If your dog or cat is doing something outside of their normal behavior, you know something may be wrong. Perhaps your dog has vomited or your cat has diarrhea. Whatever the change in behavior, one of your first thoughts may be “Is my pet sick?”
Stephen Chen, founder and CEO of Petnostics, sought to find a way for pet owners to help answer that question at home. The Los Angeles-based company, which was featured on the April 15 episode of “Shark Tank,” created an at-home kit to test pets’ urine. It works with a smartphone app to detect illnesses such as diabetes, kidney stones and urinary tract infections, Forbes reports.
How It Works
The urine test kit comes with a cup that is used to collect your pet’s urine. There is a Petnostics Urine Collector for dogs and a Petnostics Hydrophobic Cat Litter for cats to collect the urine. The lid of the cup features “an integrated urine test strip,” the Petnostics site states. That lid is sealed tightly over the cup once you’re ready to test. The urine strip will change color as soon as it comes in contact with the urine. An app you install ahead of time on your iPhone or Android device will help you read the results. The test strips used in the kit are the same that are used in veterinary clinics.
Once you’ve conducted the test at home, contact your veterinarian and share the results. Chen believes that doing this step at home may save pet owners money by not having to make the vet visit, Forbes reports.
How “Shark Tank” Helped Petnostics
Before Chen brought Petnostics in front of the Sharks, the company, which launched in April 2014, was earning $100,000 in annual sales. Since appearing on the show on April 15, 2016, sales have already greatly exceeded that amount, according to Forbes. Chen struck a deal with the Sharks Lori Greiner and Kevin O’Leary for $300,000 in exchange for 20 percent equity. Chen told Forbes that the Sharks gave him valuable advice when it came to his company and product.
“The best piece of advice I’ve received from the Sharks is simply to focus,” he said. “When working on a startup, there’s sometimes the belief that you can do it all in terms of trying to create multiple products for different markets. Rather than trying to do it all, the Sharks encouraged me to focus on making sure that our product is the best possible product for pet parents.”
Appearing on “Shark Tank” also led to a partnership with pet product manufacturer and distributor Fetch for Pets!. There is also the possibility that the product could be applicable in areas such as human testing, dairy testing and water testing. Chen is currently working on partnerships with veterinarians, Forbes reports.
The Reasoning Behind Petnostics
“It’s no secret that people treat their pets like family and will do whatever they can to keep them happy and healthy,” Chen told Forbes. “In fact, the pet health product industry is $30 billion dollar industry. Our team knew that if we could develop a product to help pet parents stay on top of their furry loved one’s health from the comfort of their own home at a price they could afford, that it would be a huge hit.”
That it has. And its price tag is only $9.99. The Petnostics Test Kit is available on the Petnostics website, as well as on Amazon and at Southern California organic pet food and supplies store, Healthy Spot.