How to make your dog (or cat) Instagram famous

Rack up the likes for your canine friend with these seven practical tips to up Fido’s Instagram game

How to make your dog (or cat) Instagram famous
(Image credit: Getty)

In a world where dogs often have more followers on Instagram than their human owners, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. 

Some of the biggest pet Instagram accounts have millions of followers, turning what could be a general update into a big business if you play it well. But it takes a lot of work to make it big on Instagram, and it won’t happen overnight. 

By following some of these tips you’ll improve your chances of making it into the big leagues of Instagram pet influencers. Some of them are easy and straightforward, others require a bit more work, effort and planning, but all are designed to maximise your chances of getting a large, engaged following. 

1. Think about your handle 

Having a short, sharp and effective Instagram name is a great way to ensure that people can find you. If you happen to meet people IRL (in real life), then having a name that they can easily remember helps to make sure they’ll find you when they get home. 

Try to avoid names which have to use punctuation, such as underscores, or numbers to differentiate you from another similarly named account. It might not necessarily be easy to find your handle if you’ve got a common dog name, breed or both, but put as much thought into it as you can.

How to make your dog (or cat) Instagram famous

(Image credit: Getty)

2. Try and have a good niche

It’s easy to assume that all of the pet niches are taken on Instagram, and we’re going to level with you - most of them are. But that doesn’t mean there’s none left, or that some are more populated than others. 

Take a look at other profiles of dogs that are the same breed as yours. See what works for them, and what doesn’t work so well. If you can come up with a particular niche within your breed type - something unusual that your dog works - then it’s worth giving it a go. 

If you can’t avoid being similar to other accounts, that’s OK, you’ll probably just have to work a lot harder to stand out - so pay extra attention to the next set of tips.

3. Consistency is key 

The best grids from the best accounts follow a regular style and pattern, so that audiences know what to expect. When you look at an account as a whole and see a consistent style or theme, then you know this is a well-maintained account which is worthy of a follow. 

Examples of this include always using the same filter, always posting similar types of shot / angles or always having the same kind of caption. 

That said, there’s a fine line between consistency and predictable or boring - so try to be creative with each of your posts too.

How to make your dog (or cat) Instagram famous

(Image credit: Getty)

4. Regular posting 

This one’s a bit of an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating anyway. Regular posting is an obvious way to build momentum and keep your audience engaged - but you want to avoid oversharing. 

Try to keep posts on your main grid to one or two well-crafted posts a day, saving your Stories and Reels for more off-the-cuff moments which let your audience know what you and your pup are up to on a day to day basis. 

If you happen to be out somewhere and capture a few different shots that would work well, there’s nothing wrong with saving them to post a different time. That leads us on to our next point…

5. Create more content than you think you’ll need

Dogs can be unpredictable at the best of times, so capturing as much content as possible when you’re out on a walk with them can only be a good thing. 

You don’t necessarily have to use it all, but if you’re getting a good response to a particular post, Story or Reel, it’s good to have some extras in the bank to be able to upload as bonus content at a different time. It’s also true that capturing more content than you need will help you should something go wrong with one of your shots - often a problem with pooches who don’t always stay still when you need them to. 

How to make your dog (or cat) Instagram famous

(Image credit: Getty)

6. Think about hashtags 

A simple way to reach a wider audience is to include the right hashtags. You get up to 30 to play with per post, and it doesn’t take long to research the most relevant ones - these could be breed specific (i.e. #corgisofinstagram), or more generic (i.e. #dogsofinstagram). Try to include a mix of hashtags which get a lot of attention and smaller hashtags where you’re more likely to stand out. 

It can be helpful to store a list of hashtags somewhere on your phone so you can refer to them when you need them, rather than having to remember them every time. If you tend to post from certain locations, don’t forget to include those hashtags - as well as location tags too. 

7. Be engaging 

The final tip requires some effort and time on your part, but it can really pay dividends. In order to build up your own following, you need to be an engaging Instagram user. 

That means leaving comments on other accounts, replying to comments on your own and following other accounts - both big and small. Engaging with your audience will make them more likely to like your posts and share them with other users, and that’s how they’ll grow.

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Amy Davies

Amy Davies is a freelance journalist that covers cameras for T3 and many other sites. She is also Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine and, when she's not writing about cameras, she's probably taking pictures of her cute dog.