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Apps Offer Plenty of Pet Guidance

Apps for a pet? You bet. Smartphone applications will help you choose the right sort, find one for you to buy, and then coach you on feeding and training.

What kind of dog would suit your lifestyle? Try Perfect Dog: Ultimate Breed Guide to Dogs, for iPhone and Android.

The Perfect Dog app opens to an alphabetical listing of breeds, but tap “Group” and you see the breeds listed under categories such as “companion,” “herding,” and “designer.”

To get more specific, tap “Match” and begin choosing the canine characteristics you think you are looking for: size, living space, need for exercise, behavior type, and so on. Then tap “Go.” The results I got ranged from “Pretty good matches” to “So-so” to “Probably not for you.”

If you see a dog while you are out and about and are baffled about its breed, you could ask the owner. Or you could fire up Perfect Dog and tap “Identify.” The feature goes through a checklist to determine whether the dog is large or skinny, pointy-nosed, bigheaded, fluffy or smooth. Press “Go” to see the narrowed breed list.

The toughest thing about Perfect Dog is the relentless stream of advertising, including full-screen pop-ups. Yuck. The free iPhone version of this app (upgrade for 99 cents) is listed as coming from Preposterous Media LLC; the free Android version credits Dog Tag LLC.

To shop for a pet, try the free eBay Classified Pets app for Apple devices and search locally for cats, dogs, pythons, chinchillas or anything else.

If you already have a pet and an iPhone, get the free Pet Nanny by Quigy LLC. Use this app to save details on your pet’s health and diet; you also can keep a diary whose entries you can send along to Facebook friends, Twitter followers or email contacts.

The health section on the app has tags for listing vet information and medications. Separately, you can set up lists of events or appointments to be reminded of, pet sitters, and even the tricks your precious has learned.

If your cat’s up a tree, you may need to call the fire department. But for most any pet health issue, the Purina Pet Health app will, among other things, use your phone’s location feature to find the nearest animal hospital. Tap “Find pet fun” on Pet Health to locate nearby dog parks. The app is free from Nestle Purina Petcare Co. for Android and Apple devices.

There’s a blog on the app, along with areas to enter details about your dogs and cats, add pictures, list vet and groomer appointments, and get reminders. A tip section explains basics of pet first aid, training and health.