People love their pets; it’s no big secret. In fact, according to the AVMA, 85 percent of dog owners and 76 percent of cat owners consider their pets to be part of the family. When it comes to members of their family, people want the best. That means the best food, the best toys, the best healthcare, and the best information. They also want the best from you, the veterinarian. You want pet parents to come to you for recommendations on pet-related items and services in order for their pet to live the healthiest life possible, but let’s face it, there are only so many hours in the day. Most pet parents only think of you when Fluffy or Fido is sick; they leave the everyday questions to Dr. Google.
Now, Dr. Google does have some good ideas, but since it has yet to produce a valid DVM certification, it’s best to use with caution. Instead of letting clients turn to unknown internet sources, you can steer them toward more reliable information by recommending some useful apps.
Pet Service Locators
Whether it’s a multi-state road trip or an overnight with friends, traveling pets and their parents should have quick access to the local pet services. You never know when the playful pup will take a mud bath and need an emergency grooming or when the kitty will come down with diarrhea and need some last-minute veterinary care. Pet service locator apps will help pet parents find the services that they need wherever they are, as well as provide them with reviews and in some cases allow online booking.
Pet Connect. Not only will this app help find groomers and veterinarians, but it will also display local events that are pet friendly. Search for dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, or even local shelters. Pet Connect can also be used to hook pet parents up with philanthropic opportunities and to store valuable pet-related information, like microchip and vaccination records.
Mr. Pet. For clients new to an area or those just passing through, Mr. Pet can help find necessary services for the furry family. Search for groomers, hospitals, boarding, or pet stores.
Since most pets are considered part of the family, the loss of one can be devastating.
Pet Grief 247. The stages of grief after the loss of a pet are the same as those after the loss of any other friend or family member. Believe it or not, there’s an app for that. Pet Grief 247 will take pet owners through a series of videos relevant to the stage of grief they are experiencing to help them to better cope with their loss.
Rainbow Bridge Grief Support Center. I know it’s not an app, but Rainbow Bridge is a great resource for grieving pet parents. The grief support center offers many grieving suggestions, answers some frequently asked questions, and provides online support groups to help them through it.
Pet Sitters and Walkers
Just like a parent searching for the best babysitters or daycare providers, pet parents want reliable, trustworthy people in charge of their pet when they can’t be. There are many apps available for pet parents in need of pet sitters or dog walkers.
Wag! Not only is it fun to say, but it’s also a great resource for experienced, fully vetted dog walkers. You can book last minute or regularly schedule dog walking and in-home boarding services. Every Wag! walk can be followed real-time, and sitters provide daily updates and photos.
Rover. Rover is very particular about who is chosen to be a pet sitter for its service. This ensures that pets receive the best of the best care when parents aren’t with them. Dog walks can also be tracked, and money transactions are easy and secure.
Dog Walk Trackers
With all the things on a busy pet parent’s mind, keeping track of their favorite dog walks doesn’t have to be one of them. With dog walk tracker apps, pet parents can focus more on the time spent with their dog and less on trying to figure out how far they’ve gone or remembering which walks their pup liked best.
Walkiez. This app keeps records of previous dog walks including distance, favorite picture spots, and potty breaks. It even tracks the average speed so that pet parents can choose a great walk given any time constraint or weather condition.
Tractive Dog Walk. Another great app to help remember those favorite walks, track distances, or store great pictures. Tractive makes it easy to share the best walks with other pet parents as well, creating their own dog-walking community.
For Every Pet Parent
While the above apps might be considered gravy or the icing on the cake, there are some that every pet parent should look into. These apps can be very beneficial for emergencies when a veterinarian is too far away; they can also be used as general guidelines.
Animal Poison Control Center. Potential toxins are lurking everywhere. This app gives owners a list of common toxic foods, plants, and medications and outlines the severity and symptoms associated with each. It also gives pet parents next step options, including one-touch dialing to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and chocolate and rodenticide calculators. It is broken down based on animal and toxin type for easy-to-use access.
American Red Cross Pet First Aid. While not considered a substitute for proper veterinary care, the American Red Cross Pet First Aid app can help save a pet’s life. This app walks pet parents through first responder–type treatments for many common pet emergencies. The combination of text, images, and videos make it comprehensive and easy to use. There is even space to program in the veterinarian’s phone number for one-touch access.
Dog Buddy and Cat Buddy. Sort of like a personal organizer for pets, the Dog Buddy and Cat Buddy apps provide a place to keep detailed records. Track pet’s vaccinations, medical records, and allergies as well as weights and pictures and then easily share them with these apps.
These great apps for your veterinary clients are in no way a replacement for that doctor-client-patient relationship that is crucial for healthy pets. Instead, they are a great way for your clients to get and store information that will enhance their pet’s life and longevity. Recommending apps for your clients is a great way to show pet parents that you care about their pets even when they’re not sitting on your exam table.