Korean startup teaches kids about pet food, pet ownership

Be My Pet Co. aims to reduce pet abandonment in South Korea with a YouTube channel and other resources geared towards children and new pet owners.

sergio souza | Pexels.com
sergio souza | Pexels.com

In South Korea, a total of 135,791 dogs, cats and other pets were abandoned in 2019, partly because many didn't know how to take care of pets.

B My Pet Co. Ltd., a Korean startup based in Seoul, hopes to change this by creating a companion animal knowledge channel called BeMyPet made primarily for children, but also for adults seeking information on how to raise pets.

More on the BeMyPet website

To help children understand pets and prepare them to become responsible pet owners, BeMyPet is packing its website with informative pet-related content ranging from pets' food requirements to proper grooming and treatment of common diseases. Their content is a mix of text, short videos and animation designed to help children easily understand the world of pets. B My Pet has partner veterinarians, experienced pet owners and pet health experts who write for the website.

In its pet food section, BeMyPet teaches kids what types of foods are and are not suitable for pets, what can cause obesity in animals and the benefits and risks of raw diets, among other topics.

Though still in beta mode, BeMyPet already has over 570,000 registered Web and app users. It has also received more than a million page views on its YouTube channel. With the help of its investors Strong Ventures and Knollwood Investment Advisory, the company plans to add e-commerce, long-form animated content for over-the-top media streaming platforms and other pet services to make it sustainable.

Helping reduce pet abandonment

Meanwhile, to help with South Korea's growing pet abandonment crisis, BeMyPet has added a pet loss prevention registration service to assist those who didn't intentionally lose a pet. South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs reported that pet abandonment has become more prevalent with the decline in the number of animal shelters. Only 284 animal shelters were still operating in the whole country as of 2019, down 7.5% from 2015, according to the entity.

In January 2020, South Korea announced a new set of pet-related legal protections targeted to be wholly in place by 2022. Among them:

  • A mandatory course on animal rights prior to pet adoption.
  • Teaching on the subject of animal rights in schools.
  • An insurance program for owners of certain breeds of dogs such as Tosa, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler and related mixed breeds.
  • Maximum three-year imprisonment for any mistreatment leading to the death of an animal.
  • A ban on dogs that are kept on a short leash at home and are confined in dimly lit rooms.
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