Pet First Aid: Pet emergencies can occur any time, anywhere, and having a first-aid reference at your fingertips can save time—or your pet’s life—as you head to the vet. Jive Media’s app is hands-down the most comprehensive and intuitive canine first-aid app on the market. An emergency reference page comes up first (click if your pet is bleeding, choking, etc.) and you can click back to scroll through encyclopedic information on everything from fractures to objects in the eye to how to tell what’s normal and what’s not. We like the elegant interface—and the fact that the content is not dumbed down. $3.99.
Runner up: PetMD Dog First Aid: also good, just not, in our doggie opinion, quite as well presented or comprehensive as the aforementioned Pet First Aid. 99 cents.
Editor’s note: Check out DogTrekker.com’s Vet Buzz pages for seasonal tips from our partner veterinarians.
Petometer: This very cool app from Purina maps your dog walks via GPS (be sure your location services are turned on, or it won’t work). Routes are marked with little pawprints, and time and distance are recorded for each. Set up as many walks as you wish and keep them archived for future reference. Petometer even has recommended exercises—all without any ads. Free.
Runner-up: MapMyDOGWALK, works fine, although it’s not as elegant as Petometer and has lots of ads. Free.
Editor’s note: Once you’ve downloaded the Petometer, head over to DogTrekker.com to locate some of the great trails in Northern California where you can put it to good use.
Dog Tricks & Bark Machine: Staring into a smartphone doesn’t take the place of putting in the time required to make your dog a well mannered companion. But for teaching basic obedience commands (sit, down, stay) and tricks to impress (wave, sit up, shake), this app offers sound advice, ingeniously presented. The trick repertoire covers dozens of behaviors, each with step-by-step training photos, written-out instructions and audio effects. Flip to the “bark machine” page to play sounds—fire truck, door knock and such—you can use to teach your pup to ignore distractions. Ninety-nine cents well spent.
Runners up: Dog Training Basics for Dummies: Mobile version of the book. $1.99. Top Dog: If you’d like to try clicker training, this is your app. Comes with built-in clicker, of course. 99 cents. Best of 101 Dog Tricks: Beautiful interface and good instructions. 99 cents.
Dog Sounds & Body Talk: Watch your dog’s ears perk up—or lay down, as the case may be—when you expose her to the primal sound of a howling wolf, the squeaking of a squirrel, the meow of a cat, the din of a pounding thunderstorm and other sounds geared to elicit a reaction. Flip over to the “body talk” pages, learn to read canine body language, then play the sounds again and gauge what your dog is trying to tell you. Free.
Doggie toy: A shake-to-squeak app guaranteed to get your dog all fired up. Maybe more than you want her to be. Free.
Smack Talk: Scroll to the puppy picture, record your voice and the pup repeats it back in a squeaky voice. Save up to 30 seconds of this yappy nonsense and post on YouTube or share on Facebook. Pretty funny. 99 cents.
Good Idea App: Check Back! DogBook, the mobile connection to Facebook’s dog community, is great in theory, but is plagued by widely reported stability problems. Updates are in the works to make it easier for you to share events in your dog’s life and “friend” other pooches. Free.