Entrepreneur

Petsodia: The Airbnb-Like Platform That Provides Your Pets With A Home Away From Home

If there is one thing that all Malaysians love other than food, it’s going on vacations. If we had all the money, we’d be travelling the world and we won’t even look back, except for one particular group of people—pet owners.

For animal lovers, they understand the pain of leaving their dogs or cats behind when they are away for several days because their pets are a part of their life and family. Thus the popular affectionate term, furkids.

Leaving furkids behind in a pet kennel can be difficult and heart-breaking because most kennels will just put the dog or cat in a cage or pets only have a limited amount of space to move about and might not get the amount of stimulation that they need.

Malaysia-based startup Petsodia is a platform that addresses that problem. Petsodia links pet sitters to pet owners for their four-legged friends while they’re away so that guilt won’t be eating into their conscience during their holiday. Founded in October last year, Petsodia is a labour of compassion and love towards pets which is created by Patrick Chang.

Image Credit: Petsodia
Image Credit: Petsodia

“Is there any other choice?”

This is a question Patrick constantly has on his mind whenever he sends his furkids to a pet kennel. As a pet owner himself, he describes that it is very saddening to see his own pet being crated in a cage when he is out of town. Therefore, he thought, why not bring the pet lovers community together to take care of each other’s pets? As a result, Petsodia was inspired.

The Expedia-Inspired Airbnb For Pet Sitters/Owners

Why the name Petsodia? The founder and CEO said that the inspiration of the name comes from Expedia. As a service section manager in the semi-conductor industry, he travels very often.

“I use Expedia a lot, so I thought of using the word ‘pedia’. Then after trying out different terms—such as Petodia—we decided to go with Petsodia.”

Patrick during BootstrapAccelerator. Image Credit: Petsodia
Patrick during BootstrapAccelerator (Image Credit: Petsodia)

If you think the concept sounds familiar, the reason is because it works like Airbnb, but for pets instead of people. Petsodia allows users to sign up and be a pet sitter and offer their services, or pet owner can use Petsodia to hire other pet sitters to take care of their furkids.

Benefits Of Being A Petsodia User

According to Patrick, they are open to any kinds of pets but the inquiries received are mostly for cats and dogs. “These two kind of mammals (cats and dogs) need extra care, unlike snakes whereby you can just provide them with water and they can survive really well; however, cats and dogs require human touch and interaction.

Screenshot of the website.
Screenshot of the website.

There are three things you could do when you sign up as a user on Petsodia:

  • Find a pet sitter to take care of your pet while you are away.
  • Connect or socialise with other pets owners that have the same kind of pets as you.
  • Earn some cash as a pet sitter. If you really like this, you can be a full-time pet sitter working from home. This is Entrepreneurship!

The Huge Trust Factor

Any pet lover would know that we want only the best for our furkids, and that means that we want people that we can really trust to handle them.

If anyone is interested to be listed on Petsodia as a pet sitter, Patrick said that they will go through a light background check to ensure that the pet sitter is trustworthy and truly love animals. It is important that they are not on Petsodia just for the sake of earning pocket money.

The pet wall on Petsodia.com.
The pet wall on Petsodia.com.

Most people infuse their personality and interest into their social media, and this is what Petsodia will do before partnering with pet sitters—check their background and personality via their social media platforms. Petsodia doesn’t charge the pet sitter any fees for signing up. Their only condition, instead of payment, is that users must be genuinely interested in taking care of and loving animals.

“Our core value is that we want to give to the pet community, educated all the pet owners, to let their pets enjoy a wonderful time while they’re out of town,” said Patrick.

petsodia team
The team behind Petsodia are pet owners and pet lovers themselves.

Verdict: 3.5/5

The intentions behind Petsodia is certainly noble, and we find that admirable. Pet lovers can surely appreciate an online platform that seeks to keep their furkids happy while they are unable to care for them since they are away.

Security is an issue that needs to be constantly dealt with to ensure that pets are not harmed by any pet sitter. Also, there is the concern of pet owners leaving their pets with a pet sitter and not returning to collect them. A thorough and complete check should be done on not just the pet sitters, but also on other users as well who intend on leaving their dog or cat with a pet sitter.

Also at this point, Petsodia only serves as an online platform but does not get involved in any conflict, should any arise between pet sitter and pet owner.

The website still needs a lot of work though as the user interface is still quite bare. Petsodia will be revamp their website soon to improve their features and polish the overall user experience by the end of August. For this startup, we give it a fairly earned 3.5/5 stars.

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The website is currently available for users in Malaysia and Singapore. To find out more about how you can use Petsodia and to put your “animal whisperer” techniques to good use, visit their website here.

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