Many dog owners would probably call their floppy-eared, four legged animal their best friend - but is buying apps for your dog a step too far?
Developers seem to think not - there's a wave of new apps made for dogs, from dog finders to exercise monitors.
Not to be outdone, Sony has just released a dog-cam, allowing owners to strap a camera to their pets - with a back "mount" for Sony's Action Cam.
“Sized for medium to larger dogs, the lightweight adjustable harness fits comfortably yet securely onto your pet’s back,” says the Japanese company. Useful, or barking mad? These five apps are all on the iTunes store now.
iClicker (FREE), iOS platform:
This app helps you train dogs - playing noises that only dogs can hear. It comes with three tabs - Clicker, Training and Noise Box. First off you have to “Charge the iClicker”, translating to you training your dog to associate the clicker with a treat. The app then centres around this iClicker for training your dog in areas such as “Sit” and “Fetch”. You then have the Noise Box featuring sounds like Duck Call and Unhappy Cat, among others, which iClicker asks you not to torment your dog with. Thankfully you certainly can’t torment yourself as the pitch is too high for you to hear even at the highest volume level.
Dogs Nutrition Calculator (FREE), iOS platform:
The Weight Watchers of the dog world. If you are calorie counting, you might as well do it for your dog too right? This app gives you tips on puppy care, feeding, exercise and grooming. You name it and it seems to have a section for it. There are four tabs including calculator, training and apps. Using the calculator you can work out the protein-carb-fat ratio, your dog’s ideal weight based on its breed and then work out what it’s calorie intake should be by entering the required information. Who needs maths when an app can do it all for you!
Finding Rover (FREE), iOS platform, Android coming soon:
Yes, this one works even when your dog isn’t called Rover. The app features a “bark button” which plays a recorded bark, designed to get your dog to look your way for a picture (or incase you missed its face). It also allows users to upload an image of a stray dog, and scans the image for distinguishing features. If it finds a match with its database of lost dogs, it will provide the contact information of the owner. The app also sends push notifications to its users when a stray dog is found in a 10-mile radius. Losing your dog would suck, but at least you wouldn’t need to roam the streets putting up posters, or find a laminating machine.
Dog Finder (FREE), iOS and Android:
This app adds Google maps into the equation, allowing dog lovers to scan a range of lost pet posters. Users are able to publish photos of lost and found dogs with their location and get a list of dogs relating to their position. You can also report gps co-ordinates of lost and found dogs, along with a brief description including colour, breed, date and mircochip number. Another app to counter the soggy lamp post posters, and with a list of lost and found dogs, users can experience the warm, fuzzy feeling when a dog is listed as found.
Whistle Activity Monitor (£65), iOS platform, Android coming soon:
With a slightly more serious tone, this one has a slightly different format. The Whistle Activity Monitor is an on-collar fitness device that measures a dog’s activities and provides related data on “day-to-day behaviour and long-term health trends”. Owners can check-in from their phone, share photos and send detailed reports to a vet. It also allows you to monitor you mutt’s sleeping patterns, set daily goals and track progress while the device has the potential to detect a health issue.
Ultimately it seems there is an app for everything. Oh no wait. That part where you bend down with a scented plastic bag and scoop, sorry, that’s still down to you.