Pet Instagram accounts are more popular than ever, with numerous benefits to owners and pets alike. But, how do you go about setting up your own account and making those connections?

This guide will help you get the best out of your pet community. Don’t worry, just because dogs and cats occupy the top spots for most followers, (Jiff the Pomeranian has racked up a whopping 10.4 million followers after his appearance in a Katy Perry music video), doesn’t mean that your avian or amphibian, rodent or reptilian buddies can’t start their own trends.

Where should you start?

How to create your Instagram pet profile

Easy peasy, download the Instagram app on any mobile or tablet device! Setting up your profile is a really fun part of the process because it sets the tone for your account. Whether silly or serious, you can really get across your pet’s unique style in the handle (username) you choose for the account, the main profile image and the bio.

Your pet probably has a specific personality that you can play on for this: maybe your companion is a serious tortoise, a particularly sassy hamster or an anxious dog. These traits can help you determine what to call the account and what to write in the bio. It’s also a great way for potential followers to immediately know what they can expect from your content.

Top tip: Decide on a voice for your account. Are you narrating your pet’s experience or are they dictating their adventures “themselves”? If you are particularly goofy like me, you might opt to caption your pics in your pets “voice”. Whatever you choose, set the narrative voice in your bio!

Who should you follow?

You’re ready to make connections with like-minded accounts, but how do you find friends among a billion Instagram users?

Luckily there are some really simple ways to search and connect with fellow animal enthusiasts. You can search for hashtags that interest you. When I set up my dogs’ account I searched for #greyhoundsofinstagram to see who else was out there! It’s a great first step to find and follow similar accounts.

From there, have a look at your new friends’ follower/following lists. Here you can see if they have any other accounts that you want to connect with. This is a really effective way to join a pre-made community. Be confident with your follows as pet accounts are pretty welcoming of new-comers. If they follow you back you might drop them a message to say thanks!

You might not necessarily follow pets that post in a similar way. My account is quite silly but I follow a greyhound account that captions its photos with poetic verse. I love this because it combines my passions: literature and dogs.

What should you post?

So you have successfully set up your account and have some followers, what should you post? The first post could be an introduction to your pet, just saying hi and what you’re most excited about now you’ve joined Instagram.

From there, post whatever your pet does that makes you or them happy. Never be concerned whether your content is “boring”- any animal lover following you is guaranteed a mood boost just from seeing your gorgeous pet on their feed. (As with any social media, read and respect the guidelines.)

How often should I use my account?

Instagram is a great place to get advice from similar pet owners. You can share stories, memories and anecdotes with each other, or simply show off your beautiful pet. The time you spend on it and the interactions you choose to have are totally up to you. The community is always there even if you’re only posting and liking/commenting periodically. You can tailor the experience to suit you, just enjoy it!

Happy scrolling!

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Sarah Worgan
Sarah is currently a doctoral student and she has always been an animal lover. She grew up in the Cotswolds so she loves escaping the town and being outdoors. Several years ago, Sarah adopted two rescue greyhounds who continue to take her on new adventures.

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