June is Petworking month! Not sure what that means? That’s okay! The short answer is, it’s a way to celebrate and educate. We already use social media, get-togethers, and gathering places to spend time with our furry friends. But we can also use this power of networking and pets to educate each other and the general public about important causes and campaigns that are near and dear to our hearts. The longer answer? Learn more here.
What It PETworking?
For those of us who are pet guardians and animal lovers, we are definitely among the countless humans who have fallen into the rabbit hole of cat videos, dog videos, bird videos, and a “menagerie” of other videos posted on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and beyond. The immense popularity of pets on social media, in fact, has given rise to social media accounts dedicated solely to our furry, feathered, and scaly friends leading to the birth of the term, “petworking.” Get it? Instead of networking, we’re “petworking.”
Pet guardians know very well, it’s hard not to socialize with other pet guardians, especially when we’re out and about with our beloved buddy. Coffee shops, bars, dog parks, cat cafes, and more, are inviting our cat and canine companions to join us at our social gatherings. And social media has only made it easier for people with the same soft spot for types of furry friends to find and connect with each other.
The petworking platform is made up of different, intersecting circles across the interwebs. There are social media accounts of guardians whose pets dominate their feeds and galleries. And there are those who take it one step further and create social media accounts specifically for their pets. Then there are those with bigger goals who set up social media groups, communities, pages, or even whole petworking sites exclusively for pets and their pet guardians.
Vet-Organics.com, Catster.com, Dogster.com, UnitedCats.com, and UnitedDogs.com are just a few websites that were created to help build a community of and for pet and animal lovers. And if you’re one of those who avidly follow pet celebrities online, Romeo the cat, Maru the cat, Boo the dog, Sockington the cat, and Nika and Kira, the two huskateers are names that we’re all more than familiar with!
It’s safe to say that pets have taken over the social media domain. Even those of us who don’t follow any pet-related accounts can’t escape that adorable video of a cat having fun with an empty box, or that photo of a pup being given a bath. We’re bound to run into these and many more every time we scroll through our newsfeeds! And with the unsurprisingly vast trendiness of petworking, it was only natural that a whole month - the month of June, to be exact - be dedicated to it, and a good cause.
Why PETworking Is A Growing Concept
- 23% of European pet owners admitted that they created a separate social media account for their pet.
- 79% of these accounts are on Facebook.
- 38% of these accounts are also on Instagram.
- 31% of respondents said they posted images of their pets to generate the most likes, as compared to images of their children.
- 37% proclaimed cats as the undisputed rulers of the world wide web.
- The average frequency of pet-related updates and images is 28 times a month, according to those surveyed.
- 20% admitted that they prefer sharing images of their pet with family and friends over images of their partner.
- 21% said that they take more photos of their pet using their smartphone than they do of their children.
The petworking realm continues to grow exponentially in large part because resistance to the infinite adorableness of these cuddly critters is futile. Social petworking has also served to create and increase awareness around pet-related topics and causes, provide support to pet guardians, and raise money for charities.
Ways to Participate in the PETworking Movement
For those of us who are already part of an online pet community, we’ve already taken the first step towards becoming a full-fledged petworking minion. We following social media accounts of our friends with paws, feathers, fins, eight legs, and scales. We have subscribed to pet-related websites and podcasts. And we may even join pet-related Meet-ups and volunteer missions. But there’s always more we can do to not only enjoy the wonders of furry families. There are always causes and campaigns that need our attention and help.
Here are other ways we can all serve our petworking overlords:
- Like or heart posts on social media that really do speak to our favorite messages, whether it be against animal cruelty, vegan leather, fishing with gill nets, or other missions, by interacting with these posts, even in a small way, we are showing the platform that this post deserves more attention. We’re “upvoting” that post into others newsfeeds.
- Share those funny and adorable photos and videos to spread the love and recruit more followers. Be especially thoughtful and share images, articles, and posts that have a special message we can relate to and want others to see. Not only are we “upvoting,” just as we do when we heart or like, but we are exponentially spreading this message to our entire network.
- Like and share posts about lost pets, pets looking for forever homes, pets that need medical help, or other pet-related causes. Even if it isn’t a specific campaign we are focused on, helping pets in need is always in style and classy.
- Create an online community, especially if there’s none yet in our area. For those of us who want to create awareness around a certain pet-related cause or if we simply want to build a community where pet guardians can safely ask questions, share ideas, and make recommendations, make it happen.
- Take it offline. Many people get stuck in a rut when it comes to social media. The like and post and like and post, but there’s so much more. Organize or just help to promote a volunteer opportunity with a shelter or rescue, a 5k fun run for an animal companion cause, or fundraiser.
Whether we find comfort in the warm fur of our buddy, or get stress-relief by watching hours of cat videos; if photos and stories of animals being rescued or giving comfort to the sick pull at our heartstrings; if our day isn’t complete without a dose of our favorite pet celebrity’s shenanigans online; then there really is no doubt that the positive impact that the petworking phenomenon has been accomplished. And it has proven that getting and staying in touch with our soft and warm (or cold-blooded) “animal” side is one of the best ways to make us more humane.
- “June is Social PETworking Month,” Adopt-a-Pet.com
- “Opt To Adopt: June is Social Petworking Month,” Wide Open Pets
- “Adopt-A-Pet’s ‘Social Petworking,’” The Bark