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11 Must-Have Apps for Pet Parents in 2020

woman with brown hair pulled back in a bun laying on her stomach looking at her cellphone with a small dog beside her

If you’ve opened your heart and your home to a new family member, then you know that owning a pet is special and rewarding. However, that little bundle of fur or feathers didn’t come with an owner’s manual. The good news is that modern technology has provided us with a little help on the way… Curious what I mean? Check out this list of must-have apps for pet parents and pet lovers!   

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I’ve got an app for that!

You’ve likely heard that phrase at least once or twice in the last week. There is no arguing the fact that our society is more tech-dependent than ever before.

Our cellphones, once just designed for phone calls, are now a mini computer.

They function as our alarm clocks, calendars, portable GPS units, cameras and virtual assistants.

There really IS an app for everything!

It shouldn’t shock you that there are plenty of apps created specifically with your pets in mind.

close up of a cellphone screen showing a camera app taking picture of a tabby cat on the lap of the person holding it

Check Out These Must-Have Apps for Pet Parents and Pet Lovers:

#1 – Pet First Aid App

Created by the American Red Cross, the Pet First Aid App is an invaluable tool for pet owners everywhere!

There are some INCREDIBLE books available for those who prefer a paper copy of this information at their fingertips, such as ‘The First-Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats’, however, this app provides an additional level of convenience.

What are the odds that your cellphone won’t be close at hand during an emergency?

Pet First Aid will walk you through the steps necessary to investigate and perform first aid in the event of an injury as well as locate nearby veterinarians and veterinary hospitals.

Does your pet have a habit of getting into things that it shouldn’t?

It also has a database of known toxins including human foods, plants and household products that could potentially make your pet really sick.

Android | iOS

#2 – ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

Similar to the database included in the Pet First Aid app mentioned above, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center app provides you with a guide to the different toxins that your pet may encounter.

However, specializing in poison control, this app goes a little more in-depth.

Using a colour-coded risk assessment, the app classifies each toxin from Mild to Severe.

Each toxin provides you with a list of symptoms that you can watch for, poison calculators, and suggested next steps.

In the event of a serious emergency, the app provides a one-touch dial to the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline for immediate assistance.

Android | iOS

Related: ‘6 Phone Numbers Every Pet Owner Should Have On Hand

#3 – 11Pets

What list of must-have apps for pet parents would be complete without an easy to navigate pet records app?

There is A LOT of information to track as a pet owner, ranging from vaccinations and medications to important appointments and daily needs.

11Pets will allow you to keep everything you need to know in one spot.

In addition to your dog’s veterinary records, you can track weight, create schedules for ear cleaning, nail trims, bath time and more.

Set reminders to make sure that you never forget again!

Android | iOS

#4 – Dog Monitor by Annie

Have you ever wondered what your pets are up to when you’re not home?

Do you want to monitor that your pets are safe and sound without having to invest in an expensive pet camera system?

The Dog Monitor app allows you to give new life to an older device. Pull out your old smart phone, download the app on both the old device and your current device and you have a fully functional pet camera!

Not only can you watch your pet while you’re away from the house (on a securely encrypted connection), but you can also talk to your pet with the press of a button.

It couldn’t be easier to use!

Android | iOS

small white dog laying on a grey sofa with a person in front of it, hand up to tell it to stay and treats in their other hand

#5 – Puppr Dog Training

Whether you’re just bringing home your first puppy, researching basic obedience skills or looking for more advanced tricks to challenge your dog, Puppr Dog Training has everything you need and more.

The app provides step by step instructions with easy to follow pictures for over 50 different tricks and skills.

Find yourself stuck? The live chat feature allows you to ask for assistance on the spot.

Finally, if you are choosing to employ clicker training techniques as part of your training efforts, the app includes a built-in clicker.

Android | iOS

#6 – Tractive Dog Walk

Interested in tracking your dog walks and connecting with other dog lovers in real-time? The Tractive Dog Walk is the perfect solution!

Using GPS technology, the app is able to track and record your walks onto your account including the route itself, distance and time.

You can even add photos and notes to help track which routes you prefer.

Add friends, family and neighbours to your app in order to enable to community aspect. This will allow you to share your walk information with one another.

Find a great walking trail? Let your loved ones know so that they can check it out!

You can also track where/if your dog goes to the bathroom along your walk. This is great for dog walkers or pet sitters as well as those who may be tracking this information for health-related reasons.

Android | iOS

Related: ‘Keep Your Kitty Happy with These 11 Entertainment Videos for Cats!

#7 – AllTrails: Hike, Bike & Run

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE taking your dog out for a hike on your local trails. However, good trails are not always easy to find when you’re out and about.

Sound familiar? If so, you need to download the AllTrails app.

The app uses it’s large outdoor-loving community to bring you the latest information about trails in your area.

This includes not the location of local trails, but also the length, difficulty, expected traffic levels, reviews and local trail conditions.

The app currently includes over 100,000 trails and more are being added by users every day!

Android | iOS

#8 – ResQWalk

This is an app I have discovered previously here on Shed Happens, including it in my post ’14 Ways to Help Your Local Shelter or Rescue Organization Without Adopting’.

This amazing app will allow you to earn donations by walking your dog, and it couldn’t be easier!

Simply download the app, select your favourite organization from the list of ResQWalk partners and then start walking. The more miles users log for a specific organization, the larger their share of the donations will be.

You’re already out walking, why not use this opportunity to make a difference for animals in need?

Inspire others to join in and use the app by sharing your walks on social media.

Android | iOS

man with brown hair and glasses, wearing a dark blue polo shirt and khaki pants sitting on a bed looking at his cellphone with a golden brown dog laying beside him

#9 – FitBark: Activity Tracker for Dogs

We all want the best for our pets. When trying to improve our own health and well-being, we use step trackers and smartwatches.

Why not do the same for your furry friend?

The FitBark app uses a tracker that is placed on your dog’s collar. This monitors a number of key factors, reporting the data back to your phone.

This data includes:

  • Sleep Activity
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Skin Conditions
  • Daily Activity

Not only can you see what your dog is doing, you can compare it to dogs of the same age and breed that are also using the FitBark app.

To get started, you will need to purchase a FitBark Activity Tracker.

Them simply download the app and sync everything up!

Android | iOS

#10 – BarkHappy

Are you looking to connect with more dog lovers in your area? If so, this app is a must-try!

BarkHappy is a social media style app that allows you to create a profile of your dog(s) as well as browse the profiles of dogs in your area.

Meet new friends, schedule play dates, find a new dog walk buddy or attend a local dog-friendly event.

The app is also a great way to find dog-friendly business in your area including dog parks, hotels, shops and more.

Each business listed will provide you with an explanation of the pet police as well as a description of the amenities available, allowing you to easily plan to bring your furry friend along on your adventures!

Finally, and arguably one of the most important features, BarkHappy features a ‘Lost Dog Alert’ system that will send out a report with a photo and all the important information in the event that your dog goes missing.

Android | iOS

#11 – BringFido

Another great app for finding pet-friendly locations, BringFido is a dog travel directory.

Planning a trip? Use this app to find hotels, vacation rentals, hiking trails, pet-friendly restaurants and more.

Do you live in Canada? Often apps like BringFido fail to provide us Canucks with the options that we see for our neighbours to the south – but don’t worry!

With a full ‘Dog Friendly Canada’ section on the app, they’ve got you covered!

The best part? There are no additional booking fees when using their services and you’re back by the ‘Pet-Friendly Guarantee’. Pet-friendly travel without the headache!

Android | iOS

woman with brown hair pulled back in a bun laying on her stomach looking at her cellphone with a small dog beside her with the title must-have apps for pet parents

Do you have any must-have apps for pet parents that I failed to mention? Feel free to share them in the comments below

About Author

Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her ‘pack’ which includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

86 Comments

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)
    June 19, 2020 at 8:52 am

    I had no clue these apps even existed! But they seem very helpful. I have a cat, so any monitoring would basically be watching him sleep all day. Lol. Some of these apps are interesting. Like I had never really considered tracking a walk or connecting with other pet owners. But I can certainly see why the apps are so helpful. A friend just got a rescue dog from a shelter recently, so I’ll be passing this post on to them. This person also recently moved to a new place, making connecting with others even more useful.

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 19, 2020 at 6:28 pm

      The best part about the ResQWalk is that all pet lovers can use it, whether you have a dog or not. If you’re heading out walking, running or biking, just throw the app up and track your milage. That will translate into a donation for the shelter of your choice!

      Reply
  • Kat
    June 19, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Some great options here! What a useful list. I especially like the first aid and poison control ones, as pet safety is definitely a priority!

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm

      Exactly, and seconds count in those moments! By having the apps ready and accessible, it will take you a fraction of the time to get the answers that you need.

      Reply
  • Thuy-Linh Phan
    June 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t have a dog, but the ResQwalk sounds really interesting to me. Thanks for making this list, I’ll share it with my friends who are fur parents.

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 19, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      The great thing about ResQWalk is that you don’t necessarily have to have a dog to make a difference. You can clock walks, runs and bike rides and still make a difference!

      Reply
  • Calie
    June 19, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    We adopted our puppy last year from the pound and it was the best decision we made! I’d never thought of looking for apps for pets! What a great idea! 2 caught my eye and I’m going to check them out ASAP!

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 19, 2020 at 6:18 pm

      Congratulations! I can’t imagine life without ours. All 4 of our pets are rescues – it’s something that we feel very strongly about.

      Reply
  • Happyoodles
    June 19, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    I could definitely use some of these apps. In particular the Pet First Aid App and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. So far we have not had a need for pet first aid but you just never know. I never thought my 8 pound puppy could jump from the floor onto our kitchen table just so she could eat what was on it either. But she did.

    It’s better to be prepared and have the information handy when you need it. Thanks for the information!

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 19, 2020 at 6:38 pm

      You never know when you’re going to need it! I’ll never forget when Dav was only a year old – she was playing with a toy in our living room and ran into the side of the futon. This was one of those old metal frame style futons with the metal sheet covering the sides to try to make it look more ‘couch-like’. Unfortunately, those metal sheets apparently have sharp edges on the bottom and she wound up getting 3 stitches across her nose.

      Reply
  • The Dash Kitten Crew
    June 19, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    There are some really good dog apps aren’t there? I like apps but the one kind that really annoys me is the monthly subscription kind. I will not pay and pay just for an app. I am afraid I don’t have a lot of cat apps on my smartphone although if your post is anything to go by there are so many pet apps it would be hard to choose health and well being apps can be super usefu..

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 19, 2020 at 9:56 pm

      The great thing about the apps I listed is that they are either a free app, or there is a one time fee associated with the equipment required to use them (like the FitBark) but I haven’t had to pay for any of them on an ongoing basis.

      Reply
  • Ruth Epstein
    June 20, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Confession I do not have apps on my phone as I do not want, when I am off the laptop I am off line and for me that it quality time with Layla, might sound crazy but I love that life

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 21, 2020 at 10:00 am

      Everyone is different – We all have to find what works for us individually, right?

      Reply
  • Rebecca Sanchez
    June 21, 2020 at 7:36 am

    These are some awesome apps! I had no idea that there were so many useful apps for pet parents. Bookmarking this page! I love apps like BarkHappy because you get to meet other dog loving people and your doggo gets to make new pals.

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 21, 2020 at 9:59 am

      Yes! There is something SO fun about connecting with other pet lovers, isn’t there?

      Reply
  • Jana Rade
    June 21, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    That is a great selection of pet related apps, thank you for sharing that.

    Reply
  • Beth
    June 21, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    This is a great list of apps! I need to get the Pet First Aid app. Although I hope I won’t need it, it seems like a good one to have at my fingertips!

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      Exactly, that’s how I feel about the first aid app and the poison control app. I’d like to think that I will never need them BUT I’d rather be prepared if something DID happen.

      Reply
  • Jenny in Neverland
    June 22, 2020 at 6:08 am

    BarkHappy sounds like A WONDERFUL APP. I also love the sound of the first one – I’ve never even thought about pet related apps before but this is such a helpful post and I’ll definitely look into getting a few of these x

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 22, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      I love the idea of being able to meet up with other pet lovers. It’s such a great resource, whether you’re just looking to make friends with people in your hometown or moving somewhere new.

      Reply
  • Melanie williams
    June 22, 2020 at 8:53 am

    What a lot of apps for pet parents. many people who own pets will find this really useful information for sure xx

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 22, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      There are definitely some great options to make pet parent life a little easier!

      Reply
  • Nancy
    June 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

    What a great roundup! Going to share with my dog owner pals for sure. Also appreciate that these are free or 1 time purchase. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 22, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      That is a big factor for me when choosing apps. I rarely download anything that I have to keep paying for time after time, especially if I can find a free or one-time purchase alternative that provides the same value.

      Reply
  • Emilia
    June 22, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I have a lot of pet apps too – there are cat games 🙂 I use bringfido a lot when we travel but I have to double check everything to be sure they are cat friendly. I wish there was a bring fluffy 🙂

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 22, 2020 at 1:34 pm

      Yes, it is challenging trying to decipher between ‘pet friendly’ that includes cats and those that don’t sometimes.

      Reply
  • Marilyn O'Reilly
    June 22, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    I had no idea there were apps for pet parents. This is awesome! I have 2 (Peep and Ben) and a sweet dog (Boo). My daughter is a pet sitter. We can certainly make use of these apps. Thank you so much.😊

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 23, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      It’s surprising how many apps actually exist for pets As a pet sitter, the first aid and poison control apps would be great to have on hand, just in case!

      Reply
  • Sweet Purrfections
    June 22, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    I’ve downloaded 11Pets and look forward to seeing if it will work for our little family. Thank you for an informative post.

    Reply
    • Britt
      June 23, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      I LOVE 11Pets. I use it to keep everyone in one place, including reminders for medications, etc.

      Reply
  • Queenie
    October 20, 2020 at 2:30 am

    I love the Pet Monitor app! I should try it :p

    Reply
    • Britt
      October 20, 2020 at 9:22 am

      Isn’t it great? I love that it’s such a cost-effective way to have a pet monitor, and most people have an old cellphone lying around somewhere lol

      Reply
  • Fritzie
    December 31, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Wow! This is a great list of must-have apps for pet lovers. First Aid, Dog training, Pet-friendly locations… I’m glad there are apps for that! Thanks for sharing, and Happy 2021!

    Reply
    • Britt
      January 1, 2021 at 11:26 am

      I love exploring the fact that there are so many apps to make pet owner life easier! I mean, we use our phones for everything else, why not use them for our pets too? Right?

      Reply
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