Must-Have Apps for the Avid Pet Lover

Keep your pet happy and healthy with these mobile apps

Pets can be a bigger commitment than many people expect, between adoption, health care, training, and environment, there are a lot of variables to consider. The right app can provide more focused, reputable information than a Google search, and they’re available on hand, whenever you need them. Not all apps are created equal, though, so we’ve narrowed it down to a few of the cheapest, simplest, and most helpful apps for Android and iPhone.

1. Fido Pet Adoptions (iOS, Android)

When you’re in the beginning stages of adopting a pet, the choice can be nerve-wracking, and going to the shelter without a plan is like going to the grocery store on an empty stomach. With Petfinder’s mobile app, you can have access to the databases of 13,000 shelters and rescue organizations; and it definitely helps to have it with you as you bounce from one shelter to another, so you can compare fees and legal requirements. You can search by breed, age, gender, and size, so you can easily narrow down to animals that are more likely to fit with your home and family. If you experience bugs, there are several similar apps for Android and iPhone, and most have access to the same database. (Cost: free)

2. Pet First Aid (iPhone)

This is the only paid app on our list, but if you have older pets or outdoor pets, this may be a worthwhile investment. It features a database of common medical emergencies, including CPR, treating bleeding and fractures, and safely restraining or muzzling a dog who is violent or seizing. You can also use it to track your pet’s medical history, including weight gain over time and detailed information on each veterinarian visit. (Cost: $3.99)

3. Pet Master (iOS, Android)

Pet Master is similar to Pet First Aid, with fewer bells and whistles. It is a great organizer for managing your pet’s health care and training. You can input your pet’s personal details, and then catalog his or her health history. You can track changes in weight as you alter your dog’s diet, to find out what foods keep him or her in a healthy range, and which ones don’t. You can also record vet visits, schedule checkups, and record medications or possible allergies so that your vet has the best possible information to treat your pet. The iPhone app has a more attractive interface, but other than that the versions are identical. (Cost: free)

4. Dog Whistler (iOS, Android)

This app delivers a customizable high-frequency noise that you can use for training: users reported training their dogs to come when they hear a certain frequency, or stop barking when someone comes to the door. Note, though, that it doesn’t work with all dogs (or all phones); you can change the frequency of the noise within a fairly wide range, and select a number of different sound types, but your phone may not be capable of producing the necessary sound. HTC phones appear to produce the right sounds, but not loud enough to monopolize the dogís attention, while Samsung phones (with the surprising exception of the Galaxy) generally showed the best results. The upside is that it’s free, so it’s at least worth a shot. (Cost: free)

5. 52 Dog Tricks (Android)

This app provides a timeline to help you cope with the long process of teaching your dog tricks. It offers one trick a week for a year, building on one another in order of complexity so your dog can learn more and more fun tricks. It’s a very simple app (almost an e-book), but it features great information that makes dog training much easier. It might be worthy of a higher spot on the list, but it’s a young app; it has 100% positive reviews, but there are only 7, so there may be bugs that the reviewers missed. (Cost: free)

Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their Labrador retriever, Darby.

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