Have you ever had an embarrassing moment only to be further mortified as you see a group of people videoing the incident for social media? It seems that nobody can escape the wrath of others in the community should you be doing something you shouldn’t either. Many of us are captured on private video equipment several times each day when we’re out in public places. Lots of that footage could end up on social media and shared by thousands of complete strangers. So when your dog misbehaves or fouls the path, make sure you deal with it promptly before you suffer a very public backlash!
Reduce Your Stress?
As we take our pets out in public spaces twice a day, we are seen with them quite often. We enjoy the fresh air and healthy lifestyle that comes with dog ownership. Have you ever had that look of disgust from passers-by when you’re dog has had a limp? It might be that you’ve just removed a thorn from his paw that morning, but out come the phones, and footage of your ‘neglected’ pup is all over FaceBook. The full story is rarely given an opportunity to appear. So much for pet ownership reducing stress!
Of course, owning a pet is expensive. According to the Telegraph, in some places, it has become a whopping five times more expensive. It’s thought some veterinary practices are charging more if you live in certain areas. For something like a thorn, you would expect this to heal in time on its own without intervention. Bearing in mind the cost of a consultancy, you would be put off seeking medical advice or expensive treatments for your pet in this case. While you may never neglect or harm your beloved dog, signs of illness need to be addressed. In the meantime, the world looks on, adding pressure to your difficult situation.
Dog owners are legally required to clean up after their pet. You may face prosecution and a substantial fine if you don’t. In some places, like Liverpool, the problem of lazy dog owners has inspired some interesting approaches to tackle it. A year of free Council Tax could add up to hundreds of pounds. That’s the reward for anyone who provides evidence that leads to a successful prosecution of a dog owner that didn’t clean up. Out come the mobile phones. It’s a huge incentive to sit and wait. And homeowners that are sick of finding mess outside their home are installing CCTV to catch the culprits. There’s money in muck, they say.
So what can you do to avoid appearing in a starring role on social media? Companies like DoodyCalls Direct provide all you might need to clean up after your pooch. It’s worth investing a little in these items to avoid a much bigger fine and potential embarrassment. As for the health of your canine? Like us, dogs can’t look their best every single day. A temporary limp may look bad at the time but usually passes in just a few hours.
If someone is videoing you, simply ask a non-provocative question like “Would you like to say hello to him?” or “Mutley’s feeling poorly today, so he’s off to the vet this afternoon.” When your dog comes to you for a cuddle, it’s more than obvious you’re not abusing him! Chances are the person with the phone loses interest.
There have been a lot of stories about dogs that have become dangerous in public and private places. If your dog has become aggressive in the park, then someone may have filmed it. The best approach here is to address your canine’s behaviour. If you’re seen to be reining him in and actively calming his behaviour down, then you probably won’t see much in the way of a public backlash. It’s always a good idea to consult a behaviourist if your dog appears angry or aggressive before it has a chance to happen again.
Of course, if you are caught on camera, this evidence might be used against you. There are many cases when footage sourced from someone’s private mobile phone has been dismissed, and no charges brought. However, do you really want to risk it? You can’t hide from public places, and you can’t stop people from videoing you or posting the footage. All you can do is make sure you’re doing everything right.
So Much Mess!
There are times when you might struggle to deal with what your dog has produced. Unfortunately, leaving it can still incur a fine. Upset tummies can leave a lot of mess that can’t be picked up. If you leave it, you are fined. If your pet is poorly, it’s best to keep him at home. After all, we have to stay off school and work if we have diarrhea. You don’t want every animal in the park to catch an illness after all.
Can you remove a social media post? Not usually. The only times that it might be possible to intervene, or ask an authority to intervene is when your privacy has been violated. If you’re in a public space, then it’s public footage. Of course, if you are filmed somewhere that would usually be deemed private, then that video could have been taken illegally.
Can you stop the backlash of a post that shames you? A good PR person might be able to suggest a few ideas. Generally speaking, you just have to wait for it all to die down. If you want to respond, it’s important to remember that response will sit on your social media account. It can easily link to all the other comments and posts related to it. Bear in mind that employers, dates, mortgage lenders, and parents might look through your social media account. Is it worth making that comeback comment?
Dog owners should feel relaxed and comfortable out in the park playing with their dog. There shouldn’t be the fear that someone is watching and waiting for something to happen that will generate a thousand shares. Have you worried that someone is posting about you?