I’ve already posted one interview from last weekend’s Yappy Hour event at South by Southwest — my interview with Courtney Dasher, owner of Instagram star Tuna Melts My Heart.
But I wasn’t just there to talk about dogs that are big on social media. I also spoke to Aaron Hirschhorn, co-founder and CEO of dog-sitting marketplace DogVacay, and Ben Jacobs, co-founder and CEO of Whistle, which makes an activity tracker for pets.
Hirschhorn and Jacobs both talked about their respective companies, about working together on the day’s pet adoption event promoting the no-kill animal shelter Austin Pets Alive, and about the emergence of a broader category of pet startups. Asked if things are always so friendly between the different pet startups, Jacobs told me:
Right now, there’s a few great companies emerging — folks like DogVacay, like BarkBox out in New York, like Whistle, here in San Francisco. Our focus is to really bring new products and services to the pet owner market. There’s alredy over 80 million dogs in the US — there’s more dogs than kids — and $60 billion spent on those animals. So I think right now, we’re really locking arms and helping to create the new category of companies.