Animal Welfare, Cats, Dogs, Education, Pet Adoption, Pet Care, Worldwide

Pet Models and Moolah

Pet influencers Instagram

Pet Models and Moolah discusses this adorable buttoned down boy. Who doesn’t love playing dress up? But are we crossing lines when we dress up our pets? Is your dog bringing home the bacon?

Covid lock downs created bakers, cooks and mini self proclaimed celebrities who needed to be ‘seen’ (still figuring that!) Did you honestly think you could appreciate another photo of banana bread or pizza? But you do, you force yourself to like & comment on an inane achievement of baking bread! We’ve named this “electronic etiquette” when small talk goes digital! We’re not impressed just bored.

Capitalism and the free market have crossed that final frontier and is at the end of pet’s leash. They have 4 legs and a tail, speak no known human language and have no financial responsibilities if a negotiation falls through. You probably cannot sue them – but they’re an industry.

Furry friends, fur babies and other fur filled descriptive phrases fill digital spaces. Much like a parent figuring out teen lingo, what we called pets- dog or cat are now fur kids. News flash, pets have always been family. A concern for ‘old school or just old owners’ is when do species specific needs for these four legged family members crossthe point of no return?

Pet models are usually accompanied by pet influencers who may or may not be the owner. Moolah in most cases is the goal of this game. Pet parents and owners have discovered an income stream. It seems harmless enough, but the pitfalls are real and the monetisation of family members crosses a murky line. For those who ‘use’ their pets to help spread the message of rescue or adoption, kudos. The flip side, those who run out and acquire (many buy from breeders) the most popular or trending animal as a means to earn.

Pet models have moved from fun, to full fledged business. Agents and agencies, wardrobes and shoots, its not a walk in the park, its a walk down Park Avenue. Instances of pet families turning social media opportunities into businesses are quite common. However, its so important and difficult to sift the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’.

Pets are the new stars of our digital world. And where there are stars, there is an opportunity to cash in on a trend. We’re by no means painting every Pet influencer with a broad brush. Life on or offline just does not work that way.
But it is getting harder to sift through the genuine good guys, from the appearance of good guys. And that is the Pets Models and Moolah conundrum.

Pet influencers rely on hashtags to promote their pets

Dogs as Divas

Pet parents have humanised their dogs into an almost unrecognisable species.

Instagram, like all social, digital spaces can be a force for good, or create opportunities for unscrupulous humans looking to earn of animals. Much like back yard breeders

Fun with our furry friends has morphed into an Instagram battle for the best pet accounts, which quickly turns into the most lucrative pet account.

It is disingenuous to paint them all with the same brush, of course, there are accounts which use their ‘celebrity’ and reach for good causes. But the trend for a majority is apparent, my dog is cute, I am cute, sponsor us! As a pet business it is incredible to have a “pet influencer” contact us and blatantly ask for free goods! So are we reverting to a digitalised barter economy? You give me free stuff and I’ll post a photo! Anyone who has worked with an animal knows the hours of training and trust it requires to have an animal perform on cue.

How much do Pet Models get paid?

The concept of a model, human and animal are changing. Consumers are not looking for slick, perfectly photoshopped images and representatives. They want to see a products or person in the real world, a mirror image of themselves. Enter the daily diary of a pet parent. A chronicle of dog walks, weekend camps and the ever popular “pet events” makes us feel like we’re right there, living that dog or cats experiences. And that is the massive appeal of especially Instagram narratives.

When a pet social media account ‘clicks’ with its audience the owner or family in extreme cases may earn millions! In moderate cases, a couple of hundred thousand dollars! Which if you stop to think about is unbelievable. When did walking and dressing up pets turn into an independent industry?

Tatum says it best when he says “I do my life!” A fantastic example of ridiculously adorable with a strong message. Rescue dogs are the “BEST”. What Tatum and his family show the world is, pets can have jobs, and never compromise on their welfare. All the while getting a message out to help millions of other animals across the world

Photo Credit: @hithisistatum Twitter

On a personal note: Tatum’s is Oliver’s go to when we need a smile. His eyes tell of a difficult past, who with love, patience and care is learning to trust. A rescue dog who has the chance they all deserve to experience a pain, fear free life. If you have a pet, who can achieve that and bring home a bit of bacon, you’ve got a winning formula.

But be wary of encouraging accounts which force unnatural behaviours on a pet. If you look carefully you’ll see it in the body language and the animals eyes. When it’s all work and no play the pet is more than a pawn. So go out there and find some awesome ‘pet models and moolah’ accounts on their best missions to educate as they entertainment.

Sources & References :

Time Magazine: The 10 Best Animal Instagram Accounts to Follow in 2019- BY RAISA BRUNER  MARCH 22, 2019 – Maine couple’s rescue dog becomes internet sensation – Author: Chelsea Bard (NEWS CENTER Maine) You Won’t Believe How Much These Instagram-Famous Pets Make By Cynthia Measom

Cover Photo credit : Sam Lion


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