Five dog-specific apps to Help you Live Better

Today, there are mobile apps for almost every conceivable topic or need and because so many people now own smartphones and tablets, mobile app usage has seen huge growth worldwide.  It is estimated that by 2020, mobile apps will generate a staggering $189 billion worldwide.1 

There are some really interesting apps that have been developed specifically for dog owners.  We’ve taken a look at five free apps (all available for Android and iOS), which could potentially assist dog owners with many aspects of dog care.

Dog Vacay

Despite the boom in dog-friendly hotel options across the nation, there are times when you need to travel but just can’t take your favorite companion with you.  Although there are excellent kennels available in the US, some people prefer their dogs to have a more personalized pet-sitting service and this led to the development of the DogVacay app.

Dog Vacay allows you to connect with dog sitters in your area who offer services ranging from dog walking, to taking your dog to vet appointments, or caring for your dog in your home or theirs when you are out of town.

With a 24/7 customer support service and daily photo or video updates, you can travel or use the daycare option knowing that your dog is in good hands.

dog-vacay
Pet First Aid

Just like people, pets get sick and have accidents too.  Although many of us are familiar with the correct first aid procedures when dealing with people, we’re not necessarily as confident when required to be first responders in pet emergencies. The Pet First Aid app developed by the American Red Cross remedies that situation, allowing you to check symptoms and watch videos on how best to respond to common emergency situations.

You can learn about early warning signs, learn first aid steps, and take quizzes on pet health and safety. For more serious conditions, the app will also tell you the location of the nearest emergency animal hospital or veterinarian’s office.

A great app to use in emergencies and a great resource to help you provide emergency care for your pet until you can get to a veterinarian.

pet-first-aid

BarkCam

If you’re a dog owner, you will know that no matter how adorable your dog’s appearance, trying to capture “that look” in a photo can be extremely difficult.  This is where BarkCam comes in.  Using a variety of different sounds to get your dog’s attention, the sounds are linked to the camera’s shutter button, so you trigger sound and take the photo at the same time.

When you’ve got your favorite picture, you can edit to your heart’s content using filters, stickers or even text.  You can share pictures on the platform itself or share it on either Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

bark-cam

Whistle

This app requires a phone for you and a Whistle GPS collar for your dog, which then allows you to track not only your dog’s location but also his heart rate.  Designed to help avoid dog’s getting lost, it also allows you to create custom activity goals for your dog, based on breed, size, and age and can be modified depending on which family member is walking the dog at that particular time.

It is important to keep in mind that because this app has nationwide GPS coverage in the US, there is potential to run down your phone battery much faster on longer walks.

Although this app is free, the required collar costs around $50*.

 

whistle-device
Whistle GPS dog collar

 

 

MapMyDogWalk

There are plenty of apps on the market for runners and walkers and this app is quite similar, but designed specifically for those who walk dogs. The app gives you information on the best dog walking routes in your area and if you use one of these or add one of your own, the app allows you to track progress made and allows you to save this data to compare against future walks. Information on dog parks, waste-bag dispensers, dog-friendly areas and water fountains are all given in this dog-friendly app.
Once again, it is important to note that continually using GPS, does dramatically drain battery power.

map-my-dog-walk

 

We have only taken a look at 5 free apps, but there are far more on the market for dog owners to use. Why not look for one that would make your lifestyle easier?  As businesses are increasingly being encouraged to develop apps, it is possible that in the not too distant future we will see an even greater number of dog-friendly apps, which will likely become more interactive and more personalized to meet user need.

Do you currently use any apps on your cell phone or tablet that make your dog care duties more manageable or is there an app that you would love to see available for dog owners? Let us know which apps make your life with your dog better.

*Price correct at time of article posting.

References

  1. https://www.statista.com/topics/1002/mobile-app-usage/

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Doggy activities: The Dog Park

In the series of things you can do with your dog to keep him happy and active I have so far tackled taking your pooch to the beach and advised you to make a (small) change in your walking route. Today I will be talking about taking your beloved four-legged friend to a place a lot of you will be familiar with already. However, for those of you who are unfamiliar with them or who have some doubts, let me introduce you to… the dog park.

Dog park this way
Dog park this way

Off-leash dog parks are a wonderful place where you can let your pooch off-leash and run around and play with his friends. Because in most states and counties, dogs have to be leashed during their walks, they can be hindered in socializing with their fellows. In their hearts, dogs are still animals that roam, but we keep them in our houses and backyard, thus limiting their space. In the dog park they can be more true to their nature, lose some of their pent-up energy and, most importantly, have fun! And frankly, you can do the same as dog parks are a great place to meet new friends, human or canine.

Making friends and having fun
Making friends and having fun

I my post has convinced you to try out the dog park, please keep the following in mind. These parks are a great benefit for every dog and dog owner. However, in order to keep everyone happy and to keep these lovely places open, it is important that you follow the rules. Some parks have restriction on how many dogs can be inside at the same time. In others there are separate areas according to the dog’s size. And in some of these dog parks children are not allowed in. However, all of these parks have one rule in common, the one rule that all visitors must adhere to: cleaning up the dog’s waste. Following these rules will make the city happy and keep the park open, which makes your dogs happy, which will make you happy. So why not give it a try?

Dog beach: paradise of sand and water

Paradise
Paradise of sand and water

Last week I started the new topic of things to do with your dog by advising you to take your pooch to a new area during the (daily) walk. This will stimulate and motivate them, just like it does humans. Think about it, sometimes you get in a routine and after a while it just starts to feel like a drag. So we go on holiday for a change of scenery and new sights. This is exactly what you’ll be doing for your dog by changing their route.

Today’s advice is pretty close to last week’s, however instead of turning into a new street on the walk, why not go a bit further and take your four-legged family member to the beach. If the new street was like a holiday, then the beach will be like paradise to your dog, a paradise of sand and water.

Making new, somewhat strange, friends
Making new, somewhat strange, friends

For a lot of dogs, the beach is like a foreign place on a planet that is just waiting to be explored. The beach sand will hold thousands of scents from people, various animals, other dogs, and who knows what else. And for the dog who isn’t afraid of water, swimming in the sea will bring exercise to a whole new level. A trip to the dog beach holds numerous possibilities to occupy your dog. From running and swimming to playing fetch, exploring and meeting new friends or just enjoying some sunshine, this doggy paradise has it all.

This Lab want to take the sandy paradise home with him
This Lab want to take the sandy paradise home with him

Before taking your dog to beach, however, you should be prepared. First, look up what is allowed on your local (dog) beach. Are dogs allowed off-leash? Are they only welcome during certain times? Next, prepare yourself for a very dirty dog at the end of the day. After frolicking on land and in the sea, you’ll probably want to wash and dry your dog before heading home, especially if you came by car. Though in that case I suggest you also protect your car by equipping it with some sturdy rubber mats. Also, do not forget to bring plenty of food and fresh water for your pooch. They will get thirsty and should not drink from the salty sea water! Keep an eye out for heat stroke too in summer and make sure there is some shade if you stay for a

longer time. Lastly, do not forget to clean after your dog in case he does his business on the beach. This way everyone can enjoy a nice beach!

Would you be willing to take your dog to doggy paradise? Or have they already been to this magical land of sand and water? Feel free to share your stories and anecdotes in the comments.

Things to do with your dog

Mutual love
Mutual love

The love between dogs and humans is a mutual thing and we love nothing more than spending time with each other. However, at times we have to leave are beloved furry family members alone for a while and they can get bored. When we get back, we want nothing better than to make up for it and to give our dogs a chance to be active and release some energy. But at times, we get tired of playing the same games and going for the same walk all over again. That’s why in the next couple of articles I hope to give you some new ideas on things to do with your dogs to keep them active and happy.

In today’s article I’ll start off with a tip that is easily manageable: instead of going for that same old walk in the same old neighborhood, why not go somewhere new. This can still be close-by, in your own area, but just a different street or park than usual. Even deviating from your normal route or routes just by a bit well make the walk more exciting.

Or when you have some more time, in the weekends or on a day off, you could go for a drive and explore a whole new area, like a nearby forest. Your dog will love exploring new places with different sights and smells. You might even find some hidden gem which will become your new favorite place!

Off to explore!
Off to explore!

You don’t have to go to a new place every day, but it will be nice for both the two-legs and the four-legs to mix things up a bit occasionally. This will stimulate your minds and bodies. So give it a try and I’ll guarantee you’ll get a happier dog. Have fun!