October 8, 2020

Can Dogs Eat It?

Can Dogs Eat It?

This week, Teresa and I released our first app - Can Dogs Eat It? From the app store description:

Can Dogs Eat It? helps you determine what foods are safe for dogs to eat and what foods they should avoid.

With four levels of information, including Safe, Use Judgement, Risky, and Dangerous, plus nutritional information, Can Dogs Eat It? will help you choose what foods can be a part of your dog’s daily diet, which are better as occasional treats, and which should be avoided at all costs.

This was truly an example of "scratching one's own itch". When we got Yahtzee! and Sidecar, we were constantly asking each other if this food or that was safe for dogs to eat, then googling up an answer. It seemed like a natural idea for a simple app to aggregate the information in one place.

We started talking about the app towards the end of 2018 and I started coding it in the Summer of 2019. Yes, the before times. Before the pandemic, before the declaration of Portland as an "anarchist jurisdiction" and before I stopped drinking. Those were the good old days, filled with sunshine, concerts, and bourbon.

Needless to say, not a lot of progress was made on the app.

Fast forward to March of 2020 - everyone at Nike was sent to work from home, Portland was pretty serious about the shelter in place order, and Teresa and I had nothing to do but sit around and watch Netflix - sober. So, we dug into the app with a renewed interest.

Division of labor was pretty simple. I designed and coded the app and support tools and Teresa did all the research. We started with a generic list of foods from the USDA and went from there.

I proceeded to teach myself ReactNative and then completely overdesigned the components and state management. It took a couple of tear downs and rewrites to get it to be as simple as possible (and no simpler). In App purchases (to unlock the app) are still something of a black art to me, at least in the ReactNative space. Couple that with the need to test those features on device and I easily spent the majority of time on that.

Anyways, it was a lot of fun to develop and something that Teresa and I could work on together. We have some other ideas percolating but for now are brainstorming on marketing the shit out of this app while not annoying our friends.

One Pager Website - https://egbt.com/can-dogs-eat-it/

iOS App Store - https://apps.apple.com/us/app/can-dogs-eat-it/id1525100786

Android Play Store - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.egbt.candogseatit