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
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.”