It was hard to determine which ones are best—so we didn’t.

By Austin Cannon
October 02, 2020
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©John Carelli/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Think you’re a good judge of cute pet photos? Compare notes with our experts.

Mars Petcare announced its 40 finalists for its 2020 Comedy Pet Photography Awards earlier this week, featuring dogs, cats, horses, and cows.  

The company picked the 40 out of 2,000 submissions from 81 countries and donated 10 percent of both the sponsorship fee and entry fees to Blue Cross, a pet charity in the United Kingdom. 

Judges will announce the winner, who receives prize money of more than $3,800, on Nov. 24. It’s a hard job for these judges, so we figured we’d help them out with a definitive, scientific, unimpeachable ranking of the finalists.  

(Because Daily Paws so far only features dogs and cats, we’ll only rank the photos of those pets. Sorry, cattle and horses, maybe someday.)

1st Place (Tie)

©Alice van Kempen/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Some golden retriever pups were playing near the water and one fell in, photographer Alice van Kempen says.

Pros: The on-land puppies are obviously surprised and concerned but you can tell they really don't want to join their friend.   

Cons: Could use a couple more puppies. 

1st Place (Tie)

©Candice Sedighan/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Bear the golden retreiver stares down at his food, taken by Candice Sedighan, who taped her phone to the bottom of the bowl to get this shot. (Points for effort.) 

Pros: Jowls jowls jowls jowls jowls!

Cons: Bear obviously needs more treats. 

1st Place (Tie)

©Ayden Brooks/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Canadian Ayden Brooks caught this photo of his ginger cat Fox Mulder waking up from a nap.

Pros: Orange is a good color and we have a lot of it here. Few things are cuter than babies and pets (or baby pets) yawning.

Cons: Get this man some coffee. We got stuff to do today, jeez.

1st Place (Tie)

©Iain McConnell/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Wales photographer Iain McConnell caught this shot of his cat Edmund guiltily consuming a stick-like treat. (McConnell's other photos of his cat made the list, but this is our favorite.)

Pros: It looks like Edmund is chomping on a cigar like some kind of casino mobster or something.

Cons: Smoking is bad and you shouldn't do it, Edmund. Know better.

1st Place (Tie)

©Elke Vogelsang/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

German Elke Vogelsang submitted this photo of her Spanish sighthound mix, Noodles, who she says is a clown—sometimes unintentionally so. (Vogelsang submitted other photos of Noodles, but we like this one best.)

Pros: BOOP.

Cons: Noodles probably isn't a very fearsome guard dog and is likely only effective if intruders are so entranced that they have to stop and boop the snoot.

1st Place (Tie)

©Annett Mirsberger/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

This mastiff made some funny faces at Annett Mirsberger during their photoshoot, but she hopes it's not because of her.

Pros: Hilarious that you can't see this dog's teeth. We could Photoshop some pearly whites in there no problem.

Cons: Where's the rest of your body, my dog?!

1st Place (Tie)

©John Carelli/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

This Labrador was captured by John Carelli—the split second before he got very, very wet once again.

Pros: Classic “I’VE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE” face.

Cons: Can my man get a lifejacket?

1st Place (Tie)

©Alex Class/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Photographer Alex Class caught a shot of Weimaraner Kyte sitting in front of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Pros: King Kyte wearing a very fancy crown!

Cons: Kyte is already quite handsome and doesn't need any accessories.

1st Place (Tie)

©Antonio Peregrino/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Fofo is a border collie living in Brazil. Here, Antonio Pelligrino captures the cheerful dog sticking his noggin through a hole in a horse stall.

Pros: Great way to get some head scratches while still keeping a wall between you and people you aren't sure about.

Cons: Honestly thought this was just an overhead shot of Fofo just sitting on the ground until I read the photo description.

1st Place (Tie)

©Beth Noble/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Beth Noble caught this photo of five Tonkinese cats looking out a window at what looks like a chicken, titling the photo "There goes dinner."

Pros: I'd like to think they're talking amongst themselves about how each of them could catch the bird and bring it in for dinner—each knowing full well that they'd rather die than leave the house.

Cons: Chicken's only good if you have something like barbecue sauce to slather on top.

1st Place (Tie)

©Carol Delaney/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Carol Delaney submits this photo of Mr. Universe, a Rhodesian ridgeback, yawning after yet another day of working from home.

Pros: Mr. Universe > Mr. Worldwide.

Cons: Sorry to tell you my guy, but work from home doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon.

1st Place (Tie)

©Darren Hall/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

This is Ted, who loves his ball, as captured by Darren Hall in the United Kingdom.

Pros: Looks like Ted is having an awesome day. Muddy paws, fall foliage, and his ball? That's the key to happiness, my friends.

Cons: He probably needed a bath after this. Sorry, Ted.

1st Place (Tie)

©Dean Pollard/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Taz, Dean Pollard's rescue dog from Cyprus, was clearly excited to be at the beach.

Pros: We should all be like Taz and smile more. It's good for us.

Cons: Buddy, if you leave your face like that for too long it'll freeze that way. (Oops, this was another pro.)

1st Place (Tie)

©Dimpy Bhalotia/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Dimpy Bhalotia captured this photo in India and couldn't stop laughing as a result.

Pros: Please please please be two ends of the same, incredibly long dog.

Cons: Don't you dare sniff that butt (even if it is your own).

1st Place (Tie)

©Emma Newton/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

According to photographer Emma Newton, Matilda here was taking a quick soak before she realized that some cows were coming to use the trough.

Pros: Great form to jump out of the trough, Matilda, 10/10 form.

Cons: Cows know how much beef we eat. They're trouble and best not to be messed with.

1st Place (Tie)

©Hannah Seeger/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Hannah Seeger and her rescue dog were tired and not having any of it one morning.

Pros: Excellent job twinning. The personalities are perfectly mirrored.

Cons: No offense to Seeger, but we didn't come here to see more humans.

1st Place (Tie)

©Hetwie van der Putten/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Hetwie van der Putten's dog Bruc is shown here trying to catch a cookie in van der Putten's home studio.

Pros: Excellent action shot, you can really see the desire Bruc has to nab that treat.

Cons: Bruc should get a haircut so he can see. Then he can become the Randy Moss of cookie-catching.

1st Place (Tie)

©Ilana Rose/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Ilana Rose caught this photo of a vizsla dog doing their best to keep an eye on the goings on outside their Australian home.

Pros: The world is horrible right now, and this is a sound strategy to avoid much of it.

Cons: Not the best implementation of the they-can't-see-me-if-I-can't-see-them strategy.

1st Place (Tie)

©Jasmin HaeckerMars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Jasmin Haecker caught this perfect photo of her Shiba Inu Akira cheesing it up at an outdoor barbecue.

Pros: Look at those healthy bottom teeth!

Cons: If she smiles too hard she's not going to be able to see, so watch out for that.

1st Place (Tie)

©Karen Hoglund/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Karen Hoglund shares this well-staged photo of Gabby and Dani going for a ride. To be super safe, her husband crouched in the backseat, holding both dogs' leashes.

Pros: It's cliche, but we gotta do it: "Get in loser, we're going shopping."

Cons: Dogs can't drive! This is so unsafe! Dogs across the country are all going to want to drive, now.

1st Place (Tie)

©Kerstin Ordelt/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Kerstin Ordelt submits this photo taken in Austria, which is actually an outake. The two dogs are supposed to be hugging.

Pros: Look at these pals. They've got each other's backs no matter what.

Cons: If anything, this photo is too sweet to be funny.

1st Place (Tie)

©Lianne Richards/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Lianne Richards' cocker spaniel Buddy loves playing with his squeaky balls.

Pros: Look at those luscious locks and boopable snoot.

Cons: C'mon, Buddy. Who are you trying to fool? Those aren't your real teeth!

1st Place (Tie)

©Malgorzata (Gosia) Russell/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

This is Basil, Malgorzata (Gosia) Russell's kitten who loves exploring their garden in Scotland. They like to chase each other around in the morning.

Pros: This looks extremely hard to pull off, so props to Basil and Russell for capturing the photo.

Cons: Don't fall!

1st Place (Tie)

©Mateus de Oliveira/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Mateus de Oliveira caught this shot of Malala the border collie "blessing" this human who probably really needed it.

Pros: It's about time dogs got the hint. They owe us a ton of belly rubs and ear scratches, too.

Cons: To me, the look on Malala's face says, "Ha, look at this sucker."

1st Place (Tie)

©Teun Veldman/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Teun Veldman brings us this photo of a kiteen who has no idea where the red slippers might be.

Pros: "WHO ME???"

Cons: You obviously know something about the slippers, Kitten. You're not fooling anyone.

1st Place (Tie)

©Tilman Wagner/Mars Petcare Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2020

Tilman Wagner caught this photo of a Croatian cat who would appreciate you being quiet as they enjoy a nap.

Pros: Shhhhhhhhhhh!

Cons: I said shhhhhhhhh!