Got an iPhone, iPad or Lion OS-outfitted Mac? Then you’ve got access to some of the hottest pet apps on the planet. In this post you'll get treated to my top five but there are others if you're willing to dig deep. Luckily, I had Yeepet do some of the digging for me.
Yeepet is an online pet portal sort of like petMD. We're competitors in a sense, of course, but we also love thinking we’re all one big happy animal-loving family with the same goal in mind: to improve our pets' lives through information.
Which is why I never shy away from showcasing another site's best stuff. After all, I grew up in a blogosphere that rewarded those who played super-nice with others. What is it they say about catching flies with honey?
If that cheerful attitude makes you want to throw up a little, be my guest. But it IS true, you know?
Anyhow, I'd been thinking about doing a post on iPhone apps again. It seems that every time I turn around there’s a new app out there to help us understand and manage our pets a little better — not to mention, have more fun with them. And now that more of you have iPhones than ever before, it only makes sense that I reprise this topic.
Yeepet's take on this subject offered me the first three of my top five apps when it posted an entry on apps designed to help you keep track of your pets:
Keeping track of your pet or pets can be a hassle. iPhone apps that can keep track of your pet become especially important. You are responsible to have and know all of their information since they cannot do it themselves. And it is always good to know or, at a minimum, have a record of all their information.
Things to Keep Track of
Before stopping to think about it, it would seem that there is not that much to keep track of. But stop and think for just a minute, and be surprised at what comes to mind. There are vaccination records, veterinary phone numbers and addresses (and office hours are always good to know), pet sitters' names and contact information, a description of any sicknesses or injuries, surgeries, allergies, and more.
Why Keep Track
Just as we keep track of our own and our children's basic and medical information, it is important to keep track of pets' information for a variety of reasons. If an injury occurs, say a car accident, the vet has to know if the pet is allergic to any medications or if he or she has been injured before. In the case of a lost pet, it is important to have all the basic information, such as height, weight, coloring and markings available as quickly as possible to get the information out immediately.
How to Keep Track
Before the iPhone, pet owners had to keep track of their pets' information either on their home computer or on paper. This method of information tracking only works if you actually take the time to do it. In today's fast paced, Internet centered world, this is no longer the best way. If the information is needed right away, or in the case of an emergency, having access to it is very limited if it is keep at home in a file.
Fortunately, there are a few iPhone apps that are either free or almost free that do a great job of keeping all of your pet's information in one, easy to access place.
This app features a user friendly interface and shows each pets' information in an easy to read format. Pet Phone is a popular app for pet parents with iPhones because it is so fun to use and records all the information you will need to know.
Pet Dossier is an app that is bright and cheery, making it easy to use. The user friendly interface makes setting up, editing, and viewing each pet's profile a breeze. A unique feature of this app is the ability to e-mail and back-up/restore the information. With these features, it is easy to send your pet sitters all of the information they will need to know about your pet, and you can rest assured that the information you enter will not be lost if the phone is lost or damaged.
Not only does the Paw Card app record all of your pet's information, it has a journal feature that allows the pet parent to keep track of those oddities that have no other place to be recorded. This would be useful for recording your pet's odd birthmark, [which] would be helpful for identification purposes.
And I've got three more up my sleeve:
Good Dog Guide
This app's description goes like this: "4-IN-ONE Dog App - 4 Great Features in one application - ALL FREE: Breed Reference Guide, Interactive Virtual Dog Show, Dog Organizer & Journal and Find a Breeder."
I confess that I haven’t yet played with it much, and that its "Find a Breeder" is something of a turnoff for me, personally, seeing as traipsing through an iPhone app isn't my recommended approach to sourcing a great purebred, but it's a start.
Finally, there's petMD's apps to consider. So here's where I get a chance to prove that by highlighting others' successes I can always find a way to toot my own horn:
petMD's Dog First Aid
and the petMD Pet Services Finder
Check them out and let me know what you think.
OK, so here's where I ask my standard question: Do you have a favorite pet app you'd like to offer for this audience's consideration?
Dr. Patty Khuly
A note on the images used: All screen shot images were taken from the iTunes iPhone App Store, where you can also find out more about each of the apps listed in today's column - with the exception of the Paw Card app, which can be found at Jive Media, the creators of the Paw Card app.