You've done your research and found the perfect dog for your family. You've brought the little pup home and bought a comfy bed and a sturdy leash for their daily walks. But first-time dog owners may be neglecting the most important tool they have for raising a well-behaved, healthy dog: their smartphone. Having a fast and reliable phone gives you access to the latest pet apps. They can help you train your dog, keep an eye on him when you aren't home, and even help you track his health. 

If you need to upgrade your phone before you bring Fido home, check out options that offer longer battery life. You don't want to be out walking your dog and find out your phone is dead right when they finally perform that trick you've been working on. The Apple iPhone 11 has an all-day battery life and a dual-camera system that makes it easy to catch those wide-angle shots. If you prefer an Android, check out the Samsung Galaxy S10. It also features an ultra-wide camera for doggy action shots. The Samsung also has fast charging so you and your dog can get back out there in minutes instead of hours. 

Once you have the right smartphone, you'll need the right apps. Here are three must-have apps (aside from FitBark!) for every dog parent. 

PetCoach by PetCo

PetCoach launched last year with the goal of making comprehensive pet wellness easy for owners. The best part of the app is the fact that you can ask a qualified veterinarian any questions you might have about your dog's health, 24 hours a day. If your furry friend seems a bit sluggish, you can ask the vet how concerned you should really be. Or if your puppy ends up swallowing something they shouldn't, you can find out if what they've ingested is toxic and what you can do to help them. It's a great comfort for a first-time dog owner to have that sort of advice available in your pocket whenever (and wherever) you might need it. 

Dog Monitor & Pet Cam by Annie

It's unlikely that you'll be able to be at home with your dog all the time. Whether it's going to work or having a night out with friends, you'll have to leave your furry pal home alone once in a while. But the Dog Monitor & Pet Cam app from Annie can make that time apart a lot easier. Simply download the app onto your smartphone. You then connect it with a camera-enabled device you leave at home. That can be a tablet, laptop, or old phone. The app will connect you with the device, and you'll be able to watch your pet at home. You can even talk to them to let them know you'll be home soon. The ingenious app eliminates the need to invest in expensive camera equipment. Multiple dog parents can log in at the same time, too, so everyone can rest easy that Fido is fine while you are away. It can help with separation anxiety (for you and your dog), too. 

Pawprint Pet Health Tracker

Did your dog get their vaccination on time? How much should you be feeding them? Now you can get the answers to these important questions (and so many more!) thanks to Pawprint Pet Health Tracker. This app is a comprehensive medical record for your pet, including official records from your veterinarian. The app can help you track their vaccination schedule and even set reminders about when flea or tick treatments are due. You can share the information with other caretakers, so everyone is in-the-know about what your pooch needs to feel his best. 

Technology is making is easier than ever to be a great dog parent! Download these three apps and put them to work. As a first-time dog owner, you'll appreciate the support and peace of mind they give you that you are being the best dog parent possible to your four-legged friend.