Pooches can find a pawfect play date or dog-friendly cafe thanks to this Brisbane dog lover's new app.

APP DEVELOPER

What's new with you?

I've just broken into the tech space and developed a social dog app called PatchPets. It connects dogs and dog owners to help them find park pals or their local pet-friendly cafes, businesses, hotels and groomers.

Why a dog app?

In mid-2017 I left my family home in Mackay and moved to Brisbane for university. Sadly, this meant leaving our gorgeous family pooches behind. After I settled into apartment living and my studies I realised a huge part of me was missing, and that was life with my pooches. That's when I got Quincy, my dog. We were heading to the park every day to stretch her legs, although there were never any mates for her to run around with. From there the idea was born.

Josh Fritz, pictured with Quincy, is the founder of a new app that links dog owners up for play dates. Picture: Russell Shakespeare
Josh Fritz, pictured with Quincy, is the founder of a new app that links dog owners up for play dates. Picture: Russell Shakespeare

Has Quincy been on many play dates?

For sure. Quincy and I meet with locals in the park most Saturdays so the humans can all enjoy a cup of coffee while the pooches run around mad. It's really heartwarming to see.

Could this app become the next Tinder for pet owners?

Trust me, PatchPets is purely an app for social dogs to make friends. It's definitely

a walk in the park compared to some of the Tinder dates my friends have been on.

Does science say dogs are happier when they have pals?

From personal experience, Quincy is so much calmer and less yappy when she's had the chance to run around the park and socialise with other doggos. The RSPCA also speak of a critical socialisation period for puppies. It claims that between the age of3-17 weeks, socialisation assists in pooch development, shaping their adaptability to different environments and how they adjust to other dogs and people.

What is it that you love about dogs?

Dogs love everything about their humans, no matter their size, skin colour, sexuality, appearance, intellect or wealth. They just love you for you, and I think it's the most rewarding thing in life to find a companion that will love you and your company as much as you love theirs.

Josh with dog Quincy. Picture: Russell Shakespeare
Josh with dog Quincy. Picture: Russell Shakespeare

Your favourite Brissie spots for dogs?

The Colmslie Reserve dog park in Morningside. It has the most green field in all of Brisbane so it's just as nice for me as it is for Quincy. Our favourite dog-friendly cafe would have to be Little Smirk at Kangaroo Point. They have the best coffee and always have a dog bowl out the front for your pooch.

Is PatchPets now your full-time gig?

Yes. I believe you have to dedicate everything you have to a business if you want it to be successful. I am also studying finance (accounting) to assist me with my business venture.

What has the uptake of the app been like?

It had been incredible. In the first three weeks the app had over 1000 users in Brisbane alone, engaging in conversation and meeting in the park for play dates or at their local pet friendly cafe. Seeing pooch owners take to the app so quickly really makes all the hard work worth it. I was also afforded the wonderful opportunity to partner with RSPCA right before launch.

What's next for you?

I am currently focused on releasing Phase 2 of the app at the moment. We have got such exciting things coming in the near future.



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