They snore, they drool, they’re hairy, and they’re better at Instagram than you. No, we’re not talking about your ex — we’re talking about dogs.
The phenomenon of dog influencers has become a lucrative business for their social media savvy owners. Famous pups partner with brands, sell merch and even publish books!
None of this would be possible without engaged communities following these furry personalities online.
Keep reading for facts and stats on some very good boys and girls, plus some tips on how to make your four-legged pals Insta famous.
Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a lifestyle photographer used to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.
The world’s most famous Instagram dogs
Famous Instagram dog #1: Jiffpom (10.2 million followers)
Say hello to what might be the cutest pomeranian you’ll ever see on Instagram. Jiffpom is the most followed dog on social media in 2021 with over 10 million followers on Instagram.
But Jiffpom has some serious IRL accomplishments under his belt (collar?) as well. He’s a three-time Guinness World Record holder and he co-starred in Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” music video. Jiffpom is also the face of a wall calendar with 50 5-star reviews on Amazon.
Key takeaway: One good photoshoot will give you content for days. Jiffpom’s humans organize photoshoots with props or cute outfits and share the results over time. This creates a great mix of highly aesthetic content in their feed. And no one seems to mind seeing the same outfits more than once, as long as the cute pictures keep coming.
Famous Instagram dog #2: Doug the Pug (3.9 million followers)
Now Doug is really something. This adorable pug is an actor and a 2 times People’s Choice Award winner.
Doug has a huge heart and uses his fame for good. His owners started a nonprofit organization, the Doug the Pug Foundation, whose mission is to “bring joy and support to children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.”
Key takeaway: Use your platform to give back to the community. We would argue that engaging in charity and helping those in need is the ultimate way to use social media!
Famous Instagram dog #3: Shinjiro Ono (2.5 million followers)
This charming Shiba Inu from Japan is not just a professional model that many runway stars could look up to — it’s also a business mogul! Maru’s online store features clothing, accessories and home items. Everything is perfectly on brand — and perfectly adorable.
Key takeaway: Once you grow a big following, consider creating a merch line for your personal brand. If your followers are highly engaged on Instagram, they may want to express their love for you in real life too!
Famous Instagram dog #4: Bulldog Blogger (2.2 million followers)
Russia’s most famous dog influencer, the Bulldog Blogger, loves pop culture. Catch him at the costume store, trying to decide between a Wookie get-up and a Wild West-inspired outfit.
Key takeaway: Photos are great, but try grabbing your audience’s attention with videos and slideshows. Test which type of content generates the most engagement and use these insights to refine your strategy.
Famous Instagram dog #5: Tuna (2.1 million followers)
Tuna and his smile have gripped the hearts of over 2 million followers on Instagram. This adorable little dude loves to dress up for his followers, and is even open to filming cameos for fans celebrating special occasions. Tuna also has a secondary account (@travelingtuna) documenting his exciting travels.
Key takeaway: Give longer Instagram captions a shot! The humans who help Tuna run his Instagram empire go with descriptive and conversational captions, and their followers respond! Inspiring your followers to interact with your account is the biggest step to building a truly engaged online community.
Not convinced? Check out our experiment, where we tested whether Instagram posts with longer captions generate more engagement.
Famous Instagram dog #6: Maya the Samoyed (2 million followers)
Maya, a majestic white floof, could be mistaken for a polar bear at first glance (hence her Instagram handle, @mayapolarbear). But she’s a gentle giant that will melt your heart. This glamorous pet influencer is not just big on Instagram — Maya also has a thriving YouTube channel with 1.85 million subscribers!
Key takeaway: Make Reels! Do it! The format has been growing in popularity, and it will just keep getting bigger. Like Maya, you can start with your own take on popular Reels trends.
If you’re wondering whether posting Reels can improve your overall Instagram engagement, take a look at our experiment, where we put that hypothesis to the test.
Famous Instagram dog #7: Kler (1.7 million followers)
Kler might just be the world’s most popular dachshund, a.k.a. wiener dog. This precious girl often poses for pictures with friends, both dogs and humans. Kler’s adventures and social get-togethers are also shared to her verified Twitter account with over 800k followers.
Key takeaway: Branch out to other platforms. Like Kler, try to build an engaged following outside of Instagram, too. This will help you reach a wider audience and identify more growth opportunities.
Famous Instagram dog(s) #8: Harlow and Sage (1.7 million followers)
This dog account originally documented the lives of two handsome pups, Harlow and Sage. And while Sage has sadly passed, the doggie family has grown and now includes 4 new members: Indiana, Reese, Ezra and Mae. These pups don’t play dress-up — they’re simply perfect au naturel.
Key takeaway: Use Story Highlights! Harlow & Co. pin popular Stories and Q&As to their account so that their followers can easily revisit their most memorable content.
To make your Story Highlights truly pop, check out our guide to creating beautiful Highlight covers.
Famous Instagram dog #9: Maddie (1.3 million followers)
Maddie is photographer Theron Humphrey’s best friend and the best model he could wish for. The duo travels together, and their photo diary is something you don’t want to sleep on. Campers, canoes, lake houses and curated interiors — this account has it all.
Key takeaway: Define your aesthetic. A polished, consistent feed that’s recognizably you will have your followers coming back for more.
Famous Instagram dog #10: Manny the Frenchie (1 million followers)
Manny is one sophisticated bulldog. On top of being the adorable face or an Instagram account with 1 million followers, he is the author of a book, “Manny the Frenchie’s Art of Happiness” (though we suspect a ghostwriter might have been involved).
Key takeaway: Use IGTV. Longer videos can give your audience a better understanding of who you are and what matters to you. Mannie, for example, uses IGTV to document his visits and donations to animal shelters.
How to make your dog Instagram famous
Making anyone Instagram famous requires work — dogs are no exception.
According to Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, posting 2 feed posts per week and 2 Stories per day is ideal for building a following on the app.
To make regular posting a breeze, set up an Instagram content calendar and use a social media publisher like Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance.
Use different content formats
To keep your account exciting — and your audience interested — make sure you’re leveraging all of the different content formats available on the platform.
Regular photo or video posts will help you show up in your followers’ feeds, Stories are a great way to interact with viewers (e.g. via polls or questions) and Reels can help you reach new audiences through the Reels tab and Explore Page.
Give all of these options a try and keep track of performance to find your perfect content mix.
Engage with your audience
This is a good piece of advice for human and dog influencers alike.
Once you grow a following, your fans are likely to interact with you in comments and DMs. Make sure you answer as many messages as you can to make your followers feel seen and appreciated. Fueling conversations will also bring your account’s engagement rates up.
Tip: Accounts with high engagement rates are more likely to work with brands!
Post at the right time
Finding the right time to post is essential for reaching your audience and getting high engagement. You should post when your following is online to give them a chance to interact with your content while it’s fresh.
Find out more about finding the best time to post in this Hootsuite Labs video…
… or use Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish to get personalized recommendations. This Hootsuite feature tells you when you should post for maximum reach or engagement across all of your social media accounts:
If our analysis of the 10 most popular Instagram doggos taught us one thing, it’s that people love dogs in costumes. So go ahead and build a fun wardrobe for your rising Instagram star. Just make sure your pup is up for playing dress-up!
While running an Instagram account for a pet influencer may eventually bring you fame and paid partnerships with brands, remember what it ultimately comes down to: having fun with your dog and sharing those moments with an online audience of dog lovers.
Make sure that you and your pup don’t venture too far out of your comfort zones to create content. Safety and well-being should always come first! And grumpy puppies are best left alone (or treated with treats and cuddles — not elaborate photoshoots).
In addition to keeping up with your favorite dog influencers, you can use Hootsuite to schedule posts and manage your brand’s Instagram presence. Try it today.