Have you ever found yourself spending endless hours checking out all the different dogs on Instagram? Maybe you have an account for yourself, but do you have one for your dog? I never in my wildest dreams thought about having an account for one dog, much less all three of my dogs. It kind of just happened.
Finding Community Through Dogs on Instagram
When I lost my last basset hound, Carmen, to Lymphoma at the age of 8, I was devastated. After some really tough weeks, we decided we were meant to have a dog around and we started looking to add a new little basset hound into our lives. Storm was chosen to help us grieve with the loss of our beloved Carmen.
Using Instagram as an Outlet for Grief
Nicole kept mentioning these dogs on Instagram. We started tossing around the idea that creating one for Storm might be a good thing to help cope with our sudden loss of Carmen. This is where @stormthebasset was born! Little did we know she would take Instagram by “Storm”! Since we know McCartney would be coming home a few weeks after Storm, we started a friendly little competition to see who could get to 1,000 likes first. Well, Nicole had to win that one, but she lost the long-term game because Storm has well over 12k followers now!
Hashtags, Followers, Shoutouts…
Looking back, I can remember Nicole and I trying to figure out the best hashtags to use to get people to follow Stormy’s adventures. I can also remember when #bassetworld featured Storm for the first time and there were literally thousands of likes. This blew me away, our dog had that many likes from people all over the world. That was just crazy to me. I’m an introvert, so I’m typically not a fan of being the center of attention, even as a dog on the internet! Ha!
I was able to share stories of Storm and see others sharing adventures with their dogs on Instagram. It was inevitable that as I started being more active on Instagram, that I would be subjected to seeing others lose their best friends. It’s just one of those sad events that we will go through in life. And it was certainly one of the things that helped me grieve with the loss of Carmen.
Community All Over The World
Instagram has turned into an excellent community for dog owners to share daily adventures and offer support in times of need! As of today, I manage three accounts for three dogs on Instagram. Yeah, I’m that guy that loves to show off the happy faces of our three dogs! Check out Storm The Basset, McCartney Doodle, and Elliott Doodle. While you’re there, you can give our Leisure and Leashes account a follow too!
Managing Accounts for Dogs on Instagram
Yes, it’s hard work posting pictures every single day and getting lots of interaction, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think it is. You need to make it fun! Whether that’s engaging captions, stories, or commenting on others’ accounts. Of course, there are plenty of times I post pictures that don’t get the interaction that I would like or think it should. It could be something as simple as the time of the day that the image is posted or even using the wrong hashtags. Those are simple things that you can tweak and find what fits your dog’s account best.
Dadager Keeps It Going
As the Dadager, I manager all three accounts. Storm has the most followers with over 12,000! We’re still not sure why her account is the biggest, but it could be her facial expressions. Ha! McCartney has just about 4,000 and poor Elliott has under 1,000. Between all three of our dogs on Instagram, we have about 17k followers from all over the world. Who would have thought it would be that simple to connect with someone that far away?
When I first started the girls’ accounts, I would post three times a day. I prefer a good mix of content between funny and their daily lives. Sometimes, the smallest things can make someone else’s day amazing! You never know what someone else is going through and you might be the one that helps them turn their day around. Which is why you see a lot of funny faces from Stormy on her Instagram feed!
Being a Dog on the Internet is Tough Work
When Elliott came around, it became harder and harder for me to keep up posting three pictures on each account daily. Now I have plenty of pictures of all the pups–seriously, ask Nicole how many pictures she backed up off my phone the other day. I think it was around 25k! Whoops. She even made me get a larger capacity phone the last time we upgraded because she got tired of backing those pictures up daily. I take an average of 300 pictures per day. But, I made a pledge at the time of Carmen’s passing, that I would take as many photos as I can to document our future pups’ lives.
My posting schedule is at least once per day. In the past, I would beat myself up if I didn’t post once per day because I didn’t want to disappoint our followers. I finally came to the realization that I could miss a day here and there and our followers would still be there. Heck, if it was too long between postings they would be sure to ask where we have been and let us know they had missed us. Always very encouraging to see all the support from the dogs on Instagram community.
The Dog Photog
The great thing about Instagram is that you don’t have to be a professional photographer to be successful. I’m not a professional by any stretch of the imagination! I am very active with my dogs and I love spending time with them all together as well as spending quality individual one-on-one time with each. Being active with the dogs definitely helps capture amazing images for their Instagram accounts.
Some Kids Never Grow Up
I use my iPhone to take the majority of the photos you’ll find on their feeds. The reason I use my iPhone instead of a DSLR is because it’s much easier to run around with the dogs trying to get funny pictures. Plus it fits in my pocket! Yes, I said I run around with the dogs. I love running around chasing the dogs or vice versa while snapping pictures. This has helped me to get many funny pictures over the years.
Many of my favorite shots include Storm’s ears flying all over, McCartney flying through the air jumping over Storm, and the everyday dopiness of Elliott. Also, choosing the iPhone over the DSLR, makes it possible to share virtually anywhere if you have cell service. What an awesome way to stay connected to the world while on our adventures. The DSLR is also a little bulky and I wouldn’t want to risk dropping it trying to get funny pictures of the dogs.
What is involved to capture funny and one-of-a-kind photos within our pack? Well to start off, you have to be patient! I get frustrated sometimes while taking pictures, but they are animals and want to do their own thing. One thing about me, I will go that extra mile to get a picture of my dogs. For instance, don’t be surprised if you see me laying out in the middle of the yard with my phone out. Yup, that’s me pretending to be dead just to capture one great image.
A couple of years ago when Storm and McCartney were small, we decided to rake all the leaves up in our backyard. After raking them into a super pile, I climbed in the middle and Nicole covered me up with leaves and then brought McCartney outside. I would call McCartney’s name, and she would try to find me! Once she did, McCartney decided to jump into the leaf pile. And guess what I was able to capture? Her jumping in the leaves toward me.
We did the same thing with Storm. She might not be able to jump in the leaves like McCartney. Actually, her approach was more like a bull moving all the leaves out of the way to find me. However, I was still able to get some good pictures of her playing in the leaves.
Good Quality Family Fun
I’m a firm believer in spending good quality time with your dogs just like you would your kids. Even when Elliott first came home I would roll around in the yard. This allowed me to capture Elliott biting on Storm’s ears trying to say he was in charge. Elliott in charge of a household with two female dogs… nope, not going to happen.
I have to admit, there are days when the pictures won’t turn out great, the clouds cover up the sunlight, or the dogs won’t cooperate. But, there is always tomorrow, right? The main thing is to have fun while taking pictures and take plenty so that you can catch a good one here and there. Not all of my pictures turn out perfect, more turn out blurry or grainy than you probably think. One shot is all you need for a great Instagram picture, but the more you take, the more you have to choose from.
Instagram Goes To The Dogs
When interacting on Instagram, I like to post as the dog. This is how most of the dogs on Instagram accounts work. If you decide to make an account for your dog, I encourage you to do the same. It really does make it more fun. Nicole likes to joke that I’m a dog on the internet, but I think it’s cool!
One word of advice, like your friends’ and followers’ photos, comment on others and be engaging. By interacting with others, you will see a huge difference in growth on the platform. From time to time we get comments and I miss them, but I really do try to comment back to every single person. Sometimes it’s rough being an instadog.
If you have an account for dogs on Instagram, comment below and tell me about it! I’d love to know more about your dog! Don’t forget to follow our adventures on Instagram: Storm The Basset, McCartney Doodle, Elliott Doodle, and Leisure and Leashes!0