We use our smartphones for just about everything -- listening to music, navigating around traffic, watching TV, even finding foster cats under the couch (thanks, Android flashlight utility!). So it stands to reason that we can put them to work for our pets. Whether it's finding a pet-friendly hotel, looking up that plant your cat just noshed on, or locating an adoptable lizard nearby, your app store of choice has hundreds of handy, fun, and straight-up weird apps to help you out. Below, 11 notables (unless otherwise noted, the downloads are free).
A comprehensive reference guide to dog breeds, Perfect Dog lets you save your favorites, or search by breed size and trainability to find the right breed for you.
BowLingual Dog Translator
Record your dog's barks or whines, then hit the button for a "translation." The more off-base the dog-to-English interpretation, the funnier it is.
Pets vs. Robots
Tired of Angry Birds? Try P v. R instead, in which robots with umbrellas battle a hail of animals. (...Right?)
Cat First Aid by PetMD ($1.99)
Also available in a canine version, the Cat First Aid app is searchable by ailment name; looking up symptoms, say, or possible poisons gives you a summary of the medical situation, and advice on what to do next. (PetMD's Finder app helps with locating the nearest vet or animal ER.)
5000 Pet Names Free
Not psyched about the doofus-y name your newly-adopted dog got at the shelter? Pick a new one with this app, which includes name meanings and origins; most popular pet names; a similar-names feature; and a favorites list.
Vary the modulation and frequency to find the whistle your dog will respond to. Once you've set the tone (as it were), you can also set alarms that sense motion and activate the whistle for training purposes (i.e., keeping your pooch off your easy chair). The developers note that some users have found Dog Whistler effective as an anti-mosquito device as well.
Your mobile guide to all things guinea pig: diet, health issues, sounds, and more.
Get the latest episodes from Pets.tv on the go, including "Ask The Pet Vet," snake safety tips, a segment on the California Equine Retirement Foundation, and more.
Cat Piano ($0.99)
Entertain your felines (read: annoy them while they're napping) with the Cat Piano. "High-quality, 16-bit meows" in 10 different voices let you start a band, amuse the kids during carpool, and disrupt the occasional conference call.
Find Pet Friendly Hotels
On the road with Fluffy and don't have a reservation? This app will locate hotel properties near you that permit pets, and supply all pertinent info (weight limits, cleaning fees, nearby dog parks, etc.). You can submit and suggest hotels you've stayed at, and connect with local pet owners as well.
Up to three puppies a day, sent direct to your phone. Get notified with a bark alarm!
Got a favorite app, game, or look-up for your iPad or BlackBerry? Hook us up in the comments!