How to Target Puppies with Facebook Ads

Digital Advertising

You already know how to target the people in your target audience on Facebook, but what about the pups?  Facebook makes it easy for your nonprofit to be sure that your ads are only being shown to the right pack of pups by letting us target everything from location to interests. Here are some best practices and targeting tips to get your ads in front of the right dogs.

Location Targeting

Depending on which puppies you’re trying to reach, you can target their location by country, state, zip code, or even some specific roads. You can also exclude locations that may have audiences you’re not interested in reaching with your ads. To reach puppies we can target places like Dogs Corners, NJ and Dog Town, AL while excluding places like Cat Bridge, VA and Kitty Creek, MD (sorry).

Demographic Targeting

This is where we can target language, age, and gender. Remember that Facebook’s age targeting is, by default, in human years, so you’ll need to do some mental math to adjust for dog years.
Best practice for language targeting is to assume that most doggos understand the language they receive commands in. For example, if we’re targeting German Shepherds, we can go ahead and target English. If you want to reach the pups that might have selected their home language in their settings, build an additional ad set targeting ‘German’ language and include ads that have German ad copy. Whichever language you chose, be sure to write your ads in the targeted language to avoid any confused puppers.

Interest Targeting

Interest targeting is where we can really dive into the specifics of who we’re targeting. If you want to keep it broad, try to target interests that most dogs have. This will give you the greatest reach and the best chances at showing your ad to all of the puppies. We can also exclude interests where needed. For instance, we can target puppers interested in attention, bacon, and napping while excluding interests like vacuums, thunder, and cats (again, sorry).

Broad targeting is great for awareness and can be helpful in keeping costs down, but it’s important to remember that all puppies are different, and understanding the psychographics of who you’re reaching can help your organization better understand who its core audience really is. Try A/B testing your interest targeting to see which hounds are digging your ads and which aren’t.
Do we appeal more to dogs that love or hate the mailman? Do we resonate with pampered pups or the rough types?  Build 2 ad sets that target these different personalities. Compare the performance of these audiences- which has a higher CTR and lower CPC? Which groups convert best on site? Once you’ve found your key audience, push more budget towards those pups. For example we can A/B test rowdy dogs and more regal pups by building 2 ad sets that target the following and comparing their performance:

Pampered pups

vs. Rough types


Tips for Facebook Video

With more than 8 billion views every day on Facebook Video, capture some of that attention for your org.


Interest targeting is great for getting new pups to your site, but what you if you want to re-engage the pack you already have? You can use the Facebook Pixel to retarget dogs that have already been sniffin’ around your site. Install the Pixel and create a ‘Custom Audience’ for your site visitors. Then, target this audience to show your ads only to doggos that have already visited your site. You can also expand this to include pups that are ‘similar to’ the ones that have already visited your site.

So there ya have it- finding and targeting the superior species on Facebook. If you need to target humans instead, we have some tips on that too.
How does your organization advertise to pups? Tweet us your tips and experiences @WholeWhale.

Oh, and happy April Fool’s day!