Not just for likes!

Love it or hate it, so­cial me­dia plays a part in all our lives – and now it seems it is even in­flu­enc­ing our choice of pets

EDP Norfolk - - Pets -

A SUR­VEY by pet char­ity Blue Cross has re­vealed that one in seven peo­ple ad­mit­ted they would choose a cer­tain breed of dog or cat based on the num­ber of fol­low­ers, likes and shares they get on­line.

A league ta­ble of the top dogs on In­sta­gram shows that pugs and French bull­dogs lead the way when it comes to be­ing the most hash-tagged breed.

How­ever, the na­tional char­ity, which re­homes an­i­mals, pro­vides vet­eri­nary and be­havioural ad­vice, sup­port for own­ers and a pet be­reave­ment helpline, is urg­ing any­one think­ing of get­ting a pet to put love be­fore on­line likes.

Mandy Jones, di­rec­tor of re­hom­ing for Blue Cross, says: “We cer­tainly sym­pa­thise with any­one who loves tak­ing pho­tos of their pets or fol­low­ing cats and dogs on so­cial me­dia, but we wish we could get our home­less pets the same num­bers of fol­low­ers. We love ev­ery breed; be they pugs and bull­dogs or mon­grels and mixes.

“We be­lieve ev­ery pet is unique and beau­ti­ful in its own way so we’d al­ways en­cour­age any­one think­ing of get­ting a pet to con­sider a res­cue and make a de­ci­sion based on per­son­al­ity as well. Pets come in all shapes and sizes and are much bet­ter in real life than on­line.”

The char­ity’s re­search showed that over two thirds of peo­ple in the UK follow a feed on In­sta­gram, Face­book, Twit­ter or Pin­ter­est that is run by or ded­i­cated to a spe­cific breed or an­i­mal, while 10pc of us follow over 10 an­i­mal ac­counts.

And says, Mandy, that so­cial me­dia driven de­mand is also hav­ing an im­pact on breed­ing meth­ods, some of which were po­ten­tially detri­men­tal to the dogs’ health.

“Choice based on fash­ion can lead to heartache too; the cur­rent fash­ion for flat-faced dogs is re­sult­ing in thou­sands of pup­pies be­ing born who will have a life­time of chronic health prob­lems due to be­ing un­able to breathe com­fort­ably.”Š

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