Jason R. Rich is a consumer electronics expert who hosts the Featured App of the Week podcast and contributes articles to many publications.
Being a good pet parent means feeding your dog the very best quality food, providing him or her with the safest toys, and giving your dog the highest-quality care possible. Of course, your dog also needs your endless love and personal attention, which is not something a smartphone or tablet app can offer.
If you’re a dog parent, however, there are a collection of mobile apps that can help make your pet care responsibilities a bit easier. In fact, there are specialized apps that can handle a variety of different tasks, from finding the best veterinarians, groomers, and dogwalkers in your area, to making it quick and easy to order pet food online and have it shipped directly to your home. And if you need help finding a reliable and affordable a dog walker? Well, there are mobile apps for that too.
If you’re looking to adopt a new dog, or almost any type of pet for that matter, the free Petfinder app will use the GPS capabilities built into your smartphone or tablet, and then show you photos and descriptions of dogs of all ages that are currently available for adoption in your area, or in a region you specify.
Petfinder works with more than 14,000 adoption groups across the United States. The app allows you to browse dogs by breed, age, size, gender, color, and geographic location.
A similar app to Petfinder, in terms of its functionality, is called WeRescue – Adopt a Pet, but this one has in-app purchases and in-app advertising associated with it.
As you’re exploring what breed of dog you might want to adopt, there’s an app called Dog Scanner that allows you to use the rear-facing camera built into your smartphone or tablet to photograph any dog and instantly identify its breed.
Once you too become a proud dog owner, there are then a variety of apps that’ll help you train your new canine companion. One app that’s particularly useful, and that I really wish I had access to when my dog Rusty was a puppy, is called GoodPup: Dog Training at Home.
When you first launch the GoodPup app, it asks you a series of questions about your dog’s current level of training and obedience. It then customizes a seven week training program for you and your pet to follow.
Once you subscribe to GoodPup for $29.00 per week, the app utilizes the video conferencing capabilities built into your mobile device to connect you with a licensed dog trainer who will remotely help you train your dog while you’re at home.
Live and interactive video calls with the dog trainer take place once per week, but the mobile app guides you through goals and activities to work on with your dog during every day for the seven week duration of the training program.
Whether you’re looking to potty train or crate train your dog, teach him or her basic commands, or teach them to avoid bad behaviors, the GoodPup Training at Home mobile app and the licensed dog trainers who support it can certainly help you.
When it comes to ensuring you’re giving your dog the best veterinary care, there are apps that allow you to find the best veterinaries in your neighborhood and see their ratings and reviews.
The AirVet app connects you via live video conferencing with a vet in situations when you can’t leave your home, but you have pressing medical questions or issues pertaining to your dog. Once you sign up for an AirVet account, you’ll pay a fee starting at $30.00 for each live virtual video call appointment.
To help you deal with pet emergencies, the free Pet First Aid app from the American Red Cross is a useful and informative resource to keep on your smartphone or tablet. Using text, photos, and videos, this app will help you care for your ailing pet and deal successfully with pet-related emergencies.
Some dog foods sold at supermarkets, for example, contain additives or even harmful or unhealthy ingredients.
The Safe Pet Treats app allows you to use the rear-facing camera that’s built into your smartphone or tablet to scan the UPC barcode on any dog food or dog treat’s packaging. Within seconds, the app displays all of the ingredients within that food or treat, and one by one tells you which ingredients are unhealthy or potentially harmful to your dog.
The app will also notify you if there’s been a recall on that particular dogfood brand and disclose the true country of origin where the dog food or treats were manufactured.
After a free seven day trial of the Safe Pet Treats app, there’s a 99 cent monthly subscription fee or a $9.99 annual fee to continue using it. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
Knowing what you’re feeding your pet and making sure it includes top-quality and healthy ingredients will help keep your dog healthy and potentially prolong their life, so this is definitely an app I recommend.
When it comes to keeping your home fully stocked with dog food, treats, and pet supplies, all of the popular pet store chains, like PetCo and Petsmart, have their own proprietary apps that allow you to place orders that you can either pick up at your closest retail location or have delivered right to your home.
Chewy, however, is an online seller, that’s sort of like Amazon for pets. It only sells a vast selection of pet-related products.
The company works with more than 1,000 trusted brands and makes them available with a few on-screen taps. Orders over $49.00 placed with Chewy’s app or website receive free shipping.
For convenience, you can set up an Auto ship subscription for specific food and treat products, so you don’t need to manually re-order items your dog regularly consumes. If your dog takes prescription medications, these too can be filled by Chewy.
Meanwhile, while we’d all love to spend a lot of time with our dogs, but between work and family responsibilities, this isn’t always possible. To ensure your dog gets the care they need, the WAG! Dog Walkers and Sitters app will help you find the perfect person to take care of your dog while you’re at work or for longer periods when you go on vacation. The app can also help you find a local veterinarian.
When you hire a dog walker, for example, you can track their location and walking route live, via your smartphone, and then receive a virtual report card once your dog is returned home. Using WAG!’s database of more than 150,000 caregivers across the United States, you’re sure to find the perfect dog walker or doggy daycare person to care for your dog when you’re not home.
The WAG! app is free, but if you choose to hire a local pet sitter or dog walker, for example, you’ll pay that person’s rates for their services. The WAG! app features reviews of the service providers.
As you can see, there are all sorts of apps dog owners can use to make caring for their canine family members easier. To find more apps like the ones I’ve discussed, if you’re an iPhone or iPad user, launch the App Store app. If you’re an Android-based mobile device user, launch the Google Play Store app.
Within the Search field, enter a search term, like Dog Training, Dog Supplies, Dog First Aid, or Petcare to find the type of pet-related app you’re looking for.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jason R Rich