Social media is one of those things we all love to hate. We sigh about wasting too much time poring over our Snapchat and Facebook feeds. We gripe about all the political mud-slinging and the mom-shamers who tsk-tsk about public breastfeeding and celebs who put their children in bikinis. We swear that we're going to detox and put our accounts on hold for a month. Or two. Or forever. And then... we remember that there are cute dogs to follow on Instagram, and all our vows go by the wayside.
As with the popular Instagram cats, the photo-sharing site has plenty of pages devoted to pictures of dogs of every size, shape, and breed. Dog owners post pics of their pets an average of six times a week, according to a recent study by BarkBox, and look at dog photos or videos three times a week. Another 11 percent of respondents have even set up social media accounts for their pups. Some of the pooches have developed such a following that they've gotten promotional deals and their own lines of merchandise.
Why do we love looking at dog pics so much? It could be that we enjoy what the dogs represent to us: unconditional love, loyalty and an non-judgmental nature. Or that the photos provide a break from all the negativity we see from humans. (A Psychology Today reporter conducted an informal experiment and found that just the sight of a dog's face made people smile 75 percent of the time.) The people who post all those pictures may do it as a less stressful way to interact with others than revealing personal information. Piedmont Avenue Consulting founder David Mitroff told NBC News, "Some people are shy about posting all about themselves, but they can post all about their pets and [engage] that way. Your dog is a talking point."
Do you need a smile break? Then join the millions of social media users who follow the adventures of these irresistible dogs.
1. Doug The Pug
Doug, the self-proclaimed "King of Pop Culture," has earned a faithful fan base of 3 million-plus followers thanks to his sweet pug-mug, lolling tongue, and fashion sense. (Check out his "Starpugs" coffee cup outfit.)
2. Moose The Mini Bully
The sweet-faced mini-Bull Terrier of popular YouTube star LaurDIY has a fan base of his own. Moosie has more than 890,000 followers who can't get enough of his poses by the pool, with his owner, and even hidden among stuffed animals.
Jiffpom is to Instagram dogs what Grumpy Cat is to kitties: that is, popular beyond belief. A three-time Guinness World Record holder, according to Time Out, he has more Instagram followers than any other animal (more than 8 million, thank you). He also has his own YouTube channel, where you can discover such important facts as which Hogwarts house he belongs to (according to the quiz, he's a Hufflepuff).
4. Ken The Corgi
Like Moosie, Ken makes his home with a famous YouTuber: lifehack expert Mia Stammer. But the photo-loving Corgi doesn't need any hacks to enhance his natural cuteness.
5. Jupiter's Outlet
Perpetually smiling Jupiter is a Golden Retriever owned by YouTube stars Natalie (of Natalie's Outlet) and Dennis Villa. The 100,000+ fans who follow him surely come away smiling, too.
6. Guppy The Pug
7. Bearcoat Tonkey
This 2-year-old bear-coated Shar Pei has been an Instagram sensation since she was 4 months old. Tonkey's owners told The Daily Mail that she can be "hard-headed" at times, but that she's also friendly, cuddly, and loves kids.
8. Bowie The Pooch
With more than 130,000 followers, the Australian Shepherd of Try Guys member Zach Kornfeld is a celeb in his own right. And why not? With his classic Aussie blue eyes and that ready-for-adventure expression, he's a winner all around.
9. Brussels Sprout
Sprout is a smooth-coated Brussels Griffon (hence his name) who charms more than 100,000 followers on Insta. The New York-based pup has been featured in the Huffington Post, in a Polo Ralph Lauren ad, and other impressive promos, according to his website. His ambition is to be an agility-competition champ.
10. Squid the Griff
11. Marnie The Dog
12. Samson The Dood
Goldendoodles are a hybrid of Golden Retrievers and Poodles favored by dog lovers who like the Golden's sweet personality and the Poodle's low-allergenic coat. Samson, with his 221,000 followers, is the perfect example of the breed. Based in Brooklyn, he's developed a following for his happy face and his photogenic nature, which was highlighted in Town & Country. Plus, he's a Mets fan!
13. Tuna Melts My Heart
Tuna's inspirational story would melt the hardest heart: The Chihuahua-Dachshund mix was found abandoned outside a San Diego highway, according to Buzzfeed, and adopted at a farmer's market by owner Courtney Dasher, who fell for his overbite and created an Instagram page for him. His pic was featured on Insta, which skyrocketed him to fame and helped Dasher spread the word about pet adoption.
14. Manny The Frenchie
If you love French Bulldogs (and really, who doesn't?), then you need to follow winsome Manny the Frenchie. Not only do his Instagram pictures enchant more than a million followers (making him the most-followed Frenchie out there), but his fame also helps him and his owners promote the Manny & Friends cause to help rescue abandoned Frenchies.
15. Geordi La Corgi
His alert expression, photogenic personality, and incredibly fluffy posterior (his Instagram page cites him as a "professional butt model") have earned Geordi a following of more than 300,000 dog lovers.
16. Dean The Basset
His sweetly sad face and goofy poses have endeared Dean to more than 200,000 followers. If his pics are any indication, the Toronto-based basset hound loves to eat watermelon, play fetch, and just hang around.