you don’t have to look far to boost your mood. When you start paying closer attention to your beloved pets, you realize just how many shenanigans they get into and how silly they can look! Capturing these moments, however, takes some skill with a camera, a lot of patience, as well as a big dollop of luck.

The Comedy Pet Photography Awards is bringing joy to everyone’s screens for the fifth year running, and they’ve just released their shortlist of 25 finalists for 2023. We’re happy to bring you the photos that will be competing for the top spots this year. Scroll down, upvote your fave pics, be sure to share ‘em with your friends, and check out Bored Panda’s interview with the friendly Comedy Pets team running the competition!

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#1 ‘The Big Boss’ By Kenichi Morinaga

‘Big Boss is the Boss around here. He is gentle and kindness just big’

Image credits: Kenichi Morinaga /Comedy Pets

#2 ‘A Life Changing Event’ By Michel Zoghzoghi

‘Alex is the shy one. Max is the playful one. Together they form a lethally cute duo. I had more fun taking photos of these two than during my most adventurous wildlife photography trips’

Image credits: Michel Zoghzoghi /Comedy Pets

#3 ‘Who Are You?’ By Udo Krauss

‘Our cat Lilly played with a mouse, we saved the mouse and our dog Amy was fascinated by the mouse’

Image credits: Udo Krauss /Comedy Pets

The Comedy Pet Photo Awards is the brainchild of professional photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, whose aim is to celebrate the positive and vital role that pets have in our lives. They also hope to encourage engagement around animal welfare.

“Once again, we have been treated to some really funny entries in the competition, and such a wide range of animals this year from ferrets to tortoises to donkeys as well as hundreds of hilarious cats and dogs,” Sullam, the co-founder of the Awards, said.

“The job is now to find the Overall Winner of Comedy Pets 2023 and of course, the People’s Choice Award winner where everyone can get involved,” he added that you can learn how to vote for your favorite finalist on the website.

#4 ‘Football Free Kick’ By Kenichi Morinaga

‘The pressure of football and waiting for free kick’

Image credits: Kenichi Morinaga /Comedy Pets

#5 ‘Albert Enstein’ By Masayoshi Yamamoto

‘He sticked out his tongue at me as famous Einstein’s photo’

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Image credits: Masayoshi Yamamoto /Comedy Pets

#6 ‘Little Daisy And Her Big Future’ By Darya Zelentsova

‘Two sisters from different litters: self-confident Crystal and cute baby Daisy’

Image credits: Darya Zelentsova /Comedy Pets

The shortlist of finalists is now going to be judged by the Awards’ animal-loving judge panel. Among them are TV presenter, writer, conservationist, and animal lover Kate Humble; comedian and TV presenter, writer, and all-round superstar Mel Geidroyc; TV vet and animal welfare campaigner Emma Milne; and professional pet photographer Elke Vogelsang.

Bored Panda got in touch with Michelle Wood, a core member of the Comedy Pet Photo Awards team, and she was kind enough to tell us about this year’s competition, and what awaits the judges.

“2023 has been a really fun year for the Comedy Pets,” Wood told us via email.

“Now in its 5th year, the competition is becoming more well known and popular, reaching new markets but also we love seeing animal lovers returning to the competition to enter new funny images of their pets each year,” she shared with Bored Panda.

#7 ‘Pop Up’ By Kazutoshi Ono

‘He seems to pop out of the autumn leaves, doesn’t he?’

Image credits: Kazutoshi Ono /Comedy Pets

#8 ‘My Face When My Crush Says Hi’ By Kerstin Leichtenmüller

‘We tried to get a dreamy autumn photo of Milo – instead of lying a bit on his side he rolled around like crazy. His family loves this shot because it shows his personality better than any other picture’

Image credits: Kerstin Leichtenmüller /Comedy Pets

#9 ‘Barking’ By Chris Porsz

‘In March 2019 I was sat in the Union Sq New York dog run when I spotted a lady with a pink bag on her hand ( to keep her hand clean) throwing a ball to her dog which was sat down facing her. The dog then launched itself and flipped in mid air to face me and snap! As you can see the lady with her hand on her head was as surprised as me and I think she is saying phew! I have searched in vain via the NY media to find the owner so that I can send her a copy. No joy so I am hoping this Pet Comedy competition can help me find the mystery woman and her leaping dog. You never know!’

Image credits: Chris Porsz /Comedy Pets

We were curious about what the judges will be paying the most attention to now that the shortlist has been finalized. According to Wood, competition veteran Milne will quality control the images while the team checks the original files for authenticity and quality.

“The final job—and definitely the best one—falls to the judges, to score the images on which ones make them laugh the most. That is the main criteria and extremely important,” she explained what lies at the core of a photo worthy of being on the shortlist.

#10 ‘When Digging Gets Serious’ By Sophie Boynton

‘Shadow was digging holes as normal at the beach, when all of a sudden he was showing off his new technique! Luckily the camera was at the ready for this crazy position!’

Image credits: Sophie Boynton /Comedy Pets

#11 ‘The First Outdoor Walk’ By Darya Zelentsova

‘Tiny happy ferret Boudicca (only 2,5 month old!) enjoys her first outdoor walk’

Image credits: Darya Zelentsova /Comedy Pets

#12 ‘So This Is The Source Of Happiness’ By Corinne Mooser

‘That explains so much 😀 (Don’t worry, it’s just regular hemp for industry)’

Image credits: Corinne Mooser /Comedy Pets

“The images have to make at least one of us giggle to get through to this stage. We all have a slightly unique idea of what makes us smile, so it’s really interesting to see which ones come out on top, especially as some of the entries are really obvious and happy and others tap into a drier sense of humor,” she said.

“And it’s great to then see what the public vote as their favorite too” Wood pointed out that it’s “really hard” to call who the public picks as their faves.

#13 ‘Victory’ By Kazutoshi Ono

‘Perfect landing pose, right?’

Image credits: Kazutoshi Ono /Comedy Pets

#14 ‘Is It A Seal Or A Dog’ By Monyque Macedo Dos Santos

‘There’s a hiding place under the sofa where Louis (the dog) likes to hide, that day I took his tennis ball from “his place”, he got angry and put his head out through the hole barking asking for his ball back, that’s when he turned into this angry seal, and I decided to register the moment’

Image credits: Monyque Macedo Dos Santos /Comedy Pets

#15 ‘Keep Your Eye On The Ball’ By Gill Woodcock

Image credits: Gill Woodcock /Comedy Pets

Our pets can affect us quite a bit, but it’s also us, the owners, who can have a massive impact on their mood and behavior. “A few studies have found that pets can mirror their owner’s moods and can be sensitive to human’s feelings of stress and anxiety,” a representative of the Arizona Humane Society told Bored Panda earlier that our pets pick up on our body language, tone of voice, and other cues.

What’s more, we can act as social support for our pets, just as they do for us. “Giving our pets the physical and mental care they require, along with lots of love and safety will ensure a lifetime of reciprocated love and affection between our four-legged friends and their human family,” they said.

#16 ‘Edgar’s Dandelion’ By Jonathan Casey

‘Beautiful Edgar’s favourite food are the leaves and flowers of dandelions. Here she is seen taking her time to savour the flavour’

Image credits: Jonathan Casey /Comedy Pets

#17 ‘The 498th Round Of Hide And Seek’ By Kim Horstmanshof

‘Misty the spaniel desperately wanted to play with Nala, the dignified older lady of the menagerie. She wasn’t that keen, fortunately Misty was pretty terrible at hide and seek’

Image credits: Kim Horstmanshof /Comedy Pets

#18 ‘Flying Poodle’ By John Young

‘This is Barney our toy poodle, caught mid-flight whilst running’

Image credits: John Young /Comedy Pets

There are numerous benefits to laughing lots and often. If you’re constantly having fun with your pet and laughing at their antics, you’re setting yourself up for a life of lower stress. Verywell Mind points out that laughter strengthens our immune system and gives us a physical and emotional release.

What’s more, laughter gives our bodies and organs an internal workout, distracts us from all the big and small problems in our lives, and can give us a fresh new perspective on life. Not only that, if you’re laughing, odds are that your positive mood is going to spread to the people around you.

#19 ‘Bidule As Goal Keeper’ By Felix Larcher

‘We ware playing with our cat named Bidule, with a ballpaper !’

Image credits: Felix Larcher /Comedy Pets

#20 ‘Zorro Reborn’ By Karl Goldhamer

‘The avenger of the poor is back, but this time as a dog and not on a horse, but in a car! The obligatory black mask is a must, of course’

Image credits: Karl Goldhamer /Comedy Pets

#21 ‘The Three Greys’ By Klaus-Peter Selzer

‘Karin and her two dogs. Don’t they all look almost the same?’

Image credits: Klaus-Peter Selzer /Comedy Pets

Meanwhile, Mayo Clinic notes that laughter increases the endorphins released in our brains and stimulates our hearts, lungs, and muscles. We also relax far more after a good bout of laughter because our heart rates and blood pressure decrease.

In the long term, being a fan of comedy means that you’re more likely to have a more capable immune system, you’re less susceptible to pain, and your self-esteem is better.

#22 ‘A Lovely Couple’ By Lana Polykova

‘I couldn’t get past this couple!’

Image credits: Lana Polykova /Comedy Pets

#23 ‘Oscar ‘ By Lana Polykova

‘Yes, his name is Oscar. He is an Afghan greyhound and is very pleased with himself’

Image credits: Lana Polykova /Comedy Pets

#24 ‘Ball Play Silhouette’ By Christine Johnson

‘Bobby reaching for the ball against a beautiful sunset. We were taking photos of Bobby as the sun was quickly setting and disappearing behind the hill. I was changing the setting on my camera, to keep the detail on a black dog against a nice sky and soon realised, just go with the simple option and shoot him as a silhouette’

Image credits: Christine Johnson /Comedy Pets

This year’s Comedy Pet Photo Awards winners will be announced on August 11, 2023, so keep an eye out! Keep in mind that the People’s Choice Award is actually open for public vote, so if you have a favorite photo, make sure everyone knows about it.

In the meantime, be sure to check out last year’s winners, as well as the Comedy Pet Photo Awards finalists from 2022, 2021, and 2020, as covered by Bored Panda.

#25 ‘Kylian’s Sleep’ By Katia Pillonel

‘Kylian could not sleep in another bed. Maybe he dreamt of jungle’

Image credits: Katia Pillonel /Comedy Pets


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