Spontaneous weekend getaways and spur of the moment vacations are great, but they can become a huge hassle for pet owners. For many, the thought of leaving their four-legged friend with an unreliable family member, friend, or vet is simply out of the question. It can be hard to find a good person that you can trust with your furry friend, especially if you know you’re going to be away for a few days. That’s where Doggy BnB comes in.
Doggy BnB is a social network for pets and their owners, which combines all the best parts of Tinder, LinkedIn, AirBnB, and Facebook together into an appealing package. Using the app, pet owners can find boarders for their pets when they go on vacation, dog walkers, pet watchers, and other pets to play with. Everyone you connect with is either a friend, a friend of a friend, or a highly qualified pet lover.
Doggy BnB’s founders Dan Joldzic and Adam Pokornicky decided to make the app after they had several bad experiences finding qualified dog sitters and good pet hotels.
“We thought, ‘There must be a better way to do this,’” Joldzic told Digital Trends. “There should be a way to ask your friends that’s easy and less awkward. We couldn’t really find one so we decided, ‘Okay, let’s build one.’”
To the founders and many of their friends who’ve tested the app, Doggie BnB is the perfect solution.
“We think someone you know and trust is better for you and your dog,” Joldzic said. “Your dog knows them, it’s a comfortable environment.”
Although Doggy BnB skews toward dog owners, it also works for people with cats, rabbits, snakes, ferrets, and just about any other pet you can imagine.
To get started, you have to create a profile. Once you’ve logged in with either Facebook or email, you can enter as much or as little information you want about your pet and yourself.
For example, you can share a picture of you and your pet, your ages, names, the pet’s breed, and your location. The location data isn’t exact, though. If you’re someone who will return the favor of watching, feeding, walking, or boarding someone else’s pet, you can also list how much you charge for each service. Then, you can invite friends from Facebook directly from the app itself.
Once you’ve built up your network, you can search for what you and your pet need. To request a service, you send out a “Woof,” which is essentially a message about what kind of care you need to find for your pet, when you need it, and how much you’ll pay for the service.
For example, you can ask people in your network to watch your pet for a few hours, walk them in the park, or even take care of them while you’re away. You have the option of sharing your Woof with just your first connections, which are your immediate friends and family, your second-degree connections, which are friends of friends, or strangers who are, coincidentally, someone else’s trusted pet-loving friend.
“It offers a trusted network of essentially dog lovers,” Joldzic said. “Those second and third degree choices are someone else’s first degree, they were invited to the network.”
Once you’ve sent out a Woof, other users can offer to “Fetch” or answer your request. Assuming more than one person replies, you can pick and choose based on the trustworthiness of the person. When it comes to second and third connections, you can check the person out based on reviews and star ratings from other Doggy BnB users or find out how you’re connected and then ask that friend for a recommendation.
Once you choose a person, you can communicate with them using the message function in the app. You can share logistics, locations, contact info, and check in on how things are going — all from the app.
Conversely, if you’re a dog walker or someone who loves babysitting pets, you can look for pet owners in need in the Fetch section of the app. There you will see all the available Woofs on Doggy BnB and can offer your services.
In another section of the app, you can find other pet owners nearby who want to connect and perhaps set up play dates. This part of the app looks just like Tinder and you can either like the dog you see or decide that one’s just not your type. Once you and another pet owner have liked each other’s pet, you can message each other and coordinate a time for your pets to play together. This feature is called “Sniffer.”
Doggy BnB is already available on the iOS App Store for iPhone and iPad users, but Joldzic said an Android app should come out in 6 to 8 weeks. He also said that he’s interested in creating a Windows Phone version.