Meet Puggy Smalls.
In the world of social media, Puggy is one of the OG pet influencers.
This handsome pug initially started on Facebook where he achieved domination before adding Instagram and TikTok to his social media portfolio.
His profile explains that Puggy and his pack “didn’t choose the PugLife, The PugLife chose us”.
Puggy, who has a Pug sibling called Pugyay, a Pomeranian called Pomegranate and a Dachshund called Pop, has over 1.3 million fans across multiple platforms.
His followers get a glimpse into the pug life, whether he’s living in luxury at a dog-friendly hotel, tucking into some top-notch grub at a dog-friendly restaurant or chilling at home with his family.
In this article, we speak to Puggy’s dad Nick to learn more about this bona-fide social media star, what life is like for Puggy and what tips he has for budding social media stars.
1) What attracted you to the pug breed?
I’ve always wanted a Pug. They are so affectionate and loyal, I also think they are the funniest dogs on the planet! They have so much character and are such caring, gentle souls. I actually had Puggy’s name lined up years before I was in a position to get him.
2) How did you end up with Puggy?
I got Puggy when he was 8 weeks old. We had an instant connection and I just knew we would be best mates for life.
3) Can you describe Puggy’s personality?
Puggy isn’t a dog to us. My wife and I always joke that Puggy is like a little Alien housemate that doesn’t speak our language but he’s totally chill. Puggy is a real show off and will do anything for attention and snackies.
4) How has Puggy reacted to the addition of Pugyay West?
We actually got Pugyay West, with Puggy in mind. Puggy went deaf last year and we wanted him to have a companion who can help him out and follow each other around. Puggy came with us to meet Pugyay before we took him home, so we could make sure he was happy about it and it really was best bros at first sight. Puggy is much more active now Pugyay is around, he’s more playful and very tuned in. It really was the best decision we ever made!
5) What does a typical day look like for Puggy, Pugyay, Pomegranate and Pop Sausage?
No day is ever the same, and that’s the beauty of what we do. We can be on shoots all over the country, or tucked way in our countryside cottage shooting and edited from home. We spend every second with the dogs, which is what we always wanted! One big, crazy dog family!
6) Can you share with us your funniest Puggy story?
It may not be hilarious to everyone else, but for us, we always remember the time we collected him from the specialist after major surgery. We were prepared for him to be in a very sorry state, but he got in the car and was so happy he tried to play bitey face with us. Wagging his little tail so hard and still a little dazed off his meds. I think the heightened emotions made us hysterical and it was a moment that will make us giggle forever.
7) How is Puggy’s health after he had some health scares in recent years?
Puggy is thriving. He gave us a real scare earlier this year when he was resuscitated and put onto a ventilator. The recovery was long and hard, but as long as Puggy was fighting, so were we! He’s in really great shape at the mo, he attends regular hydrotherapy and laser sessions to help with his strength and coordination and he absolutely loves it. He’s such a flirt, its so cute watching him strut his stuff for all the nurses and physios!
8) How would you describe your bond with Puggy?
It’s like no other. Puggy is one of a kind and we are inseparable. He’s so much more than just a dog and I couldn’t love him any harder if I tried!
9) Why did you decide to start social media for Puggy – and did you ever anticipate the success that you’ve had?
I started Puggy’s instagram as a way to archive memories as my personal feed was full of Pug pics! I’m utterly obsessed with him, so I documented every funny thing he did. Being an ‘influencer dog’ was never the plan, but once a few videos went viral on Facebook and Instagram, Puggy’s following grew rapidly and it all slotted into place!
10) What are some of the pros and cons of being a doggie influencer?
The best part is how colourful our life is. Both us humans and the dogs are so enriched by all the wonderful opportunities we get and of course, all the time we get to be together. We also love the social community. Sure, there’s a few trolls out there, but the amount of good people who are routing for us as a family and want the very best for our dogs is so heartwarming.
11) How has social media changed since you started the Puggy Smalls page? Do you have a preferred platform or do you like all types of content?
Social media has got much busier, there’s soooo many accounts now as everyone sets up pages for their pets (and rightfully so!). The shuffle of popularity is always interesting, for example Facebook was the hot spot when we started out, that then moved to Instagram and now of course, Tiktok. I’m a videographer by trade so I’ve always had a soft spot for video content, whether is something hyper edited, or shot quickly on an iPhone, you just get so much more of their personality across with video.
12) What’s the most memorable “pinch me” moment Puggy (and you as a family) has had as a result of his social media stardom?
There’s been so many! He is gifted designer gear and we get to stay in some incredible hotels and visit the best dog-friendly restaurants. But recently Puggy and Pops were invited as VIPS to the Peoples Pet Awards. We went along as the dogs plus ones and it was incredible. We all walked the red carpet, surrounded by celebrities and press. Puggy and Pops took it all in their stride but it was such a surreal evening.
13) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about setting up a social media account for their dog?
DO IT! Dont over think things and let your dogs character shine through. If you find things funny or interesting, other people will too!
14) What are some of the pros and cons when it comes to working for yourself and working in the social media industry?
The pros are that we get to spend all our time with our dogs, and we get to share Puggys antics and make people smile and laugh all over the world. The cons are that you can sometimes feel responsible to post daily, but once we found our groove, we realised that life really does go on and its ok to miss a day now and then!
15) Do you have a favourite social media post from all your thousands of posts that always make you smile or laugh?
The obvious choice here is Puggy’s Watermelon video. Its had billions of views and the trend is still popping up now a few years later! It makes me chuckle that the video itself was filmed off the cuff, on an iPhone in my parents garden. They just happened to have a watermelon lying around so we wanted to have some fun! Its especially hilarious to us as watermelon is one of Puggys favourite things, so while we were filming the watermelon reveal, Puggy was actually chomping the melon from the inside out.
My partner would always argue this though as she is obsessed with a Darth Vader video we did for Star Wars day a few years back. Puggy uses the force to grab a snackies and dances to a hip hop version of the Star Wars theme tune. It never went viral, but it always remains her absolute favourite.
16) What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first got Puggy?
I wouldn’t change a thing. However I always say, no matter how many photos and videos you capture of your pet, it will never be enough. They grow so quickly and change all the time, I just wish I had even more memories archived than I already do. Dogs are here for a good time and not a long time, so you really have to make the most of every day.