March Instagram Challenge Winners: Pets

I get excited for each month’s Instagram challenge, but this one was especially fun, mostly because it meant we got to look through over 7,500 of photos of adorable dogs, cats, birds, pigs and all sorts of other cute animals. If you ever need a little digital hug or pick me up, just search #DSPETS on Instagram — it’s an instant dose of cuteness. It was so hard choosing our top three for this challenge, but we made a decision, and our lucky winners are above and below. And because we couldn’t resist sharing a few more pets, we have 26 of our other favorites after the jump (I wanted to add 200 more). Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their furry friends with us. They’re all so lucky to have you as loving owners and families. xo, grace

*Thanks to West Elm for donating $50 gift cards to each of our winners! They’re having a pet party (with a pet Smilebooth and charity raising for The Sato Project) on April 13th. Click here to check it out.

Winner #1: Mark Rosen’s dog, Theo

Winner #2: PeeWee the Bunny!

Winner #3: Rae Dunn’s dog, Wilma


Lauren B’s cat, Sullivan


Bungles the bunny, owned by Angela


Clementine the pig!

Disko the cat, owned by Mia-Linh



Whitney Ford and Imogen, adorable chickens owned by Dawn

vontheodore‘s Koopa the turtle! Bonus points for the Mario reference ;)



Mrs. Eleanor Rigby!


Emily‘s dog, Mary


Jennifer’s dog, Mr. Tony Danza




Tack! I can’t stand how cute this is :) Morgan is a lucky dog owner.






There is a serious lack of kitty representation there! Purse dogs FTW?

Anna and Jules

we would like miss eleanor rigby to receive “miss congeniality” of this bunch, for the joy she has brought us just now. i shant recover from that tiny face.


The ever so dapper Sullivan with his bowtie wins my heart!! Also, love little Charlie’s happy and enthusiastic face!


I agree with Krystal! As a cat owner who entered this challenged, it’s a little upsetting, but congrats to the winners! Cats are really the best though. :)


Is Penny even real? She is so g.d. adorable. And I’m not a lap dog lover.
Great posts DS!!!


Can every month’s Instagram Challenge be about pets? This is month’s is chock full of smiles :)


I agree…serious lack of kitty cat representation. Very sad!


Can someone tell my what type of dog Theo is? I have a dog that looks VERY similar and we adopted him so we don’t know what he is?



Adorable!! What app is used to put the text onto the instagram photos? It looks so awesome!


My dogs were totally robbed because their idiot mother didn’t read all of the directions & forgot to label their pictures with their names haha

Congratulations to all of the winners! What a bunch of cuties.


Booooo. Too many dogs. I’m only saying that because my cats didn’t make the cut. If they had, I’d say it was the perfect amount of cats.


Awe such cuteness compressed in one post! Sooo cute! Peewee bunny teminded me of mine, Birbilina. bunnys are my favorites I must admit.


Thank you so much for including my little Eleanor Rigby! She is very honored.

PS: The comment above by Anna & Jules totally made my day!


Can someone please share some of the apps used to add words to the photos, especially for us silly folk who did not add the names to our sweet pet photos. :)


Hershey is my favorite. The cutest big eyed long haired doxie I ever did see! I also love the movie star typography choice for his name. Wow!


note to self: if you want to win a pet contest, buy a tiny dog, preferably a french bulldog or boston terrier ;)

seriously though, all of these pets are adorable and i could look at their pictures all day!

kaela d.

Aw! If only I could’ve figured out how to write his name on his picture sooner my pup Biggles would mos def be on this list. He looks very similar to Penny though so I’m glad we got some white fluff representation! ;) And the pig!!! I love the pig…

kaela d.

Thanks for the pic writing app info Tracey. I’ll be ready to go next time there is a “write your pet’s name on their picture” contest haha :)


COOPER is very happy to be included in this cute bunch! Woofs from Brooklyn :)


Mr. Tony Danza is the greatest pet name ever. Kudos to his human friends!

Swati @ The Creative Bent

I loved seeing all these pictures. Very cute :)
But at the same time I am sad that I missed reading about the contest. I hoped to share the picture of my cute white mouse ‘Cherry’ too. I wish I could share that happiness with the world through D*S. But alas ! too late.


I am so jealous of Wilma’s photo. Damn! Wish I had thought of that! Well done.


I can’t decide if Wilma is actually the cutest, or if that’s just my love of bagels talking.
This competition was awesome, and I’m glad to see so many well-loved pets!
Hopefully lots of them are rescues.


Penny!!!! :) thx for the post! This was such a fun idea AND it was a hoot looking at all the entries. All the pets are adorbs, it makes me smile.

Lauren B.

We rescued Sullivan when he was 4 years old after he had spent 2 different stints in the animal shelter! Everyday we can’t understand how 2 other people could have parted with such a sweet boy! Thanks for featuring him Design Sponge!!

Sarah M

LOVE this – pictures of the little nuggets that bring us so much joy. Thanks DS!


I love that there is a sea dog named Tack! And Koopa :-)


Whoever chose the pics clearly has a preference for small dogs. Nice to throw in a rabbit or two, but I find it hard to believe the best pics out of over 7,000 are mostly the the small breeds – shouldn’t just be about cuteness and adorability. Some great cats and dogs out there are not represented. Sorry I found this to be a very biased and not true representation of the wonderful companions we share our lives with.


Love all of these! Wish there were a few more felines though :)

Grace Bonney


I’m sorry you feel that way. If you’d like to see the images that we had to choose from you can search #DSPETS on Instagram. The vast majority were small dogs. So I don’t think it’s biased if that’s what people sent in- it’s a true representation of the people who chose to submit images.

This is also just a fun contest- it was in no way intended to be (nor was ever suggested to be) a statement on which types of pets are “best”. It’s just a fun contest about cute pictures. I didn’t intend people to take it quite so seriously.



You’re right – this is just a fun contest – pets pics are like baby pics – they’re all cute and adorable and of course we all feel our’s are the CUTEST and the best.

Thanks for making me aware of the process and your good intentions.


omg, so many cuties out there. after submitting my dogs, I spent waaaaay too long looking at all the entries. pets are the best!


Also, how did everyone put the pretty lettering on their pics? I’m new to instagram and didn’t see any choices. I have picstitch, which offers a plain font and limited colors but it’s so drab compared to these!
And even though it’s too late, here’s one more kitty!

Grace Bonney

hi kyra!

there are a few ways:

1. there’s an app called OVER that a lot of people use to put letting on top of images
2. you can add text in any photo program (we use a free one called GIMP)
3. you can also just stick a piece of paper or sign with the pet’s name in the photo ;)



All are extremely cute, I can imagine the tough task of choosing. Thank you for this, what a sweet pick me up. You guys are doing an outstanding job, I look forward to each days posts.


I can’t get over Peewee-the-Bunny’s eyes!?!? They’re mesmerising :-) Thanks for this loveliness.


I looove sweet Mary’s face. But I have two Westies so am clearly biased.


Grace, can there be a follow up competition for everyone who didn’t work out the naming of the pets? I just clicked on Terk the pig doing tricks for popcorn – lovely! I think the reason there are so many small breeds is because D*S followers are probably mainly urban dwellers so large dogs are impractical for them.

Grace Bonney

Hi Karen,

I’m afraid we only do one contest per month, but I made sure to encourage people to check out all of the results at #DSPETS so everyone’s pets get some attention, name or not ;)


Rachel H

Dudes, what gives with all dogs and no cats? (obvs there was a cat or two but STILL)



@ERIN and @AMY Charlie is a MORKIE! maltese and yorkie…mutt! he shares my heart with our other Jo and you can see more of him @jinandjo! thanks!!