KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kwinton Scarborough became a dog parent two years ago and has loved every minute of it. Just about every day, you see Scarborough and his 2-year-old German shepherd named Ruffy at a dog park in Kansas City, Missouri.
Scarborough is as much a people person as he is a dog person.
“People are more likely to talk to you at dog parks; however, those relationships usually end at dog parks,” Scarborough said.
So the cybersecurity consultant created a solution: PawConX. It’s an app currently available in the Apple App Store that allows dog owners to build on the relationships that begin at the park.
“You really want to connect with people you’ve seen your dog get along with,” Scarborough said.
The app shows users other profiles within 1,000 feet (typically the size of a dog park). Users create “packs” among each other. In their packs, they can plan play dates and message about veterinarians, dog walkers, sitters and more.
“If you need advice or have an issue and you bring it to the dog park, chances are someone is going to say, ‘I’ve had that, here is how I dealt with it,’” Scarborough said.
The entrepreneur admits he’s just getting started. He received a $1,000 investment through a pitch competition in town and plans to start a Kickstarter campaign to expand and eventually place the app in the Google Play Store as well. One day, he hopes to leave cybersecurity behind and make PawConX his full-time gig.
Scarborough’s timing on the app couldn’t be better. New data shows dogs are even more important to people during the COVID-19 pandemic than before.
Just this week, Lenexa-based Elanco Animal Health shared results from a survey that found 68% of dog owners have a stronger emotional connection with their pup now than before the pandemic.
As a result, dog owners are spending more money on their dogs, as well as more time with them. Elanco’s survey showed men are more likely to buy a dog now than women. And all dog owners plan to bring their dogs with them on errands or to restaurants more often once the pandemic ends.