Are you going back to the office? Do you have your pet covered?

Since February of last year, we have gone through some crazy changes due to Covid-19. Our way of living has wholly shifted, and as a society, we are re-evaluating our priorities.

Flexibility has been the norm in most industries. It has resulted in a more positive work-life balance for most people, but the real winners are the pets. Pets have never enjoyed more time with their companions. I remember my mom telling me that Benito (her small french bulldog) was having the best time of his life having people in the house all the time and that she was concerned about what would happen when she needed to go back to the office for a couple of days a week. I know my mom is not alone. I spoke with several individuals who feel the same way and are stressing over this. I also have a dog at home, but he has assured me that he needs his time alone, relaxing and recharging batteries.

Photo by Jessica Jochheim on Pexels.com

Although some employers will allow their employees to work remotely full-time, most opt for the hybrid model, requiring you to find someone to take care of your lovely pets while you are at work. That is why I decided to write this blog and dive deep into the digital pet world. For my readers who are planning to go back to work or need someone to help with their pet’s needs, I have come up with two essential suggestions that I found super helpful.

First, hire an on-demand dog walker that you can trust. The two leading platforms that offer this type of service are Robert and Wag.

  • Robert is the number one dog sitter and walker app on the apple store with a 218K ratings and 4.9 starts. They offer all kinds of services: pet boarding, house sitting, daycare, drop visits, and dog walking, all under the same application. 
  • Wag is also a great one. It has 4.8 stars and has 43K reviews. I like to call it the Uber of dogs. I have used this app many times, and I love their reports and how you can track your dog. The interface is amicable, and it makes the process easy.

When I was younger, if you were on the market for a dog walker/babysitter, you needed to ask multiple people for recommendations or beg the neighbors to help you out. Every time was an adventure and a struggle. Nowadays, you can find a dog walker/babysitter anywhere and anytime without worrying about your baby’s safety because Robert and Wag conduct background checks in all of their dog walkers.

My second piece of advice is for your to get a pet camera for your home. Pet cameras are excellent tools to help you keep track of your pet when you are away. These are super helpful, and you can find them at a wide range of prices. I am a big fan of the Furbo Pet Camera ($250) because it offers a tremendous amount of features. Furbo lets you see, talk, and interact with your dog. You can give them treats remotely, and you can get notified when they’re barking. It knows the difference between howling, crying, or constant barking. It even tells you when someone is in your house. It helps you train your dog by releasing a treat to reinforce good behavior.

If Furbo is out of your price range, don’t worry. There are plenty of other cameras available in the market that will be a great addition at a more affordable price. For example, the Wyze Cam v2 ($35.98) has a great video and offers unrestricted cloud storage.

The days of worrying about not having the resources to take care of your pet are part of the past. This peace of mind is all possible thanks to the digitalization of the pet industry, which has a global market estimated at US$179.4 Billion in the year 2020. Technology has disrupted and democratized many sectors. Pet owners have taken advantage of this democratization by having access to services that were only available to wealthy individuals. We live in a crazy world. I never thought that at age 29, with the press of a button, I would have the option to have a dog walker take my dog for walks on-demand 24/7, do a quick checkup with the vet, or buy pet food online.

The future is bright for these puppies. I see a generation of spoiled puppies living their best life.

Announcement: On December 1st, I will be presenting on the digitalization of the Pet Industry! 

12 comments

  1. Super interesting post Carlos! I’m not going to lie, I almost got a dog during quarantine but the thought of having to leave them at home prevented me from doing so. It is great to see how the pet industry is stepping forward and allowing pet owner to have a better peace of mind. I wonder how long it will take employers to allow dogs in the office altogether?

    1. I know some offices that offer the option to bring your dog, but I think it can be a little hard to focus.

  2. I second @yanamorar‘s comment; I was so close to getting a dog, but the responsibility is there forever, and I don’t think I was ready for that type of commitment. I can’t wait to hear your presentation and your thoughts on the digital transformation of this area! In addition to Rover or Wag, I think products like automated food dispensing machines or in-home cameras to check in on our pets have been a significant addition to people’s pet playbooks.

  3. Carlos- I’m looking forward to your presentation! As a soon to be pet owner, I am overwhelmed with all of the tech that I can add to my space to monitor the little guy. One thing that I saw was an integrated electric fence outside with a collar that also opens a dog door in and out of the house (by RFID i’m guessing). I can’t wait to hear all of your research and suggestions!

    1. Karl what pet are you getting?

      1. He’s getting a new dog named Regret.

        Dog doors are the best. Definitely could use the RFID upgrade, though, since we’ve had other neighborhood dogs slip into the house… ironically, the most often visitor we have is named Bandit! I fear the dogs forgetting that they need the tech to open it/that the tech fails one time and the dog breaks its neck, but it’s definitely a cool idea.

        I also like the new automatic dog feeders. Granted, all the tech seems to take away from the point of owning a dog, but I’m here for it. I wonder if they’ll have automatic feeders for children one day…. just kidding (sort of)!

  4. The pet industry is full of disruption! A company that I admire a lot is Chewy. A subscription service for pet food makes a ton of sense. I have also seen countless examples of their exceptional customer service, it’s unbelievably impressive. Are you a Chewy buyer?

    I do think we will see the digitalization of vet services similar to the telemedicine services that many of us experienced during covid. Has anyone had any experience with this for their furry friends?

    1. I used telemedicine all the time with my dog and it was really good. :)

  5. Great blog, Carlos! I am lucky to have 3 pets (1 dog, 2 cats), and I can confirm that the fear of heading back to the office + night school, leaving them by themselves for most of the week, was real. I have used Wag several times for quick weekend trips when I would prefer my dog stay at home and be walked a few times a day instead of lodging him. It’s better for his nerves to stay at home and better for me knowing he is comfortable.

    There’s also great toy tech out there! There are toys that will throw a ball for your dog, act like a real mouse for your cat, and dispense treats if my dog solves a puzzle (my personal fav).

  6. I actually did get a Covid puppy! We got our rescue in December of 2020 and it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Your blog makes a great point in terms of the amount of time a dog takes. If my girlfriend and I weren’t both working from home full-time, I don’t know how we could have the dog. It takes so much time and effort!

    When both of us have obligations at the same time outside of the house we have used a service called Rover. It allows us to find the highest rated (AKA safest) person within a reasonable distance from our condo to watch our dog for the day. We’ve used this service several times and have been so happy with our experience. After reading your blog, I’ll look into Wag as well. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for such a fun read and introduction to your presentation topic. I actually have a dog and I grabble with what will I do when I need to go back to the office. I’ve also used services like Wag and have found my dog’s, and mine, favorite dog walker but since the pandemic, we had to discontinue their service. On a different note, a service I use through Chewy is their prescription ordering and delivery. I’ve found that the prices are more reasonable than getting medication from the vet and have the convenience of having them delivered to my front door.
    I’m excited to see what else you share during your presentation.

  8. Great post Carlos! Something that’s certainly been on my find for a few months now. I don’t have much concern about my senior pup who has experienced life before COVID but for our young pup who we happened to get during the pandemic, I have a little concern. He has never experienced a full work day with my wife and I both gone, one of us is always home. We are going to have to slowly ween him into life when we go back to work. I’ve got one of the cameras which is great. Before that i actually had an app that could leverage the camera from my iPad and shoot back the video to my phone. It was useful but not as good as the camera we now have. Where I am most concerned is what happens when people go back fully time. Dogs are not disposable but unfortunately many people treat them like it. I worry about how many dogs are going to end up back in shelters because “people went back to the office” and it became a hassle. If that’s your mentality don’t get a dog

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