5 Must-Have Apps for First-Time Dog Owners

Welcoming a dog into your life means shopping for all kinds of supplies to keep your new furry friend happy and healthy. As your sort out essentials, such as a nutritious diet, a durable leash for safe walks, and a soft bed to snuggle into, your phone can be a useful pet care and training tool. Load your phone with some of these great apps to make your life as a first-time dog owner a little easier.

Flicker Photo by Helena Lopez

Capable Tools

If your phone is on the slower side, it might be time for an upgrade to ensure your device will support all of the best pet-related apps. For instance, Apple’s new iPhone 11ProMax offers fun features like a triple-camera system, which will ensure you capture all your pooch’s antics – and lengthy battery life allows you to keep recording, instead of worrying you’re out of juice at the worst possible moment. Or the Google Pixel 3a, which The Wirecutter points out has an excellent camera as well, and provides the best bang for your buck in the Android market.

With a little research, you’re bound to find the perfect phone for your budget, lifestyle, and level of comfort with technology. Options abound, no matter what your preferences are, and then you can add apps to your heart’s content.


Over the coming years, you’ll find yourself buying several different things for your dog. Know where to go for the best prices and highest quality supplies. MakeUseOf considers Chewy one of the best online pet shops, with super-fast shipping and discounts for scheduling repeat shipping of items you need regularly, like pet food or dog shampoo. The Chewy app allows you to shop from your phone, so you can quickly order anything you need without making a special trip to the store.


ScritchSpot is an all-in-one resource for pet parents. With the app, you can search for nearby pet-friendly locations to visit, like parks, hotels, and restaurants. You can also use the app to keep track of your important pet records, read product reviews, book a dog sitter, and learn about pet care tips. For example, you can read articles on important topics like the kinds of toys to offer your new dog and whether or not to get pet insurance—Scritch recommends that you do!

Pet First Aid by American Red Cross

Do you know what to do if your dog eats something toxic or gets hurt on a walk? The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that all dog owners familiarize themselves with pet first aid. Fortunately, Pet First Aid by American Red Cross is an app designed to teach dog owners everything they need to know about the health and safety of their beloved animals. Use the app to find step-by-step guides and videos for various pet emergency situations. The app also includes plenty of information about general pet health and preventive care.


So you can avoid preventable emergencies in the first place, learn about the items in your home that may be hazardous to your pet. PupTox is a handy app filled with categorized lists of over 250 things that are toxic to pets. You can quickly look up plants, chemicals, foods, and other household objects that you may be worried about. This will help you keep potential hazards hidden safely away from your pet or avoid buying them altogether.


Regular exercise is vital to the physical and mental well-being of your new dog. With the help of FitBark, an activity tracker for dogs, you can ensure that your pup is getting all the physical activity he needs. The activity tracker attaches to your dog’s collar and measures key aspects of his health, like calories burned and distance walked. Using the FitBark app, you can view charts and stats about your pet’s activity levels. Dog owners also use the app to track their dog’s weight and sleep quality over time.

Getting a dog for the first time can be both exciting and completely nerve-wracking. Thanks to these useful pet apps, advice on everything from training tips to safety considerations is right at your fingertips. Arming yourself with knowledge and knowing where to go for key information will help you become the best owner your dog could ask for.

Thanks to Penny Martin for this great roundup of valuable apps for dog owners!