Pet lovers are undeniably passionate about their species of choice, so it’s hardly surprising that the cover vote for the Canadian Geographic Pets Photography 2015 special issue was a tight race.

(As regular Canadian Geographic followers know, in advance of each issue’s publication we solicit your feedback to help us choose our cover image, or in the case of this issue, covers, as in front AND back.)

For this issue, we asked voters to select one dog image and one cat image, one which will grace the front cover, the other the back (we’re running a second dog-versus-cat vote to determine which will go on the front cover).

On the dog side, options one and two virtually tied, with 38 and 37 per cent of the vote (option three received a solid 26 per cent of the tally). Enter North American magazine circulation guru Scott Bullock (coverssell.com), who helped us break the tie. Bullock felt that option two was clearly superior, thanks to its brighter colours, direct eye contact and generally cleaner appearance (all factors that contribute to newsstand sales success).

When it came to the cats, voters slightly favoured option two (38 per cent) over option one (33 per cent), while option three nabbed a respectable 29 per cent. Our editorial team and Bullock both felt very strongly, however, that option one stood out as an iconic cover image, especially considering the clean white cat with the striking eye colours, and we decided to go with it as our feline cover choice.

Now, as noted previously, the top dog and cat will face off head-to-head to determine which will take the front cover of the Canadian Geographic Pets Photography 2015 special issue. You can weigh-in here. I fully anticipate the vote will be a dog/cat fight.

If you don’t already receive our cover vote email but want to, simply click here and sign up for the Canadian Geographic newsletter. And be sure to get your copy of the Canadian Geographic Pets Photography 2015 special issue at newsstands early next year.