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How to Make Your Dog Instagram Famous: 21 Tips for Achieving Four-Footed Fame!

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Dog Care By Kate Brunotts 11 min read July 29, 2021

making your dog an Instagram star

Is your canine ready for his closeup? Whether your pooch is a natural entertainer or just doggone adorable, it might be time for your furry friend to go viral. 

Thankfully, learning how to make your dog Instagram famous isn’t all that complicated, it simply takes persistence, effort, and a boatload of sweet snaps of your best buddy.

Below, we’ll share some tips and tricks that’ll help you skyrocket Spot into internet stardom. 

How To Make Your Dog Instagram Famous: 21 Tips & Tricks

how to make your dog an Instagram star

If Fido is ready for internet fame, here is a quick guide to jumpstart his canine career as an influencer. 

Just remember to make sure the regular photo sessions are an activity your furry friend truly enjoys. Some dogs may not like jumping through the hoops to start a buzz online, and that’s O.K. too. 

1. Take Good Photos 

In order to stand out on a photo-based platform, you need to put as much effort into your photos as possible. Thankfully, this is a skill that can be cultivated, as there are many ways to improve your dog photography chops over time. In fact, you can check out our full guide to 31 Dog Photography Tips to brush up on your photo-snapping skills!

Part of taking good photos is actually pretty easy — you just have to take a lot of them! Then, after the shoot has concluded, you’ll have a great selection to choose from.

2. Highlight Your Dog’s Uniqueness

show off your dog's personality

Your buddy’s best assets are undoubtedly his personality coupled with his considerable cuteness. But before sharing Spot on Instagram, brainstorm what makes your dog special — this will really help him stand out from the crowd. 

For example, is your furry friend a fetch superstar or more of a couch surfer? Does he have a habit that’s unlike any other dog you know? Be sure to incorporate these aspects into your photos of your pooch so that you can truly capture your canine’s true essence. 

You can also consider collaborating with your pup by incorporating some of your own hobbies. For example, you could shoot photos of your dog holding a video game controller in his mouth, snap your dog sniffing your impressive succulent collection, or even get pics of your dog playing with camera-themed dog toys!

3. Establish a Base

When it comes to building your four-footer’s IG presence, taking photos is only half the battle. In between taking selfies with your dog, you’ll want to start establishing a fan base for your furry friend

This means taking note of your followers that regularly interact with your posts, and trying your best to reply to each comment to boost engagement. Doing so will help create a sense of loyalty, and encourage your followers to come back for more the next time your furry friend displays his dashing smile on the app. 

4. Unleash The Power of Hashtags

In order to make your dog’s pictures more discoverable, utilize hashtags. If you’re new to the gram, just understand that hashtags (the pound sign followed by a key phrase) help viewers find the content they’re interested in.

You can find relevant hashtags by searching a generic tag like #dog and seeing what the suggested entries are.

You can also see what other tags similar dog accounts are using for inspiration. 

Place these tags at the bottom of your caption or within the comment section of a photo to improve Spot’s searchability. 

You can see a few of the most popular dog-related hashtags in the image to the right, but don’t be afraid to get creative.

For example, you may experiment with hashtags featuring words like “canine,” “pooch,” “doggo,” “pupper,” or anything else you can think of.

making your dog IG famous

Just be careful not to overdo it with the hashtags — stick to two or three, and consider five the absolute maximum.

5. Network 

One of the best ways to boost your pup’s popularity on Instagram is to share some love with other canine-focused content creators. So, make a habit of commenting, liking, and interacting with other people’s posts. Not only is this a nice way to connect with other furry friends, but it can also help increase your visibility to a dog-loving community. 

You can even set up canine collabs with other dogs in your area to help cross-pollinate your audiences. 

Don’t forget to reach out and network with pet brands too. You can start off by tagging brands featured in your dog’s photos (for example, your dog holding a Kong toy and tagging @KongCompany). After doing this for a while, you may find that the companies themselves reach out to you!

Alternatively, you can privatly message the brands and ask if they want to collaborate with you. Many will be happy to send you free doggie gear in exchange for promoting them on your account (once you have a decent number of followers, that is).

6. Show Off Spot’s Skills 

There are few things more enticing than an adorable doggo showing off a cool ability. So, if your furry friend has skills to share, be sure to showcase them on the platform. 

This can also serve as an excellent opportunity for you and your dog to engage in more complex training sessions. Your four-footer will certainly love an extra challenge, as well as all of the quality time that comes with mastering a new trick.

7. Up The Pup Production Quality

use props and good lighting when photoing dog

Once you start getting the hang of taking pictures of your furry friend, look for small ways you can improve your pooch pictures. This could mean seeking out better lighting, or finding fun dog photography props or enticing backgrounds to add interest to your photos. 

It’s also a good idea to find unique dog poses for your pooch that capture his best features. Keep experimenting and find what works best for you and your four-footer!  

8. Try Out Different Platforms

Remember to experiment with platforms aside from just Instagram. Even if this just means reposting the same content in multiple places, doing so can rake in a larger, more diverse audience for your four-footer. 

It’s a great idea to share your content on Facebook and Tiktok (if video) along with Instagram to maximize your mutt’s potential of going viral. 

9. Make Sure Your Dog Looks His Best

make sure your dog looks good for photos

You’ll want your dog to put his best paw forward whenever he’s in front of his audience. Therefore, take care to spruce up your canine companion before his next photoshoot. A quick brushing session, for example, can go a long way to show your dapper dog’s looks (but if you have the time, a bath will ensure his coat is super shiny). 

You can also give your pooch accessories to elevate his look, such as a dog bowtie or bandana

10. Go For Gimmicks 

Utilizing gimmicks can be an amazing, lighthearted way to help your best buddy stand out on IG. For example, you could make a separate account for your dog and create posts in his voice (with artful misspellings and all)! 

You could also start a fun photo series. For example, maybe your dog rates different dog biscuits and shares his reviews with the internet. Maybe your hound looks amazing in hats and that becomes his “it” factor. Whatever it may be, find an angle for your furry friend. 

11. Steer Clear of Controversy

One of the most endearing things about dogs is that they’re unable to share opinions on hot-button issues like politics or religion. Many people love pups since they’re drama-free and full of unconditional love. 

With that in mind, it’s probably best to avoid anything that could be construed as controversial. Keep your furry friend’s feed light and casual for the best results. 

12. Think About Your Theme 

If you want your pooch to look professional, it’s wise to spend some time thinking about the theme and appearance of your feed. Experienced influencers are experts at this, taking care to incorporate similar themes or even a particular color palette in their photos. 

For example, @_biggstagram features Biggie, an adorable Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever in earthy-toned photos throughout the feed:

employ themes for dog photos

13. Track Your Engagement

As a wise man once said, “what gets measured, gets managed”. In order to maximize your pups reach on the platform, you’ll want to utilize Instagram’s in-app “insights” feature.

This will let you know how a particular post is performing, along with what specific actions (such as a like, follow, or share) were performed in conjunction with the creation of the post. You’ll find that this information is extremely useful in helping you to connect on a deeper level with Fido’s fanbase. 

For instance, if your highest performing photo was your dog having a fun time playing fetch, maybe it’s time to set out for another playtime photoshoot session! 

14. Use Cool Apps

Thankfully, there are a number of free photo editing apps to help spice up your canine’s close-ups. Get creative with how you shoot your dog’s photos, but also strive for innovation throughout the editing process.

So, be sure to seek out fun filters and cool effects to keep things interesting for your followers. 

15. Go Adventuring with Your Animal!

take adventure photos of your dog

Most social media apps prioritize novelty, and like to see users in a variety of different settings. Taking that into consideration, curating your dog’s IG feed is an amazing opportunity to start adventuring with your favorite furry friend

Just remember to keep your pooch secured while shooting in public places. Also, it’s a good idea to keep others outside of your shots as much as possible, in case they aren’t comfortable with making a cameo in your canine’s pictures. 

16. Compose Catchy Captions

A picture is worth a thousand words but a thoughtful caption doesn’t hurt either! Make sure your captions are approachable, fun, and showcase your dog’s personality. If there’s a story behind the picture, don’t forget to include that too. 

You can look to other successful doggie accounts for inspiration if you’re stuck (and don’t forget to add in those hashtags).  

17. Run a Giveaway

If you have some extra cash on your hands, consider running a pet supply giveaway for pooch parents. This is a great way to bring in new followers and it’s also just a neat thing to do for the people who enjoy your dog’s photos. You could round up a couple of your dog’s favorite items and treats, and create a basket full of new goodies for one loyal follower. 

Giveaways can be announced in a simple, yet clear caption asking entrants to follow the account and comment for confirmation of their entry. 

Also consider reaching out to any pet brands you like or have worked with in the past, as they’ll often be willing to provide the prizes for you and even send them to the winners – then all you have to do is promote the giveaway!

18. Consider Incorporating Video 

Recently, the head of Instagram unveiled that the platform is shifting to focus more on video.

video your pet for Instagram

This means that organic reach will be awarded more often to users who post videos on the platform or utilize “Reels” (Instagram’s in-app short form video content type, very comparable to Tiktoks). 

Therefore, it’s essential to start incorporating video into your feed, particularly if you want to get your pooch in front of new eyes and ears. 

Just remember to incorporate some of the other tips here when shooting videos of Spot.

For example, try making videos of your dog showing off his special skills or while he’s wearing an adorable outfit. Also, be sure to incorporate good lighting and shoot lots and lots of “film.” This way, you’ll have plenty of clips to choose from once you get home.

Keep in mind that short videos are likely best, as people don’t usually want to watch long movies on Instagram.

19. Post Consistently

Posting consistently can help you connect easier with your followers, since they’ll be able to anticipate your next check-in with your best buddy. Having a rough (ruff?) schedule in mind of when you plan to post can also help keep you focused and motivate you and your mutt to seek out new experiences and photo-opts together. 

20. Experiment with Other Technologies

consider using traditional camera

Once you get more comfortable with snapping good shots of your canine, you can experiment with mediums other than your phone or digital camera.

For example, a great film photo can stand out on a platform like Instagram where most of the other images are obviously digital. Film is obviously a lot less forgiving than digital devices are, but the payoff can make your efforts worth it.

Plus, with enough practice, you may find yourself with a part-time gig as a pet photographer! Not a bad side hustle.

21. Have Fun! 

Don’t forget that at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you and your furry friend have fun. No amount of likes can convey how precious your pooch is. Enjoy the process of bonding with your canine companion in a unique way and connecting with other internet-savvy pet owners. 

***

While not all dogs will flourish under the spotlight, many mutts have a great time showcasing their dashing good looks and unique personalities for the gram. Hopefully, this guide makes it easier to help your four-footer fulfill his influencer destiny!

Does your pooch have an Instagram account? How do you capture your canine’s spirit? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Feel free to share some of your favorite snaps through our photo uploader

taking better dog photos
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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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