The First Social Network Just for Dogs | Paway

Animal Innovations Show - Episode 108 - Paway

The First Social Network Just for Dogs | Paway

Take heed: this social network for dogs will blow every pet parent away.

It goes by the name of “Paway”.

Co-founded by Jason Meltzer, Paway is an app that allows you to tap into a community of dog lovers.

And by that, we mean that you can take your dog out for the best walks and meet other pet parents in your locality.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

According to Jason, who is also the company’s CEO,

“Paway is the culmination of all my experiences designed from the ground up to make an impact for pet parents and pet pros.”

Developing Paway

As someone who has loved pets even when he was a kid, Jason has been in the pet space since he was 13 years old. He established his first dog walking company at the age of 25, later started Wag, and eventually headed Paway.

“The world of pet parents was missing something that I had been thinking about for years. I wanted to create a better tool for keeping your dog healthy for free,”

Jason said on their website.

Essentially, Jason aims to help improve the lives of animals and their parents using technology.

It was because of this that he built Paway, as he envisioned pet care providers to be able to make a living by caring for animals.

“I wanted to build something that had more of a community base towards it, that allowed neighbors with dogs to find each other, whether they’re in their hometown or traveling around the world. But I also wanted to build more tools for pet care providers to actually manage and grow their business.”

Connecting Pet Parents and Pet Pros Through Paway

developing paway

Looking at Paway as sort of next-door-meets-Service-Titan for pets, Jason explains that it’s easy to use the app.

Simply download the app on iOS or Google Play Store, create a profile, and voila! You can now access the GPS-based social app.

Paway shares the information on your profile with other app users in your neighborhood.

This way, if you’re out on a walk with your pup and you want to have social interaction with other local pet parents, you can easily see which dogs would mesh well with yours.

Another thing you can also do on the app is crowdsourcing. This affords Paway users a chance to engage in their local community feed. They can also see any important news that may affect their dogs’ health.

“My background has allowed me to be a professional dog walker, be a dog owner, manage a large dog walking company. But when walking the dogs’ client, I had to know where there was a dog that was breaking through the fence last time, where I saw that stray dog last time, there’s this great watering hole over here… That information needs to be shared to the community…”

With Paway, therefore, you can feel just like a local every time you travel with your dogs.

No more asking around where to go and the places or things to avoid since Paway is your best friend when it comes to all that.

Even better, if you’re a pet professional, Paway doesn’t take any commission from your services.

You can add all your clients to the app so they can easily book you. You also have great tools to promote your business.

“We’re just getting started with the types of features that we want to bring to help these businesses. But we think that what we’re doing will make their lives easier and make the dog walks more enjoyable.”

 

 

Learn more about Paway!

Visit their website at https://www.paway.com/.

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Jason: Hello, I’m Jason Meltzer, CEO, and Co-founder of Paway and you’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Excellent introduction, Jason. Thank you so much for coming on. I’m really excited to have you.

So, you get to start us off. Tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping out.

Jason: I’ve been in the pet space most of my life. I’ve owned dogs, since I was a kid. I started walking dogs, people in my neighborhood, when I was 13 years old— for pocket change.

Then, when I was 25, I started my first dog walking company called: Surf Dog LA. It was a sort of lifestyle-inspired dog walking company that I turned into a six-figure business.

I later went on to start Wag!.

Wag! was Uber for a dog walking tech company. I was the first CEO and Chief Dog Officer with that company for about five years. They just recently announced they’re planning for a SPAC IPO on stock exchange, which is great news.

And then I left Wag! back in April20— 2020 to start Paway. And Paway for me has been like generations in the—of work in the planning and learning.

From Surf Dog LA to Wag!, I wanted to build something that had more of a community base towards it that allowed neighbors with dogs to find each other, to know where the dog parks are, whether they’re in their hometown or traveling around the world.

But I also wanted to build more tools for dog walkers and pet care providers to actually manage and grow their businesses.

These are things like tracking and reporting, mobile-first experiences, demand generation, payment automation, booking automation tools so that these pet care providers can really make a living by caring for animals.

That’s Paway in a nutshell.

Chris: So, walk me through—

How does it work for me, as just a consumer? So, not a pet professional walking someone else’s dog. I’m just taking my dog out for a walk.

Why would I want to use Paway?

Jason: So, it’s really easy to download the app. It’s free, you could download it on iOS, on your Apple phone or on Android phones.

It’s actually really cute. You create your profile for your dog. When you’re doing that, we ask you like breed, age, but also like, is your dog friendly? Does it want to make friends? Is your dog made you least reactive and it’s not best to keep them separate? Is your dog a service dog? Is your dog timid?

This information when you create the account, when you’re actually walking your dog in public, it’s shared with those around you.

Just like how Waze shares traffic. We share, like, where the friendly dogs are  and where the less friendly dogs are.

In that way, if you’re out walking your dog and you want to have social interaction, you could open the app and say, “Oh, there’s another friendly dog over here down the street.  I’m going to go introduce my dog.”

Or you might go, “Oh, I’ve seen this dog in the neighborhood.” “She’s been less reactive to me in the past.” “I’m going to turn around and head home.”

Other fun things you could do on the app is we’re crowdsourcing, like if there’s broken glass on the street, if there was a stray dog found, or more positive things.

Just like here’s a local business that gives out dog treats. Here’s a local water dish for a dog. If you’re walking your dog on a hot day, right.

You can engage with our feed of your local community feed where you’re seeing just like: Where people are, when they’re walking their dog, what sort of comments do they have for the day. If there are any bulletins that are important for your neighborhood, maybe there’s an outbreak of Giardia in one of the local streams.

This information needs to be shared and exposed to the local community of pet owners. And it’s buried across multiple platforms right now, making it really hard for you to be a diligent dog owner and keep the dog healthy as best you can.

Chris: So now, when did you actually then launch this? When did the product go live?

Jason: We launched the Apple version back in the summer of 2020, and we now have users in 120 countries around the globe.

Over 24,000 pet parents are engaged with the product and walking their dogs safely and securely with Paway helping them out.

And we’re now beginning to offer more of these professional tools to dog walkers who are— again, like a natural fit for the product.

Chris: Yeah, and it’s kind of interesting—I’m curious how it went viral. Is there anything that you guys did or literally, it just started to get shared and people heard about it and told their friends.

Jason: I do think it’s inherently viral—the product because as a pet owner, we designed this caregiver component where you, Chris, may have your wife or significant other who also helps care for the dog.

If you’re an older pet parent, you may have younger children that are also now responsibilities for helping the dog.

And so, we built-in—like a food and water tracker into the product. So now— pet obesity is a big issue that we’re all dealing with.

And I think it comes down to really just two things, It’s either the dog’s not getting enough exercise, Paway lets you set a goal for how much exercise you want that dog to have each day.

Usually, people, we recommend about 45 minutes of dog walking per dog, depending on age and size. And it comes down to overfeeding, right. 

And the reason the dogs are getting overfed is, mom feeds the dog in the morning, the dog eats the bowl. Then your kid comes home after school. They think the dog is hungry, they fill the bowl. And your dad comes home from work. He sees the bowl is empty. So, they fill the bowl and the dog is being overfed.

So, if there was a tracker for that, which we built into the app, that would—should help alleviate that problem.

So, building the family unit around the dog built that virality into it and then allowing dog walkers to participate in the network itself.

Now, the pet parents are distributing it to the dog owners and the dog owners distributed to all their other clients.

And so it just grew virally.

Chris: Now, one of the things I wanted to ask you about is you actually got to pitch Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank.

So, how did that go? How did that come about?

Jason: That was just a very fortuitous moment where— I was engaged with talking with StartEngine about a potential crowdfunding campaign for Paway.

So, if your listeners are interested in backing Paway. There might be some information about that in the future.

They can go to PAWAY.COM. We’ll announce when that’s happening.

But anyway, I was talking with folks at StartEngine and they put out this massive broadcast like, Hey, Pitch, Mr. Wonderful, and I applied for Paway.

And then it had been a few months and I knew that the selection date was coming up. And I just so happened to be on the phone with the account executive at the time.

And I said, “Hey, I applied for this thing—Mr. Wonderful looks really cool.” “Can you just check on my application?”

And they had just heard me talk about Paway. They loved what I was doing. But sure, we’ll reach out and we’ll just say, Hey, we’ll talk to this company. We think they’re interested.

We got selected. I mean, 12,000 companies applied to pitch Kevin O’Leary to StartEngine. Five were selected and Paway won his grant of 25K.

Chris: Remind people again where they can find you guys online, in the app stores. How do they get this and get started?

Jason: You can go to our website, PAWAY.COM Download us directly in the app store by searching Paway on Android or on your Apple device.

We have a lot more fun stuff coming and tell your friends, right? I mean, this is one of those products where the more people in your community who are using the product and engaging with it and adding their dog and letting you know when they’re actually on a dog walk.

Chris: So, Jason, thank you again for coming on. I really enjoyed the conversation.

And as we wrap up the show here, Jason, I’ll remind our viewers and listeners they may be sitting on an idea like you were, right, for years and you’re like somebody just needs to do this. Well, do it right and bring it to life.

If you want to talk about the idea we’d love to have you on the show, just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW fill out the form and come on the show.

Whether your idea is formed like Jason’s and launched or if it’s still up in your head and you’re noodling around on it we’d love to have people on the show and talk about it.

So, excited to see where you take this.

Jason: Thank you so much, Chris.

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