Where the dogs at in your city? They might be on a new social-networking app aimed at helping pet owners and their pups discover dog-friendly places in their neck of the woods.
Launched in January, the Where My Dogs At app—touted as Yelp for dogs with a more social approach—has been getting a lot of media attention as of late, and pet specialty retailers might want to pay attention.
The location-search-based app allows dog owners to search for a variety of dog-friendly establishments nearby, including parks, veterinary care and pet stores, as well as restaurants, coffee shops, hotels and lodging, and apartments.
“We’re encouraging people to go out with their dog, explore their city and socialize their dog,” says Jonathan Kolker, co-founder and CEO of Where My Dogs At.
iPhone and Android users can download the app for free, create a profile and begin their search for the most dog-friendly places in their city. “Rather than checking in, people really like ‘marking their territory’ at their favorite place,” Kolker says. “They also like rating places [that are listed] by giving it a ‘paw of approval’—and can rate it from one to five paws.”
Pet stores and other pet-friendly businesses can create their own profiles, including the name of their business, photos of their place and information such as their web address, Kolker says.
The company plans to make improvements to the business profile pages by the end of the summer, in addition to introducing geo-targeted ads and sponsored searches for small businesses.
“For now, if their business isn’t listed, [business owners] should let us know—they can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org—and we’ll list it so users can find it when they are searching for pet stores or vets.”
Among the other improvements expected to roll out this summer is an events listing page that will let users know about dog-related or dog-friendly events in the area. Pet stores with Yappy Hours or other social events may want to take advantage of this feature when it is launched.
Where My Dogs At currently has 10,000 users—5,000 across Los Angeles and 5,000 more spanning the rest of the nation. “We’re trying to improve the data everyday, but it is fully functional now and has a thriving community,” Kolker says. “We’re hoping to find our niche within the pet industry and help out the business owners, the users, and of course, the dogs.”