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This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360.com as BarkFest Brunch Raises Awareness of Nat Geo WILD’s BarkFest II.

I enjoy the opportunity to partner with forward-thinking networks likeNat Geo WILD to help spread the word of their numerous television shows, all of which incorporate an animal theme and strive to educate the audience about animal health and welfare.

Recently, I was invited to attend the Nat Geo Wild Barkfest Brunch at the super-cool Palihouse Hotel in West Hollywood, CA. The event promoted the upcoming BarkFest II, a full weekend of continuous dog related Nat Geo WILD programs.

“This is an all bark, no bite weekend guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo WILD. “We’ve uncovered fascinating stories, intriguing evolution touching medical cases, and some of the world’s funniest dogs.”

The lineup includes:

- World’s Funniest Dogs (Premieres Friday, April 15 at 9/8c): features some of the most unbelievable videos of dogs doing hilarious mischief. I’ll be sure to tune in, as who doesn’t love videos of our favorite canine companions doing hilarious and unpredictable things?

- Who’s Your Doggie? (Premieres Friday, April 15 at 10/9c): Nat Geo WILD takes six dogs and dig deep into their family roots. After owners explain their mutts’ curious behaviors and physical traits, the network brings in a team of experts to do their own analysis. Then they settle the score with a DNA test. Using one of the most reliable labs in the world, each breed is revealed – and the results will shock you.

I’m looking forward to this show, as I believe the availability of genetic testing lands valuable health information about our canine companions. I wrote about the value of using such tests for PetMD’s The Daily Vet.

- Second Chance Chihuahuas (Premieres Saturday, April 16 at 9/8c): so many people go to breeders to purchase a specific dog breed, but it’s important to be aware that their breed of choice may be found at a breed-specific rescue. This show focuses on the Chihuahua and Dolittle’s Ranch in Studio City, California, where more than 2,000 Chihuahuas have been rescued over the past 10 years. You’ll gain a new appreciation for these petite pooches as you see them taken off the streets, rehabilitated, and adopted into loving homes.

As I have many Chihuahua patients and some of the dogs featured on the show received medical care at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals (where I work at the Veterinary Cancer Group), this show ranks high on my must-see list.

- How Dogs Got Their Shapes (Premieres Sunday, April 17 at 9/8c): although there’s so much diversity in how dogs appear, they actually all share nearly identical genetics. How Dogs Got Their Shapes will look at dogs from their cute noses to their adorable paws, learning the amazing ways that different breeds’ shapes have changed over time.

At the event, it was great to finally meet my fellow veterinarian and Pet Talk host Dr. Courtney Campbell, whom I recently interviewed for this Pet-Lebrity News column and get the update on how Pet Talk is going.  Apparently, things are going well as I chatted with the show’s producer who reported that Pet Talk has been picked up for another season. Needless to say, I’m hoping Pet Talk will want the perspective of a holistic veterinarian at some point and I’ll certainly make myself available to share my experiences.

Also on-site was my patient and social media star Norbert and his loving and lovely owner Julie Freyermuth.  Norbert is always up to give a high five and slays it on the step and repeat.

Rescue dogs in need of forever homes could also be seen, held and appreciated, including numerous Chihuahuas from Dolittle’s Ranch, scruffy terrier mixes and some very sleepy looking Pit Bulls. Cardiff and his friends Happy Face and Deva also joined into to get some Saturday socialization and potentially scope out some new canine pals.

Make sure to tune in for the BarkFest kick off on Friday, April 15 at 9/8c and check out Nat Geo WILD on Twitterand Facebook.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome.
Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2016) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

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