Paw-fect match: Dating apps for pooches, would you swipe right?
Getting ready for a first date can be nerve-wracking and awkward. It’s the moment when excitement meets anticipation. And imagine if the very first date is scheduled at a beautiful spa in the city. Sounds crazy? Not crazy enough for two pooches, says the date organiser Shahana Khatri who along with her business partner, Manas Chhabra runs Petrimonial, a Delhi-based pet matching service that helps pet parents to a find a perfect mate-match for their furry-baby.
And it’s not just the Dilliwalas who’re looking for the ideal match, Bombay-based duo, Romit Dalal and Chetan Shah are helping to connect the pet owners through an app they’ve developed called Petmate, available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store that helps pet-parents (currently only dogs and cats) swipe right to match with pets in the area to set up fun play-dates, find their soulmate, adopt a pet or offer to take care of a pet.
For both Petrimonial and Petmate, the idea struck them when they wanted to their respective fur-balls for mating but didn’t no where to go. But for another Bombay-based, Rozina Gaziyani from Dogs and More, a pet magazine, it all started at a dog carnival that they organised in 2016 and got requests from pet-owners to find a suitable match. Hence, they started a page Doggiemonials, that have been approached by at least 500 pet-parents.
Sonal Saluja, a Delhi-based marketing professional says, “I have an European Doberman and I have been trying to find a mate for my dog. Initially it seemed like a difficult task because of many issues but when I got to know about these dating apps, it seems like a viable option. It won’t just help me find a good match for my dog but also someone is accountable in case something goes wrong.”
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Coming to the charges for the services provided, Doggiemonials and Petmate have no fees whereas Petrimonial charges a nominal amount. Khatri says, “ We’ve received several requests from pet parents looking for bae’s and misters for their Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, French mastiffs, and other breeds, ever since.” To this Chhabra explains the process of date, “Our aim is to make sure pets meet pet and owners meet owner. We follow 3 simple steps — we organise a spa date where owners also get a chance to chat with the other pet owner then we move on to a vet for a health checkup for the dogs, and then third and final is the mating.” All the pet-parents who approach these pages go through various checks to maintain the credibility and ask to provide details like age, gender, health issues etc.
Dr Pradeep Rana, a Delhi-based vet, says, “Finding a match for your dog through social media is an upcoming trend, don’t know how long or how successful it will be in the future. As far as mating is concerned, we see the animal behaviour and take them through physical examinations to check if they’re fit enough to mate.”