‘Where My Dogs At’ Pet App Connects Animal Lovers

May 21, 2013  |  

People love their pets so it would seem only natural that, sooner rather than later, there would be a social network dedicated to pets and their owners. According to The Los Angeles Times, Where My Dogs At is a new social networking app targeting dog lovers and their four-legged friends looking for local dog-friendly places to go and people to meet.

Where My Dogs At is built around a location-based search and rating of dog-friendly businesses, restaurants, parks, and apartments. The listings also include user reviews. Users “mark their territory” at their favorite locations and can interact with fellow dog lovers. Users can also let their friends know which places and businesses have earned their “paw of approval.”

Owners can even create a Facebook-inspired profile for themselves through the “dog people” feature. There are also “dog profiles” through which other furry friends can be found.

“Everybody loves social media these days, even dogs,” said Jonathan Kolker, co-founder and chief executive of Where My Dogs At, told the newspaper. Kolker was looking for dog-friendly places to take his beloved Cocker Spaniel named Eddie, so after compiling a list of dog-approved places in Los Angeles, he partnered with childhood friend Gareth Wilson (now president and creative director of the company) and put that data into a social app. The two were graduate students at USC’s Annenberg Program of Online Communities.

The idea attracted investors; they received $10,000 from the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab to build the Where My Dogs At app and later got $20,000 in seed funding from the start-up accelerator program StartEngine.

The free iOS and Android app will soon be updated with more options, including dog-friendly hotels and an events category. The partners, reports The Times, will monetize the app by offering upgrade features for a fee, such as  buying virtual gifts for their friends and pay to access exclusive data like hidden dog parks and trails that most people wouldn’t know about.

And if you travel with your pet, Where My Dogs At recently released international data for their users to search dog-friendly places overseas.

Pet owners aren’t just investing their efforts in their pets. They’re also investing their money. “Overall, Americans spend about $500 on average, or 1% of their annual budget on their pets. That means they drop more dollars on pet supplies than on beer, vodka and other alcohol,” writes Quartz. Baby boomers and couples without children are the ones spending the most money, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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