March 7, 2011 / 11:05 AM / in 7 years

Looking for a dog groomer? New app for canines

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Need a dog groomer? Looking for a trainer or nearby park? A new iPhone application provides canine information and also functions as a dog’s ID and medical and insurance cards.

<p>Vava, a three-year female dog, receives grooming at luxury pet care centre "Irion" in Seoul, South Korea, February 9, 2011. REUTERS/Truth Leem</p>

The “My Dog” app allows dog owners to create and share a personalized profile of their dogs, similar to Facebook, according to its creator.

Holger Laufenberg, the California-based designer of the app, said the idea for it came after his terrier mix, Dax, went missing.

“A panic struck me, and I started calling all the vets, all the shelters. Over and over again, I was asked the same questions about the kind of dog, its medications, that sort of thing,” said Laufenberg.

“I thought it was crazy, and that there must be some better way to do this,” the 49 year-old former ad executive added.

The profile includes a picture, description, information about the dog’s owner and emergency contact information, as well as details on vaccinations and medical history.

The data about the dog can be emailed or uploaded to a user’s Facebook or Twitter account.

“We wanted to create something that allows any dog owner to have all the information needed at their fingertips at all times,” Laufenberg said. “We all run around with our smart phones, which allow us to communicate, and we have to take advantage of it.”

The app can also serve as a dog-travel guide with listings of services such as dog-friendly hotels and parks, the pet rules of U.S.-based airlines and rail services.

“I live in California, but my dogs go where I go. Sometimes I need to find day care centers to put them, or need a sitter or to show vaccination records. Now I have all that with me,” he said.

A directory of dog services, which contains around 38,000 listings, such as trainers, pet photographers, funerary services, or rescue services can be searched by area code.

Currently, the directory has listings in 220 metropolitan areas across 50 states. The app’s travel functions are more focused on larger metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles or New York.

Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr., editing by Patricia Reaney

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