5 iPhone Apps Your Dog Wants You to Download
They can’t express it in words, but our dogs appreciate everything we do for them. From regular vet visits to picking up their favorite treats to giving them a reflex-triggering rub on the belly, we’re number one in their eyes. And if you want to score even more points, check out these five apps that’ll have your hounds howling with delight.
Eukanuba Unleashed (FREE) is a dog park locator. Also called Off Leash, it allows users to find — you guessed it — off-leash areas by GPS or ZIP code. Great for finding overlooked runs in your immediate area or planning playtime before you pack up the pooches for a weekend getaway. If you live in NYC, I recommend the W. 105th Street Dog Run in Riverside Park. It’s a great space with plenty of benches, bowls of water, a tub for pets to splash around, complimentary poop bags (most of the time) and — the best part! — a refreshing wet bar just across the blacktop, which sells mixed drinks, cold beer, and grill snacks from April to October.
Pet First Aid
Dogs get sick. Mostly because they eat things they shouldn’t eat — one of mine loves dust balls and string (and don’t even get me started on the chicken bones that litter the sidewalk outside my building) — and that means that sometimes they need extra TLC. Because none of us have the time to take our pets to the vet every time they get a cough or reverse sneeze (there is a such thing), Pet First Aid ($3.99) provides conditions, symptoms, and treatments for many medical emergencies. It includes detailed articles, video and illustrations, and storage for all your pets’ vital medical information so you can save them (but let’s hope you never have to access them) with the flick of a finger.
The general rule seems to be that if an establishment serves food, bringing your dogs indoors is a no-no. Fine with me. I’m happy to hook the leash to my chair to enjoy a sunny brunch outside with my babies. If no food is served, however, dogs are often allowed in, and the recently released Fido Factor (FREE) will help you find these places according to preference. Because it’s in beta form, there aren’t an abundance of listings for dog-friendly businesses outside of a few select cities (New York, Boston, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle), but you can change that by adding the places in your area that welcome pets with open arms. My cuties are partial to happy hour and free popcorn (which we get at Tap A Keg), but if you have other suggestions, let Fido Factor know.
Whether you’re looking for your first pet or adding to your brood, PetFinder (FREE) is the next best thing to hoofing it down to your local ASPCA. The app allows you to browse adoptable, homeless pets in your area or nationwide. Search by breed, age, gender and size. You can also “favorite” adoptable pets in which you’re interested and share pet pics and profiles via e-mail and on Facebook and Twitter (which can be dangerous, because you know no one can resist pictures of adorable puppies; they’ll never tell you NOT to adopt another animal). Alas, the second addition worked out for us. If it weren’t for PetFinder, we wouldn’t have the black bundle of joy you see below, Luxe, and our first baby, Jaxon (the photo up top), wouldn’t have a little sister to keep him company. All’s well that ends well.
Dog Tricks – Best of 101 Dog Tricks
Commanding your dog to sit and lay is easy enough (or not, depending on the willingness of the student and the patience of the teacher), but other tricks aren’t so simple. I’d like to tell you that my dogs fetch, but they don’t; one of them runs after the ball, sniffs it and walks away, and the other one only ran to it because she was chasing him. I give up. But if you’re the ambitious type, you’ll like Dog Tricks – Best of 101 Dog Tricks ($.99) which offers step-by-step written and video instructions to eight tricks, like roll over, crawl, shake hands, and hoop jump, the latter of which is sure to wow the crowd when you both join the circus.