One of the biggest debates around our digital-era is the use of- or irrational need for- our smartphones. Like them or loathe them, there’s one thing nobody can deny: our modern-day, pocket computers can assist us in every aspect of our daily lives.

In particular, they can be a huge help when it comes to showcasing our experiences where words fail us. Below, we explain how utilising your smartphone camera can help your vet to find the source of your dog’s illness, and how this can get them back on their feet much quicker than without its assistance.

Showing Your Vet Your Dog’s Excretions

Yep, I mean the vomit and poo. Since there are so many variations between each type and each type can have multiple reasons for it’s expulsion, it can be a huge help to see exactly what you might mean when you tell your vet “they keep being sick”.

You might be a little grossed out by their excretions, but it can help shorten the time it takes for your vet to properly diagnose an illness. In fact, it may mean that they won’t need to stay overnight at your local surgery, which is a common procedure taken when your dog’s vomit needs to be physically seen to ensure the correct treatment is given.

Capturing How Your Vet Performs a Task

If you need to continue with your vet’s instructions, it can be great to capture them on camera in order to ensure you can return to those exact methods at a later date. This can include types of massage, as well as any post-surgery injections you may need to administer and checks you may need to carry out so that you can ensure your pet heals well.

Demonstrate Behaviour Problems

It can be frustrating trying to articulate what “they’re acting weird” can mean to your vet. Since behaviour can take on many forms, it’s tough to measure what part of their behaviour is linked to an illness.

For example, you might think that they’re urinating more often, which is a frequent symptom of many problems. Yet having a video available to show your pet’s behaviour before and after their urination can help your vet to pinpoint what the issue is, including: separation or general anxiety, a water infection and many other small problems.

Being able to see your pet in their natural environment can mean the difference between a long diagnosis period and a quick trip to the vets.

Showing Normal Behaviour

While being able to see your dog’s atypical behaviour can be a big help, it can also be very helpful to show your vet their behaviour and personality before they became unwell. Giving your vet a method to differentiate their unwell behaviours with normal behaviour could reveal just how large a difference there really is.

To someone who doesn’t know your pet, they may feel that their behaviour is completely normal and not something to worry about- but you know your pet best, and it’s important to be able to fight their corner with evidence, since they can’t speak for themselves.

Filming Short-term Symptoms of Big Problems

Ever had a really annoying cough or funny tick that magically disappears completely the second you try to show someone what you’re talking about? Imagine that, but with your furry friend. It can be hugely helpful to film that weird thing your pet is doing the next time it happens, so that when you finally get an appointment at your local vets, you can whip out your phone and show them exactly what it is you’re talking about.

Of course, in order to do that, you’ll need to be able to capture them doing their odd behaviour before it stops- which, also rather typically, can be rather difficult to snap before they stop.

Capture Seizures and Extreme Problems

As mentioned above, it’s unlikely your dog’s illness will show itself at a convenient time- in this case, while you’re at the vets. If you think your dog is suffering from minor seizures or find them struggling with specific tasks that leave them breathless and weak, it’s a really good idea to take a video which you can then show to your vet.

These moments can reveal huge amounts as to what may be wrong with your pet, so if you can capture the vital events leading up to the response and a little afterward as well, it can mean that those few hours saved on the diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death for your pup.


Other ways your smartphone can help:

Find a Vet

Having the ability to simply pop in a search term and have a screen crack out some answers for you is one of the best parts of our smartphones. No longer do you need to scour your local directory and ring around all of the options to find a vet that is open and available to you. Now, all you need is to stick your zip-code in, along with what you’d like to find nearby and voilà, your answers will spring up before you know it.

This can be an absolutely lifesaver, literally, when it comes to needing emergency medical treatment for your pet. Finding a vet that’s open 24hour a day and deals with accidents and emergencies can save your pet’s life. Suffice to say, never underestimate the power of a search engine.

Monitor Dog

With the introduction of easy-to-download and easy-to-use apps, it’s never been so simple to keep an eye on your dog’s health over an extended period of time! There are so many options out there, all of which can store and retrieve information on your pet at any time that’s convenient to you and your family. This can be seriously helpful to vets, who can use the app for comparisons to their normal state, when they need any medical attention.


It’s one of the simplest and most effective tools we have available on our smartphones but the timer that is installed in all phones by default can help you make notes of specifics, whether that’s how long a seizure has lasted or how many pants-per-minute your pup make be doing. Taking this info to your vets can assist in a proper diagnosis and also indicate just how serious an illness may be. Thus, this information can help your local vet decide on what might be the best course of action in the long-run.

Pet First Aid

With one of the main reasons of pet deaths being caused by accidents and emergency treatment being mostly unknown in the general public, having the ability to reference an app for emergency first aid for pets can help you save your pet’s life. Check your app store to find one that’s suitable for your pet and don’t forget to have a good look over the contents in order to familiarise yourself with how to act in cases such as: being hit by a car, doggy CPR, choking and many more.

Pet Monitoring (When Out the House)

We’ve already discussed some of the many advantages of taking images and videos of your pets when you’re around- but what about when you’re out and about, or at work? With pet-monitoring becoming increasingly popular, there has been a huge rise in the number of apps and gadgets that work with your phone becoming available to the general public. If you’re a work more often than you’d like (so, pretty much everyone reading this!), or have to pop out a lot to get on with the daily tasks that take us away from the home, it can be a great idea to grab one of these.

The majority of these apps also have the ability to record and have playback functions, which can work in tandem with our points above, when you’re worried about your pet and think you may need to see a vet. Better yet, due to the sharp increase of these apps, many are in competition with each other- which means you can pick whichever price and gadgetry suits your needs best!

dog looking at phone

Final Thoughts

Most vets won’t make a diagnosis based solely on an image and/or video, but having these to hand can be a huge help when describing your pet’s symptoms or signs of illness. While you may feel a little cruel filming your pet when they’re struggling, remember that this is simply a case of being cruel to be kind. These videos and pictures can make the difference between confusion, fear and a long diagnosis process, and having the ability to get a prescription and take your furry friend home with you, knowing that you did well with what was best for them.


  1. 6 Ways Your Smartphone Camera Can Improve Your Next Vet Visit, Vetstreet
  2. 7 Ways This Ingenious Device Will Help Keep Your Pup Safe, Bark Post
Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!


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