Chloe lives in New York City, where she works as an influencer. She's just 3 years old, but she already has 147,000 followers on Instagram and has collaborated with the likes of Vogue and BuzzFeed. She has her own line of emoji that represent her interests, which include fashion, travel, and charity. At this point, you might be wondering a few things: Can a 3-year-old have interests beyond Elmo? What kind of baby magic have Chloe's parents worked to get her into Vogue? Why does a child need her own set of emoji in the App Store? Chloe (Instagram handle @chloetheminifrenchie) is, in fact, a French bulldog. In human years, she's almost 30. Chloe's mother, Loni Edwards, runs the first pet talent management agency, aptly named The Dog Agency. On its website, The Dog Agency says, "We handpick and cultivate the best talent to create premium content that appeals to fans and brands alike, as well as strategically connect the dots and streamline the collaboration process between our celebrity animal clients, brands, and media."
Not only do many pet influencers have thousands more followers than the average twentysomething, they can also make more money from a single Instagram post than the average millennial makes in a month. Is this disturbing? Yes, indeed. According to MarketWatch, a dog who has 20,000 followers makes about $200 per post, while a dog with 150,000 to 250,000 followers makes $3,000. A dog who has over one million followers can bring home the big bucks: $10,000 for a single post. That figure can be close to what a human influencer makes per social media post, but not what the typical woman makes in her day-to-day job. A 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that women between the ages of 25 and 34 make a median weekly salary of $690 per week. So yes, there are many dogs out there who are earning more with a single photo of themselves looking stupid in a weird wig than you and your friends make. Of course, dogs have been making money through dog shows for years, but Instagram has provided a new platform for pet owners to capitalize on their dog's appearance. Noah Shulman, the owner of Ella Bean the Dog, who is, according to her Instagram bio, a "fashion model," told MarketWatch that Ella Bean, "Loves luxurious places and things and food." It's probably more likely that Schulman loves luxurious places, things (like the BMW Ella Bean is photographed in), and food. Let's have a reality check here, shall we? Ella Bean would probably be happy to stay home, sleep, go for walkies, and chew bones.
If you want to try to turn your dog into an influencer and make money off of their success, be my guest. Just don't pretend that they're the ones that love what they're doing.