Tamika Rivera’s Must-have Apps

Between long work hours, an active social life, and hobbies that keep me busy, becoming a dog owner presented quite a few challenges. Truth be told, without these apps I might have given up on dog ownership within the first few months.

  1. DOGTV Player: Before I head out to work, I make sure my Samsung Galaxy tablet is set to the DOGTV app. While I’m gone, my dog gets to watch streaming video through the app that is tailored just for him. Programming is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is meant to provide mental stimulation, relaxation and entertainment. I have to admit, the app does wonders relieving the guilt I feel about leaving him home all day. 
  2. Belkin NetCam: For the first three months, I kept an eye on him throughout the day with the Belkin NetCam to help determine if his separation anxiety had caused any melt-downs. The Belkin NetCam connects to my Wi-Fi router and then streams live video and sound to the app that can be viewed on my mobile device. I was able to see firsthand that it didn’t take long before he became acclimated to his new home. This app requires the Belkin NetCam HD smart accessory and is well worth it.
  3. WeMo: When I forgot to leave a light on for my dog, I couldn’t forgive myself. That’s when I decided to purchase the Belkin WeMo Switch smart accessory. The WeMo Switch connects with my house’s Wi-Fi and allows me to turn devices like lights or fans plugged into the switch on or off using the corresponding app. I’ve since connected it to a nearby lamp and when the sun sets, the lamp turns on. The app also allows me to set calendar timers so I can pre-program a light to turn on or off.
  4. MapMyWalk: My dog is usually jumping for joy and in desperate need of a walk when I finally come home from a long day of work. I typically put his leash on and launch the MapMyWalk app on my smartphone. The app recommends and tracks our route, and lets me share our walk with friends on social network. 
  5. DogVacay: Travel plans take on a whole new meaning when you have a pet. For me, planning requires use of the DogVacay app, which helps me find reputable pet sitters. The app lets me search for the nearest dog-sitter, and check out their customer reviews. The last thing I want to worry about while I’m away is whether my little buddy is safe and well cared for.

What are your must-have apps? Tell us on Twitter at @VZWnews or @VZWtamika.