There really is an app for just about everything these days! For better or for worse, we rely on our phone applications for a variety of things in our daily lives, from navigation to banking and communication and scheduling and much more. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that there are several apps that have been developed with pets in mind! We compiled a list of our favorite dog-friendly apps that we use as trainers and pet-parents!
Whether you’re traveling or just want to find a local, dog-friendly place to eat, Bring Fido is an excellent resource! You can input your desired location and search for dog-friendly restaurants, activities and events, and places to stay. As a dog mom, I use this app when we travel with our pups, and as a trainer I can double check that a place is welcoming to dogs before we try to do a training session there. You can also read and leave reviews so that you can make sure that other dog-parents really had a good time. Available on iOS or Android.
Dog Vision HD
This app is $2.99, but if you’d like a better sense of how your dog sees the world, I think it is well worth the price. While it is a myth that dogs only see black and white, it is true that their perception of color is much more limited than ours. They also don’t see as clearly as us; shapes can often blur together, which could explain why many dogs bark at people who wear hats or the garbage can that wasn’t on the corner the day before.
I first came across this app during an agility class, during which June was struggling to take an obstacle. I was getting frustrated, but my instructor pulled up this app on her phone to help me understand what June was seeing. The app showed me that the obstacle in question was visually blending with the obstacle just slightly behind it and June literally couldn’t see the entrance I wanted her to take. Knowing this, I was able to change my body language to help guide her into the right position and it worked!
In my obedience training now, I often use this app if a dog is reacting differently than expected to an environmental stimulus. It helps me understand the environment a little bit more on the dog’s level (though I wish I could better ”see” the way their nose processes their environment!), and in turn helps me empathize with the dog and better adjust my training plans. Available on iOS and a similar app is available on Android.
This one is aptly named for sure! Essentially, this app gives you access to programming developed for your pup! They have videos designed to calm your dog during your absence or during a storm, entertain your dog while you get some work done (I particularly love watching my dogs watch the squirrel videos), and excite your dogs while you work on some training (“Someone’s at the Door” is an excellent video to help you train door manners!). This app is subscription-based, and honestly on the pricey side at $9.99 per month, but if you have a dog that struggles with separation anxiety or boredom, we feel it’s worth the cost. You can sign up here.
Pup to Date
Especially helpful for potty training puppies, this app is a schedule-management system that helps you track things like food and water in-take, potty times, medications, walks, and naps. I recommend this app to clients that are struggling with puppy stuff because having your puppy on a consistent schedule is KEY to helping them be successful. But I’ve also recommended it to clients with senior pups that have to take a lot of medications and young adult dogs that struggle with energy outlets. Keeping a ”diary“ of your pet’s activities can also help you spot patterns in their behavior that you can use in your training plans! Available on iOS.
We use this app as a distraction when we’re training door manners and impulse control! Sometimes walking to your real doorbell is too big of a step for a dog that struggles with barking like crazy when the doorbell rings. This app can help you bridge the gap from the crazy behavior to the trained, desired behavior. We often say to clients that they’ll never get good doorbell manners if the only time they practice is when UPS is at the door! Setting up controlled situations can help them practice and build skills that will eventually help during the ”real thing!” Available on iOS or Android.
Another noise-making app, we use the various sounds as distractions during “Place” training and general impulse control training. They have everything from cat meows and dog barks to horns, sirens, squeakers, and more! And beyond training, it also helps us take great pictures of cute little head tilts! Available on iOS.
Pet First Aid
Pet First Aid is full of great first aid knowledge that can help you keep your pup stable in an emergency until you can seek veterinary care. I have used it when my Kona ate something that she wasn’t supposed to and when June got a particularly nasty laceration on her paw. Our hope is that you’ll never need this app, but it is nice to have if something does happen and you can’t get to your vet right away! Available on iOS or Android.
While we wish it weren’t the case, we often need to assist in rehoming dogs, and this app is a great tool that shows available pets in your area. A new feature, however, is that they allow private homes to list adoptable pets. This takes a huge strain off our overwhelmed and over-populated shelters. While we try to encourage owners to work through behavioral difficulties, there are valid reasons to re-home a dog. It also helps people who find strays but are willing to foster them instead of dropping them off at the shelter. This app allows that to happen in a way that’s relatively safer than just a facebook post. Available on iOS or Android.