Currently supporting Britain's Happiest Pet competition, Steve Backshall speaks in an exclusive new interview all about what he's up to at the moment, why he loves dogs and more. Read on to find out what he had to say.

Steve Backshall
Steve Backshall

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I am currently training for a kayaking expedition, in which we will travel 125 miles from Wiltshire to Westminster. I will be undertaking this with one other guy and it will take place over the Easter weekend. We are fundraising and you can find out more information at I am also going on an expedition series in late April where we will climb a mountain in Venezuela for the first time to find new species. There will be a book coming out later Summer.

You grew up on a farm surrounded by animals... Can you tell us some interesting stories?

I grew up on a small holding, it was a great way to grow up and incredibly idyllic. We had a donkey and Barney the guard dog, geese, a duckling that followed my mum around and used to sit in the washing up bowl. We also had goats and the first time I saw an animal being born was watching my mum held deliver a goat kid.

Why do you love dogs?

I don't think your life can be complete without a dog. People that love dogs have an emotional connection with them and I just think they are the most loving and fun pets you can have.

Why is it important to look after your pets?

Because if you care about animals you want them to be healthy and happy. There is a lot of information out there about pet care and not all of it is very helpful. Pet owners need to make sure they are well educated so that they make the right decisions.

Do you think it's important to have a healthy pet?

Absolutely, again I would never want to see an animal suffer unnecessarily.

Do you agree that a healthy pet is a happy pet?

Yes, your relationship with your pet will be much more rewarding if they're happy and you can make sure that's the case by keeping them healthy.

From your experience, what are the key things that pet owners should do to keep their pets happy?

My tips are: make sure your pet has enough stimulation - that's vital. The need play and they need ample opportunity to socialise. They also need to exercise and importantly they need to be free from parasites.

If you could have pets, what pets would you have and why?

Always a dog, as soon as I am a bit more settled and not travelling a lot I will get a dog again.

If you weren't in this career, is there anything else that you would like to try?

I would like to guide people around the wildlife parks in Africa or alternatively in the jungle in South America.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

Doing what I'm doing now I hope. I love what I do for a living and even if I wasn't getting paid for it I would still pursue an active, outdoors lifestyle, researching animals and looking after them.

Quickfire Questions

What can't you live without?

My girlfriend.

Describe yourself in three words.

Entusisastic, outdoors, adventurous.

What or who is your biggest inspiration in life?

My parents.

Steve Backshall is supporting Britain's Happiest Pet Competition, to enter your pet into the competition and be in with a chance of winning £500 visit

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