Swipe right for puppy playdates

A dog’s life in the city can be a lonely one but a QUT business student has come up with a unique solution – a free match-making app, PatchPets, for doggy playdates.

When 21-year old Josh Fritz moved from his home town of Moranbah to Brisbane and adopted Quincy, a cavoodle, he found his perfect companion.

But it wasn’t long until Josh realised that his new best-friend needed more than just his company – Quincy needed some friends of her own.

Dogs bring people together

“Every day I would go to the local dog park at Kangaroo Point and the idea for PatchPets began to take shape. Dogs have a huge presence on Instagram and Facebook so the app is a natural progression,” Josh says.

“I did a lot of market research worldwide and did not see anything quite like my concept. I wanted the focus to be completely on the dogs so all the profiles are of them.”

Josh says that since Quincy has had playmates to run around with, she’s been much happier.

“It’s especially important for puppies to interact with other dogs. Socialisation enhances their development, adaptability to different environments and how they adjust to other dogs and people.”

A new global sensation

Dog_dogs_social network
App creator Josh Fritz with Quincy. Credit: QUT

Since its launch in late May, PatchPets has gone global.

Josh’s original goal was to have 700 users in the first month. By the six-week mark, the app had 4500 users not only in Australia, but the United States, Japan and the UK.

“A lot of people told me PatchPets would become a full-time job for me and they were right. The interest is phenomenal. Clearly there is a need for it.”

The accounting student has even had to defer his QUT studies in order to concentrate on the app.

“Now I am about to launch phase two of the PatchPets app, which will evolve into an immersive social media platform and give businesses the opportunity to engage dog parents.”

“My vision is to make everywhere more accepting of dogs; to make cities more dog-friendly. It’s an added bonus that it will also help people who own those dogs feel less socially isolated, especially if, like me, they have moved to a new place.”

As well as profiles of dogs and the opportunity for users to connect for playdates, PatchPets also offers a guide to dog parks, dog-friendly cafes and more.

And for all those lonely cats out there, they might have to wait a little longer for their own match-making app.

“I am not sure about that, maybe in the future,” Josh says.

This article was first published on Australia’s Science Channel, the original news platform of The Royal Institution of Australia.

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