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

Splooting:  A Definition and Analysis

Splooting: A Definition and Analysis

Splooting: A Definition and Analysis

Full SplootOur pets, just like our friends and family, can have some quirks. Although these quirks can give us owners a good laugh or perhaps an endearing photo, sometimes, there is a reason for these odd behaviors. More recently, one peculiar behavior is taking social media by storm: splooting.

 So what is splooting? In short, splooting is a type of stretch that involves kicking one or both legs behind the body.  The one leg sploot involves one leg behind while the other leg remains tucked underneath.  This may look familiar to dog owners, however splooting is not an exclusively canine behavior. Occasionally, cats can do it too!

Grace Full SplootAlthough the Corgi is credited with making the sploot famous, all breeds of dogs and cats can sploot. Depending on their flexibility, animals can display an array of different sploots. For example:

  • The Classic Sploot: One leg remains beneath the body while the other leg is kicked back:
  • The Side Sploot (Left or Right): One leg is tucked under the body while the other is kicked out to the side. Often the animal is laying with on hip on the ground:
  • The Full Sploot: The animal has kicked both legs behind the body, exhibiting a full body stretch:

So is there a reason why animals sploot other than giving their owners a photo opportunity for a later social media post? Splooting is a great stretch for the animals’ hips. Splooting also allows the animal to cool themselves by pressing their belly into the ground or against tile floors. Owners may notice that their pets sploot more often when they are younger. This is simply because younger pets have more flexibility in their hips compared to senior pets.

Has your pet ever splooted? Show us by entering a photo of your pet showing off their finest sploot in our Superb Sploots contest! If your photo is chosen as our winner, we will display their photo on our GVH Facebook page. Your pet may also receive a prize!

             

By:      Abigail R. Hanlon, Senior, Music Therapy Major

Marywood University

 

             

 

Microchipping: Fact or Fiction

Microchipping: Fact or Fiction

There are a lot of myths about Microchips.  We hope this blog helps clear up the rumors and share some great facts about microchips.

Fiction:  Having a microchip implanted will hurt my pet.

Fact:  No anesthetic is required for a microchip implant. The procedure is performed in the hospital and is simple and similar to administering a vaccine or a routine shot.  The microchip injection comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip is the size of a small grain of rice and the process to inject it only takes a few seconds.

Fiction:  Pet microchips work like global positioning devices (GPS) and tell me my pet’s location.

Fact:  Pet microchips are not tracking devices they are permanent identification for your pet. They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants and do not require a power source like a GPS. When a microchip scanner is passed over the pet, the microchip transmits the microchip’s ID number. Since there’s no battery and no moving parts, there’s nothing to keep charged, wear out, or replace. The microchip will last your pet’s lifetime.

Fiction:  My pet wears a collar with tags, so he doesn’t need a microchip.

Fact:  All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their owner, but only a microchip provides a permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read.

Busting the Tick Myths

Busting the Tick Myths

Ticks raise a lot of questions!  Dr. Adolph bust the Myths and tells us the Truth about these 8 legged insects.  Common Tick from North Eastern United States

The Myth:  Ticks die off during the winter months

The Truth:  Ticks doe not die just because it is winter.  They do become less active during the cold months but can still attach to your pet and transmit potentially deadly diseases.

The Myth:  I never see ticks on my pet, so we do not have ticks in our area

The Truth:  Ticks are present throughout the U.S. The 3 life stages capable of attaching to pets (nymph, larva, and adult) are very small.  Unless there are dozens of ticks present, or the ticks have fed long enough to become engorged (about 7 days), most infestations go unnoticed.

The Myth:  Ticks should be removed with alcohol, a lit match, nail polish, petroleum jelly, etc.

The Truth:  The best removal method is grabbing a tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and using gentle, steady traction to lift it.  Other methods may facilitate the transmission of infectious agents.

The Myth:  Ticks fall from trees

The Truth:  Tick live on and just above the ground.  When the host approaches, they release from love vegetation and attach to the animal.

The Myth:  Those medications do not work – I still see ticks.

The Truth:  No product is 100% effective.  Consider this: if a pet encounters 1,000 ticks, a product with 99% efficacy (considered excellent by medical standards) may still leave 10 ticks.  With very high exposure, additional measures may be necessary to protect your pet.

The Myth:  My dog does not go outside, so I don’t need to worry about ticks.

The Truth:  Does your dog go outside to relieve him or herself?  Even a short excursion increases the risk for ticks.

The Myth:  I’ll start using medication if I see ticks.

The Truth:  Prevention is better for your pet and more cost effective for you.  By the time ticks are detected, disease transmission may have already occurred.

The Myth:  I treat my yard, so my pet does not need medications.

The Truth:  Environmental control is great, but it is one of many components of effective tick control and alone is not enough.  Combining yard treatment, minor landscaping changes, and most importantly year-round preventatives for your pet will keep him or her safer.

Why do I still have fleas?

Why do I still have fleas?

Tired of having a flea problem?

tired of fleas???

Why am I still seeing fleas? 

  • Small breaks in prevention, even during the winter can cause major problems.  On average fleas lay 50 eggs a day, so a few days or months late on prevention can mean 100’s to 1000’s of flea eggs being left to hatch.
  • Flea eggs can last for months in the environment. These eggs will wait to hatch until conditions are optimal, this can lead to hundreds of fleas hatching and laying eggs over a period of time.
  • Unprotected or stray pets roaming through your yard can leave trails of fleas or flea eggs that later infest your yard and home.
  • Once you see fleas on your pet there are already 100’s to 1000’s of eggs laid on your pet and in your home.  You will have to use prevention measures for 3 – 4 months to kill all of the life cycles of the flea and rid your home of the pests.

 

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