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

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.”


Tia Camarata

Snowball, The Dancing Cockatoo

Snowball, The Dancing Cockatoo Dances to a Familiar Song

You’re driving in your car or perhaps you’re sitting at your desk and all of a sudden a familiar song plays on the radio. Your body will almost always respond in a physical way. You might begin to tap your foot or bob your head and you may not even realize what you’re doing. This is called “entrainment”, the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm. For the longest time, scientists thought this was only a human behavior.

That was until Snowball the Cockatoo was caught on tape showing off his best dance moves to “Another Bites the Dust”. In the YouTube video, Snowball shows that he has the ability to keep perfect time to the music. Viewers fell in love and scientists were baffled.  Aniruddh Patel, a leading neurobiologist at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, became particularly interested in Snowball and wanted to investigate whether or not his ability was a learned behavior or natural instinct.


Irena Shultz, Snowball’s owner, was more than happy to share his story…she got Snowball after the previous owner had to give him up because “he was a handful”.  However, Schultz realized right away that Snowball loved music and even had his favorites.  So after learning about Snowball’s musical preferences, Patel played the music to create significantly slower and faster versions. If Snowball’s ability to keep time was simply a learned behavior, he would not be able to keep time to the manipulated tracks.  However, much to Patel’s surprise, Snowball adjusted his dance movements to match the new rhythms.

Researchers also began to study different species of birds and found that the Gray African Parrot also had the ability “to dance” and keep time with the music.  This then begs the question: of all the animals in the animal kingdom, why do birds with higher cognitive ability seem to have rhythm?  Research has shown that birds who can speak words and mimic vocalizations may have the brain circuitry similar to humans that allows them the ability to keep time to music.

Snowball, continues to be a star making appearances on TV shows and he has his own YouTube channel.  To see more videos of Snowball’s sweet moves, check out the Youtube channel: BirdLoversOnly.   


Abigail R. Hanlon

Music Therapy Student

Marywood University / King’s College, London

When it’s time to say goodbye

We understand that your pet is a member of your family – a very special friend with whom you have made many wonderful memories.  It is important you and your family know all of the options when it is time to say goodbye.

Our hospital works with Abbey Glen, providing after life care to pets since 1976.  Abbey Glen Pet Memorial Park is a beautiful pet cemetery located on 14 acres in Northern New Jersey.

When the time comes, contact our office to help with your pet’s final care.  We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family.  Our compassionate team is here for you whether you elect to stay with your pet or to leave your pet in our care during the procedure.  Either way it is important that you meet with the veterinarian prior to the procedure.

After life care for your pet can be provided with the following options:

At Home Burial

  • If you would like to bury your pet at home, check with the local municipalities regarding the rules for your location.

Communal Cremation

  • If you elect communal cremation, Abbey Glen will cremate your pet and spread your pet’s ashes on their 14 beautiful acres of land in Northern New Jersey.  You are always welcome to visit your pet’s ashes at their pet cemetery.

Private Cremation

  • If you would prefer to have your pet’s ashes returned to you, you can select private cremation.  Your pet’s ashes will be cremated by Abbey Glen and returned to our office in a beautiful cedar urn.  You will receive a certificate and gold plate with your pet’s name engraved on it.

Other Options Available

  • Abbey Glen provides many other beautiful options for remembering your “best friend”.  Please ask our team members for assistance.
2016 GVH Pet Costume Contest

2016 GVH Pet Costume Contest

GVH Pet Costume Contest

We’re excited to be hosting our 4th Annual Pet Costume Contest!!

To submit a picture and brief description of your pet dressed up in their favorite costume complete the entry form below.

Photos will be accepted from our clients October 1st-28th @ 5pm.

The dog and cat photo that receives the most “likes” on Facebook will be announced as the winner on October 31st.

(Please do not post photos on Facebook)

Don’t forget to “like” our Facebook Page and vote for your favorite!

Gift baskets will be awarded!

Pet Costume Contest 2017

If you have any questions about the pet costume contest Contact US and we will be happy to answer your questions.

We look forward to seeing your pet!!!

National Pet Fire Safety Day

National Pet Fire Safety Day

National Pet Fire Safety Day is July 15th!  Did you know that nearly 500,000 pets are involved in a house fire each year? With about 1,000 of them started by homeowners pets! This is a day to spread awareness about, not only how to keep your pet(s) safe during a house fire, but also how your pets themselves could potentially start one!

National Pet Fire Safety Day Logo

The most important thing to keep in mind if you suspect a fire – if the home is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets!  Evacuate quickly and safely.  Be sure to follow the fire safety personnel’s orders when they arrive on scene!  They know how to properly enter a burning house – it’s what they are trained to do!  Lucky for me, my best friend is a firefighter! He gave some great advice about fire safety for pets (and people):


    • Ways to inform firemen about the pet(s) in your home besides the fire safety sticker in the window. You can inform the local fire department about the pet(s) in your home by submitting a letter listing all the information about your pet(s). This letter should include information such as type of pet, location of pet, etc.
    • How can you keep yourself safe and rescue your pet? How do you know when a fire is unsafe to re-enter? In the event of a house fire, it is very important for you to reach safety immediately. Some ideas to make it easier and safe to rescue you and your pet from danger is to always sleep near your pet(s) or have them located near an exit in your home.  For the times that you’re away from home, you should always keep a form of identification on your pet(s) such as a collar, as well as keeping them near an exit, making it easier for Emergency Responders to find and rescue your pet(s). Once you have reached safety outside of your home, you must remain there until the Fire Department arrives, and you can inform them of any possible pet(s) that may have been left inside your home. DO NOT endanger your life by re-entering your house in the event of a fire!
    • What is one thing you wish pet owners knew about house fires? The most important thing is to get everyone IMMEDIATELY evacuated to safety and to never re-enter the house, even if that means leaving things behind. Also, I encourage every homeowner to have working smoke detectors in their homes, giving them an early warning, making it faster to get everyone to safety.

Peyton the Dalmatian hanging out at the fire house


There are many ways to evacuate your pet(s) and keep them safe in the case of a fire:

      • Display a Rescue Alert sticker. This sticker will let the firemen know what kind of pets you have and how many you have.
      • You should also make note or know your pet(s) favorite hiding places. This will ensure the firemen are able to search in these specific places first for your pet(s).
      • Be sure to always have identification on your pet. You should include your name, your phone number, and their Rabies information. This is important in case any of your pets evacuate without anybody seeing, they can then be returned to you when it is safe.
      • Prepare an emergency first aid kit for your pets. This should include medications your pet takes, bandages, blankets, treats, toys, extra leashes, carries, and most importantly a recent picture of your pet. For further emergency kit information, please visit our blog for how to be prepared for an emergency.
      • Keep leashes near an easy accessible exit door. This will ensure the firefighters are able to remove your pet(s) from your home safely.
      • If you keep your pet(s) in crates while you are at work or not home, be sure the crates are near a door they are able to exit the house quickly.
      • Always have a “Safe Haven” for your pets. This is going to be a caregiver/place they can stay safe while you are not able to stay in your home. This could be a boarding facility, a family member or friend’s house.

There are many reasons home fires may start. Did you ever think your pet(s) could cause one? There are a few ways that pet(s) can start fires in your home. Things that you should be aware of are:

      • Open flamed candles are the biggest concern! Pets are able to knock over open flame candles that can easily start a fire in your home. Flameless candles are the best pet friendly candles to keep your home smelling nice!
      • If your pet(s) are able to access the knobs on your stove, cover them up! Be sure they are safely covered so that your pet(s) are not able to turn them.
      • Check your home for other potential hazards that could start a fire. This could include loose wires, piles of paper, rubber, etc.

Alli Bortz, GVH Client Care Specialist





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