TikTok: not the Ke$ha song, but a slightly controversial, video-sharing social media app that has soared to popularity with its dance videos and comedy skits. Because of how TikTok uses artificial intelligence to personalize a user’s feed, or “For You Page,” your feed can be highly specific and unique. It’s like how our Twitter interactions are different from that of our friends because of our preferences. Depending on the “algorithm,” you could end up on “straight” or “alt,” urban planning, British, art, cottagecore TikTok, and so much more.
But TikTok is not all about Charli D’Amelio’s latest dance or the most scrumptious baking hack; there’s a whole side of TikTok dedicated to animals. It might take a while for the algorithm to get you there, but once you’re on animal TikTok, you can’t miss content like:
1. Sweet home videos
These are the ones that make you go “awww” every time. They’re usually of puppies growing up, animal adoption-rehabilitation stories, and pets sleeping or performing a cute trick. These videos are carefully edited, often with cute filters or to the tune of some soft, cheery music.
2. Heartbreaking goodbyes
Contrary to the sweet home videos, no one wants to see these on their FYP. They’re either odes to fur babies who have crossed the rainbow bridge or the tragic passing of one pet while the other mourns. Who’s cutting onions in here? You’ll end up running to your pet just to give them a hug while “oh god I want to feel again” plays on loop.
3. Zoo social medias
These are essentially an extension of some organization’s many other social media accounts, but we aren’t complaining. The constant uploads of positive videos give viewers a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes care and antics of the zoo’s animals. They’re carefully curated to be educational, entertaining, and good PR. Song choices and audio tracks are hits (more than misses) and we’re just glad that the social media managers are on top of the latest trends.
4. Educational snippets
These aren’t verified accounts, but rather the brainchild of zookeepers, volunteers, pet enthusiasts, and other experts who want to correct common misconceptions or create wholesome content of their favorite animals. These videos often have voice overs rather than music playing in the background, and with a touch of homemade video editing (less sparkle, less color correction, chunky camera work) compared to zoo social media TikToks.
5. Social media-savvy vets
As a subcategory of the educational TikToks, veterinarians who use TikTok have a small but loyal following. Like many other healthcare professionals who make TikToks, vets will often put a trendy background song on and do a little dance pointing to different bodies of text. You know, the one where the text moves too fast or is covered by the caption and sidebar. Vet TikToks will often feature more grotesque images of surgery or conditions than educational TikToks, and they do not hesitate to be frank about the everyday challenges in the clinic. The vets’ enthusiasm is absolutely adorable and shows that no one is too old to be making TikToks.
6. Basic trend(setters)
“I saw the trend of ____ and just had to try it on ____” is what the caption will always say. Usually this involves pet owners participating in some obscure “trend” whether it is pretending to faint, or taking away toys, or trying out catnip tea with their pets. These are truly home videos, with variable camera quality and confusing angles. Nevertheless, there’s something about watching other people’s pets that’s so, so entertaining.
7. Wildlife discoveries
Bears breaking into cars and houses? Baby skunks and raccoons? Rehabilitating possums and foxes found on a morning hike? Frogs in the swimming pool? Don’t know how these people are coming across all these wildlife but we’re here for it.
8. Chaotic energy
The category with the widest range. Oftentimes the videos will showcase strange antics or just plain foolishness. The comment section will almost always include a “TikTok vet” or someone who feels justified in lecturing others on how they’re not taking good care of their pet for letting x-y-z happen as they record the whole thing. Sometimes, that worry is warranted, but most of the time you’ll laugh after watching them and then wonder if the pet is truly okay.