Social Networking Has Gone To The Dogs Literally

Who says our dogs can’t have their own social network? Perhaps you’re thinking their paws aren’t built for smartphone touch screens or computer keyboards? Well, you’re right, they’re not.

But we’re sure some day that might change, if and when takes it to the next phase of what they're offering pet owners and their dogs currently.

Dog Tags are so last century . . . has technically improved upon the dog tags we were used to when growing up — and they’ve even included a social network wrinkle for pet owners as an added bonus.

If you really want to make sure a tag does as much as possible to keep your dog safe and returned to you quickly should they get lost, the Pet Widget might be just what the doctor ordered.

Beyond microchipping . . .

Microchips alone may not be enough to help you trace dog if he strays. The Pet Widget is a $29 collar tag created by Ivan Loh, who told Mashable recently that many runaway pets who are picked up are untraceable, despite being microchipped. Why?  Because their owners may have neglected to renew their annual license.

Also, only veterinarians and animal shelters have microchip scanners. This leaves folks who find your dog assuming the additional responsibility of taking your lost pet to an authorized facility.

That's where Pet Widget comes in. It has an NFC chip and a QR code that can be scanned easily with anyone's smartphone. This will provide the finder with the dog's profile that users created on the Pet Widget site. That profile carries extensive data including the dog's allergy information and other health conditions.

But the secret sauce here is that it will also trigger a notification to pop up on the owner's phone when it's scanned, providing the pet owner with the opportunity to call and communicate with the scanner.

Getting Social

Pet Widget also helps pet owners to socialize. The platform describes itself as a “human-powered, pet-driven social network that aims to improve the way we care for pets by connecting pet-loving folks to useful services and to each other.”

The social network component allows folks to chat in forums with other pet owners, make friends, and arrange play-dates for your pooches when they get bored.

Additionally, it provides users with a search feature that lists local veterinarians, pet groomers, and other pet-friendly shops and parks.

For your smartphones, Pet Widget may be downloaded for free on the Apple AppStore and Google Play. Visit for more details. Oh, and by the way, the same tag can be used for your cats too! But if your parrot flies the coop . . . well, that’s another story entirely. My blog on that topic can be found here.