The more technology advances, the more it is spread into new directions and into new areas that may have previously been unexpected. Especially in the modern age, much of technology has trickled into fields as advanced as medical innovation and supply chain efficiency all the way down to sectors such as consumer goods and the pet industry. In an effort to bring modern technology into the pet market, PupPod has launched two new devices built both for a dog’s entertainment and mental enrichment. The startup has brought smart devices into the dog’s world in the form of a feeder and so-called PupPod Rocker. So, what exactly are these devices, how do they work, and what has PupPod done as a company?
PupPod the Startup
PupPod is a Seattle based pet technology startup which works to develop devices and apps created to help enrich and train pets, and in particular, dogs. This is achieved through their diverse and charismatic collection of products based on its software platform. The company’s software platform is built to help connect owners and pets in meaningful ways. In particular, the software in conjunction with PupPod’s toys and devices have been developed to help encourage mental stimulation, physical exercise, and behavioral training. These developments have in turn peaked the interest of several investors over two different rounds of funding.
In January of 2019, PupPod raised $772,000 in seed funding led by Dr. Roger Mugford, the founder of The Company of Animals. That seed funding went directly back into the company’s research and development of the now current generation of pet devices and toys. This was followed by another round of funding in August of 2020, which raised another $430,000 in funding and debt financing. This money has helped create different devices that have now officially launched.
PupPod’s newest devices are the PupPod Rocker and Feeder. The PupPod Rocker uses the company’s software platform and built-in sensors to mentally stimulate dogs and reward them for certain interactions during specific times. If the dog correctly interacts with the rocker, the PupPod Feeder will then dispense a treat or small piece of food. From there, the rocker will continually increase the difficulty, forcing the dog to learn and make better judgments in order to continue to receive treats and foods from the feeder.
These interactive devices are meant to help encourage physical activity by placing the feeder and rocker far away from each other in the space. In terms of mental stimulation and behavioral learning, the rocker makes each interaction more difficult than the last. To receive rewards from the feeder, the dog must continue to learn and interact.
Pet owners have the ability to control the games between the rocker and the feeder through the PupPod Mobile app. The mobile app also comes equipped with the ability to livestream in 1080p from the PupPod Feeder, so that owners can continually check in on their pets throughout the day even when they are not home. The PupPod Mobile app can continually be updated to provide new features for the owner and challenges for the dogs. While the rocker and feeder, in combination with the app, are clearly a high-quality group of dog devices, it certainly is not being sold without a high-level price tag to match. To purchase the PupPod Rocker and Feeder together, which will connect to the free mobile app, it will cost shoppers $199. While the price tag remains rather expensive, according to some users, it is definitely worth it.
PupPod remains a promising startup with exciting products that, especially when dogs and owners are spending more time inside, can keep everyone active and learning. While PupPod’s funding has only reached a collective $1.2 million, the upside remains very high. PupPod has built two solid and innovative devices in the rocker and the feeder. And while each deserves credit on their own merit, it is clear that the software platform and mobile app remain what puts PupPod as a pet tech startup a cut above the rest.
Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.