I don’t go anywhere without my smartphone. Life’s a juggling act, whether I’m taking calls, working or even snapping pics of my dog Mystic. How awesome that I can also use my mobile to keep Mystic on point in her training, get animal first aid tips and find dog-friendly hiking trails in Marin? I can do all this, and more, with apps—and here are eight of the best for animal lovers:
1. Puppy Coach 101: Coaching your new puppy isn’t easy, so why go it alone? This video-based app guides you in crate training, potty training, teaching sit, teaching them to learn their name, nipping and biting, and more. Learn tactics instantly with videos featuring professional dog trainer Joanne Lekas. $2.99 (iPhone)
2. Dog Clicker Training: To go with the training app mentioned above, this easy-to-use app gives you professional HD clicker sounds to assist in those training sessions with your dog or cat. Free(iPhone)
3. Pet First Aid: This app from the American Red Cross offers up all you need to know to help your cat or dog in an emergency. Includes how-to videos (such as animal CPR), an early warning signs checklist, the location of your nearest emergency hospital, common first aid tips and more. $0.99(Android, iPhone, Amazon)
4. BarkBuddy: Thinking about adding a new member to the family? BarkBuddy, which links to 2,500 rescues nationwide, connects animal lovers with “the perfect match” at their local shelter. Simply swipe to see photos, bios and distance from you. An Android version is in the works. Free (iPhone)
5. Pose A Pet: With 20 sound effects including “meow,” “zing” and “squeaky,” this app ensures your cat or dog looks at the camera every single time, ensuring a perfect photo. The app was created by Jennifer Whaley, an animal photographer who used similar sounds to take pictures of 2,500 rescue dogs. Free (iPhone); $3 (Android)
6. BringFido: Traveling with your dog just got easier. With BringFido, just swipe to find pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks, beaches and other places that are happy to see you bring your four-legged friends, too. Free (iPhone)
7. ASPCA: Keep your pet as safe as possible in a natural disaster with this app. Not only can you store medical records, but you can also access important information during an emergency, learn how to search for your animal (if he becomes lost in a major storm, for example), create a “lost pet” digital flyer to share on social media, and more. Free(iPhone and Android)
8. Cute or Not: Do you have the cutest dog on the block? Upload a pic to Cute or Not and see if others agree. The app also lets you rate other people’s pets (for cute, the app says “swipe right!”) and see trending photos. (But wait—who’s swiping left? Aren’t all animals cute??!) Free (iPhone)
What are your favorite apps for animal lovers? Share here!
This stat kind of surprised me: Did you know that the market for high-tech wearables for pets is going to explode over the next 10 years? According to a recent report by market research firm IDTechEX in Cambridge, England, the market for wearable tech for pets is expected to hit a staggering $2.6 billion by 2025.
My dog is pretty low-tech at the moment, but perhaps that will change in the future. Especially after discovering these amazing new high-tech products! Though not all of the techy products below qualify as “wearables,” one thing’s for sure: Companies are finding smart ways to keep us better connected to our animals, whether we’re at work or traveling. And some are even going that extra mile to help us keep a watchful eye on their health and wellness.
Binatone Scout 500 dog tracker: This product is so much more than your average pet collar; it’s more like a smartphone for your dog. The Scout 500, available this summer for $199, provides GPS tracking, a microphone for voice commands so you can talk to your dog no matter where they are, and video streaming so you can see what they’re up to.
FitBark : This dog activity monitor syncs to your smartphone and tracks your dog’s activity levels (rest, active and play time) 24/7. The FitBark, available in a variety of colors, attaches to your dog’s existing collar and lets you set health goals, compare your dog’s activity levels to other dogs, and notice important changes in your dog’s behavior. Cost: $99.95; available in March 2015.
Petcube Camera: Video chat with your pet? Yes! When you’re at work or out of town, you can use the wireless Petcube Camera to stay in touch with your favorite furry friends (and even play laser games with them!). Features an HD camera, two-way audio and smartphone compatibility. Cost: $199.
Petnet SmartFeeder: This high-tech food dispenser lets you manage your pet’s meals from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You can adjust feeding times, manage portion sizes and even the speed at which you want food dispensed; you’ll also get notifications with meal confirmations, info about food inventory and more. Cost: $249 (for sale in Q4), or pre-order for $199.
Tagg GPS Plus Pet Tracker: This techy pet tracker, which attaches to your dog’s existing collar, aims to prevent your animal from getting lost. Once you create a “safe zone” around your home, the product offers 24/7 animal monitoring, real-time notifications if your dog runs away, nationwide GPS pet tracking and a temperature sensor. Cost: $99.95.
Voyce: This waterproof “smart collar” is basically a wearable computer for your dog. The Voyce monitors your animal’s health, sharing vital signs like resting heart rate, respiratory rate, activity levels, calories burned and so much more. All that info grabbing lets you see wellness trends over time, which can then be shared with your vet. Cost: $299 plus $9.95/month membership plan; available in March 2015.
What do you think? Are you ready to fit your animal with high-tech gadgets?