pawmates app

Toronto man creates Tinder for dogs and people are loving it

Finding true love for your dog is the vision behind a Toronto app called Pawmates, and the creator thinks matches could spark a romance for people too.

Colin Jarvis-Gaum created Pawmates: The Dog Meetup App, which he says is kind of like "Tinder for dogs."

Jarvis-Gaum, 27, came up with the idea for the app about two years ago when he was looking for a play date for his parents' older dog, Pal. Pal has since passed away but the app lives on, recently reaching 10,000 downloads.

The dog parks were a bit too rowdy for Pal.

"He sort of reached the senior age, you know, he slowed down a little bit," Jarvis-Gaum tells blogTO. "And I thought, you know, it'd be great if I could find him other older dogs to play with."

pawmates app

Pal was a senior dog looking for playmates.

Jarvis-Gaum, who studied environmental science, had no experience creating apps, but he got some help with the design and taught himself how to code through YouTube videos.

"When I started this, I had zero computer science background, like absolutely nothing. So I kind of had to learn it as I went," he says.

The app works much like Tinder: people set up a profile with a photo of their dog and, using geolocation, users can swipe through potential matches. If two dog owners show a mutual interest, they are matched. They can then chat and set up a time to meet in person.

There is also a map feature on the app, which acts as a pet directory for local pet stores, groomer and dog walkers.

pawmates app

Pawmates works like Tinder for dogs.

Now that the app has taken off, Jarvis-Gaum has found that many people use it to find romance in addition to dog playdates. For some people, a disinterest in dogs can be a deal-breaker in a potential partner.

"I saw that there could be a side of meetups where people use it for social aspects, or for people who want to use it for dating…[to] make sure that they're pet friendly."

The app is free to download and use. Jarvis-Gaum may include advertising if the companies are a good fit for Pawmates.

"I don't want to charge users," he says. "So my big focus was building an audience first and then having sponsorships with trusted brands."

So if you are looking for love or just a friend for your dog, the app could be a fun option.

Lead photo by

Bruce Reeve


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