At the time of writing, PUPSTYLE has hit almost 11,000 followers on Instagram (@pupstylestore) and as of today’s Instagram Algorithm Update, only 5% of those followers will actually see our posts showing in their feed, provided they scroll far enough down their main feed to see them.

As an example of this, our Instagram post from one day before the algorithm update is currently sitting on 670 likes with 117 comments. Granted, yesterday’s post was ah-mazzzzing if we say so ourselves, but today’s post that features a gorgeous pupper loving life in her Fresh Blooms harness has only reached 200 likes and 14 comments. BIG Difference, and we know it’s got nothing to do with our followers not liking the gorgeous Dascha in her harness.

 

So, what are the updates and how can you manipulate them to work best for you? We’ve done all the digging, including finding forums and secret videos filmed from Instagram HQ with the recent algorithm changes and we’ve got the suggestions on how to make sure Instagram shows you the posts you want to see in your feed and also how to make sure Instagram shows your own posts to others in their feed.

How does the new Algorithm work?

Instagram’s main intention for their recent update was to freshen up the users’ feed and completely personalise your experience. Have you ever noticed that you see a post in your feed, only to read the caption and realise it’s from 3 days ago? Well, that’s no longer – the timing of posts, rather than the popularity of posts are being prioritised in the update and you’ll no longer have ‘stale’ posts sticking around in your feed for longer than their expiry (as determined by Instagram).

They’re also completely personalising your feed and experience with Instagram. Even if you follow the exact same accounts as another user, you’ll both see a different feed based on how you interact with those accounts. Instagram say that you’ll now see at least 90% of posts from your closest friends and family, as opposed to seeing 50% of their posts from before the update.

So, as a completely made-up example, say you follow Ryan Gosling on Insta… You’re going to like and comment on most, if not all of his posts, including liking and interacting with any posts that he’s tagged in. Instagram’s new update recognises this, knows you like seeing his face show up in your feed (duh!) and will make sure to show you him more often, whether it be his own posts or another’s posts with Ryan tagged in them (thankyou, Instagram). Because we always need more Ryan Gosling. And we’re totally fine with Instagram thinking Ryan’s part of our family.

#3 (171 likes) Ryan Gosling
Oh, hey Ryan. Nice to see your face again… and again…. and again…..

 

The 3 main features of the Instagram Algorithm

The newest features of the algorithm take into account three specific factors when deciding whether or not to show you a post in your feed:

  1. Interest
    How much are you going to care about a particular post? This is based on the posts you have liked and commented on in the past. Comments are always worth more than likes, so if you realllllly don’t want to miss out on someone’s posts in your feed, make sure to give them a like and a comment. This is basically teaching Insta what you want to see in future.
  2. Timeliness
    How long ago was a photo or video posted? Instagram will prioritise more recent posts that still meet the other requirements, so you’re not likely to see posts from a week ago.
  3. Relationship
    How do you know this account? If you comment on a lot of posts from a certain account or are regularly tagging each other in posts or stories, this tells Instagram that you’re good friends, so it will continue to show you both photos from each account. More on this soon…

There’s three more features that drive the algorithm but are less important than the first three:

  1. Frequency
    How often do you use Instagram? If you check your feed morning, midday and night, Instagram knows that it can structure your feed knowing that they still have an opportunity to show you more posts later in the day. If you only visit once per day, you’ll just get the day’s highlights.
  2. Following
    How many accounts do you follow? If you’ve got a big list that you follow, Instagram has a lot more posts to choose from. Make sure your valuable feed space isn’t getting taken up by accounts you don’t really care about by doing a bit of an Insta-cleanup and removing any accounts that you don’t want showing in your prime home screen real estate.
  3. Usage
    How much time do you spend within the app each time? If you only give yourself a small amount of screen time each day, Instagram is going to be VERY selective with the posts they show you. The more time you spend in the app will determine the way they sort your feed for you.

 

instagram algorithm

Important man, Julian Gutman, from Instagram at their algorithm announcement

 

A few extra things to note

  • Business vs. Personal Profile
    Neither account type takes preference over the other, and as far as Instagram say, they’re not trying to force business accounts to pay for Instagram advertising just to get seen. Apparently.
  • Videos are no longer more valuable than photos
    Previously, Instagram rewarded accounts that posted valuable content and they deemed videos to be more valuable than photos. Not anymore. Whilst videos won’t be ranked higher than photos in your feed purely for their format, Instagram will know your personal preference for watching videos over interacting with photos, so you will still be the deciding factor that tells Instagram what you’d like to see more of.
  • Insta Stories and Live Videos don’t give you bonus points
    Until now, accounts that used all of the features of Instagram were rewarded with more exposure to their followers. Now, only accounts that produce great content have the biggest opportunity to grow and be seen by their followers, providing their followers engage with their content.

How to manipulate your Instagram feed to see what you want

  1. Make sure to reward accounts that you want to see more from
    Love their content, love their products, love the things they stand for, don’t want to miss a sale or you just want to steal all the funny quotes they post? Make sure you’re liking and commenting every time they post, or you won’t see anything in your feed from them.
  2. Tag each other in posts or stories regularly
    If you’re friends and family, this isn’t too hard to do. If you don’t want to miss out on seeing PUPSTYLE posts, tag us every time you post a photo or story in your harness, collar, lead, bow tie or bandana. We try and repost as many stories as possible, so you’ll get a tag back from us and Instagram will know we’re a close-knit fur-fam. And of course, we’ll always tag you in the photos we repost of you (we wrote our last blog post about how to make your photos and your feed look amazing here), and then everyone will like and comment on them, and then you’ll show up in their feeds as well because Instagram starts realising that we all love each other SO DAMN MUCH!
  3. Post quality content yourself
    Even if you don’t post photos and prefer stories (or the other way around), make sure you’re posting quality content. You don’t need to have the most amazing photographic skills for it to be ‘quality’, but it could be funny, informative or helpful for your followers to make them want to engage with you and see more of what you’ve got to share.

Instagram algorithm updates are always scary in the beginning when you see your numbers drop instantly and you run around in a panic trying to figure out what you did to deserve such a terrible reception from everyone you thought loved you. Never fear – with these tips and information, we’re sure this update will be one of the better ones, and we’ll all feel like an even closer Instafam than we already are in no time!


When it comes to Social Media, what was once a platform to share your daily musings and good looking breakfasts has become the place to show your ‘brand’, both on a business and personal level. Just like research says that humans form a first impression within one tenth of a second of meeting someone, you’ve got a similar snapshot of time to capture someone’s attention with your social photos and brand ‘voice’ so we’ve detailed our Instagram Secrets and Tips for you all based on what we do over on our Insta page.

What do we mean by brand or brand voice?

If you’re trying to grow your social media following and someone lands on your Instagram feed, will they stay? Not only will new visitors be looking at all the little squares that fit within one phone screen to see if they like your style, but they’ll read your Bio and probably watch your stories to figure out if following you is worth altering their own Follower Ratio/adding clutter to their search feed for. If you’re a dog account, your brand voice is usually the first person thoughts from puppyland – think treats, sniffing butts, lovers of socks and rolling in poop – and then your stories help to tie both your feed and bio together with real-life events that prove all of those things (just maybe don’t film the real-life rolling in poop!).

 

Before we tell you all our secrets, let us first start off by justifying how we know all of this. Well, we don’t. Nobody really knows the perfect formula and even successful accounts can fall in popularity just when they think they’ve got it, thanks to an algorithm somewhere changing and they need to start playing around with a new pattern or theme. But here’s what we do and use on a daily basis:

 

Pattern:

We’ve mentioned this one before, but we think it’s important to choose a pattern to the types of photos you upload. Mix it up between indoor and outdoor photos, close-ups or photos from a distance. At the moment, we choose to alternate our photos between customer photos and product shots or quotes – it leaves our feed looking simple and fresh without too much going on, much like the style of our PUPSTYLE products!

 

Consistency:

We apply the same filter to every single one of our photos (and now videos thanks to the app below) to ensure our feed looks smooth and nothing stands out too much. To keep it even more consistent and communicate our brand style, we try to apply a similar filter to all of our Instagram stories. Extra tip: don’t waste time by editing your stories elsewhere first – choose one of Instagram’s story filters that looks most similar to your photo filters and you can still communicate your brand across both.

 

VSCO App:


This is by far our favourite app ever. There’s both a free and paid version that are both our go-to for filters and photo edits. The free version comes with a host of free filters and you can pay within the app for a full set of new filters with the option to see the filter effects before you purchase them. We’ve only recently upgraded to the paid version which allows you to apply your regular filters to videos which is ah-mazing for consistency in our feed, but not totally necessary. The best part about this app is that you can see all your edited photos in one place, so you can see if they’re all gelling together before you even upload them to Instagram.

Our Favourite Filters: We love the A filters, M filters and S filters. The exact filter we use will remain our only secret (plus it is no longer available as we bought it on a promotion about a year ago!)

 

Snapseed App


Our next go-to that we use a little less frequently is Snapseed. This one is super handy to lighten up only a section of a photo, rather than editing the brightness on an entire photo. We use this one when we have any photos with harsh shadows or dark spots that need to be lightened and is particularly great for photos with light coloured dogs in them where increasing brightness on the whole photo would be too much for little Fluffy with the snow-coloured fur. Our favourite tool: the Selective tool – simply touch the part of the photo with that tool then drag your finger across the screen to edit the brightness in that section. We’re all about quick edits so this one definitely makes the list!

 

Planoly App

Another free app, Planoly is one we use daily to plan ahead and make sure our feed will look good before we’ve even posted our newest photo to Instagram. It lets you upload your photos into the app, drag and drop them into different positions and see how your feed will look once you upload all your new photos. You can even prepare your captions including the tags and hashtags and schedule your photo for a particular time and day where you’ll get a notification reminder from Planoly and you can easily copy your post directly to Instagram to upload. We’re obsessed with this app and it’s particularly good for keeping us on track with our alternating pattern.

 

Instagram Insights

Our last suggestion requires you to change your Instagram profile from a personal profile to a business profile, but this doesn’t mean you actually need a business and it won’t change anything on the front end that your followers see. It helps you to gain insights about your followers and best-performing photos and stories. You can see the times that your followers are most online on different days to help you choose the best time to post your photos and (hopefully) get the most engagement. You will need a Facebook page in order to convert to the business profile but it doesn’t mean you need to be active on both platforms – it’s purely there because Facebook is where any business transactions are done if you choose to pay for advertising. There’s 4 easy instructions here on how to convert your profile to a business profile and start using the information to your benefit!

Still want more? You should check out all the cute things you could spoil yourself with to help you with your new Insta theming!


When your humans are on the run and need to distract you with a treat so that they can close the door and leave, us pups would appreciate it so much more if they gave us some healthy dog snacks to keep us feeling stylish both inside and out. There’s nothing worse than growing out of your favourite harness sideways, so we’ve listed our 5 favourite snacks that lets them run out the door quickly but keeps us happy.healthy-dog-snacks

  1. Carrot sticks
    You can’t get much quicker or easier than this. When we’re really time poor, we ask our humans to cut a carrot in half and ‘throw it out for the dogs’ as they say. Not only is it slightly sweet which = Uber delicious for us, but the fact we have to gnaw on it means we’re cleaning our teeth at the same time. Best part is, you can give them to us straight from the freezer on hot days so it keeps us cool and we stay busier for longer!
  2. Natural yoghurt
    Yoghurt does the same thing for dogs as it does for humans. It’s loaded with prebiotics and probiotics so is a great mini snack for any pups transitioning their food or who’s had an upset tummy, plus, we love it! Make sure you get the natural stuff that hasn’t been sweetened with sugar or flavouring and we’ll be licking our bowl or your spoon cleaner than you’ve ever seen it!
  3. Blueberries
    When kept in small doses (think 3-4 blueberries at a time, maximum) these beauties are full to the brim with antioxidants and a great little snack for us pups. We find these are great for training or learning a new trick as the humans can reward one with every Hi 5 or Roll Over we do. First time eating blueberries? Make sure your human has the camera out – sometimes they scare us and we make some good viral videos after our first blueberry encounter 😉
  4. Royal Bullies Natural Treats
    There’s nothing easier than grabbing a treat out of a packet, but when that packet is full of all natural goodness, it’s even easier! Royal Bullies treats dehydrate their raw meats and fish in such a unique way that ensures all the nutrients are left inside every packet, unlike cooked treats that lose all their natural goodness. Our favourite picks are the Green Lipped Mussels, Pure Chewy Roo and the Duck Feet for our treats and we love the variety of a different meal topper on our dinner every night. Yumm!
  5. Treat Mix Ice Blocks
    If your humans have a little extra time up their sleeve to make your healthy dog snacks, we can definitely vouch for our absolute favourite – frozen ice blocks with a mixture of treats inside! Our humans cut up small pieces of carrot and include some blueberries and their favourite little Royal Bullies treats and place each piece into the ice tray. For an even more gourmet treat, they dissolve some Royal Bullies meal topper into boiling water and mix it with cold water before filling up each ice block. Rain, hail or shine – we will lick those ice blocks until the cows come home!

    ice-block-healthy-dog-snacksGot a favourite healthy dog snacks idea that we haven’t listed here? Let us know your go-to in the comments below!


Harness Vs. Collar - The Experts Weigh In

It’s an age-old question that every man and his er.. dog.. have an answer for, but who knows if you’re actually doing the best thing for your pup? We’ve done the (months of) research for you and can finally share the experts’ opinions and findings on whether you should be walking your best friend on a collar or a harness. However, just like human children, raising puppers is a hard task and nobody is expected to know it ALL. The best we can do is read the research, learn the techniques and decide for ourselves. Once you have made your own decision, stick to it and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise!

Right from when they are tiny babes, a lot of trainers will tell you that your new furiend will learn the ‘rules’ of walking on a lead the quickest if you connect the lead to your dog’s collar. Their reasons are aligned with the Dominance Theory of dog training, where the pain and possible distress that you inflict on your dog when you tug on the lead to correct their direction or behaviour will quickly teach them not to behave in the same way again or it will hurt.

As promised by some trainers, this method works quickly, but just like our humans parents, and their parents’ parents used to smack them on the bottom for behaving badly, the Dominance Theory of training might also be outdated.

The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in South Australia **International Puppers: this is Australia’s leading Animal Welfare Charity** recently launched a campaign named ‘Lead by Example’ to promote force-free training and positive reinforcement when teaching your dog to walk on a lead. With the support of The Humane Society of the United States, the RSPCA suggest that rewarding your dog for good behaviour with a treat, verbal praise or more play time will result in a positive experience for both human and pup and increase the likelihood that your doggo will want to do that again. Their opinion on the Dominance Theory of training or tugging on the lead to inflict pain and correct behaviour can damage the relationship between humans and dogs. They suggest that this action can cause your pawfriend to see walking as ‘unsafe’ and you, as their human, won’t protect them. As a result, the RSPCA in conjunction with other animal welfare organisations worldwide, always recommend walking with a supportive harness where corrections don’t cause pain or intimidation, allowing reward-based training to be most achievable.

Cindy Ludwig, a Certified professional dog trainer with a background in science and healthcare also suggests that walking on a harness is always preferable to prevent neck and throat trauma or indirect damage to the eyes caused by walking on a collar. Just as humans’ sinuses are all connected and a sore throat can quickly be felt in your ears or a runny nose, so too are our pupper’s sinuses. Pulling against the throat can cause damage to other areas of your dog’s head or sinus area.

Cindy prefers the even distribution of pressure that comes with using a harness over a larger, less vulnerable area where the chest bone sits. She also addresses the common thought that harnesses teach dogs to pull as a complete myth, saying “harnesses don’t teach dogs to pull, pulling teaches dogs to pull”. That said, let your dog think pulling is okay, and pup will pull with or without a harness on.

As a result of this research and evidence, we designed our Patent Pending custom harnesses to sit just below your dog’s throat where they can still be supportive without causing damage or pain. We specially designed the front chest plate to be wider than any other harnesses we found on the market to ensure the chest bone would take the full force of pulling and tested several locations of the D-Ring before confirming our chosen position pulled the harness back in the right direction. On top of that, we added some extra comfort features like our custom neck clip that allows for the neck to be adjustable and secure, not to mention your puppers don’t have to squish these harnesses over their heads like other supportive harnesses on the market. Oh, and did we mention the added bonus of the SUPER cute patterns?

Click here to SHOP OUR RANGE OF HARNESSES.

Want to read the full articles and statements that were the basis of our research?

Click here to go through to RSPCA South Australia: Lead by Example Campaign and Training Advice

Click here to go through to Cindy Ludwig’s accredited advice.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!


WHAT ARE OUR HUMANS FEEDING US?

When our humans leave us on our own, some of us at PUPSTYLE HQ find the toilet rolls, others seek out the dirty laundry and then theres a few of us who find a comfy spot in front of the TV and find something to watch on Netflix. Usually, the end result is always a cozy nap, but this one time, we found a show so interesting that we had all the pups at HQ abandoning their treasures and coming to sit in front of the TV for the entire show.

Before we tell you what it is, you must know that we are not forcing any opinions onto you apart from the one we have about loving this show. YOU MUST WATCH IT.

Okay Puppers, go to your TV remote right this second and search Netflix for Pet Fooled. We’ve done our research and it’s available worldwide for all our international furiends. Don’t have Netflix? We don’t condone this, but your neighbouring pupper might, so wait until all the humans are out and arrange a meetup.

It’s a documentary that looks deeper into the ingredients that goes into our food and the way some ‘premium’ foods are processed that makes them not-so-premium. Not only does it look at the ingredients and the processes, but one of the most surprising topics they covered was the regulations in the Pet Food industry – who came up with them and who ensures companies follow them will 100% surprise you!

We made our humans change from the ‘super premium’ food they were giving us to a completely different diet after watching this. If you watch it, let us know what you think in the comments below!

Missed out on Fun Fact Friday 1? Check it HERE.


WHY DO WE LICK OUR HUMANS WHEN THEY GET OUT OF THE SHOWER?

Let us pups explain it to you in our own terms with a little backup from science because we know you like that hard-answer stuff.

As soon as we’re born, our fur-mummy’s show us instant love by licking us free from our amniotic sac and cleaning us up.

We’re born with our eyes closed, and they stay closed for 1-2 weeks post-birth, so we’re very receptive to what we can feel. Our fur-mummy’s lick us clean after we feed, wee and poop and this is all we know before we leave for our forever homes with our humans. It’s the first sign of love and affection we receive and we learn very quickly that it’s how we show our own love and affection right back.

When our humans get out of the shower, we need to lick them dry because letting them stay wet isn’t good for their fur or their health.

It’s our natural instinct, because we oh-so-love-them!

We’ve got a new Fun Fact up! Check it out HERE.