Thanks to enterprising pet owners, Fido and his friends can now set up playdates online, receive doggie bags filled with treats, and indulge in luxurious pet spa products, among other things.
City life can get pretty lonely for many, which is why many people decide to share it with pets. For all the unconditional loving your four-legged companions give you, they deserve more than just a walk in the park and an occasional trip to the grooming salon. New York’s animal-loving entrepreneurs have started a whole bunch of pet-catering sites to help your furry friends feel some extra love.
Pooch Health – Rather than storing all your pet’s health documents in a file that you might misplace, you can store them online at Pooch Health. Dedicated to being an online platform for your pet’s medical and social needs, Pooch Health lets you enter important information like allergies, vet documents, care routine and contact information. This information is easily shared with vets and care providers. You can also store all your pet’s pictures in one place – even those taken by your friends and controlled by customizable privacy setting. Browse pet services available in your neighborhood, share them with the community and check out the latest deals on pet products.
BarkBox – The brainchild of Carly Strife, Matt Meeker and Henrik Werdelin, BarkBox sends customers a monthly goodie bag for their dogs. It’s quite easy to set up – you choose the size of your dog depending on its weight – “small & cute”, “just right” or “big & bold” – and then a delivery plan than ranges from between $29/month to $19 for 6 months, all with free shipping. The box includes up to half a dozen treats, playthings and hygiene products that have been tested and approved by BarkBox’s in-house puppies. 10% of sales proceeds go to local animal shelters or welfare organizations, and members are even allowed to suggest where the money should go. The company plans on growing its impressive 35,000 customer base through Facebook marketing and referrals, which earn current members one free BarkBox. And if you can’t get enough of dogs then check out the sister blog, BarkPost, for all your canine fixes. No pun intended.
MatchPuppy – Calling themselves the OkCupid for dog playdates, MatchPuppy helps pet owners find their pets buddies for their daily walks or to just run around with in the park. Customers create profiles for their dogs, with pictures, breed, gender, age and energy level. They can also share their dogs’ favorite parks and any upcoming playdates scheduled. To set up meetings, customers can browse dogs or parks listed. It was only a matter of time before your pets had their own social networking site, right?
Dog Fashion Spa – You might have to loosen the purse strings a bit if you want your dog to smell and look like a million bucks. Dog Fashion Spa’s products cover the whole range of doggie care products, from perfumes and eye cleaning pads to lotions and nail files. The perfumes will set you back $55 and the eye pads $19. The products are all natural and were designed to be of the same quality that the owners would use on themselves.
Fitbark – FitBark is a device that monitors your dog’s activity levels and sends the information to your phone in real time. It is shaped like a bone and straps on to your dog’s collar. After FitBark sets a daily goal for your dog, about an hour’s worth of vigorous exercise that you can customize, it uses BarkScore to let you know how often your pooch has been meeting his/her daily goal. This is the perfect tool for owners who have to leave their dogs at home all day, since it allows remote tracking of the pet’s activities. FitBark will be available this fall and can be pre-ordered on Kickstarter, where the more than double the stated goal of $35,000 has been raised
Though the list is quite heavily in favor of pooches, we’ll keep our eyes open for any kitty-related sites coming up. But we know how finicky felines can be, which is why they say: Dogs have owners; cats have staff.