CareCo is an app under Petco that offers accessible pet care education through gamification and technology to support new and current pet owners.

Project Duration

4 months
UX Research, UI Design, Prototyping, Design System


Alexandra Molta, Kate Ma, Hanbyul Kang, Rui Sun


Figma, After Effects, Protopie


Shortlisted for the Young Ones 2023 Interactive Mobile Applications

☕️ Sit Back, sip some coffee, and enjoy
📖 Context

CareCo, created by Petco, is an application that assists both new and experienced pet owners with pet care. The app offers accessible and professional-grade pet care education through technology and gamification, aiming to aid the millions of pet owners in America who struggle with pet care. CareCo's goal is to support pet owners in their pet care journey and ensure their furry companions live happy and healthy lives.

⚡️ The challenge

How to help millions of America's pet owners struggling with pet care, as indicated by the statistic that 68% of US households own a pet, but only 17% of pet owners feel knowledgeable about pet care.
Create an app that provides accessible and professional-grade pet care education through gamification and technology, to support both new and experienced pet owners in their pet care journey and ensure a happy and healthy life for their little companions.


Scoping out the Competition

With prescription delivery available in select areas, Vetster provides a convenient and accessible solution for pet care.

AskVet offers personalized wellness support for pets, including customized nutrition plans and habit and behavior training sessions.

Petfinder offers a convenient platform for adopters to search and filter pets based on their preferences, characteristics, and lifestyle.

Empathy Interview

We asked pet owners and veterinarians, and we found that owners tend to learn along the way instead of understanding everything prior to adopting. They are also intimidated by the high cost of vet visits and check ups.

  • When pet owners are faced with a medical emergency, they often turn to the internet for information. However, the information available online can be overwhelming and inaccurate. This can lead to pet owners making poor decisions that could harm their pets.

  • Veterinarians agree that app-based veterinarian diagnosis is difficult. This is because it is impossible to get a complete picture of a pet's health from a few photos or videos.

  • Pet owners often view their pets as members of their family, and they take on a great deal of responsibility for their care. This can be especially true when it comes to medical issues.

Key insights

Time Commitment

Before adopting a pet, many people underestimate the time and effort required to properly care for a pet. They often focus on the fun aspects of pet ownership, such as playing with the pet and taking cute photos, without fully considering the responsibilities that come with it.

Financial Responsibility

After adopting a pet, many people struggle with the financial and emotional burdens of pet care. They may encounter unexpected medical expenses or behavioral issues that they don't know how to address, leading to stress and frustration. This can result in improper care or even pet abandonment.


Education | before adoption

What are the responsibilities of pet ownership and how could i teach my kids this responsibility.

People who are considering adopting a pet need to be educated about the responsibilities of pet ownership. This includes things like the cost of food, vet care, toys, and other supplies, as well as the time and effort required to care for a pet.

Medical support | after adoption

Where can I find affordable veterinary care?

Once you have adopted a pet, you will need to provide them with medical care. This includes things like vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, and regular checkups at the vet.

Journey Mapping


Job to be done

When my child ask me to buy her a little bunny for Christmas
I want to make sure my kid can takes care of it properly
So I can make sure I am not fully taking care of the pet and my child can learn to be responsible

When my dog suddenly become inactive and lose appetite
I want to identify possible reason of it and know if I need to take it to the vet and see what I can do at home
So I can ensure my dog lives the healthiest lifestyle and thrive


Idea Generation


How might we make preparation and education fun and enjoyable for audiences of all ages?


A virtual pet caring game that incorporates AR technology for users to better understand and experience the process of pet caring


How might we have information according to a pet’s health and their specific needs?


An AI chatbot to give a brief diagnosis of your pet to decide if your pet needs an in person visit or virtual appointment

Design & Development

Low Fidelity Wireframes

feature 01

AI chatbot

The AI diagnosis chatbot is available for current pet owners who are concerned about their pet's health. The chatbot will guide users on what they can do at home or help them schedule an in-person or virtual vet appointment, depending on the pet's condition.

feature 02

Ar Simulator

The augmented reality simulator assists novice pet owners in gauging the appropriate space and arrangement for their pets.

Supply list

Based on the setup for your future pet, you will receive a supply list of all the items used in setting up your pet's home through AR.

feature 03

Virtual Adoption Game

Interacting directly with a virtual pet is an excellent way to learn about feeding, cleaning, and grooming. Upon finishing the games, users will be eligible to adopt animals through the app. This approach allows for practical experience and helps users develop essential skills while also preparing them for pet ownership.


By keeping track of your progress, you can see how far you've come and stay motivated to continue.

design system

Pet Owner's Diary

The UI design reflects the user's desire to have pet care education in a digestable and accessible way. With friendly 3D models and warm colors this will hopefully engage families to learn about their soon to be new pet together.

Next steps

✨Realistic Pet Care Schedule

In the next steps, we would like to incorporate behavioral pet patterns into the gamification process. This means that users will have to follow a realistic schedule for their pet's daily activities such as feeding, walking, and grooming. For example, the app may require users to feed their virtual pet at 6am, take them for a walk at 6am, and play with them for 30 minutes at 8pm. By making the experience more realistic, users will be better prepared for the actual responsibilities of owning a pet. The app can also use push notifications to remind users of their pet's needs and to encourage them to stay on schedule. Overall, this will help pet owners develop good habits and ensure their furry friends receive the care they need.