Q: May you introduce yourself?
My name is Tarkan Özvardar. I am a veterinarian and a dog training specialist. I have been working in the areas as a professional for 27 years. I am working on training, and rehabilitation of behavior disorders especially. In addition, i am a newspaper author of Hürriyet. Before Hürriyet, i was writing for Habertürk newspaper in the past. I write for Mag magazine and AnkaraLife magazine every month. I give almost 40 seminars in a year. I am from İzmir, and came to Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Ankara University in 1990. I live in Ankara for 28 years. I am the founder of a dog training center, and there is a service of training, hostel and rehabilitation for pets.
Q: What are your opinions about smart pet door?
The greatest distress of the usage of a standard pet door is that the other pets can come in to houses. There are some collars that have magnetic field and it provides to guide the pet door; therefore, the pet door opens when there is an interaction of the magnetic field through the collar. It is not used in Turkey, but it is commonly used in abroad.
Q: How much money can your customers allocate for the smart pet accessories?
I think that they can spend an amount like $100 for this kind of functional products. Especially, the GPS feature can be very useful during night walks, because the pet owners can release their pets with peace of mind.
Q: Do you suggest the usage of GPS collars in relatively more safe places?
Sure, i suggest because the identification of a lost pet is very important. Actually, this kind of smart collars should be used by municipal teams. I mean the smart collars can be used to observe population movements and herd movements, also to follow up the castrated pets. I think, the collars can be very useful for municipalities.
Q: What extra feature could you recommend to us?
A highly functional feature could be: A remote dialogue via mobile phone between the dog and the owner when the owner is far away from her dog. The owner should be able to give commands to his/her dog. When far away, the owners are generally watching their pets with a camera. When the owner sees that the dog is gnawing household goods, the owner wants to give some command to cease these negative actions of the dog. A sound command that comes from the camera is not sufficient for dogs to cease the action, but if that voice comes from the pets’ collar, that would be very effective.
Q: Would you prefer if the sound comes from the owner or would a pre-programmed sound would be enough?
Actually, aversive sounds are the best. I mean, the voice should be in a form that it should immediately dissuade the pet from his current actions. Dazer ultrasonic dog deterrents and repellents are suitable for that purpose. However, there should be some different frequency options so that the owner can change the voice and her dog would not develop tolerance to any of the voices. Additional to this dazer deterrents, there is an essential oil called “Citronella oil” which smells like a lime and dogs hate its smell. Yet this oil is unharmful, and perceived as a better option for pet owners to use it. Pet owners prefer some organic deterrent over electronic one. The trouble is, there is only one brand that makes citronella collars, named PetSafe. The other brands are not as qualified as PetSafe’s collar. In the USA, this collar is $84, yet when you ship it to Turkey, the price skyrockets to as much as 1800 Turkish Liras, due to the fact that Amazon has not yet entered to Turkey Market. If you can produce this collar with citronella deterrent, your sales will boom. Even just I can sell 50 of those in a month.
Q: What is your opinion about SPAC having an insect repellent feature?
Well your product is focused on the health of the pet, so putting a chemical insect repellent to it may create some contradiction in customers’ eyes.
Q: What if we make it without chemicals, say we achieve insect repellent feature with voice repellents?
That sounds fair enough. A product with all these features together with mobile applications is great. This is an awesome idea.
Q: Would you consider selling SPAC products along with the other products you currently sell?
Of course I would sell it in my own place, honestly. As I mentioned before, this is very functional product. Of course making profit out of this product is also important, but more importantly, I will sell it because this will decrease my own workload here, say 10% of it. So it seems logical for me to sell it.