Bao is living that lux life in the 6ix!
Bao, a Mississauga-based influencer, probably lives a more luxurious life than you do.
The 1-year-old chihuahua has over 8,000 Instagram followers and over 10,000 followers on TikTok dedicated to following the pup's life of leisure, patio hopping, sporting over-the-top designer outfits, engaging in posh hobbies and lounging at home.
While Bao certainly doesn't lead a normal life unless, you count having three birthday cakes, eating wagyu and owning a wardrobe worth a couple of thousand dollars normal for the average dog.
Bapo spends most of his time sleeping in, relaxing at home and out of the crazy outfits he's almost exclusively seen in on Instagram.
While Bao certainly knows how to pose for the camera and is rarely seen in the same outfit twice, Ngoc Tran, Bao's owner, told Narcity, "usually we take it off after photos, I let him be a dog."
Bao loves going to the park, visiting his dog cousins, outdoor walks and despite his confident appearance, Tran says he is actually quite shy and sweet.
Tran says it was hard to socialize him during the pandemic, so she took him to training classes once things opened up to bolster Bao's confidence and help with his anxiety.
Although that's not to say Bao isn't spoiled with love and luxury. For his first birthday, Bao was gifted a $300 Louis Vuitton scarf and celebrated in style with a party that could rival most human 1-year-old's birthday parties.
Bao celebrated with four other dog friends, three cakes, a videographer, a luxury picnic set up with a balloon arch in muted pastel tones perfect for snapping a quick pic.
How it all started
Tran adopted him in October 2020 and started documenting his life on Instagram in January 2021.
Tran says she started Bao's Instagram during a COVID-19 lockdown after initially sharing an account with her sister, who also posts photos of her two chihuahuas, which Tran affectionately refers to as Bao's cousins.
"I take so many photos of Bao. So I decided I'm going to create his own account."
In eight months, Bao's casual Instagram has turned into a full-blown side gig for Tran, who says she dedicates about ten hours a week to his social media presence on top of her full-time corporate job.
Regular photos of Bao playing with cousins or taking a nap became planned weekend photoshoots, scheduled content and a social media empire spanning across multiple platforms.
Tran is a creative individual and no stranger to social media. Before Bao, she even ran her own food account, snapping and setting up beautiful pictures.
How Bao became a fashion icon
When Tran and her family first adopted Bao, he was missing patches of fur and only weighed about two and a half pounds, so they started putting him in sweaters to keep him warm during walks, and Bao got a taste for the finer things in life.
"It's just our creative outlet. It started as a TikTok video of outfit changes, and people were just sending us such cute like sweet messages. That's when I decided, okay, I'll do more of this," said Tran. "You know, everyone seems to be enjoying it, he's comfortable with it."
Tran says Bao doesn't mind the outfits and will even continue posing after their photoshoots have ended in hopes of scoring a few more treats.
"Whatever I put on him, it has to be comfortable, and it has to be big enough, not too tight because I've noticed a few times I tried hats, and he just freezes. He doesn't try to rip them off or anything. He just freezes, so I can tell he's not too into it. So I don't really push the issue. I just try to put on whatever's comfortable."
"I guess other dogs they can't stand clothing or will not have it on or bite everything off, but for him, he knows to put his arm through sometimes right, like just hold up a shirt depending on what it is, and he'll stay still."
Bao's favourite GTA spots
When Bao is not at the park, his owners love taking him to dog-friendly patios.
"He's so used to it now, he's pretty good, and he's well behaved. I get sweet comments from the staff everywhere we go, and everyone likes to come out and say hi. Some people stop and ask to take pictures."
Tran will bring dog-friendly treats for Bao to snack on, and after he's snapped his next hot Insta pic, she'll usually undress him for the rest of the outing. His signature sunglasses are especially a quick on and off situation.
Some of Tran's favourite patios to bring Bao to are Mildred's Temple Kitchen, Miga Korean BBQ and Lobster Burger Bar.
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