Essential apps for first-time dog owners

At Pettsie, we know that bringing home a new pet can be exhilarating and challenging at the same time. Dogs are cute -- until they get into your food, chew up your shoes, and generally wreak havoc in your house. If they don't have any other reference or boundary for how to act in your home, they'll act in whatever way they feel like.

This makes training them early essential, so be ready to reinforce boundaries and teach your new pup how to behave. Keep a close eye on your dog's health, too, as this can also affect their behavior. With the right tools, you can turn your pup into a predictable member of the family.


Health Check

Your dog should have had a checkup before coming home with you, and many rescues and shelters take care of vaccinations (at least the first round) and spaying/neutering before letting the dog leave. Now that the pup is in your care, however, you need to monitor their health and keep an eye out for symptoms. You can't -- and shouldn't -- rush to the vet for every little weird thing, but it might make you feel better as a dog-parent to know what might be causing certain behaviors.

You can check symptoms and ask vets about dog behavior through the PetCoach app by Petco. This app functions like an encyclopedia with a help desk. You can look up dog health facts (and cat health facts, if needed) as well as send in questions that vets will answer. There is also a helpline and the option to have a one-on-one consultation with a vet.

As VetStreet explains, sometimes our dogs act in ways we don’t understand. When those odd little behaviors pop up, consult the PetCoach app's database of questions to see if anyone else has had the same issue. If you think your pet’s health might be affecting their behavior, you can quickly arrange to speak to someone who can help decipher what's going on.

Reinforce Good Behavior

Dogs need cues to shape their behavior. These cues can range from compliments and pats to treats, or even clicker and whistle sounds. Rather than searching for several different whistles, clickers, squeaky toys, and more, Jade Lizard suggests the iTrainer Dog Whistle and Clicker app.

This app has customizable whistle frequencies, several different squeak sounds, sounds of other animals meant to entertain, and an option to record your own sound, so your family and friends can help train the dog with a recording of your voice. There is even an Apple Watch version for working with your pup on the go.

Show off the Results

Your dog is now healthy, any odd behavior has been explained, and your pup has several tricks and good behavior down pat. Great! Show off that success with Say BARK! This e-card app lets you create greeting cards featuring your pet with animated mouths and other effects. Add filters to make your dog look like it's wearing a costume, or add an audio track to announce your pet's latest training victory. Go as funny or weird as you want; the app has options for several different holidays, too.

Other Helpful Resources

There are so many ways to approach dog ownership, and having a variety of resources in your backpocket (or your phone!) can make it easier to help your dog stay active, get enough attention and even help you get moving.


  • Chewy makes it easy to order dog food, treats, toys and anything else your pup needs.
  • Rover helps you connect with dog walkers, sitters and pet boarding.
  • PupTox puts information about certain foods and other things that are toxic for your dog.
  • Tractive Dog Tracker helps you determine your pet’s location and even track his (and your) steps.
  • Whistle GO Explore has a tracker that fits on your dog and an app that monitors healthy activities as well as behaviors.
  • LadyBoss Pocket Personal Trainer makes it easy to up your health and fitness game while you’re helping your pup stay active too.


You might think that food and shelter -- and toys and walks -- are all your dog needs, but proper care can be confusing at first for a new dog owner. Your smartphone can play a key role in keeping your dog safe and helping them grow and learn. With a handful of well-chosen apps, you can shape their behavior and health to enjoy a happy, full, and fun life together.

Check out this guide on how to afford a service dog to provide assistance and therapy to people with disabilities.

Helpful is also this extensive guide On How To Breed Dogs Responsibly and make sure the pups are healthy, happy, and will go to happy owners across the country.

If you would like to train your new puppy, you can check out this ultimate guide to training your puppy.

Want to make your bond stronger? Purchase a Pettsie bandana collar for your pup that comes with a friendship bracelet for you!



Improve your dog's quality of life with these simple tricks which you can implement immediately.