Free app PetPanion says it has taken a major step towards helping pet owners become responsible ‘pet parents’ by launching a new Wellness Score feature – and is now looking for pet trade product and service providers to be part of its owner rewards programme.
The launch of the Wellness Score comes at a crucial time for the UK’s pet population. The lockdown saw a surge in demand for puppies in particular, leading charities, such as the Dog’s Trust, to urge people to remember that a dog is for life, not just for lockdown.
The PetPanion Wellness Score, developed in conjunction with the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey, addresses the areas new and existing dog and cat owners need to cover to ensure their pet is both healthy and happy. It prompts the ‘pet parent to consider eight key aspects of their pet’s wellbeing: age, breed, weight, vaccination record, dental health, parasite treatments, medical conditions and happiness.
Currently, skin and coat issues are the main problem emerging amongst PetPanion’s four-legged users, whilst eating non-food items, excessive barking and being anti-social, are the main behavioural issues. The App enables both owner and pet to track their exercise and set daily exercise goals and create other health and wellbeing related targets.
It also offers ‘PetPanion Coins’ as rewards, if a pet’s health is improved or maintained at a high level, which can be spent in two ways. They can either be used to purchase affiliated products or donated to a charity that has registered with PetPanion.
PetPanion’s creator, Qian Huang, believes the Wellness Score has a major part to play in the current climate. Not only do new pet owners need to keep on top of vaccinations, microchipping, parasite treatments and boosters, they should also stay alert with regard to their pet’s ‘normal’ behaviour, so as to spot changes in their pet’s wellbeing.
Both Qian and associate, veterinary surgeon Dr Peggy Middlemiss, believe prevention is better than cure when it comes to healthcare and are now looking for pet trade suppliers with products that support pet health and wellbeing and which could be aligned with the PetPanion brand.
Qian said: “We are already working with some exciting pet product brands but wish to provide app users with other choices when it comes to the spending of their PetPanion coins. We would also like charities to register and become one of the causes that can also benefit from pet owners’ coin donations.