Tuesday, February 17, 2009

iPhone Apps For Dog Owners

Since Apple opened software development for the iPhone up to "app" providers, there's been a real proliferation of these portable little mini-programs - at present there are over 15,000 apps available. Some are real tools, many are entertainment . I thought I'd take a look at a sampling of the available dog-related apps so I fired up iTunes and entered "dog" in the search box.

  • One of the apps that caught my attention was "Dog-A-Log". This is a dog breed reference, which draws its breed information from wikipedia. This would be a great resource for people doing shelter checks to identify and refer purebred dogs to rescue groups - the listings include pictures, size, and other information. It might also be a good starting point for folks just starting to look for a dog.

Training tools are another category of dog-related iPhone apps.

  • "Dog Tricks and Bark Machine" offers dog training tutorials that cover basic commands (sit, stay, etc..), games, tricks to impress, and puppy training.
  • "Dog Whistle" claims to produce whistle frequencies up to 20,000 Hz with multiple sound patterns, and the ability to use a "bark detector" that triggers a tone when the dog's sound level exceeds a pre-set threshold. The "Dog Trainer" app aims to mimic a classic dog whistle, with three different sounds to choose from - long whistle, two pips and multiple pip whistle.
  • There's also the "Clicker" app for those trainable moments. The description says: "Clicker training is an easy, proven technique for training your dog, but until now, it required a clicker. No More!". Personally, I'd rather use a $1.49 plastic clicker than a $300 phone for my training sessions - but this is probably because I have Bassets. Perhaps those with dryer-mouthed dogs won't mind so much?
Of course, many iPhone apps are specialized databases - either as references or as tools.

  • "Pet Notebook", "MiPets" and "Dog Diary" are all utilities that allow you to store information about your dogs or other pets. I like the looks of "Pet Notebook" the best - each dog has its own home screen with picture, and then links to a full picture gallery, veterinary and medication notes, identification section with birthday, registration number, sire and dam, and a custom notes section.
  • "Diagnostic Imaging Atlas" is a veterinary resource that provides high quality illustrations of normal biology and pathologies in veterinary medicine. It's intended as a client education tool, but I'm planning on downloading this FREE application for my own reference when talking to my vet.
  • "Off Leash" uses the iPhone's GPS utility to locate the closest five dog-parks to the phone user, and provide directions - currently good only in the US.
Finally, not all of these iPhone apps are for dog owners.

  • "iPet Dogs" is a social iPhone app that allows people who have adopted "virtual" dogs to feed, pet and play with them, talk to other virtual pet owners, and have their virtual dogs challenge other virtual dogs to games of ball chasing and other doggie play-dates. All with no actually grooming, food or vet bills, or clean-up required!
  • The "Fake-An-Excuse" app offers a number of sound effects that can be played during a phone call to provide an excuse for hanging up *right now* - these include "someone is vacuuming", "I'm being pulled over", "Someone's here (doorbell)", and of course, "There's a big dog here! (growling)".

This is just a taste of what's available - and of course new apps are being released all the time. Now if I could just find one that would handle the clean-up, it would really be a treat!


  1. Great idea, Sylvie! I don't have an iPhone, but I'm going to see if there are any apps like the notebook and diagnostics for my Blackberry.

  2. iSqueek is another great dog app. They have a video demo on youTube:


    Watch it, it's really a cool video. Great app, I love this thing.


  3. I would encourage dog owners to also check out Fido Factor http://www.fidofactor.com. This app allows dog owners to find dog friendly locations and helps supports the SF/SPCA.

  4. By far the best app for dogs is Dog Remote - it's pretty incredible, a remote control for dogs. Uses hi pitched sounds only dogs can hear.

  5. 'iKibble' for the iPhone is another one about foods you can feed your dog, recently launched: itunes.apple.com/us/app/ikibble/id351834112?mt=8.

  6. For people who think their dog is the cutest in the whole world Top Dawg is also cool: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/top-dawg/id351992770?mt=8