The BarkBuddy app is being called a “Tinder for dogs,” in which you swipe left or right depending on your preference for a pooch, just like you do for people on the popular dating app.
But no, this isn’t a dating app for dogs. Dogs don’t date. Dogs get adopted. This is a adoption app for dogs, which borrows the fun swiping functionality of Tinder to help you narrow your search for your next best friend.
It features about 300,000 adoptable dogs, mostly by hooking itself into PetFinder but also by featuring dogs from the 2,500 shelters involved with BarkBox’s shelter donation program, according to TechCrunch. BarkBuddy is from Bark & Co., which we’ve been very impressed with in the past. We talked about its BarkBox subscription service here and its in-house vet service BarkCare here.
To use the app, you can set some preferences — what type of dog, gender, and so on. — or just jump into the pool. The app uses geo-location to show dogs in shelters nearest to you. You swipe the photos left or right to indicate if you like or don’t like a dog; you can also tap the photo to bring up information on the dog and the shelter, or even share the post to Facebook.
Dogs you like are saved to Favorites in the app; as those numbers increase, the app is able to “start building out a profile of the type of dog you like,” according to TechCrunch. As the app looks at your favorites, it gets to know what you like so it can offer more recommendations based on the breeds you’re drawn to. You can also view all your favorites at once on a map.
As TechCrunch notes, PetFinder relies on shelters to maintain its lists of dogs, and as we know shelters have a lot to keep track of, so relying wholly on an app like BarkBuddy isn’t prudent. Rather, the app is just another tool you can use to get you going in your search. Building your Favorites list can get you thinking about what kind of dog you really want, and prompt you to start visiting shelters to take the next step in your search.
Do you think you’ll use BarkBuddy to help you find your next dog? Let us know how you like it. BarkBuddy is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod; you can get it for free here.
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