Animal Welfare

‘Put it in a bun’ Tik Tok challenge harmful to pets, expert says

A new TikTok challenge is making pets uncomfortable. It’s called the “put it in a bun” challenge. Some users are using a hair elastic to tie up their cats’ and dog’s ears.

“Some of them look really uncomfortable and I think that’s the issue,” said Jennifer Galloway, the executive director of the Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Galloway said some videos going around on social media could even be considered animal abuse — she said you should always pay attention to how your pet reacts to what you’re doing, even if it seems innocent.

“If it’s making your pet uncomfortable and squeamish and they’re turning away or trying to get away from you or growling or snapping , they’re clearly telling you that’s something they don’t approve of and they don’t want it to happen,” Galloway said.

Most haven’t involved pets, but this certainly isn’t the first dangerous or concerning TikTok challenge we’ve seen — from the tide pod challenge to the outlet challenge, there’s been quite a few.

“I’d say the one challenge with taking as much Benadryl as you can until you pass out is very frightening,” said Dr. Alise Bartley, the director of FGCU’s Community Counseling Center.

Many TikTok users said they don’t even want to see this kind of content.

“I more follow people that do the funny dance challenges like the cowboys doing the WAP dance, and like the husbands and wives that switch clothes,” said Lee County resident Heather Kristen.

Dr. Alise Bartley said there are several reasons the odd or worrisome challenges keep popping up.

“It’s about boredom, it’s about lack of new behaviors, but it’s about getting attention,” she said.

Dr. Bartley said any type of harm isn’t worth the likes.

“We do know people have died from this. We’ve got to really look at ‘how is my behavior impacting the lives of others?’” Dr. Bartley said.

And when it comes to putting your pet’s ears up in a bun, maybe it’s best to just leave them down.

“Don’t do those type of things just to get a few minutes of fame,” Galloway said.