• We the Dogs

Hold the Handle: Tips for We the Dogs Instagram Takeovers

If you’re following the We the Dogs DC or We the Dogs NYC Instagram accounts, then you know they’re filled with cute dogs from our community. You’ve probably wondered “how do I get my dog featured? What do I do?!” Guess what? It’s so easy! Let’s break it down.

What Does “Hold the Handle” Mean?

Every day on the @wethedogsdc and @wethedogsnyc accounts, a new person is assigned to “hold the handle.” That means we give them the password to our account, and they take it over for a whole day to share photos and videos featuring their dog enjoying life in their neighborhood. It’s the kind of furry content that can help bring a smile to someone’s face and help them discover local dog-friendly spots. This information is also a great resource for Two Paws Up, which is a searchable map that we built to highlight dog-friendly locations. We want to include as many locations as possible, so we ask everyone to make sure to add the geo-tagged locations of places they visit during takeovers.

What If I Don’t Own A Dog?

Our accounts usually focus on featuring dogs, but we have other takeovers too! If you’re associated with a rescue organization, you can also sign up for a takeover to feature adoptable dogs, “behind the scenes” information, or events and fundraisers to support your mission. We also welcome other animals to take over on special days like “National Cat Day” or any other fun themed holiday. All you need to do is sign up and share your idea! We typically don’t allow businesses to takeover if they’re going to promote a for-profit company, but we do allow business to make a donation in exchange for sponsored posts. If you’re interested, email us at info@wethedogs.org for more information.


It’s My Date to Takeover! Now What?

Don’t know what to post? Check out our Takeover Creative Brief, which contains a bunch of tips and ideas. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas:

  • A day in the life of your pet, or throwback photos/videos that show what an ideal day would be like.

  • Favorite pet shops and services; hidden gems are a plus!

  • Dog-friendly places you and your pup visit, or activities that your dog enjoys.

  • Shoutouts to your furiends, favorite pet-friendly businesses, or rescue organizations.

  • Information about your pup: name, nickname, age, breed, or anything else that helps us get to know them. If you rescued your dog, give the shelter a shoutout too (Though you don’t have to be a rescue pet to take over).

  • Any quirks and unique things about your dog, or any tips that would be helpful to the pet community.

So How Do I Sign Up?

Just visit holdthehandle.com and enter some info about you and your pup. Please be patient; we’ve got a waiting list of very excited dogs, so it may take a few months before you hear from us! Once your name comes up to the top of the list, someone on our team will email you to choose a day for your takeover. After your date is confirmed, you’ll receive an email with some helpful guidelines. A few days before your assigned date, you'll receive another email with the password and login instructions. Make sure to check out our Creative Brief for lots of other suggestions for engaging posts. You can also visit our handle instructions page for some general guidelines and rules.


And that’s it! We encourage you to sign up and share a glimpse into your dog’s life with our local pet community. We know you'll have fun, and maybe even make some new friends!

About the Author: Michelle Nguyen loves to be outside. So does her dog, Nico! They love to hike, camp, and Michelle is trying really hard to get Nico to be a water dog so she can take him paddling with her. Michelle is a creative marketer, with an eye for the perfect insta-worthy photo. Follow her at @__heymichelle or heymichelle.co.

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