Calling all tech-minded pet lovers! There’s an abundance of apps designed to help you look after and have fun with the furrier members of your family. Track them, train them, tempt them or entertain them with one of these suggestions
Words: Jonathan Evans
Photography: Rowan Fee
Paint for Cats
This playful iPad app creates virtual brush strokes from the paw swipes your cat makes when chasing the game’s digital mouse. So now your cat’s masterpieces can take pride of place on your fridge alongside the kids’. As with other hunting-style games, it’s worth rewarding your cat with a small treat after a play session, allowing her the satisfaction of catching her ‘prey’.
Available on iPad. £1.49
Cat Alone 2
This app comes with six game stages that will keep your cat entertained for hours – letting you get on with your chores. With mice, spiders, feathers and more that all need to be ‘caught’, cats seem fascinated. But don’t push it; just like humans, not all cats love video games, so if your cat appears bored or frustrated, let her be – or try playing a real-life game instead.
This personal pet assistant app helps you keep a record of your pet’s microchip, insurance and health details. You can also use it to track their weight and get reminders for flea and worm treatments or annual boosters. After you’ve created an account, you can log in to the app on any of your devices, making it easy for the whole family to use, too.
Use this app to help everyone in the family keep track of their pet-care duties. Now you’ll know exactly when your dog was last walked – and that he really doesn’t need feeding again, no matter how persuasively he’s gazing at you. Your cat won’t miss her next worming tablet either. You can add friends and family to your group to share duties. Simple, but effective.
Available on iOS devices. Free
Track your pet in real time with a GPS unit (available for around £70) that sits on your pet’s collar and communicates with a free app. Use it to see where they are, or view the 24-hour history to see where they’ve been. Alerts can be set if your pet strays too far, and the GPS unit’s light is a great safety feature for late-night walks. This is particularly fascinating for owners who wonder what their pet gets up to in the great outdoors!
Clickers are used by many top trainers and can help your dog with basic and advanced obedience. This app provides clear, practical training videos to guide you through the process. Once you’ve grasped the basics, you can progress to tricks, and even to resolving behavioural issues. Bear in mind that ‘digital’ behaviour training should only be used alongside advice from a ‘real-life’ qualified behaviourist.
A comprehensive reference guide to more than 500 dog breeds, this app is ideal if you’re looking to add a canine friend to your family. It’s also a fascinating resource for any dog lover. The app includes pictures and useful information on a breed’s suitability to you and your lifestyle. The search function also makes it great for identifying that mystery dog in the park, too.
Map My Dog Walk
A useful app that tracks the route, time, distance, speed and pace of your walk, and follows your progress, all in real time. Take care when you start your pet on a fitness regime – just like us, dogs should ease in gradually, so don’t launch into a marathon and take care not to over-exert older dogs. Map pins show nearby parks, dog-friendly cafes, water fountains and waste dispensers.