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Congratulations — you are the proud new parent of a fur-baby! As anyone can tell you, bringing your new puppy home is in many ways just like bringing a human baby home. There are feedings, naps, learning and stimulation activities, poopies to clean up … and all of the joys and challenges of guiding this young one into the big wide world.
The fact that you are on the Internet right now leads us to assume that you are aware of the great new tools that are available as the result of technological advancement. That is to say, "smart phone" applications — or apps, for the really tech advanced amongst you. Now, apps are not just games for spending time that would otherwise be wasted in abject boredom — no more. Apps can be used for education, for communication, and for almost anything you can think of.
We chose some of the best apps for new puppy parents, to help you and your fur-baby travel the road to social success.*
1. Daily Planners
It’s important to get your puppy used to a consistent daily routine right away. Walking, feeding, potty breaks, weekly play dates and training classes. All of this can be made easier with a daily calendar that you can set to remind you and track as you get it all done.
My Daily Planner for the iPhone, and Routinely for the Android are two calendar planning apps that allow you to set lists of tasks and alarms to remind you to get them done, as well as mark them off as they are done.
Raising a puppy isn’t cheap, and you probably want to keep track of your budget so you can make sure that you are covering all the bases. You may be asking: What could I possibly need to keep track of? There’s the toy allowance, the food bill, the clothing (leashes, collars, booties, etc.), the health insurance, the veterinarian (vaccinations, checkups, etc.), the sitter and/or walker, the groomer, the trainer, the candle stick maker … you get the idea.
The Spending on My Dog app for the Android helps you to keep track of all of your puppy related spending and view it in chart format or export it onto a spreadsheet.
3. Playing and Exercise
You might remember that when you were a kid, you always spotted the playgrounds from your back seat in the car. Dog playgrounds are not as easy to spot from the car, but thank goodness we now have a way to find them with these great apps. No matter where you are, you can tap in the local zip code and find the closest park to take your puppy to for some needed run time.
The Dog Park Finder by DogParkUSA.com has a Google powered map that leads you right to the park, and Dog Park by Dogster.com promises not only to get you to the park, but also has social tools for chatting and meeting with other puppy parents. Both are for the iPhone.
4. Health and Emergencies
We don’t recommend treating a true emergency with home treatment over professional care, but not every little cough is an emergency. With so much knowledge now available at the tap of a finger, it’s good to know where to go when your puppy does one of those queer little reverse sneezes.
PetMD’s Dog First Aid can lead you through just about all of the possible emergencies your pup can find himself in. With concise descriptions so you know what to expect, and so you can begin emergency treatment before you can get to the clinic.
5. Pet Services
Say you have an emergency and you’re away from home. Or you’ve never left your puppy with a sitter, but you need to go away for the weekend and you can’t take her with you. What to do?
Have no fear, the PetMD Pet Services Finder is here to save the day. With categories in Dog Walking, Veterinarians, Emergency Clinics, Groomers, and yes, even Dog Parks, all of your pet needs can be taken care of in only a few taps.