The internet is teeming with viral videos of cute animals. Some of these videos get shared for the wrong reasons. Before you repost a video that you see on the web, you may want to do some research to make sure no animal has been harmed when it was recorded, or will be harmed if people try to imitate what they see in the video.
Pets and Babies Are Cute, But…
Many of the most popular videos on the web are of babies interacting with pets. Some of these are heartwarming, but an overwhelming majority are examples of unsafe situations.
Small children should not hug a dog around the neck, kiss them on the face, or ride them like a horse. Even the most tolerant dog can snap. About half of dog bite victims are children, and they are typically bitten on the face and neck.
While you may not be able to make a judgment on a dog’s comfort level from a photo or short video, it’s best to avoid spreading them. Instead, share these educational graphics from DoggoneSafe.com.
Unsafe Training Methods
Well-trained animals are impressive, but it’s not always clear how they were taught. Some are known to be trained with inhumane methods, particularly videos of trainers walking large groups of dogs off-leash in by city streets. These videos are usually made by trainers who use shock collars. Off-leash dog walks are illegal in most public areas, and extremely unsafe near busy roads.
If you want to tell if an animal was trained humanely, just look at its face. While it’s normal for animals to occasionally show signs of anxiety, those that have been trained with punishment-based methods will consistently have flat ears, wide eyes and a cowering, fearful stance whenever their owner is near them. Share training videos from reputable trainers who use humane methods, like Susan Garrett and Emily Larlham.
Wild Animals in Viral Videos
You may have seen videos of wild animals living in people’s homes as pets. Some of these animals are kept humanely, such as squirrels and foxes that were rescued as babies and are not able to fend for themselves in the wild. If you find a baby animal that you believe has been orphaned, contact your local animal control or wildlife rescue.
Some of these animals are illegally imported and kept inhumanely. A popular example is the video of a slow loris that lifts its arms as it is tickled, appearing to enjoy the attention. The truth is, a slow loris secretes venom through a gland on the inside of its elbow and mixes it with their saliva before they bite.
The slow loris, along with many other wild animal “pets” you may see in videos, need to forage over great distances to find food. They are typically kept in small quarters, and may not receive the proper nutrition that reflects their natural diet in the wild.
If you love a specific type of animal, share videos of it in the wild. Follow reputable nature conversation groups and rescues like Second Chance Wildlife Center and support them by sharing their content.
Share Educational Animal Articles from Ready Pet Go!
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