The business and website is called petclub.com which will be an online pet and pet-sitting community which brings together both owners and sitters of pets to facilitate pet care while the owner is away on holiday, at work, out for dinner, partying until sunrise and whatever else people might want to get up to that involves leaving their pet at home. This gives pet owners more freedom in their social life and their pet more care that previously might not have ben affordable and accessible.
For those who don’t own a pet it is a chance to experience and enjoy a pet for a short period of time without the full responsibility of owning one.
As the relationship is mutually beneficial; pet lovers wanting to look after a pet and pet owners needing care for their pet, the cost of care is extremely low and potentially free, especially compared to other pet care options such as kennels and pet minders. This means better one-to-one care for the pet and also potentially more care where beforehand it might not have been affordable.
How it works:
The website will be a series of profiles similar to Facebook. Pet-owners will create a profile page for their pet where they can post photos and list other information about their pet along with status updates of when their pet might need care etc. The pet sitters will build a pet sitting profile page discussing how and why they are suitable to look after pets, these will also show rankings and recommendations from other pet care arrangements to build trust.
Pet owners will create listings (like eBay) when their pet is available. Pet sitters can search for available pets using a range of criteria such as location, availability, animal type, breed, care rating, price etc. They can also contact people directly.
There will be a following and followers part where you can follow pet owners and sitters you like.
Other aspects to the website include Forums, member generated Groups (like LinkedIn), RSPCA adopt a pet, and a Blog. Also eventually a Petshop where pet retailers can promote their goods and I might sell my own eco friendly goods.
Security & Trust
• The website will recommend all parties meet prior to the swap to ensure the pet, pet owner and the pet-sitter get along.
• Once the pet owner is satisfied with the pet sitter, they have to ‘accept’ the sitting request online. This then brings up a legally binding care contract drawn up by a lawyer, which can be customised by the pet owner to specify particular care of their pet; when to feed, if they are allowed off the lead, pick up and drop off times etc. Once the pet sitter accepts, this contract is enforced and the care arrangement goes ahead.
• The pet-sitter profiles will be ranked and recommended (eventually) by previous sits to build trust.
• Pet owners can also set up trusted groups and get friends involved on the site. This way if pet owners would prefer to call on their friends first, they can do this through the site.
Free for all - I envisage making money eventually from advertising and also potentially a Petshop where I sell eco friendly pet accessories (down the track)