New smart toy keeps dogs active, engaged
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
You use apps. Why shouldn’t your dog?
Chris Watts, owner of Petropolitan, said Santiago Gutierrez came in one day and asked if Watts were interested in seeing a new toy. Watts said, sure, he was always looking for something new.
What Gutierrez showed him was Go Bone, a smart toy for dogs. It wasn’t just new, it was revolutionary. Watts quickly offered his marketing skills.
Go Bone is a dog bone on wheels that can be programmed through an app for eight hours before needing a recharge. It can also be operated directly through the phone. And as far as Watts or Gutierrez know, no one has ever created a dog toy like it.
“Dogs find other ways to get in trouble,” Watts said. “Go Bone will keep them healthy and happy.”
Gutierrez is an engineer who has a miniature schnauzer that he loves. A lot. He spent lots of time with the dog on weekends, but wanted to find some way to engage with his pet during the week. So he came up with the idea of creating a smart bone.
“Being an engineer gave me a leg up in constructing a prototype,” Gutierrez said.
After the prototype was constructed, Gutierrez tested the Go Bone with friends and at shelters. He said dogs arrived at shelters scared and lonely, but when shelter workers put a Go Bone in the pen with them, the dogs became engaged. People who work with the animals said those dogs tended to be adopted.
At home, what happens if a dog chews up the Go Bone? At $169, that can be expensive to replace. Gutierrez said the wheels and outer core of the bone are replaceable, and the electronics inside are well protected. So replacing parts isn’t a major investment.
In addition to keeping pets who have to be left alone during the day engaged, the Go Bone is great for disabled vets and others who think they can’t have pets due to disabilities. They may not be able to exercise their dogs by taking them for long walks, but the Go Bone will help keep the dogs active, Watts and Gutierrez noted.
Watts said the Go Bone works in hospitals to help children who can’t get out of bed to play with therapy dogs.
Go Bone and its replacement parts are manufactured in Dallas. More than 3,000 have already been sold and Watts is looking for retailers to carry the item. Until then, it’s available at Petropolitan, 2406 Emmett St. at Hampton Road. It’s also available online at MyGoBone.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 14, 2017.