Pet dating website helps owners too
Many pets already have their own social network profiles administered by their owners but now a site has been created just for them.
Two animal-loving PhD students from North Shore's Massey University have created Petsnearby, a website which is both a social network of K9s, cats and feathered friends, but also a database of services including dog parks, vet clinics and pet stores. In future it may also include lists of pet-friendly hotels and cafes, breeders and health and fitness services.
The idea grew out of conversations between Mack Saraswat, a biochemistry student, and Ralph Grand, who is working towards a PhD in genetics, while spending long hours in the university's Institute of Natural Sciences labs.
"I think we were just talking and we discovered we both loved animals," Saraswat said.
"I had a pet cat, Ralph has a pet cat, and we wanted to create something cool, something that would connect people through their pets."
The duo enlisted the help of friends and family and with the assistance of the university's onsite business incubator, the site went live.
The database information is accessible to everyone, but account holders - who can have multiple pets listed under a single account - can find pet services in their area or use the site to set up play dates with other pet owners.
"What's really different about Petsnearby, though, is the interaction can be between the pets, or between the account owners," Grand said. "Two dogs can have a 'conversation' about meeting up for a play date, or the owners can talk to each other directly."
He believes part of the site's attraction for users is the possibility "you can find a date for your dog, and potentially for yourself".