I wasn’t always an animal person. When I was young, I was terrified of big dogs that might jump on me or lick my face. In middle the fear turned into more of a distaste, and by the end of high school I was just indifferent. Four years later here I am, finding myself wanting to get a dog. I see service training puppies around campus and I positively melt. I follow not one, but three dog accounts on Instagram, and derive way too much pleasure from booping their noses on the screen. How in the world did I get here?
I realize that I’m not the only one who has fallen under their spell in the last few years. In fact, I know many other people who didn’t consider themselves dog people, who now send me dog videos over Facebook and Instagram. It seems like our canine friends have overtaken social media and some of advertising. I’m not certainly not complaining, but I wonder how this started? The first time I remember seeing a dog in media was the Budweiser commercial during the 2015 Super Bowl.
I remember people raving about how adorable the ad was, and a lot of people still remember today. Maybe it was then that marketers realized that animals were a sure way to grab people’s attention. Put a puppy on a screen and people become emotionally attached. However, it’s not only advertisers that engage in puppy posting. Ordinary consumers are also doing it. Like I said, I follow three dog accounts. When I open Instagram, I regularly find other accounts following me because they know my weakness and think that I’ll follow back. When someone posts a picture with their furry friend, they’ll probably get more likes than a post with just humans.
It’s a little crazy how prevalent dogs have become. So prevalent that some have come to hate dog-lovers for their enthusiasm. Is it just a fad, or will the animal love continue in the years to come?