One Good Reason You Should Show Your Kids The “Can I Pet That Dog?” Meme

If you’re on TikTok, you’ve almost certainly seen the “Can I pet that dog?” meme. Even if you’re not a TikTok user, you’ve probably seen a “Can I pet that dog?” gif or video on Facebook or Instagram. 

“Can I pet that dog?” is one of those memes that gets stuck in your head. After watching enough videos and remixes featuring the audio, I sometimes hear it playing when I see a cute dog in public. “Can I pet that dog?” is catchy, what can I say?

One Good Reason You Should Show Your Kids The “Can I Pet That Dog?” Meme

If you’re unfamiliar with this meme, you’re in for a treat. If you do know about “Can I pet that dog?” and are tired of hearing your kids repeat it over and over, stick around—I’ve got some thoughts on how you could harness this goofy meme for good. 

Where Did The Original “Can I Pet That Dog?” Video Come From?

“Can I pet that dog?” originally came from a TikTok user named Kaylaa Wade (or @kayholleyy on TikTok who shared a clip of her son who is just begging to do something. What does he want to do? Obviously, he wants to pet a dog, but his mom tells him to leave the dog alone because it’s sleeping. 


Okay! After much thought & prayer, I’ve decided to add a few of his videos back & see how it goes..if necessary-I’ll turn off comments❤️

♬ Originalpetthatdog – KaylaaWade

The combination of Kaylaa’s son’s adorable accent and authentic joy in asking if he could pet a dog made the original “Can I pet that dog?” video go viral. Like countless other viral videos, the “Can I pet that dog?” TikTok quickly became a meme, and thousands of users used the sound to create their own videos and remixes. I mean, what’s more relatable than being so excited to pet a dog?

Hilarious “Can I Pet That Dog” Remixes

If you haven’t seen the “Can I pet that dog” bear, let me have the pleasure of being the first to show you. 

@whistle “Can I pet that dawgggg?”😂 #fyp #explore #dogsoftiktok #dog #bear #bearsoftiktok #bears #brownbear #blackbear #wildlife #wildanimals ♬ original sound – Whistle

The incredibly creative TikTok community always finds ways to put a new spin on trends like the “Can I pet that dog?” meme, so of course there are musical remixes of this adorable audio. For example, this video from @GeoffTheMann is a collaborative musical version of Can I Pet That Dog?

@geoffthemann #duet with @Greg Andree @Harry André Hansen @Le Ramos @Brandon Ethridge Can I Pet That Dog #flutetok #canipetthatdog #hornsection #musiciansoftiktok #viral ♬ original sound – Brandon Ethridge

Even the other animals are getting in on the fun! Check out this video of a cockatoo—shared by @Lady_Of_Cuteness—who also wants to pet that dog.

@lady_of_cuteness Reply to @alexismirabal haha the highly requested sound #💕 #goffin #cockatoo ♬ Can I pet that dog – KaylaaWade

One of TikTok’s favorite versions is the Moonpie Starbox “Can I pet that dog?” video featuring a super cute Dachshund begging his mom to let him go outside and pet that dog!

@moonpie.starbox IB: @kayholleyy #petpov #petsoftiktok ♬ Can I pet that dog – KaylaaWade

Turning Something Silly Into an Opportunity To Learn

“Can I pet that dog?” is an undeniably cute video—sweet, genuine, and relatable, it’s not surprising this meme gained so much viral popularity. Without digging too deep into how media affects our perception of the world, I think it’s worth mentioning that fun videos like “Can I pet that dog?” could be used as a way to teach kids important lessons. 

Yes, the video is tons of fun and appropriate to share with your kiddos, but it could also open up a conversation about asking before petting a dog. 

Teaching kids to respect dogs’ boundaries can help to keep them safe, and give them the skills they’ll need to be a good dog owner if you have pets. You should always ask before you pet someone else’s dog, and respect their answer if they tell you “no.” Kids who learn to ask before they pet are at a far lower risk of accidental bites or injuries, and will show dog owners that they are responsible enough to control themselves, which could give them the chance to pet a dog!

Can I Pet That Dog? Why Some Dog Owners Say “No”

One Good Reason You Should Show Your Kids The “Can I Pet That Dog?” Meme

Not all dog owners will say yes when you ask, “Can I pet that dog?” and that’s okay! 

There are many reasons someone might not want you or your kids to pet their dog, and it’s never personal. For example, if a dog is reactive or afraid of children, the owner will say no to keep your kids and their dog safe. 

It’s also worth teaching your kids that asking to pet someone’s dog is not always okay. Service animals, for example, need to concentrate on their tasks. Distracting a service dog by petting or speaking to them could be dangerous for their handler. You should never speak to or interact with a service animal unless specifically told to do so by their handler. 

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