Frustrated owners of overweight dogs and finicky cats have found a new tool to help regulate their pets' nutrition and exercise—apps and app-based technology. Smartphone and tablet apps abound that track pet activity levels, calorie intake and overall health. Some are also providing data and collecting real-time information for pet owners to share with their veterinarians.
I’ve gathered eight cutting-edge apps that are helping keep pet owners informed, engaged and interested in just what their dogs and cats are eating, and how it directly effects their health.
1. The Fat Dog Diet (thefatdogdiet.com)The Fat Dog Diet is described as a simple, veterinarian-developed iPhone app designed to safely, effectively and compassionately help dogs lose weight. It works by integrating well-accepted, research-based weight loss methods into a mobile application designed for dog owners and their veterinarians with plenty of community support.
“I designed The Fat Dog Diet iPhone app because over 50% of pets in the US are classified as overweight or obese,” says Dr. Patty Khuly, creator of app. “As such, plenty of companion animal veterinarians—myself included—believe that excess poundage is the most significant pet health issue of our day.”
According to Khuly, it’s hard for veterinarians to provide individualized and easy-to-follow guidelines when calorie counts on dog food and treats are so tough to find on commercial packaging. “But it’s also because the quantity of food and exercise dogs require to achieve weight loss can be challenging to calculate in the context of a time-limited veterinary visit,” she says.