How Dogs are Capturing Our Hearts in the Digital Age - Salt 106.5

How Dogs are Capturing Our Hearts in the Digital Age

About two million Australians, have set up social media accounts specifically for their pets, according to new research.

By Amy ChengMonday 24 Oct 2022LifestyleReading Time: 4 minutes

More and more dog owners are setting up social media accounts for their precious pooches or uploading photos of them online, a new survey has revealed.

The research, undertaken by YouGov on behalf of Orivet, a Melbourne-based pet health biotechnology company, found that 70 per cent of dog owners (“representing some five million Australians”) have already uploaded images of their dog to social media.

Furthermore, one in four dog owners, or about two million people, have set up social media accounts specifically for their pets.

Mr George Sofronidis, CEO of Orivet, believes one explanation for this trend is that dog photos get more engagement.

“I have an Instagram account and when I put pictures up of my two dogs Charlie and Mary, they seem to get more engagement and more likes than photos of me and the family,” he told Hope 103.2.

“People just tend to sort of respond in a better way, you don’t even have to use any filters… dogs just simply give you that ability to post and engage.”

“When I put pictures up of my two dogs Charlie and Mary, they seem to get more engagement and more likes than photos of me and the family,” – Mr George Sofronidis, CEO of Orivet

“Social lubricants”

Dogs often connect people together, according to Mr Sofronidis said.

“I like to see dogs as social lubricants – they will get a conversation started and happening when you’re out and about,” he said.

“So, the same thing happens on social media and, let’s face it, everyone’s on social media.”

He believes that many dog owners have even met their partners through their dogs creating that interaction.

“I have a little saying, ‘don’t go wasting your time and money and subscription to Tinder, get yourself a dog’.”

“[Dogs] will get a conversation started and happening when you’re out and about,” – Mr George Sofronidis, CEO of Orivet

Changing society attitudes

Attitudes towards dogs in society have changed over the years and this may explain the current fondness towards them, Mr Sofronidis said.

“If you’d have asked me 20 years ago, would you be taking a dog to a café, would you let it sleep on your couch, would you let it sleep in your bed? You would have said ‘no’,” he said.

“But today, the sort of affection they show and just the way we’re bonded with them has changed.

“You can go to a cafe and order whatever you want; now it’s got a dog menu, they’ve got ‘dog parma nights’… even stores now are becoming dog-friendly.”

Importance of discipline

However, this relaxing of attitudes towards dogs may come at a cost, Mr Sofronidis said.

This relaxing of attitudes towards dogs may come at a cost.

The survey revealed that almost half of the owners admitted their dogs have caused some havoc around the house.

Their dogs may be coming inside wet or muddy and shaking dry (49 per cent), eating socks, underwear or other clothing (30 per cent), destroying furniture (23 per cent) or hiding a bone or food in furniture and around the house and letting it slowly go rotten (22 per cent).

“Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with discipline… if your dog does something wrong, there’s nothing wrong with putting it on a lead and taking it away,” Mr Sofronidis said.

“You can’t just simply have this philosophy, ‘Oh, it’s a dog, they’ll work it out’ – no, they don’t; a lot of it is your behaviour, which is important to make sure that they behave in a way.”

How to create an account for your dog

For dog owners wanting to create a social media account for their canine companions, Mr Sofronidis offered some tips.

“Make sure you can take a good photo, get down low, photos are the key; create a nice sort of handle or name for your dog,” he said.

“(You want it to be) a bit catchy; try and use the breed or the rescue name or mixed breed on it to create little hashtags.

“Start to engage… with social media, you’ve got to almost post regularly, so don’t miss a post.”

Top dogs of Instagram

The following pooch accounts have more followers than some major celebrities.

9.6 million followers

Meet Jiff the Pomeranian, who has his own wall calendar

 

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A post shared by j i f f p o m (@jiffpom)

3.7 million followers

Meet Doug the Pug, who has a new book out and a crazy amount of merch

 

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A post shared by Doug The Pug (@itsdougthepug)

2.4 million followers

Meet Marutaro the Shiba, hailing from Japan and was overlooked by many to take home because he had a “round body”, according to his owner

 

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A post shared by Shinjiro Ono (@marutaro)

1.9 million followers

Meet Maya the Samoyed, and their sidekick Michi the rescue pup

1.6 million followers

Meet Kler the dachshund, described as “an adventurous and intrepid girl, but also cute and tender”

 

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A post shared by Kler (@ppteamkler)