The Future of Dogs

Rebekah Lavy

My Digital Artefact is my dogs Instagram and TikTok accounts. In this project I will explore possible dog futures in terms of health and lifestyle and how these are reflected in social media.
I have always loved dogs and got my first one 10 years ago. Six years ago, I started a dog Instagram account for him, where I get to practice my photography skills and post about my dog life for fun. By 2019 I was invited to events and morning TV shows as well getting free products from brands. Since then, my account has grown, and I now have 9k + followers. I also have more than 2k followers on TikTok.

Check out my video to learn more about my project!

Background Research:

Initial research shows that there has been a significant change in the way that dogs are viewed by people. No longer are dogs chained to a kennel and kept in the back-garden, they are now seen as people’s “fur-babies” and a treasured family member.

Back in the 1980s people couldn’t have imagined how people would be treating their pets today.

Recent research found that buying things for their pets made millennials happy during the Covid lockdown and was a form of self-care.

Today people throw dog parties for their dogs with cakes and decorations, there are dog cafes with dog food on the menu, dogs are dressed up in clothes and are social media influencers with millions of followers.

The “Future is Now”

According to Moore, if there is anything you can take away from Bell’s Futures Studies book is: “it is very much concerned with the now, because if you focus purely on prediction you are unlikely to have the right information to come up with a viable plan of action for the future.”

Dog parties are definitely the future now and show how the dog community/world has changed in such short period of time.

This weekend I am having a dog party for my youngest puppy, and brands have given me free products. I hope the party will help my account to grow a bit, but at the same time it is just for fun.

Possible, Probable and Preferable Futures:

Possible: I believe the dog world on Instagram will continue to grow as well as on other social media platforms like TikTok, but it may be harder to be seen as more and more people want to be a part of this lifestyle with their furry friend.

Probable: In 10 years’ time I also think there will be more mixed dog breeds as more people become aware of the health benefits of mixed dogs compared to the genetic problems experienced by pure bred dogs. For example, many Cavaliers have heart issues and don’t live past 5 years, whereas Cavoodles who are a mix of poodle and Cavalier live for much longer, Poodle cross dogs are also better for people who have allergies and there may be more poodle type crosses in the future.

It will be interesting to see in ten years’ time, if Cavoodles are still seen as a mix breed, or if they are considered a breed in their own right. Also, will mixed dog breeds lead to original breeds with health problems dying out?

Preferable: In 10 years I would like to see dogs being more accepted and welcomed in Australian society as they are in countries overseas like America, where they are allowed on planes and in restaurants.

References:

Bell, W., 1998. Making people responsible: The possible, the probable, and the preferable. American Behavioral Scientist, 42(3), pp.323-339. https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/3291130/mod_resource/content/1/Making_people_responsible_The.pdf

Cox, J 2018 ‘Do millennials opt for a ‘fur baby’ because they’re broke – or scared of responsibility?’ The Guardian, April 2019, viewed 16 March 2022 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/19/millennials-fur-babies-responsibility-pamper-pet

Hanbury, M 2018 ‘Millennials are treating pets like ‘their firstborn child,’ and it’s reportedly causing problems for some of the best-known pet food brands’ Business Insider Australia, November 2018, viewed 16 March 2022 https://www.businessinsider.com.au/millennials-buy-high-end-pet-food-hurts-purina-kibbles-n-bits-2018-11

Mediakix 2022 ‘10 Famous Instagram dogs to follow now’ viewed 16 March 2022
https://mediakix.com/blog/top-dogs-of-instagram-to-follow/

Moore, C 2022 BCM325 ‘Multiple Futures – Part Two’ Lecture viewed 17 March 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU8JbEy-2QI&t=901s

Mull, A 2021 ‘Why So Many Millennials Are Obsessed With Dogs’ The Atlantic, September 2021 viewed 16 March 2022 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/09/why-millennials-are-so-obsessed-with-dogs/619489/

Ypulse 2020 ‘76% of Millennials Are Pet Parents—Here’s What They’ve Been Buying for Them’ viewed 16 March 2022 https://www.ypulse.com/article/2020/08/24/76-of-millennials-are-pet-parents-heres-what-theyve-been-buying-for-them/

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