There’s an App for That!
Smart phones, for good or bad connect us with our world. Family and friends are a text or video chat away. We can’t seem to disconnect from work. Pet parents can use infinitely many apps to stay connected to their pets or help manage vet check-ups, feeding, hire pet sitters. My five favorite apps that I use most frequently are highlighted here for you.
I’ve tested a several (definitely not all – I don’t have that much time) apps and narrowed down my favorites. With all the categories I’ve concentrated on the apps I have found most useful. Every pet and pet parent will have different needs. Here is what I like for my pack and think is definitely worth a try for yours.
We travel to visit family often and prefer to take the dogs with us instead of having a pet sitter or boarding them. Luckily, we travel the same route and know the pet friendly hotels well. However, we know little more than hotels. BringFido makes it easy to search not just hotels but restaurants that welcome dogs as well as local events, dog parks, and other services. This app is set up similar to your favorite hotel rewards member app, like booking services right from your phone.
Traveling with Fido
You can create an account to save your favorites. Pet parents serve up ratings on a 1-5 bones scale letting you know their experiences. When looking for a hotel, BringFido will highlight the pet policy basics including the number of pets allowed and pet fees. If you are looking for more than a hotel, under the services you can find pet stores, veterinarians, boarding, et sitters, and groomers. You can also sign-up to receive alerts for dog-friendly events. The app is good for more than travelers. If you are moving to a new city, BringFido can help you get you and your pooch acclimated to your new home town.
Pet Travel Tip
My expert travel tip: once you’ve found a hotel use Google Maps Street view to take a virtual walk around the hotel and neighborhood. It’s a good idea to see how var you need to go for grass or a park and what else is right around the corner that could be useful (or not).
Positive reinforcement is the key to stress free training for your pet. I’ve clicker trained three of my dogs over the years and have been taught by DVM/PhD behaviorist and behavior certified Veterinary Nurses the keys to good training. Clicker training is a tool that helps connect the dots for your pets. Several apps have built-in clickers but I highly prefer an actual clicker.
Old School Clicker
I recommend using the “live clicker” in conjunction with an app. Call me old school but I do better with juggling treats and a clicker rather than a phone that doubles as a clicker. With that said I really liked Dogo! Dogo is a training app the teaches positive reinforcement techniques.
Dogo starts you off with the basics like recall (knowing their name) sit, down, and how to act (calmly) when putting on a leash. The app lays out tips on how to proceed with training each “trick” or command. To progress to more complicated commands, pet parents video a successful training session. The app is unique in that it offers personal feedback through the app.
Track each of your dog’s progress by their profile within the app. A dog who knows basic commands (like, come, sit, sit-stay, down, down-stay, off, and can have their paws and legs, head, easily handled to aid not only in everyday life happiness but contributes to easy-peasy veterinary exams that can concentrate on health not just behavior.
This is great for puppies, old dogs or new adopts.
Pet First Aid by American Red Cross
Unfortunately, there are times pet parents are faced with a situation in which they need to be prepared for an emergency with their pet. The American Red Cross created the Pet First Aid app, an on-the-go reference guide for pet parents.
Knowing how to identify and administer proper first aid to your pet until you can get them to a veterinary clinic can help you stay calm and provide your pet with appropriate care and reassurance.
First Aid How-to’s
The Pet First Aid App has step-by-step instructions for over 20 common situations along with how-to videos for on-the-spot training. Pet parents can also locate the nearest veterinary hospital or 24-hour emergency clinic. You can add your own vet or a 24 hour local emergency clinic phone number. The in-app hospital locator searches only AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited facilities (that may or may not be 24 hours or the nearest to you).
You can learn what normal looks like regards to breathing, heart, and pulse rate. Also how to determine if your pet is dehydrated. It walks you through the ABC’s – airway, breathing, circulation of first aid and includes videos on how to perform CPR. Then moves into other emergent situations included, twisting of the stomach, burns, accidents, collapse, poisoning to name a few.
This is a fantastic compilation of things every pet parents should know. I recommend reading through each and viewing the videos at least once so that you are prepared if you are faced with an emergency for your pet. There are also high level reference sections about disaster, traveling or lost pets.
There is so much great information on the Pet First Aid App for pet parents. I recommend reading through each section and watching the videos right after downloading the app so you are prepared and are familiar with the set up of the app. A time sensitive emergency is not the time to try to retain this type of information.
Tractive Dog Walk
The Tractive Dog Walk app is good for both of you. Daily walks are an important piece to your dogs healthcare puzzle. Approximately 56% of dogs in the United States are overweight. Something as simple as a daily walk contributes to improving your dog’s social behavior, overall health, as well as strengthening your human animal bond.
Dogs who are obese are at increased risk for developing serious weight related disorders such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer, and more.
Tractive Dog Walk records your route, distance, and length of time during walks with your best friend (helping you track your walk too). I like this tool because it allows me, with tree dogs, to select each individual dog that I’m walking at that time.
Our Labrador can go on much longer walks (and we are fighting a bit of a weight problem) and focus on longer walks with her. I tend to take quick trips around the block with all three then mile plus walks with StellaLuna.
The app helps me keep a log of the distance each pet walks daily or weekly. Keeping me accountable for maintain walk distances week after week. The only problem I have is to remember to start tracking our walk when it is the four of us (it’s a bit hectic believe it or not).
Additional purchases with the tractive family is the GPS trackers for dogs and cats. They provide real-time GPS tracking of your pet. I have not tried the Tractive GPS Tracker for cats and dogs.
Many pet parents work more than eight hours a day and a large percentage can’t get away or live too far to run home for a mid day walk. If you enjoy the Uber-like convenient world we live in and don’t have the time to find an individual pet sitter, That’s where the Wag app comes in.
Wag helps pet parents find a local dog walker that will help them manage pet parenting responsibilities while at work. The service is on-demand so if you get caught up in a late meeting or family responsibilities are going to push longer than expected you can schedule a walk to arrive in 30 minutes. We have their fee lock box so if we need to request a walker, there is always a key available at our front door.
You can choose a walker based on their profile, schedule a time for them to walk your dog, and pay via the app. Your first walk is free. All dog walkers go through a long application process, including a background check, so you know your dog is in good hands. At the end of the walk, pet parent’s receive a status update that the walk has been completed, distance, duration, and elimination status. Pet parents can also rate your walker (like other popular apps).
You receive an activity report after every session including the distance & time of the walk and a bathroom report.
Pet Parent Apps You Love
There are so many apps geared towards pet parents. It may be impossible to try all of them. I probably downloaded at least 20 more but these are the ones that stuck. Pet parenting is hard work. You don’t have to be an expert in every area to be a good pet parent; lots of love, patients, and
I’d love to hear about the ones you use and why you like them.
Happy Pet Parenting,