Your new dog will quickly become a part of your family -- albeit one that can't really tell you what's wrong when it doesn't feel well. If there’s one thing you need to know as a first-time dog owner, it’s that tracking your dog's health and understanding what might cause harm is essential to maintaining a happy, healthy pup.
The amount of information out there is overwhelming for new dog owners, but certain pet apps cover symptoms and causes, poisons, vaccination records, and more. Giving your dog basic supplies and quality food is a start, but those won't protect your pet from everything.
Immediate Help at Your Fingertips
A dog that suddenly acts unwell is a scary sight for any owner, and even more so for new pet owners. The ability to access information about first aid for an injured or sick pet can be a comfort, and when the vet and emergency hospital have you on hold due to lots of callers, the Pet First Aid app by the American Red Cross can be a lifesaver.
This app contains advice that you can access immediately when you know what happened to the dog, as well as quizzes and other information such as videos. The app also contains information about pet emergency plans, which as Animal Ethics explains, are necessary no matter where you live and no matter what natural or human-made disasters you might encounter.
Accessible Records Wherever You Go
New dog owners often don't realize how many dates and pieces of information a dog's medical record can involve. Plus, a written vaccination date on a calendar isn't enough to prove the dog was vaccinated when taking it to a groomer. Pawprint is a phone app that lets you track your pet's vaccination dates and types, as well as share the pet's veterinary records.
The app lets you set up reminders, retrieve official vet records, add other people to the app so that they can access the pet's records if needed (e.g., if they're taking care of the dog while you're away), and provide proof of vaccination.
Speedy Identification of Pet Poisons
Guess what, new pet owner? Your dog will get into everything until you train it to listen to your "No" -- and even then it may still chow down on something when you're not looking. The Bark points out pet-proofing your home is a must for new dog owners, but there is more to it than that. Yes, you will be careful to guard your pet and keep it away from anything that could cause harm. At least, until, you turn your back and your dog runs off with your chocolate brownie or garlic-laden pizza slice. Then you need to act fast.
Luckily, the ASPCA has a mobile app that covers poisons and what to do if your dog ate something they shouldn’t. Get familiar with various taboo foods, and if they snag something naughty you can look it up, learn what to do next, and even get immediate assistance. Whether it's a bit of chocolate frosting, an unknown plant or something unexpected like an eraser, the app has color coding, calculators for severity levels, and even a speed-dial feature that connects you with the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center.
Note if you're going to use all these apps, your phone has to have enough memory and speed to let you open and use the apps without delay. Excellent battery life is also a must so you're not caught away from home with a rapidly depleting battery and a potentially sick pooch. If your current smartphone doesn't have the best battery life or speed, look for an upgrade that fits the bill. Once you’re all set on the tech front it’s time to put those apps to the test.
Your pet deserves the best care, and you want to provide it. Load up your phone with these apps to ensure you have information and advice at the ready in case of an emergency. Then enjoy getting to know your new pooch!