Mars-owned petfood brand Pedigree has developed an app aimed at kids that helps them to understand how to behave around dogs.
According to the brand, every year in the U.S. there are around 4.7 milllion dog bite incidents with 70% of these bites happening to a child. The majority of these incidents occur in the home and, 75% of the time, the dog is known to the child. Often it happens because the child doesn't know how to behave safely around dogs or how to read a dog's body language.
Pedigree's New Zealand agency Colenso BBDO created "A Dog's Story," a digital interactive "adventure" that aims to help kids and parents learn dog safety together. It worked on the app with leading dog behavior experts and Auckland Council's Animal Management team. Although it was created in New Zealand, it will be available to download globally for free via Apple and Android.
The app takes the user on a "magical adventure" where children will meet different dogs and their owners, each of whom will teach important real-world lessons for kids to learn how to interact safely with dogs.
Oliver Downs, marketing director at Mars Petcare, which owns and distributes Pedigree in New Zealand, said in a statement that the company aims to the make the world a better place for dogs and people to live together, and the app is an important educational tool to help achieve this. He claimed that the app is particularly appealing to children because it is a visually and mentally stimulating experience designed in a way that helps with memory retention.
"It is based around eight core lessons providing a fundamental understanding of the most important and commonly unknown guidelines around dog safety, such as how to greet a dog safely, how to pat them, how to behave when they are eating and what to do if one runs towards you. If the child chooses a wrong answer such as patting the dog incorrectly, the characters will tell them why it's not right and the dog will behave accordingly. When correct answers are chosen, the child is told why it's the right thing to do."