How much food should you feed your dog? Pet owners everywhere have asked this question at one time or another – and probably multiple times during the course of their dog or cat’s life. That’s partly why pet tech company Petnet was able to secure its new $10 million Series A funding round, led by strategic investor and partner Petco.
Petnet, which was founded in 2013, wants to take the uncertainty out of answering that question, and help pet owners be more confident about the fact that they’re helping their kitty or canine eat healthy. A surprising number of pets aren’t getting the balance right; an estimated 53.7 percent of dogs, and 57.9 percent of cats in the U.S. are classified as obese according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
My own dog, pictured below, is trim and within the recommended weight range for its type and height (I know this because my brother’s a veterinarian), but even with the odds in my favor, figuring out exactly the right amount to feed her took quite a while. Petnet’s CEO and co-founder Carlos Herrera says I’m not alone.
“A lot of people have trouble figuring out what to buy their pets, what particular food to buy their pets, and when it comes to pouring the food, they have trouble figuring out how much to feed their pets,” Herrera explained in an interview. “So at the consumer level that’s what we’re about. is to answer those questions: ‘What do i need for my pet, in its stage of life.’ because the needs for your pet change over time.”
So Petnet created its system, which draws on a network of vet-approved information, as well as local sensors to help consumers determine what they should be feeding their pet, as well as how much and how often.
Now, thanks in part to this funding, Petnet is expanding both its distribution and its product line. The existing Petnet SmartFeeder will now be sold at Petco retail locations and online, in addition to Best Buy and other locations where it’s available, and the new SmartBowl introduced at CES this year will be sold exclusively via Petco. The SmartBowl provides notifications to a user about when they’ve poured the right amount, but leaves more of the feeding process manual as compared to the SmartFeeder.
The specific goal of this round of funding is to help expand the reach of their existing product line nationwide, which the Petco distribution arrangement will help considerably. But Herrera noted that this will also help them expand to areas of pet care outside of feeding. Herrera says the company overall is about providing a “personalized pet care experience,” and that naturally includes more than just food.