Tech entrepreneur sets sights on home veterinary healthcare

Meet Matt Meeker, CEO and co-founder of Bark & Co., who envisions redesigned veterinary visits guided by dogs' preferences.
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Apr 30, 2014

Matt Meeker admits he finds it stressful to take his Great Dane Hugo to the veterinarian. Large in size, Hugo has a way of intimidating others.


PHOTOS COURTESY OF HILARY BENAS PHOTO AND BARK & CO.
"We've been fortunate to have very good veterinary care, but it doesn't make visiting the veterinary practice less stressful for me or for him," Meeker says. "He's a very social, friendly dog. So he wants to go around the waiting room and say hi to everyone, including the cats, which he doesn't quite understand. But he's big and intimidating, and people are scared of him. And he doesn't understand why I'm pulling him into a corner and telling him to sit and relax. So there's a lot of nervous energy there."

Meeker's entrepreneurial nature was sparked by this problem, and he started looking for solutions for a more relaxed experience. And that's when he turned to his inspiration: his dog, Hugo. How would Hugo want his healthcare delivered? The answer came immediately. He'd want it to happen at home, on his own couch. So Meeker set out to make this idea happen. And the result is BarkCare, a house call veterinary service that offers wellness exams and care in the pet's home.




The services are designed to offer wellness care or sick pet visits. Clients book an appointment onlineā€”or soon through a mobile application. Then a veterinary technician calls the pet owner for a follow-up conversation to assess the pet's needs and prepare for the veterinarian's visit. Pets that need advanced diagnostics are then referred to area specialists.

"It's designed to be an hour visitation, and we've built out some very sophisticated back-end scheduling software that helps the vets manage their routes more effectively," Meeker says. "We have enough volume and enough technical sophistication that we minimize that time traveling around the city and give them the perfect schedule. And they get to spend an hour with each pet and really get to know that patient quite well."