Videos by OutKick
Imagine your dog making more money than you do.
In the competitive world of pet social media influencers, a Michigan golden retriever is top dog.
Tucker Budzyn has close to 25 million followers across social media — 11.1 million on TikTok, 5.1 million on YouTube, 4.3 million on Facebook. 3.4 million on Instagram and 62,400 on Twitter.
The 5-year-old golden has been raking in six figures a year since he was 2.
“A YouTube-paid post can be anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 for a 30-minute pre-roll,” Tucker’s owner Courtney Budzyn said. “Instagram, we make about $20,000 for anywhere from three to eight stories.”
Courtney started Tucker’s Instagram page in June 2018 — on the day she got him. Shortly after, this video went viral:
Just a dog pawing at an ice cube.
By the time Tucker was six months old, he had already amassed 60,000 followers.
And they never looked back. The Budzyns post near-daily Tucker content — earning an estimated $6,656 – $11,094 per TikTok post.
But the Budzyns aren’t the only family cashing in on cuteness.
In second place on the pet influencer rankings is @whataboutbunny — a sheepadoodle with 8.3 million followers on TikTok. Bunny’s earnings are between $4,997 to $8,328 per post.
And then there’s Doug the Pug. Doug is a certifiable celebrity where I live in Middle Tennessee. But he also has 6 million TikTok followers worldwide and makes a cool $3,599 to $5,999 per ad.
But managing a diva dog like Tucker Budzyn is a full-time job.
Take the Budzyns, for example: Courtney, who used to clean houses, and her husband Mike, a civil engineer, quit their jobs to manage Tucker’s career.
Because it’s not just about posting cute photos and videos. Many of these influencers partner with large brands for advertisements and sponsored posts.
Like Boomer, a Samoyed in Los Angeles. His owner, Charishma Cohen, started his career by signing him to deals with PetSmart and Blue Buffalo.
Now, he now makes six figures a year collaborating with the likes of Expedia, MGM Resorts, Disney and Amazon.
Meanwhile, I have a perfectly good dog, and here I am working for a living.
Like an absolute schmuck.