Guest blog by Mary Dell Harrington, co-founder of the parenting blog Grown and Flown .
It’s common for parents to fret about their child’s internet use, a topic we’ve written about on our blog, Grown and Flown , as it relates to technology  and social media . Pet parents might also wonder if it’s a good idea for their pets to have a social media presence. Our answer? Absolutely! Here’s why:
- You can connect with other individuals who have like-minded interests, a fundamental benefit of digital sharing. When you post a picture of your dog or cat and add hashtags with terms such as #therapydogs or #calicocats, you can make your search for pet photos as specific as you desire.
- The moment you click to view Facebook photos of a cute puppy , scroll through Instagram for cats with sour expressions  or watch a YouTube video of a baby elephant  just being adorable guarantees that your day will immediately improve. Putting photos of your dog or cat on social media may make someone's day a bit brighter.
- Following organizations like the ASPCA on Facebook , Twitter , YouTube , Pinterest  and/or Google+  means you’ll stay up-to-date on important animal welfare news. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to enter contests or upload pictures of your pet to share with other animal lovers.
It comes as no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, has a page for his Hungarian sheepdog, Beast . Beast already has 1.7 million fans! My dogs do not have their own social media accounts like Zuckerberg’s famous pup, but they are very visible to anyone who follows me online. When friends click on my Facebook page  or Instagram account, odds are they’ll see Moose and Gus staring back at them. Unlike my two kids, my Labradors never object to me pointing the camera their way!