Essential Apps for Pet Owners

By Tracey Dowdy

There are almost as many apps for your pet as there are for your kids. Seriously, Scroll through your app store and you’ll find scores of apps for pet owners and animal lovers, but just as with the apps you choose for your children, not apps are created equal. And, if you’re looking for training or first aid advice, poor quality apps may not only be a waste of time or money, they may be dangerous. The best pet apps are developed by veterinarians and animal experts and promise useful and interesting tips, tools, and information.

Pet First Aid by American Red Cross

Pet-Red-CrossJust as with a medical emergency with a human, it’s best not to waste time scrolling through an app to figure out what to do – get to your vet immediately. Pet First Aid by American Red Cross is best used as a how-to reference before you find yourself in an emergency situation so you’re best prepared. The app offers comprehensive, step by step first aid information for 25 common emergencies. There’s tips on giving medication, training and behavior guides, video instruction, photos to help identify poisons, and even advice on when it may be time to say goodbye. The app is customizable so you can enter your pet’s information and track their medical history.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free


Animal Poison Control Center

APCCThe Animal Poison Control Center mobile app puts potentially life-saving information in the palm of your hand by giving you one-touch speed-dial access to the 24-hour Poison Control hotline. The app focuses on dogs, cats, horses, and birds and provides a database of information and photos to help you identify toxic and non-toxic plants, common household hazards, medications, and guideline for both warm and cold weather conditions. One of its best features is the Chocolate Wheel that lets you know what symptoms and reactions to expect based on the amount and type of chocolate invested. There’s also a “rodentslide” calculator to assess the severity and degree of poisoning based on the type of rat poison your pet consumed.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free


ASPCA

ASPCAIf you’re ever faced with a natural disaster, the ASPCA mobile app offers access to “critical advice on what to do with your pet before, during and after a major storm — even if there’s no data connectivity.” You can upload your pet’s photos, medical records, and vet information and get advice on what to do with your pet before, during and after a major weather event. The app includes a missing pet recovery kit, that includes step-by-step instructions on how to search for lost animals in a number of circumstances. You can even create a flyer if your pet gets lost that is easily shared on social media platforms.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

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