Digital doggies: pet influencers on the rise in Singapore during coronavirus

  • With pet ownership and online shopping more popular than ever during Covid-19, animal influencers have become trendy on sites like Instagram
  • One agency in Singapore even represents these furry celebrities as companies shift their marketing focus during the pandemic
Agence France-Presse |

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This photo taken on August 29, 2021 shows dog owner Carrie Er using a mobile phone to film her pet white terriers Sasha and Piper (R) at her home in Singapore. They are among a growing number of pet influencers on social media in Singapore, a trend fuelled by a rise in online shopping and pet ownership during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: AFP

Two fluffy white terriers wearing neckerchiefs pant quietly as their owner waves a treat and snaps a photo for the dogs’ tens of thousands of Instagram followers.

They are among a growing number of pet influencers on social media in Singapore, a trend fuelled by a rise in online shopping and pet ownership during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sasha and Piper make regular appearances on their “Lomodoggies” Instagram account, often wearing matching accessories and posing for the camera with their tongues hanging out.

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The pair have earned thousands of dollars endorsing products ranging from vacuum cleaners to shoes - and are even represented by an agency.

Tapping into the pet influencer boom, the company has worked with animals ranging from a cat called Brossy Meowington - with more than 50,000 followers - to a Japanese Spitz called Luna.

Sasha and Piper’s owner, Carrie Er, stumbled into the business several years ago when she started posting photos of Sasha in various costumes, playing with toys and on outings.

Sasha and Piper (L) at home with their owner Carrie Er in Singapore. Photo: AFP

“We just wanted to do a daily blog of her, capturing some precious moments like her beautiful face and her activities,” said Er, a marketing manager in her 40s.

But the photos proved popular online, and companies started asking if Sasha would endorse their products.

Piper, a former show dog, arrived later, completing the duo.

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“It’s fun - fun for the dogs, fun for me,” said Er, as she shoots pictures with her phone of the fluffy little celebrities.

The two pooches now have nearly 24,000 Instagram followers and typically earn about 500 Singapore dollars (HKD$2,879) for each marketing deal.

Er said she is selective about which products they promote, rejecting offers from some dog food brands she feels do not meet her standards - her own pets enjoy a diet of handmade meals.

Er is selective about the products she lets her dogs endorse, and says she has fun running their Instagram account. Photo: AFP

There has been a growing demand for pet influencer endorsements as companies bolstered their online presence during the pandemic, according to Jane Peh, co-founder of The Woof Agency, which represents Er’s terriers.

“I think pet influencers generally have an advantage because we just love pets,” said Peh, whose company has about 6,000 pet social media profiles in its network.

“They are cute - you cannot hate them.”

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