Puppy Know-How: 4 Apps to Get New Dog Owners Up to Speed

Getting a new dog is exciting, but also a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time pet owners. You know the basics—that your pup needs a collar, strong leash, a comfortable place to sleep, and ID tags on the off-chance he slips away. But you also know that’s not all you need to know.

How can you arm yourself with the knowledge to be a responsible dog owner? You can start by adding some of the latest pet-care apps. Make sure you’re ready for whatever surprises your new pup throws your way with a mobile upgrade. The newest iPhones and Androids, for instance, offer superior speed, a crystal-clear display, and ample memory to take on whatever apps you decide to load up. You can save on upgrading your phone if you sign up with a provider that offers plan and trade-in deals. For example, Verizon is currently offering a new iPhone 11 for around $29 a month.

There’s no shortage of iPhone and Android apps out there for dog lovers! Here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

PetCoach by PetCo

Do you wish you had a team of dog experts on call? With PetCoach by PetCo, you do. This mobile app connects you with an extensive network of veterinarians and pet trainers who are ready to answer your questions, free of charge. Whether you’re wondering if something is safe for dogs to chew on or you need to keep your pup from tearing up the couch, PetCoach can help.

Of course, no app is a substitute for your own veterinarian, so if you’re uncertain, give the vet’s office a call. Don’t have a vet yet? MyPet has a convenient tool you can use to find a new doctor for your dog based on your zip code.

Animal Poison by ASPCA

If your dog already has chewed on—or eaten—something you’re not sure they should have, you’ll want to turn to ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. This mobile app has info on more than 300 different everyday pet hazards, as well as advice on how to respond to them. The information comes from the ASPCA’s own veterinary experts, and it can help you decide whether you need to book it to the vet or just give your furry friend some extra love and attention.


Ready to teach your new dog some old tricks? The Puppr app brings dog training into your living room with lessons by Sara Carson, one of the world’s top dog-trick instructors. If you’re looking for answers to specific questions, you can even upgrade to a premium option that includes real-time chats with Sara. The app teaches more than 50 tricks, so whether you want your dog to sit on command or jump through literal hoops, Puppr has you covered.

Just remember that every dog, just like every human, learns at his or her own pace. If your dog isn’t learning as fast as you’d like, PuppyLeaks notes you may be the one who needs to learn a new trick: patience.

Dog Monitor and Pet Cam by Annie

No matter how committed a pet owner you are, you can’t be with your dog 24/7. The Dog Monitor and Pet Cam by Annie can fill in the gaps. This pet monitoring app lets you check in on your pup while you’re away from home. You can both listen to and see your dog, and you can even talk to a pet who seems sad or anxious. The app will tell you if your dog is awake or asleep, too.

Annie’s Dog Monitor and Pet Cam makes a point of being compatible with older phones and operating systems, but as TechTarget points out, not all apps are backward compatible.

Gathering up the gear for your new friend is exciting, but it’s easy to overlook all that tech has to offer. Beyond the traditional essentials, make sure you have appropriate apps and a phone that can handle them. With just a handful of good tools, you’ll be ready for a life full of love and fun with your dog.

By Guest Author

Puppy Education is a site dedicated for dog owners on how to train and look after their puppy. If you have a puppy and would like to share your own experiences and knowledge, you can write for Puppy Education.