There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for your furry best friend, and for good reason. Most pet dogs are more loving, loyal and supportive than your best friends! They accept you unconditionally, and don’t ask for too much in return. We all want to take care of our furry pooch in the best possible way, but with busy lives often packed with a job, a bunch of kids and a house to clean, sometimes little fido can get left behind.
Luckily there are no shortage of apps for dog owners that can ultimately improve and enhance the life of man and woman’s best friend. The world of apps has been churning out dog apps at an astonishing speed and the sheer number of apps can be confusing. This article aims to help you pick out the right app, specific to you and your dogs needs – so you don’t just end up downloading them all, and wasting precious time. So read on, dog lover – your pup will thank you for it.
Consider Your Needs
Dog owners lead very different lives. Some find remembering vet appointments a challenge, while others with very active and adventurous puppies find it difficult to keep tabs on him half the time. Before you chose which doggy app works best for you, you’ll need to consider yours and fido’s specific needs.
Because You Need to Track Your Dog’s Location
If your dog has a habit of running off, or taking himself off for a walk in the day, you can download the app and purchase Whistle. Whistle easily attaches to your dog's collar and using GPS tracking you’ll be able to create boundaries for your dog's activity which automatically sends you a message if he crosses these boundaries. A nice added feature allows you track how much exercise your dog gets on his bi-weekly ramble through the neighborhood, while keeping your mind at rest of his whereabouts.
Because You Need to Track Your Dog’s Health
Dogs are a serious responsibility, and their health and upkeep should be taken just as serious as your kids’. If you’re finding it difficult to keep track of your pups vet appointments, allergies and feeding schedules, the app Pet Phone helps you record everything, and syncs with your calendar on an easy-to-use interface. It also allows you to record vet bills, track your dog's weight, locate a vet clinic near your home and a whole host of other smart tracking – you’ll be the dog owner of the year. If however, your biggest concern is the often inedible object he likes to shovel into his mouth, the app PupTox can be a life-saving tool allowing you to look up lists of food and nonfood that can be potentially harmful to dogs.
If your dog’s health is on your mind, it’s always best to get some pet insurance for a rainy day. Luckily, the app Figo Pet Insurance, makes it super easy for you to manage the life of your dog all in one place. In addition to being able to upload records, certificates, vaccination reminders and more, Figo also makes it easy to file claims, get insurance quotes and other messy stuff, all from the comfort of your smart phone.
Because You Need to Train Your Dog
Dog training is serious business with dog owners often hiring pricy Cesar Millan wannabes to iron out unwanted behavior. Now there are a whole host of apps that can help work on your dog's training. Clicker training, a well-known approach using positive & negative reinforcement can be super helpful and the apps iClicker or Puppy Clicker Training both offer detailed tutorials and play specific sounds to help reinforce behavior. However, despite the app’s help you’ll still need to put in the hours of work. Alternatively if you’ve run out of whistling steam you could download The Dog Whistler, with a spectrum of frequency sounds, your dog can not pretend he didn’t hear you.
Because Your Need to Keep Tabs on Your Dog
Those of us that don’t work for a trendy startup that allows pups in the office, might want to keep tabs on your dog while he sits patiently for you to return home. There are some great apps like iCam, which that allows you to remotely monitor around 12 live videos and audio webcams from your smartphone. It might make you feel a little stalker-ish but it’s a great way to check up on how your dog is doing at home.
Because You Travel A Lot
Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, figuring out a place for your pup to stay can be challenge. But someone saw a gap in the market, and a whole host of apps have been developed to address this one issue. DogVacay allows you to find the perfect sitter for your dog, and similar to an AirBnb experience allows you to filter through price and location. The app is so well developed that your chosen dog sitter can send you photos & video updates, so you can keep in touch while you’re sipping martinis by the pool.
If you like to bring along your pup when you travel, there’s Bring Fido. This app has an extensive database on pet-friendly locations worldwide, where you can plan your travel activities according to pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks, and beaches. Another great app for boarding or for finding dog walkers is Rover, best known as the ‘Uber of dog walking’ with over 100,000 pet-sitters and dog walkers registered. Each sitter gets a rating so you know you’re leaving your best friend in the best hands.
What Can You Afford?
You aren’t made of money - and keeping your dog well-fed and healthy is already pretty pricy, so how much do these fancy apps cost? Depending on the type of app you decide on, the better quality apps usually cost more. For Whistle, the GPS tracker uses a collar which costs $79.95, but includes a 90-day money-back guarantee and the app is completely free to download. It’s worth it for your peace of mind, especially if your dog keeps running off. Tracking your dog’s health is definitely a lot cheaper; Pet Phone is only $2.99 but you can also install an alternative PetCoach which is completely free (but only available on the iphone). Most of the training apps are also free like iClicker, and The Dog Whistler but both only currently available on the App Store for iOS devices. Keeping video tabs on your dog with iCam will set you back $4.99, but a perk is that you can keep surveillance on anything in your home - a bargain for a default security measure. All the pet-sitting apps are completely free although that’s not saying the dog boarding will be!
And lastly, if keeping track of money is an issue - there’s an app for that (naturally!). Spending on my Dog, available with Android, lets you work out exactly how much you’ve spent on your little sniffer, including treats, grooming, vet bills etc. It’s a great app to budget yourself and keep track of expenses, and for $0.99 it’s worth it in the long run. In short, choosing which dog-apps work best for you is personal and naturally like all your apps will depend on the need and price. You might try the free option and decide to upgrade to a more expensive app but one that’s effective and does the job. So what you waiting for? Get downloading.