Why do we love sharing our pets on social media platforms?

Why do we love sharing our pets on social media platforms?

Social Media and Pets

As we have made our way into the twenty-first century, technology has changed the way we connect with friends, families and even strangers. Social media has allowed us to bring awareness to those in need.  We share comedic videos and most importantly keep in touch with those around the globe. Our pets have a unique way of bringing joy through their actions.  Because of these acts of kindness, comedy, and sometimes stupidity, millions of people have shared their pets on their social media platforms. Besides that, a recent study by BarkBox found that adult dog owners share, post or talk about their pets on social media an average of 6 times per week. If they’re not sharing or talking about their own pets, they’re viewing videos or photos of other pets up to 3 times a week. Most importantly, the study found that one in ten has a social account exclusively for their beloved dog.

So why do we love sharing our pets on social media platforms?

One reason could be that we are treating our pets as legitimate family members. Because past generations have kept their dogs only in the yard.  Whereas now, people are putting their dogs in the family Christmas cards. More recently, owners have used their dogs to promote clothing brands. Franchises such as Vans and Target feature pets in exchange for monetary compensation. Some pets have become so famous on social platforms, therefore, they have become “A-list” socialites.  Most important these pets have created their own brands.

Some people have placed their pets on social media to escape the negative areas of media platforms.  Pets help us escape negative body images, political conversations and negative comments from other social media users. Dog and other pet photos/videos can be used as a means of stress relief.  Because most pet social accounts are free from negative comments and captions. Many follow dog social media accounts because they receive a few moments of laughter or heartwarming photos on their timeline.

At the end of the day, our pets are a part of our family, because just like our family members, they have their own personalities. We want to share the loving, comedic and special moments that our pets provide us, just like we want to share with our friends and family.

-Abigail R. Hanlon

Check out some of the most popular pets on Instagram:

JiffPom the Pomeranian (7 million followers): https://www.instagram.com/jiffpom/?hl=en

Nala the Cat (3.5 million followers): https://www.instagram.com/nala_cat/?hl=en

Doug the Pug (3.5 million followers): https://www.instagram.com/itsdougthepug/?hl=en

Marutaro the Shiba inu (2.6 million followers): https://www.instagram.com/marutaro/?hl=en

Grumpy Cat (2.6 million followers): https://www.instagram.com/realgrumpycat/?hl=en

What are all these lumps and bumps?

What are all these lumps and bumps?

What are all these lumps and bumps???

At Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital, we see lots of pets that have “lumps and bumps”. So what are they all about?  Most common causes of “lumps and bumps” are insect bites/stings, cysts, or an abscess. We usually recommend that the pets come in for a visit so that we can assess the type of lump and bump.

During our exam we will look at: the size, shape, location, and character of the lump.  We will also find out how long it has been there and if there were similar lesions in the past.  In addition to examining the bump, we examine the entire pet to see if there might be other lumps that were hiding.  This can be an especially important step for bumps on the skin because a pet’s skin is actually it’s largest organ!

Sometimes the veterinarian will want to run a test to see if we can determine the cause of the bump on examination.  A common procedure is called a cytologic exam which is very quick and painless for the pet. In this test the veterinarian will collect a small sample of cells from the bump. The sample is then placed on a slide so it can be examined under a microscope or sent to a lab for further review by a veterinary pathologist.

If you are considering bringing your pet in for an appointment to have a bump checked out, here are a couple of ideas that you can try to help you better prepare for your pet’s appointment:  

  • Locate the bump.  It can be difficult to identify small bumps on our furry patients.  Using a non-toxic marker and/or cutting or shaving a small area will help us quickly locate the bump in question.  
  • Measure the size of the bump. Take a piece of notebook paper and write the date on it.  Then place it over the bump and outline the bump as best as possible.  This gives us a great reference point to determine if the bump has changed in size.  

And if all else fails just bring your pet to the hospital and we will help you locate and measure your pets bump.  

Amanda M. Theodore, VMD

Is My Pet to Plump?

Is My Pet to Plump?

My Pets Ideal Weight

The best way to determine your pets ideal weight is to assess their body condition. Your veterinarian will give your pet a “body condition score” during their wellness exam. However, you don’t need the score to know what is ideal. A pet with an ideal body condition will have a “waist” when looking from above and a “tummy tuck” when looking from the side. You should be able to feel their ribs easily when petting over the rib cage, but you do not want to be able to see each rib when looking from afar. Even without weighing your pet, you can monitor their body condition and determine if they are ideal. If your pet is underweight you should speak to your veterinarian about medical conditions that may cause weight loss. If you determine that your pet is heavier than ideal there are a few easy steps you can take to get on the right track. First measuring out the food and meal feeding are a good start. Then cutting out high calorie treats and substituting for healthier treats – such as baby carrots or green beans for dogs and pieces of kibble for dogs or cats. Adding daily exercise into your routine can also help. For dogs this can mean a walk or playing ball. For cats this can mean setting aside play time to engage them with their favorite toy. Rotate toys to keep it interesting. For both dogs and cats you can use food based toys like treat balls – but instead of treats put part of their daily kibble into the ball.  If you have implemented a plan for weight gain or loss and are having trouble being successful, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.  They can discuss medical reasons for weight gain or weight loss with you.  Also bring a list of all foods and treats fed on a daily basis along with the calories (listed on the pet food bag as kcal/cup) in each food.  The doctors and team at GVH are here to help you be successful. 

Nicole Arms, VMD

 

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Is My Pet to Plump?

Is My Pet to Plump?

My Pets Ideal Weight The best way to determine your pets ideal weight is to assess their body condition. Your veterinarian will give your pet a “body condition score” during their wellness exam. However, you don’t need the score to know what is ideal. A...

Lehigh Valley Zoo

Lehigh Valley Zoo

Tia Camarata, Client Care Specialist, at Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital is also a volunteer at the Lehigh Valley Zoo.  Here Tia shares some of the friends she has met at the zoo.

“These are African Blackfooted Penguins and are native to the Southwest tip of Africa.  They are considered warm weather penguins.  The Blackfooted Penguin is an endangered species.”

“The little baby penguin is named Bahati.  She is losing her downy chick features and is growing her juvenile feathers and coloring.  Bahati is the third chick hatched at the zoo and is part of the Species Survival Plan.  The Species Survival Plan is a plan to keep the population breeding.  It also makes sure the genetics are strong enough to keep the species going for a long time.”

 

 

The second penguin is Greer, showing off her good side! Greer is an adult penguin and like a true lady her exact age is not known.”

“I look forward to sharing more about the animals from the Lehigh Valley Zoo.”

Sincerely,

Tia Camarata

True Story Time: My Dachshund Ate Chocolate

True Story Time: My Dachshund Ate Chocolate

True Story Time: My Dachshund Ate Chocolate

dachshund FrankieI have an adorable 9 year old spayed, dachshund named Frankie.  She, as most dachshunds, can be mischievous. Occasionally, she makes decisions that are not in her best interest.

Shortly before Easter 2017 my sister and her son were visiting.  They decided to go to a local chocolate company for some Easter goodies.  My sister informed my nephew that he was only allowed to have one candy before dinner and the rest should go on the counter.  I was working, and my spouse and sister were making dinner; just enough time for dear Frankie to find her way to the back of the couch, walk on the kitchen pass through to the counter and steal the bag of chocolates.  

I got a frantic call at work stating that Frankie had ingested all the chocolate candies in the bag.  Her list of treats included two milk chocolate peanut butter eggs, several milk chocolate marshmallow eggs, 2 dark chocolate raspberry cream eggs and 3 dark chocolate vanilla buttercream eggs.  I know what you are thinking, 

“Whoa! That is quite the list of treats for a little lady”.  

Yes, those were my thoughts too when I received the call.  I instructed them to bring Frankie over immediately so we could induce vomiting.  The ingestion took place about 5:30 in the evening and they were able to get her to us by 6:00.  Dr Arms was working that evening and administered a medication that induced the vomiting.  Within seconds my little Frankie was regretting her decision.  She produced copious amounts of chocolate vomit.  After the vomiting had stopped, we administered Cerenia – a medication to help alleviate nausea – and some subcutaneous fluids to help with hydration.  Dr. Arms advised that we should watch for any signs of gastrointestinal upset, but was confident that we had caught the incident within a good time frame.  

As the holiday season approaches, with lots of  treats; here are some fun facts about why they can be bad for our pets.  Chocolate contains (be ready for the big technical terms) Methylxanthines, which includes two items of concern; caffeine and theobromine.  Those, in certain amounts, can be toxic to our dogs.  

The types of chocolate below are listed from least dangerous to most dangerous:

  • White 
  • Milk
  • Semi-sweet
  • Unsweetened or baking
  • Dry cocoa powder

If your loveable furbaby makes a poor decision like mine, keep in mind that time is of the essence and the sooner you call your veterinary office the better.

Written By Krystal Barbera-Byrnes, Client Care Specialist

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