2 November 2022

Social media for dogs? The DogPack app is uniting furry, four-legged friends in Canberra

| Evelyn Karatzas
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man and dog

Dov and his four-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Shepherd, Bear. Photo: Dov Punski.

Two brothers, a couple of their pets and one bright idea to unite dogs in the community, the country and the world – introducing the DogPack app.

It started when the Punski brothers, Dov and Jonathan, put their heads together to come up with a useful one-stop tool for dog owners to access pooch-friendly parks, see where dogs are playing, connect with one another and access dog resources.

App co-founder Dov said he and his brother wanted to create a way that dogs and their owners could connect in a way like never before.

“We want to see people taking proper care of their dogs, and we help them by providing a dog-friendly map and check-in feature in the app,” Dov said.

“Jonathan and I basically created an app to facilitate doggy playdates with your dog friends. The more people that use it, the more effective it becomes since the app is very community based.

“We have had many communities reaching out to us thanking us for the app because it has made socialising for dog parents so easy.”

Dov said the app was a global success, and its Canberra users loved it.

“We have seen our app greatly benefit many communities across Canberra.”

READ ALSO Beloved pet found after three weeks missing, dog-gone it

DogPack’s main features include access to a detailed map that outlines dog park locations and dog-friendly areas throughout Australia and around the globe.

It has a ”lost dog” feature to help find missing dogs, and it allows owners to check into the app to see who is at the parks before they arrive.

“What’s cool about this app is that dogs can actually check into the dog park, and then others know who’s there before they arrive,” Dov said.

“A lot of the time, if you’re a dog owner like myself, you go to a park and sometimes it’s a bummer because nobody’s there, so DogPack tells you prior to going.”

black schnauzer

Jazz, Jonathan’s schnauzer. Photo: Jonathan Punski.

Dov said DogPack was like social media for dogs.

“You can send friend requests to other dogs and their owners, too,” he said.

“Users even get notified by their friends (or Pack Members) when they’re checked into the park.

“You can also put in your dog’s details and the app will filter through to find you dogs of the same breed or similar to yours to connect with.

“I think DogPack is also really good for when you’re travelling because if you’re not familiar with a place, you can actually open up the map and see a bunch of dog parks around you.”

map of dog parks in Canberra

A map of dog parks in Canberra and surrounds. Image: DogPack.

Dov said 30 dog parks were currently listed across Canberra, but if a DogPack user saw one missing, he or she could suggest it in-app.

They can be found under the ”Dog Park Finder” section on the app and DogPack website.

“We accept any dog-friendly area on the map, including dog-friendly beaches, trails, open fields and on-leash areas,” Dov said.

“Many of the parks we list provide agility equipment, double-gated entrances, two sides (for bigger dogs and smaller ones), water fountains, trails and much more.

“All of the dog parks’ amenities are clearly listed under each dog park page.”

man and his dog

Jonathan Punski and Jazz. Photo: Jonatahan Punski.

The owner of Bear, a four-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Shepherd, Dov said the DogPack community had grown significantly since launching in October 2021, gaining 62,000 users across the world.

“There are currently 22,000 users alone in Australia using the app, and 1675 users in the greater Canberra region,” Dov said.

“We are gaining more and more users every day.

“We see that Canberrans, along with the rest of Australia, have been suggesting many new dog-friendly locations to the app.”

READ ALSO RSPCA’s Pets of the Week – Kolt and Squirrel

Dov said the website and app would be updated soon with new features.

“We will be adding all dog-friendly businesses to the map, so anyone in Canberra who owns a dog-friendly business will be able to advertise it on our map,” he said.

“Users will be able to filter through the different categories to find what they’re looking for, whether it’s adoption places, vets, groomers or even dog-friendly cafes.

DogPack can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play and accessed online.

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