Pet Care, Social Media and Animals, Worldwide

The Dark Side of Pet Influencers

influence and information

While pet influencers flood our social media feeds with adorable images, they rarely reveal the challenges and responsibilities of pet care. Influencers may inadvertently contribute to the misunderstanding that pet ownership is always glamorous, potentially leading to ill-informed decisions by their followers.

The rise of pet influencers on social media platforms has undoubtedly brought joy to many. Their cute and entertaining content capturing the hearts of millions. However, behind the adorable facade, there is a dark side to pet influencing that often goes unnoticed. Pet influencers, like any other social media trend, can contribute to a distorted perception of reality. Particularly when it comes to the responsibilities and challenges associated with pet ownership.

Incomplete Picture of Pet Care:

Pet influencers tend to showcase the glamorous aspects of their pets’ lives. They feature them in stylish outfits, trendy accessories, and luxurious settings. This content is designed to be visually appealing and shareable. But it often fails to depict the less glamorous aspects of pet care. Such as the time-consuming nature of grooming, the financial costs, and the potential health issues that pets may face.

Impulsive Purchases:

The constant stream of cute pet photos and videos can create a desire among followers to own a similar pet. Unfortunately, without fully understanding the commitment involved. Some influencers may partner with breeders or pet companies. This indirectly promotes the purchase of certain breeds or products without considering the specific needs and characteristics of the animal. Which leads to impulsive purchases and decisions that may not be in the best interest of the pet.

Exploitative Practices:

Unethical influencers may prioritize content creation over the well-being of their pets. This can involve subjecting animals to uncomfortable situations for the sake of an entertaining video or photo. Examples include dressing pets in uncomfortable costumes, placing them in unsafe environments, or forcing them to perform tricks beyond their capabilities.

Neglect and Lack of Proper Care:

Some influencers, in their pursuit of content creation and maintaining a certain image, may neglect the basic needs of their pets. This can include insufficient exercise, inadequate nutrition, and a lack of veterinary care. In extreme cases, pets may be abandoned or rehomed when they are no longer deemed “trendy” or suitable for content creation.

Health Issues:

Certain trends promoted by pet influencers, such as extreme diets or unconventional treatments, can have negative consequences for the health of the animals involved. Uninformed followers might replicate these practices without understanding the potential harm they can cause.

Overbreeding and Puppy Mills:

Irresponsible Influencers who promote specific breeds without emphasizing responsible breeding practices indirectly contribute to demand. This leads to puppies from irresponsible breeders or puppy mills. Often this is the root cause of overbreeding of certain breeds. The resulting health issues for the animals and perpetuating unethical breeding practices.

Hoe can influencers be a positive force?

It’s crucial for pet influencers to recognize the impact they have on their audience and to promote responsible pet ownership. Likewise, followers should be aware that the curated content they see online doesn’t necessarily reflect the full reality of pet care. Encouraging transparency, responsible pet ownership, and ethical treatment of animals should be a priority in the online pet influencing community.

The real darkness of ‘Pet Influencing’

The true darkness of ‘influencing’- is in the title. It is unfair to paint all ‘influencers’ with the same brush. There are many responsible people in the profession who do take the time to research and present responsible information. But the tragedy of responsible, sensible information is that most of the time it is boring! There is little ‘umph’ to the a video or reel on toilet training a puppy. It is in reality hard work, sleepless nights, and cleaning up multiple messes in the house.

Pet influencers are like travel influencers – no one wants to see the crime ridden decrepit parts of cities or towns. Tourists are always shown the best a place has to offer, the hardships of living in a city or town are known only to those who live in a place permanently.

Likewise a 20 second reel of a cute puppy tearing up a toilet roll is a fantastic laughable moment. But who cleans up the mess? Who rushes the pup to the vet to make sure there are no blockages from ingesting toilet paper or cardboard?

The real darkness is to the lives of these dogs and cats who are bought or adopted on impulse. That is when we see a huge spike in the number of abandoned and stolen dogs and cats

There is a fine line between influence and information. We live in a world where spotting the difference is a vital skill to develop.

Cover Photo Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez:


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