Making Secure Decisions About Your Canine’s Social Media – Dogster

Social media has hit the dogs! Sometimes it seems that every dog ​​you meet has one (or more) social media profiles. You probably follow as many dogs as you do humans.

Social media has become an invaluable way for rescue workers to connect dogs and puppies with new, loving families, and provides a fun way to connect with other dog lovers who share your interest in a particular breed, sport, or activity. But as much as most of us love the canine side of social media, there can be a dangerous aspect to it. For example, the popular trend on TikTok of feeding dogs hot sauce isn’t all cruel. it could actually be painful for dogs. Including your dog on your social media profiles, or even creating social media profiles for your dog, can be a lot of fun and a great way to document your life together. Ultimately, however, dogs don’t care how many likes a photo has or how many subscribers they have. When engaging your dog on social media, it’s important to make sure your posting is fun and safe.

When engaging your dog on social media, it is important to make sure that what you post is fun and safe. Photo: AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

safety first

Regardless of what you see trending or what other accounts are being released, the safety of your dog and others around you should always come first. Don’t break the linen laws to get a “perfect” aesthetic photo to post. Instead, only take photos on a leash in safe areas where dogs are legally allowed on a leash. Another option is to invest in a leash that you find aesthetically pleasing or that compliments your dog in photos.

As a dog trainer, I am very concerned about a lot of the dog stunts I see on social media: things like dogs climbing ladders, jumping high, etc. These posts may be popular online but can easily lead to serious injury. Just because you see a dog doing or trying something online doesn’t mean you should try to replicate it with your dog at home. You have no idea what type of training or conditioning this dog had online to prepare him for this stunt, nor do you know if this dog has been injured since then.

Make sure social media trends aren’t undermining your dog’s trust

Unfortunately, there are many social media trends and challenges out there for seeing how a dog reacts to a situation and filming that reaction. Some of these trends are harmless; others intended to confuse or scare a dog should be avoided. Any challenge or activity that causes your dog to feel anxious, confused, or alarmed can undermine your dog’s confidence in you. You never want to do anything that will make your dog question whether he can trust you, especially for something as insignificant as a social media post.

Make responsible choices when it comes to social media and dogs

Social media should always be fun for both you and your dog. Whenever you are thinking of including your dog in pictures or videos for posting, your dog’s safety, comfort, and enjoyment should always be the main focus. If you are unsure about the safety of a particular activity, take a break and do some research. For example, with food-based trends, always make sure a treat or food is safe for dogs (ASPCA poison control is a great first resource to review). Like the hot sauce challenge, just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean it’s safe. It’s also a good idea to check with your dog’s veterinarian to determine if the particular activity is safe, or to ask your dog’s trainer if the activity is having unintended negative consequences for your ongoing training plans / goals could.

Sometimes it means that your dog’s safety and comfort are paramount, that you are losing some online likes and unable to participate in a particular trend, but your dog will thank you. Far more important than online popularity is your dog’s comfort, safety, and confidence in your relationship.

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