Dogs are social animals, and some are doubtless the most important relationship in their owners’ lives; they’ve certainly got humans beat on general likeability. So it was only a matter of time before someone decided to create a social network for man’s best friend -- and actually there are at least three which have launched in recent months.
First up is Where My Dogs At, a social app that brings together dog lovers and their dogs and encourages them to share information about dog-friendly venues and events, sniff each- er, meet each other, and generally have a doggy good time. There are separate, linked profiles for dogs and their owners. The dog-friendly listings include directories and online maps of businesses, restaurants, parks, hotels and apartment buildings where canine companions are welcome; dog-friendly businesses can also make profiles for themselves and serve ads to users with geotargeting. There are real-time updates as well as a location component that allows users to (ahem) “mark their territory” rather than “check in;” users can also bestow a “paw of approval” on their favorite locales. Eventually a “freemium” model will make upgrades available to users who buy a subscription.
Next up is Pack, a social network “for people who love their dogs” (who doesn’t?) which seems to be more focused on simple adoration and veneration. Profiles include pictures of the dog and owner plus information about the dog’s breed (including “Mystery Mutt” for those of unknown provenance), age, size, and where they live. Users can join “breed packs” with other dogs of the same breed, post pictures and updates, and recommend dog-friendly spots. Like Where My Dogs At, Pack offers listings and profiles for dog-friendly places, businesses, and non-profits, some of which are recognized in a “Pack Loves” section. Currently Pack is in beta and accessible by invitation only, but will probably open up sometime soon.
Last but not least is My Social Petwork, a social network from the U.K. for all kinds of pets, not just dogs, and the people who dote on them to an unhealthy degree. Users can create profiles for their pets, post pictures and video, and share information about pet care, boarding, and activities. My Social Petwork also allows businesses and charity organizations to register and create profiles. No surprise, there are a whole lot of dogs and cats on My Social Petwork, but a recent survey also turned up profiles for hamsters, guinea pigs, geckos, cockatoos, salamanders, mice, a vole, a hedgehog, a puffer fish, and an owl. Crazy world.