<p>Unless you're the kind of person that doesn't like cleaning up messes or hates mostly everything in general, chances are you have some kind of pet in your home, namely a dog or a cat. So how do you show your appreciation for your pets without letting them take over the whole house? You can start by downloading these great apps, ideal for any animal lover.</p>

"Off Leash" (imc2, free)

<p style="text-align: left;">This App has gone to the dogs -- literally! "Off Leash" is a program that helps you find local dog parks, so you can take your schnauzer out for a stroll without struggling to find walking space. Its map system makes it easy to find what's around, though some areas (New York, Los Angeles) are more populated with parks than others (like, say, Denver, Colorado). Along with looking up Dog Parks, you can access helpful tips through the Eukanuka TV link, getting advice from professional dog owners if you're just getting a puppy for the first time. The best part about "Off Leash" is it won't cost you an arm and a leg. It's free of charge, which gives you more cash to spend on rubber dog bones. Or new carpet, if your K-9 isn't housebroken.</p>

"Be Humane" (iugo, free)

<p style="text-align: left;">Free of charge, "Be Humane" tells you numerous ways to get involved with fighting back against both dog and child abuse, such as seeing pics of the American Humane Association (AHA) members in action and getting tips on how you can help out locally. You can also call should you have questions about the AHA, or need advice on how to get started. If you're all about lending a hand, you shouldn't resist this App. Just look at those sad eyes up there. Are you really going to turn him away? Awwww...</p>

"iRate Cats" (Tomer Mehanem, free)

<p style="text-align: left;">OK, let's give dog owners a break for a second and focus on cats. While there are a number of applications that are just "purr-fect" for you, we're fond of "iRate Cats." Here, you'll be able to flip through hundreds of submissions, rating them based on creativity and all-around cuteness. If you want to get in on the action, you can <a alt="((CONLINK|16|submit%20your%20own%20pics))" href="/16-12-little-known-ipad-features.html">submit your own pics</a> as well, and go right to the top rated ones, should you be in the mood for a laugh or need a sudden burst of cuteness. Just be sure you show a little kindness when it comes to rating some of these cats. The owner of Mr. Fluffykins would be crushed if she found out her prized animal was only worth one star...</p>

"Pet First Aid" (Jive Media LLC, $3.99)

<p style="text-align: left;">Let's say you're a first time pet owner and your dog or cat suddenly starts having dry heaves. Or perhaps they just stop eating altogether and lack energy. What do you do? Turn to "Pet First Aid", that's what. This Jive Media program is excellent when it comes to providing emergency information for your pet, from recovering them from a near-drowning to making <a alt="((CONLINK|74|emergency%20plans))" href="/74-best-ipad-health-care-apps.html">emergency plans</a> should they need safety. You can enter your personal pet info and keep track of things as well, keeping an eye open for warning signs should something run afoul. Of course, we can't recommend using this over calling your veterinarian should your pet's life be on the line, but if it's something in the symptoms stage, this is well worth consulting.</p>

"Littlest Pet Shop" (Electronic Arts, $2.99)

<p style="text-align: left;">So you're away on a long business trip or have a situation where you're going to be separated from your pet for a long time. How are you supposed to fulfill your pet-loving cravings? Electronic Arts has just the thing with the cheap -- and way adorable -- "Littlest Pet Shop." This program enables you to take care of three digital pets at once, caring for them like you would a real one by brushing them, feeding them and playing with them. You can also partake in such activities as playing catch with them and dressing them up in the cutest little outfits. It's a reasonably fun app for three dollars, and perfect for teaching kids how to care for pets. One thing, though. Make sure you don't neglect your real pet while you play it, okay?</p>

"Animal World for iPad" (Shin WonSub, $1.99)

<p style="text-align: left;">As your kids grow up, you'll want them to engage in the fascinating world of animals as much as possible, but you don't always have time to take them to the zoo or the pet store. Let "Animal World for iPad" be your guide. This <a alt="((CONLINK|78|educational%20App))" href="/78-best-ipad-apps-for-kids.html">educational App</a> walks your kids through a variety of species and animal types. It also has three mini-games that help teach about animal types, including Who Am I, Match Animal and Hide and Seek. For less than two dollars, you get a wealth of information here. Plus, you don't have to put up with that funky smell that comes from most zoo cages. Yech.</p>

"Animal Chess" (Richard Burgess, free at first, $.99 for additional AI and multiplayer)

<p style="text-align: left;">Okay, so "Animal Chess" isn't going to be every animal lover's type of game, especially with its challenging rules and set-up. However, it's a fantastic game to try out for free, and one worth the two-dollar investment should you feel like taking the next step. It's based on the old Chinese game Dou Shou Qi, where you move animal pieces across a board in an attempt to dominate it. It looks fantastic for <a alt="((CONLINK|82|a%20board%20game))" href="/82-ipad-best-board-game-apps.html">a board game</a> , with fine artwork on all the pieces and exquisite board design. For 99 cents a pop, you can also take on friends online, or challenge AI opponents to become a master. If you're up for a quirky board game that'll grow on you, "Animal Chess" is worth your time.</p>

"MewShot" and "BowShot" (Fj Ideas, $.99 apiece)

<p style="text-align: left;">Last but not least, this is a great app that'll help you get the sneak-up on your pet, should you need to deliver a shot or force them to eat vitamins. "MewShot" (for cats) and "BowShot" (for dogs) each feature five sound effects that will attract your pet, should they go running like crazy when you need to give them something. You can set it up on a timer and sneak up on them as well, should they be craftier than you give them credit for. In addition, you can also recreate your own sound effects, such as their name or a big "Hey, get over here!" kind of shout. If you've got pets that are on the run when you come calling, turn to "MewShot" and "BowShot" to do most of the work for you. As for getting them in your car to head to the vet, that's your problem.</p> <p> </p>


Gone To the Dogs (and Cats): Best Apps For Animal Lovers

Robert Workman, iPadNewsDaily Contributor
03:00 AM ET