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Survey: Pets are the new social media darlings

According to a study conducted by BarkBox, dog

According to a study conducted by BarkBox, dog owners have interesting social media habits involving their beloved pets. Credit: Justine Damiano

Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube have helped catapult many everyday people to stardom, seemingly overnight. But it’s not only humans who use social media for self- promotion -- animals are getting into the action, too. Once-ordinary pets like Grumpy Cat and Boo the Pomeranian are now household names, starring in movies, various forms of media and featured all over our Instagram feed. And their success can be credited to their biggest fans, their pet parents, who have become a new breed of “stage moms.”

BarkBox studied 1,000 American dog parents and how they behaved on social media, and learned dog owners post photos or wrote about their pooches on various platforms an average of six times per week. One in ten owners create a social media account specifically for their pet, according to the study, and some pet-obsessed “parents” watch dog videos or view dog photos three times per week.

The company also polled dog owners on their picture-taking habits and found that “20 percent of the pictures they take on their phone are of their dog - more than trips or vacations, themselves, or food. In fact, more than two in five dog people have made a photo of their dog the feature photo on their phone or computer desktop.”

Pet owners are not only posting photos on social media but also using real-time video technology to communicate with their pets. Separation anxiety is not only a feeling experienced by humans but between humans and their pets when they go periods of time without one another. The study showed that “many dog people admit they have watched their dog on a webcam, Skyped or FaceTimed with them while they were away. This is especially true of Millennials, who are more likely than non-Millennials, 24 vs. 13 percent, to watch their dog on a webcam. And Millennials are nearly three times as likely as their older counterparts -- 23 vs. 8 percent -- to Skype or FaceTime with their dog.” And one-third of the surveyed dog owners admitted to having a household security camera used mostly to check on their dog while they are away. 

All the more fodder for your social feed.

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