Love your dog? You’ll love these apps

Aug 31, 2009

Yes, I am one of those girls that carries a Chihuahua around in a handbag (honest though, the vet recommended it), and we happily partake in Petco’s annual Chihuahua races. My dogs are part of my family, they sleep in my bed, they dine alfresco with us on dates and they tag along on vacations.

So, I’ll try anything that helps streamline my life when it comes to taking care of my dogs. Training and pet care can be very daunting tasks, but with the right apps, it can become much easier.

Finding and taking care of the right dog

If you just started hunt for the perfect breed of dog, the Dog-A-Log app (99 cents) offers an extensive list of breeds by appearance, temperament, care, genetics, health and much more. The app accurately described the temperament of my Sheltie to a T, fiercely loyal and aloof with strangers.

Once the new dog is home with your family, PetsCare ($1.99) is a great app to record multiple pets’ information, complete with photos. I recorded my dogs’ microchip numbers, vet information and upcoming appointments. For super social or professional pets, the app even has an events schedule section for recording doggie play dates, training sessions and trips to the groomer.

Dog First Aid ($1.99) lists possible situations when your dog could need emergency care. It’s basically just a dictionary of emergencies that you could easily Google from your iPhone. Skip it.

Tricks and training

The Dog Training Guide (99 cents) comes complete with a high-frequency whistle that supposedly motivates your dog to listen and follow through with commands. My dogs simply ignored it, if they heard it.

The super cute Dog Tricks & Bark Machine (99 cents) is much more fun. It also comes with games to play with your dog. My dogs were into the Kong Hunt game, and the app makes doorbell, fire truck and squeaky toy sounds. I really dug the random function: shake your iPod and it makes a random noise, then gives you a random trick to try.

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Fun for dogs

The iClean – Screen Cleaner app (99 cents) is what my boyfriend calls “kind of a striptease for dogs.” It’s several different types of dogs (plus an adorable kitty and quirky gerbil) that lick your screen, from the inside to a chorus of barks or music. It’s funny for the first minute and pretty useless after that.

Doggyspace (free) is like Facebook for dogs. While I’m addicted to Facebook, even I will admit this app is going a little too far. If you have enough time to meet dogs on the Internet, I suggest you do something more productive with your time like volunteer at the local animal shelter.

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