By Priyanka Kaushal*

In the sombrest of situations they come to you expecting nothing in return, to offer selfless love and warmth – the only beings in your good and bad times, these four-legged furry creatures are out there always. According to John Bradshaw, a research fellow at the University of Bristol in England and author of ‘The Animals Among Us: How Pets Make Us Human’, “There is a proof that interacting with pets does reduce people’s stress, causing changes in oxytocin and in beta-endorphins. Pets provide significant social support to humans and can help individuals alleviate feelings of being lonely.”

While you are trying to distract yourself being locked up at home due to social distancing or you are just looking for inspiration to spice up your life and make it more colourful, pets play an impactful role! Similar has been the influence of social media on people. Alike pets, it allows you to lighten up your mood when you get bored from your monotonous daily routine. Pets and Social Media have changed people’s lives completely in their respective different ways. Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social media websites, with over 100 million registered users.

What happens when Pets and Social Media come together? – A weird but enjoyable, a strange but delightful fusion! #fampets #hugyourpug #cutiepatootie may seem like a bizarre combination of words to you, but to animal lovers, these are captions for the many pictures they ‘heart’ on Instagram daily. Like most of social media, Instagram is a heaven of adorable pet pictures. Their owners love shooting and sharing adorable pictures.

Instagram is a place where people have either become overnight celebrities or outright brands, thanks to their ever-growing following. However, not only humans can turn into far-famed celebrities, as star pets also boast millions of social media fans. Their popularity keeps growing, prompting more pet owners to show dogged determination to propel their furball into the spotlight. This led to coining of a new term called ‘Pet Influencers’. They come in all different sizes, species and breeds and each of them has their own unique personality. Some are into fashion, while others like more of an active and adventurous life.

Since not most of us have an option to have a high-maintenance pet but just adore furries, we’ve curated a list of pets who are stars in their own right. Following Insta-famous animals will brighten up your day.

JIFFPOM @jiffpom  

One of Instagram’s biggest animal stars in the world with 10.6 million followers and a few Guinness World Records to boast, Jiffpom, the Pomeranian, is so cute and plush-looking that you might mistake him for one of the plushie toys created in his honour.

DOUG THE PUG @itsdougthepug

He is another king of canine social media with 4 million followers, whose signature facial wrinkles bring happiness to his millions of fans daily.

NORBERT THE DOG @norbertthedog  

Recently turned 11, this is the one dog everyone needs to follow because he can put a smile on anyone’s face. Norbert volunteers his time at a children’s hospital and his favourite thing in the world is to give high-fives to humans. Now, that is bound to cheer you up.

SAM @samhaseyebrows

Want to see a unique cat? Your search stops at Sam, a cat with eyebrows. Well, technically, Sam’s eyebrows are just patches of black hair, above the eyes, that look exactly like eyebrows. Named after Andy Warhol’s cats, his owner reveals, “When Sam isn’t being an Internet star, he’s still a pretty unique cat. His favourite pastimes are eating tomatoes, hiding on top of the refrigerator, and getting you to run around the house to play with him.”

LIZZIE AND ALLY @lizzie.bear

Two BFF golden retrievers spreading joy and pawsitivity! Ardent followers of #StayHomeAndSnuggle, Ally and Lizzie are the happiest golden retrievers. At first glance, they look like twins, but they’re similar looking happy dogs that love to pose for their owner Fran.

LOKI @loki

Miss the direwolves from Game of Thrones? Meet Loki. Kelly Lund adopted Loki in 2012 and the pair have been giving us #TogetherForever goals ever since. They go hiking, climb mountains and play in the snow together.

CHOUPETTE LAGERFELD @choupetteofficiel

Among the four-legged influencers, the fluffy white Birman cat of the late Karl Lagerfeld, Choupette, is a queen. Choupette recently became the muse of German interior design start-up LucyBalu. It’s impressive to see how a cat can reach so many.

MR MAYNARD & BABY CHLOE @maynardandchloe

Beagles with 35.7 million followers wear fashionable petsuits. Their crazy antics will make your Sunday and rest of the week simply pawsome!

BODHI- MENS WEAR DOG @mensweardog

Is your man looking for style inspiration? He needn’t look any further than Bodhi, the menswear dog. This Shiba Inu has starred in GQ, Time Magazine and The New York Times along with countless websites. 

PLOWY THE CAT @plowythecat

With 39.9k followers, it is the most popular cat travel influencer. It has been an inspiration for many as all the profit from its collaborations goes to animal welfare. Her frolics fill your life with enormous joy and happiness.

CHOMPERS THE CORGI @chompersthecorgi

A little corgi in the big city, Chompers is a travel enthusiast. Just looking at his poses in front of the Golden Gate Bridge gives us #TravelGoals.   

These Insta-stars are bigger, better, and cuter than most celebrities. While craze for these animal influencers on social media may come as a surprise, it reflects the importance that we give to our four-legged friends on a daily basis.

*Editor – Creature Companion Magazine