By Dr. Becker
Last December, the American Red Cross made a giant leap for animal-kind when it rolled out its Pet First Aid app – web-based application software – for Apple and Android mobile devices for just under a dollar. So now, if you have a pet emergency or need help or advice regarding your furry friend, it can be right at your fingertips.
Yes, There Is an App For That!
Say you need to know where to find the nearest pet hotel, or administer first aid to your cat. Pet First Aid offers information, advice and step-by-step instructions for handling more than 25 common pet situations. You get videos and interactive quizzes, a list of toxic substances, CPR techniques – you can even customize multiple pet profiles and use GPS to locate the nearest emergency vet hospital. The device has a toggle to switch the advice you receive from cat to dog.
If you have a question about your pet’s behavior, you can find out what’s normal, which, if you’re wondering what’s abnormal, is sometimes half the battle. An important key is that pet owners are given just the right amount of information, the developers say – not so much that they’re overwhelmed.
American Red Cross apps for humans became available for mobile devices in mid-2012. Since then, users have taken advantage of app advice for both pets and humans with nearly 4 million downloads. While it was first offered for free, a Red Cross spokesman explained the organization decided users would find the 99 cent cost well worth it for the instant info and peace of mind.
'Wearable Technology for Dogs'
Similar to Fitbit and Fuelband fitness trackers geared for humans, Voyce is a tracker collar-slash-“health band” for dogs. It’s designed to measure proprietary algorithms and give subscribing pet owners and veterinarians a heads up on their pooch’s emotional well being, health and behavior, such as heart rate, breathing and calories expended.
Touted to “bridge the communication gap” between canines and their owners and caregivers, Voyce monitors dogs’ activities and the vital signs connected to them. This information can then be accessed through wireless, desktop or mobile devices. It’s like a virtual portfolio on your pup; a compilation of all things pertaining to his nutrition, training, behavior, lifestyle and health, and trends the data may convey.
The concept was a collaboration between dog experts, biomedical engineers and researchers at Cornell University, who together devised the technology; i4C Innovations then created the device. Besides the vital data pertaining specifically to your dog, thousands of pet articles and other educational subject matter is also available, written by veterinarians, behavior specialists and experts in the field.
Voyce was designated “Best of CES 2014” as one most innovative new wearable tech health and wellness devices, voted by top news outlets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Projected availability is this summer.