5 Pet Apps That Will Make You a Better Owner

Cat feet near Friskies iPhone app
Melanie Kramer, Vetstreet

Got a pet problem? Don’t worry. There’s an app for that!

Tablet devices and smartphones offer more for animal lovers than just a bunch of angry birds. In particular, apps designed to tempt pet people are pushing their way into this crowded marketplace by offering solutions to important pet issues. It's a great thing, right?

Well . . . not always. Sure, we’re gratified to see pets get their due whenever possible. Unfortunately, most pet apps tend to get it all wrong, offering tools or information no one really wants. Or they don’t work the way they should, making the app more of a problem than a solution. Grrrrrr ....

Nevertheless, some apps still manage to make the grade. They’re the ones that actually do what they’re designed to do, without making you want to tear your hair out in the process. Best of all, they’ll not only make your life more fun and easier, they’ll improve your relationship with your pets and make you a better advocate for their health and wellness.

To that end, here are a few of my favorites:

Pet Drug Info

I bought one called iVet Calculators and Drugs ($9.99). I hesitated at first because it was really pricey. In the end, I think it was well worth it for the time that it saves me. It’s an easy, on-the-go app for a veterinarian, vet technician or any owner who wants to see what the drugs their pets are on are supposed to be doing, what dosages are considered usual and what kind of drug interactions they can expect. It also has sections on dog and cat drug-related emergencies.

Pet Health Care Organizers

I couldn’t choose just one of these, so I’ll offer a couple: Clarus ($24.99) and Dog Medical Agenda ($6.99).

All told, there are about 10 of these apps out there, with all of them promising to help you organize your pet’s health care information so that your vet records and relevant pet information exist in one readily available place.

While the Clarus and Dog Medical Agenda both offer a solution for owners who like having their pets' detailed health histories at their fingertips, the reality is that they require constant maintenance on the owner’s part to make it happen. In other words, they’re great tools for those who like to be super organized and are good at getting there.

Even so, there’s no way to import scanned documents into the app, which means that most owners still have to travel with documents, both for legal purposes and completeness’s sake.

Pet Reminders

While these promise to help you organize all of your pet’s information, they’re pretty Mickey Mouse compared with the two I’ve listed in the previous section. They are undeniably cute, however, and they offer a reminder function that helps forgetful people remember to give their dogs pills, potions and parasite preventatives: My Pet ED – Pet Health Center ($1.99) and Pet Dossier ($1.99).

Diabetes Management

My pick: Glucose Tracker Lite ($0.00).

I know, I know, it’s not a pet product, per se. It is, however, a very useful tool for those who need a simple app to help keep track of their diabetic pet’s blood sugar levels. While it doesn’t work for every diabetic pet owner (it’s a personality thing), I think it’s well worth trying to see if it's a fit for you — especially since it’s free!

Pet Training and Enrichment

I just couldn’t resist. These are the supercute apps you’ll love to show off to your pets to get a reaction, or just as an excuse to play:

Friskies Call-A-Cat ($0.00) is so simple but so pitch-perfect. All it does is call your cat to dinner by replicating the sound of a can of food being opened. I tried it and everyone sat up and took notice — dogs, too.

iSqueek ($1.99) is another basic app that gives you three squeak-toy options and requires you to play with the toy to elicit certain realistic and enticing sounds. My dogs were quite fascinated. I suggest they offer a clicker too.

Dog Tricks – Best of 101 Dog Tricks ($0.99) is way fun for those who like to teach their dogs new tricks. The training methods are sound, but it’s just eight tricks, not 101.

That’s my download. Do you have any other fun ones that you like to use?

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