Online mingling is not just for humans anymore. New online app BarkBuddy is taking digital matchmaking to a whole new level. BarkBuddy, similar to Tinder, connects puppies to individuals looking for a man’s best friend.
“BarkBuddy is the first app designed to locate adoptable pups in your area and fetch you a perfect match,” BarkBuddy states on its website, www.barkbuddy.com.
Users are shown pictures of homeless puppies near them. With the functions of swiping right to “like” and left to “dislike,” BarkBuddy instigates ideal pairings between puppy and person. When an individual is interested in adopting a puppy, they are directed to a place where they can set up a meet-and-greet to determine if this puppy would be a good fit.
BYU students interested in adopting their first dog may find such an app helpful as they educate themselves on which pup best suits them.
“This app would be very helpful in finding the type of dog you are looking for,” said Whitney Bunker, a nursing major from Orem. “I would use all of my options, so I would probably give the app a try as well.”
BarkBuddy is the newest branch of a larger company, Bark and Co. Other branches of the company include BarkBox, a monthly deliverable dog-treat service, BarkCare, an in-home veterinary service for dogs, and BarkPost, a website devoted to daily doggy news for pups and their owners.
BarkBuddy is unique as it matches users with puppies ideal for their lifestyle by collecting information about breeds they seem most attracted to, based on their swipes. Once an individual has used the app several times, swiping stats are calculated and users are paired with their ideal adoptees. There are currently more than 250,000 puppies throughout the nation that are available for adoption in the BarkBuddy database.
Each BarkBuddy profile includes a picture of the pup, a short bio, its adoption price, breed and current location.
While Tinder and BarkBuddy’s profiles may resemble one another, BarkBuddy prides itself on its goal to improve the lives of both adopted dog and adopting family.
“It seems that adopted pets somehow know that they’ve been rescued,” said Mary Whipple, a Petco sales associate. “It seems to be easier to form a bond with them.”
BarkBuddy has the potential to improve the lives of many dogs who may otherwise not be taken care of in such favorable circumstances. The Humane Society of Utah believes BarkBuddy has potential to change the face of local animal shelters by increasing awareness and reshaping their reputation. BarkBuddy hopes families will more frequently want to adopt via their local animal shelters.
“There are way more dogs that need to be adopted than there are people to adopt them,” said Megan Zachariasen, adoption assistant manager at the Humane Society of Utah. “Making a very easy search mechanism is good because it helps people narrow down what they want in a dog. An app that puts all this information at your fingertips, I can’t see how that can be anything but great.”