At ACA Research we keep abreast of developments in the market to help ensure that our pet care market research doesn’t just meet the needs of the here and now, but sets up our clients for the future.
One topic that has grabbed our interest is that of pet-related apps.
With the Apple app store growing at over 1,000 apps a day, it’s no wonder that app developers have turned their attention to our four-legged friends. A whole plethora of apps are now available to meet the needs of both pet owners and pet lovers and here is just a sample of the latest and greatest that we’ve found.
Pet training and play
The audio and visual features of phones or pads can be put to good use, with apps that turn your device into a training tool for dogs. ‘Clicker Training’ is one such app for dogs that allows you to use positive reinforcement training and train your dog to respond in different ways to different sounds.
While cat owners may not choose to train their cat, these same device features can be utilised to turn your phone or pad into a play centre for cats. ‘Cat Game’ turns your phone into a laser pointer that you can fire at the floor to engage and stimulate the most stubborn of felines, whereas ‘Cat Fishing’ and ‘Mouse’ provide your cat with an amusing array of interactive onscreen toys to track and tap.
Pet health monitoring
It’s not all play and activity on the app front, many apps are now available that enable you to manage your pet’s health. ‘Pet Tracks’ enables you to monitor the time that has elapsed since your pet’s last walk, feed, pee and poo and ‘Pet Health’ and ‘Dog Buddy’ enable you to log all your pet’s particulars, including treatment and vaccination history. Like a log book for your car, these health logging apps help catalogue your pet’s health and can provide a vet with instant insight should an emergency arise.
A range of apps are facilitating direct connection between service providers and pet owners across the spectrum of pet care. ‘Rover’ and ‘Dog Vacay’ both help you find accommodation for your dog, with the latter catering to dog friendly accommodation so that you can travel with your pet AirBnB style. ‘Dogshare’ and ‘Meet My Dog’ both serve to connect dog owners with dog-lovers who may walk their dog, or other owners who can offer your dog a playdate. And, if your dog walker lets you down and Fido slips his leash, ‘Whistle’, a US based app allows you to track where your dog is via a special microchipped collar.
The concept of accessing veterinary advice is also undergoing an overhaul. ‘Petcoach’, a US app puts 24/7 veterinary advice in the palm of your hand enabling you to talk to vets directly, whereas, a newly launched app ‘Pawssum’ links owners with veterinary practices to facilitate in-home veterinary appointments.
‘Pawssum’ deserves a special mention, not only because it is a home-grown (Australian) app, but that it offers a win-win for veterinary practices and pet owners alike. It is fast gaining recognition amongst veterinary practices both as a way to access new clients and to enable practices to service existing clients in a new (and engaging) way. In-home veterinary consultations can reduce stress for the pet and increase convenience for the owner. Imagine, no more vet clinic runs!
In a world where customisation and convenience are increasingly driving the services we elect to use, apps are at the front line of the pet owner service economy.
Watch this space for more pet care research!
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