Free social app connects dog owners with dog-friendly places, events; provides lost-and-found alerts
AUSTIN, Texas–BarkHappy®, a location-based, crowd-sourced mobile app created to help dogs and their owners discover the dog-friendly world around them, launched nationally today. The app offers a unique and creative way to socialize dogs and help communities better engage their four-legged family members by showing dog-friendly places, dog-friendly events, and even has lost-and-found alerts. The app is designed to foster a connected community of dogs and dog owners through real-life experiences while also creating a platform for dog-friendly businesses and events.
“We’re trying to change what it means to live life with your dog: they don’t have to always stay home anymore. There is a dog-friendly world out there that BarkHappy can help you discover!”
“Dogs are social by nature. They are happiest when they are out with their owners and other dogs.” said Ninis Samuel, CEO and founder of BarkHappy. He was inspired by his rescue named Kerby, and believes a socialized dog is a happy dog. “We’re trying to change what it means to live life with your dog: they don’t have to always stay home anymore. There is a dog-friendly world out there that BarkHappy can help you discover!”
Find Dogs Nearby to Meet New Friends
Already seeing success in its three trial cities – Austin, Portland and Seattle – BarkHappy has quickly found its way into thousands of dog owners’ lives by enabling them to make new friends in their area. Users create profiles for their dog , including information such as age, breed and even their personality traits – such as whether they get along only with small dogs. Profiles can even feature an Instagram account link. Users can browse other dogs nearby, send “wags” or messages to other dogs, search by breed, see their owners’ information, or schedule a play date with others.
A Dog-Friendly Map to Go More Places
The BarkHappy map features over 20,000 dog-friendly places nationwide, with various categories including restaurants, bars, parks, vets and hotels. Each listing has its own profile information that dog owners have difficulty finding today without extensive research or phone calls. For example, users can quickly identify whether a restaurant has water bowls, treats, covered seating, or if dogs are allowed on the patio. Users can leave ratings, comments, or report a problem with a listing. Dog-friendly businesses are listed at no cost to them, and the map is crowd-sourced – thus growing every day. Any user can add a new dog-friendly place to the map and share with the community.
Attend Dog-Friendly Events, or Host One
The events feature in the app shows upcoming public dog-friendly events from BarkHappy itself, its charity partners, and others. It even allows users to host their own private group play dates. Users can schedule a group play date and invite friends in their “Pack” from the app. Invitees can then invite others in their network. BarkHappy has already gained a reputation for fun events in its first three cities, such as BarkHappyHour events at at restaurants, weekly meet ups, and even dog-friendly bar crawls. BarkHappyHour plans to continue these efforts in major cities across the U.S. as part of its expansion.
Lost Dog Alerts
The app also features a “Lost Dog Alert” system. This free service allows users to create a lost (or found) dog report with key information about the dog, including photos and contact info. Most importantly, users can also pinpoint on the map where their dog was last seen. BarkHappy then sends a lost dog alert to all BarkHappy users within a radius of that location – posting the dog’s photo and owner’s contact information. A similar report system is available when a dog is found by other users.
“The most likely person to find a lost dog is another dog owner,” says Samuel. “Today, when someone loses their dog, they exhaust the previously available channels, like distributing flyers or posting on Facebook. But with BarkHappy you can now make sure the word gets out, in real-time, to the exact kind of people that can help: other dog owners!”
BarkHappy Inc. was founded in by Ninis Samuel and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Ninis spent 12 years as a marketing executive at Fortune 500 tech companies – including Microsoft, Lenovo and Nokia HERE – launching software and hardware products around the world and leading product management, consumer marketing, and strategy. Ninis combined his tech-savvy with his love for dogs to create the BarkHappy brand and appointed his dog Kerby as “Chief Puppy Officer.” The app launched in July 2015, with Austin, Texas as its first trial city.
The app is available for free in both the iTunes® App Store and Google Play store.