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Pet Healthcare Firm with Subscription Model Raises $4.5M

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It has also launched a mobile app.

Subscription-based pet healthcare company Fuzzy Pet Health has closed on $4.5 million in seed round financing, at the same time launching its mobile app and expanded in-home vet care options.

The company said in a press release that the financing will enable it to continue expanding its veterinary services and geographic markets, keeping up with growing customer demand. The round was co-led by Eniac Ventures and Crosscut Ventures, with participation from Precursor Ventures, SV Angel, Accelerator and FJ Labs.

“As self-proclaimed dog lovers, Eniac is excited to support Fuzzy’s quest to improve the pet health ecosystem,” said Nihal Mehta, founding general partner, Eniac Ventures. “Proprietary software and a unique business model enables Fuzzy to deliver affordable and comprehensive care at scale. The company’s rapid growth in the Bay Area alone is reflective that pet owners are looking for more advanced, personalized care.”

Through the new Fuzzy mobile app, members get direct access to Fuzzy vets whenever they need it, according to the release. Members can chat with vets in real-time, ask for diagnoses and prescriptions, and get recommendations for products and services based on their pets’ lifestyle.

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The app is available free in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Fuzzy is available in the San Francisco Bay area, with plans to expand to additional cities in the U.S. in 2018.

“Fuzzy’s membership model enables vets to engage pet parents much more frequently and personally when compared to care delivered in a traditional clinic,” according to the release. Memberships cover in-home checkups, medications, vaccines and telemedicine (care delivered remotely via email, chat or video).

Additionally, the new Fuzzy Plus membership is designed for pets that “need a bit more TLC,” according to the release. Fuzzy Plus “focuses on curative care and diagnostic services, such as in-home cold laser therapy for pain and inflammation and regular blood panels.”

“We designed Fuzzy Plus to make sure that our membership could also benefit patients that require closer supervision, and to make it significantly easier for pet parents to do the right thing for their pets without paying more out of pocket,” said Dr. Robert Trimble, head of Fuzzy’s veterinary services.

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US Pet Food Spending Falls to $28.9B

The segment accounts for 37% of total US pet spending.

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Pet food spending in the U.S. fell by 7.3 percent in 2018 to $28.85 billion, according to the Pet Business Professor blog.

The $2.27 billion decrease stood in contrast to 2017, when food spending grew by $4.6 billion “due to a deeper market penetration of super premium foods,” the blog’s John Gibbons writes.

A small increase in pet food spending had been anticipated in 2018. The unexpected decrease “was likely due to the reaction to the FDA warning on grain free dog food,” Gibbons explained, noting: “A pattern of over 20 years was broken by 1 statement.”

Pet food spending has been choppy since 1997, with the general pattern being “2 years up then spending goes flat or turns downward for a year,” according to the blog.

Total pet spending in the U.S. climbed by 1.9 percent in 2018 to reach $78.6 billion, according to the blog. The pet food segment accounts for 37 percent of total U.S. pet spending.

 

 

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Video: Brave Housecat Fends Off 3 Coyotes

This feline showed moxie.

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A cat in the Highland Park neighborhood could have been in serious trouble when three coyotes came along.

But Max, who belongs to Maya Gurrin, showed amazing courage, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Max was surrounded, and the coyotes were nipping at him. But Max showed no fear. He even caused one of the coyotes to back away and jump onto a nearby wall.

“He’s always been crazy,” Gurrin said. “Like, if this were to happen with any cat, it would be him.”

The entire scene was captured on security camera.

As tough as Max may be, his owners have nonetheless decided not to let him roam outdoors anymore.

Watch the video:

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Dogs May Be More Perceptive Than We Ever Realized, Study Finds

Even untrained strays can read human gestures.

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Dogs seem to be able to interpret human gestures even when they’ve had no training, a new study has found.

As any dog owner knows, pet canines understand commands and gestures with ease. A group of researchers set out to determine whether these capabilities are innate or require training, according to a report from Frontiers Science News.

The researchers looked specifically at pointing, with Dr. Anindita Bhadra of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India, and colleagues studing stray dogs in several Indian cities.

“The researchers approached solitary stray dogs and placed two covered bowls on the ground near them,” Frontieers Science News reports. “A researcher then pointed to one of the two bowls, either momentarily or repeatedly, and recorded whether the dog approached the indicated bowl.”

About 80 percent of participating dogs successfully followed pointing gestures.

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“We thought it was quite amazing that the dogs could follow a gesture as abstract as momentary pointing,” Bhadra was quoted saying. “This means that they closely observe the human, whom they are meeting for the first time, and they use their understanding of humans to make a decision. This shows their intelligence and adaptability.”

The research was published in Frontiers in Psychology.

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