Online Pet Store Uses Face Recognition Technology to Allow Dogs to Do Their Own Shopping

Brazilian pet shop chain Petz has combined face recognition technology and artificial intelligence to create a groundbreaking platform that allows dogs to buy their favorite products by analyzing their facial expressions.

There’s nothing more disheartening for dog owners that buying a new toy for their pooches only to see them turn their nose up at it. Well, thanks to Pet-Commerce, an online pet-store created by Brazil’s Petz brand, you can avoid such disappointing experiences by allowing the dog to choose his favorite products. All you have to do is hold an internet connected camera to the dog’s face and allow the AI powering Pet-Commerce to analyze its facial expressions as you scroll through the different products listed on the site. Once it detects excitement, it automatically adds the product to your shopping cart and you can finalize the transaction when you’re done.

Photo: Ogilvy Brazil

To make the Pet-Commerce project a reality, the Brazilian branch of renowned advertising agency Ogilvy teamed up with professional dog trainer Leonardo Ogata, who provided valuable insights into the facial expressions of various dog breeds and their meaning. The artificial intelligence powering the online platform was fed with thousands of pictures of dogs so it could better detect all the tiny details of interest expressed by the dog.

“We picked through dozens of breeds and even dogs of undefined breed,” Ogata said. “The direct gaze into the camera, the ears pointing towards the camera and the carefree, unsuspecting attitude of not shying away from the device are all signs that the dog enjoyed the play and the product.”

Photo: Ogilvy Brazil

Dog owners have to hold their device – computer, tablet, smartphone, etc. – over their pet’s face so the camera can pick up their reactions. As they browse through the various products listed on Pet Commerce (bones, toys, balls) a video will start to play to attract the animal’s attention. All videos were designed in yellow and blue, as Leonardo Ogata claims that these are the colors that dogs see best. Owners are advised to turn up the volume as well, and not constrain the dogs in any way, as this may irritate them.

“The dog has to be relaxed, playful — no need to pick them up or hold their head, which can even irritate them; all you have to do is hold the camera right over their face so that it can pick up the responses in the best way,” the Brazilian dog trainer said.


Facial recognition technology picks up the dog’s reactions and the AI rates interest from red bone (low interest) to green bone (high interest), according to a variety of factors. When interest is detected, the product is automatically added to the shopping cart, and the owner can later finalize the transaction by filling of all personal information.

Pet-Commerce is currently only designed to serve dogs, but Sergio Zimerman, CEO at Petz, said that an option for cats may be added in the future.