January 18, 2024

The pet breeders using tech to clean up the industry

By harnessing new technology, the growing breeder tech sector seeks to meet surging pet demand while prioritising ethical, responsible breeding practices

Adam Green

4 min read

As pet ownership continues to rise globally, tech is transforming the ways owners connect with their pets. This trend extends to pet breeders, who are embracing new tools and platforms aimed at bringing greater efficiency, transparency and care into the breeding process. 

For both established and new breeders, as well as aspiring owners, these advances promise to improve the licensing and administrative processes — and help ensure the health and wellbeing of animals throughout the breeding life cycle.

Small but influential 

Breeders are a small but influential group within the pet industry, driving public interest and appreciation for different breeds and shaping the preferences of pet owners. They also provide working dogs for crucial positions like service animals. 

Breeders are responsible for documenting the history of their puppies and dogs, and this is a huge administrative burden

Products and services marketed to breeders, therefore, have the opportunity to embed new technologies and shape opinions in new pet owners. 

“If we can bring a community of breeders together, we can use that community to influence a much wider audience of new owners coming into the pet space,” says Michael White, founder of dog breeder app Breedera

Through a digital platform that records puppies’ weight and health information, the UK-based company has created one of the first apps to simplify the administrative aspects of breeding. 

“Breeders are responsible for documenting the history of their puppies and dogs, and this is a huge administrative burden,” says White, who witnessed first-hand the struggles of breeders when he worked in veterinary equipment. “As a brand, it’s our place to relieve this burden, because as much as breeders love their dogs, some really struggle with the paperwork aspect.”

Automating admin 

Kookie, a platform based in France, similarly aims to automate the burdens associated with breeding records and paperwork. 

“The administrative tasks are very heavy,” says Gerard Fernandez, Kookie’s CEO and cofounder, who grew up in a family of dog breeders. “We automate it by tracking female heat cycles, reproductive cycles and the birth of the puppies — and cats as well. We guide breeders through the entire workflow to reach the French requirements.” 

While administrative obligations for breeders vary across jurisdictions, they are similar in Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec, allowing Kookie to grow its client base beyond France. 

“Our clients are our best ambassadors,” says Fernandez. 

Building trust 

Another concern in the industry is the need to verify and build trust with breeders, stemming from troubling reports of puppy mills and animal abuse. 

It’s a good thing that breeders are being verified and buyers have a bit more confidence

"I bred French bulldogs years ago, so I understood that there were so many issues within the industry," says Craig Murphy, founder and CEO of breeder marketplace Trusted Pups. 

Murphy launched Trusted Pups to give customers confidence and peace of mind, and to make sure ethical breeders had a platform on which to advertise their services. 


“We were the first platform to include identity verification and then other platforms began to go down a similar route, so it’s a good thing that breeders are being verified and buyers have a bit more confidence,” he says.

Trusted Pups also helps with council licensing, an extensive but essential process that protects dogs and puppies in the UK by requiring rigorous inspections to ensure that breeders meet standards for animal welfare, facilities and practices. 

“Council-licensed breeders jump through a lot of hoops to get their licence and they’re very proud of that,” says Murphy. “We want to help buyers understand the council licence area and do our part in educating them. We also provide consultation services for breeders to help them along the journey of being licensed.”

Using personal experience 

Personal experience in the industry is a key asset for breeder tech founders, who know firsthand what obstacles breeders face and what can be done to relieve their burdens. 

We believe that at-home testing is going to be the new normal

Founded by experienced breeders, the Helsinki-based Bellylabs offers a range of health and wellness-testing products for pets. This range is centred around its pioneering at-home canine pregnancy test kit, with user-friendly kits using patented canine hormone antibody technology to detect pregnancy. 

“We want to help take the pressure off the vet clinics,” says cofounder and CEO Jarno Kukila. “We believe that at-home testing is going to be the new normal.” 

As veterinary staff shortages and rising pet care expectations drive demand for at-home wellness testing, companies like Bellylabs have stepped in to meet this demand and received an enthusiastic response. 

Their success highlights the need for new and innovative products to match the evolving needs of modern breeders and pet owners.  

“We’ve already sold in close to 50 countries and we’ve had clients in North America tell us they've been waiting for someone to do this for the past 10 years,” says Kukila. “What is really exciting is that we get tons of interesting new ideas from our customers who are dog owners and dog breeders.” 

This article first appeared in our monthly Unleashed pet tech newsletter, a collaboration with Purina Accelerator Lab. All content is editorially independent. Sign up to our newsletter here to keep up to date with the latest goings on in the European pet tech industry.

Adam Green

Adam Green is a science and technology writer and editor based in London. He tweets from @AdamPenWord