Caniner Doggie Diary: Like Path, but With Dogs

There’s a picture of me floating around my parent’s house somewhere, where I’m pictured sitting on a bed in Massachusetts at just a year or so old with a puppy to my immediate right. I’ve always has dogs in my life, and as I type this there’s a rather smelly dachshund named Scrappy sitting at my feet, warming my toes with his body heat. I’d do anything for him and his sister Freckles, they’re like my kids with tails.

When Caniner Doggie Diary showed up as a Featured App in the App Store, I figured it was worth taking a look. Turns out that CDD (as I’ll refer to it from here on out) is less like a diary and more like a social network for your pets. 

Conceptualizing Caniner Doggie Diary

Take a paws for a moment (see what I did there?) and think about your dog’s life. They were born, you take them to the vet on a regular basis, you take them for walks. But do you really know that much about what they do?

Just the other day I was debating with my wife how old our lemon beagle Freckles was, and we couldn’t put a number on it. After digging through a pile of paperwork that almost outweighed the dog itself, we found out that she was born on May 23, 2003, making her almost nine years old. That put things into a slightly different perspective, particularly when we noticed that she was having trouble jumping up on the couch. She’s old.

Building a profile in CDD is pretty straightforward, assuming you know your dog's name.

Building a profile in CDD is pretty straightforward, assuming you know your dog's name.

CDD is essentially a combination of Facebook’s Timeline feature and Path’s innovative iPhone app, and when you put it in a different perspective, it kinda makes sense. Your dog has a life, why shouldn’t it be documented like our own?

A Social Network for Dogs

“But Kevin,” you say, “isn’t that the type of thing that only a crazy cat lady would do?” Well yes, but only if you get obsessive about the whole thing, and that’s not at all what I use it for. For me, this is a tool for documenting what your dog does, but also one that comes in handy on those inevitable visits to the vet.

My dogs are very photogenic.

My dogs are very photogenic.

Going back to my elderly (and very chubby) beagle, I’ve often gone to the vet and been asked questions that I simply don’t have the answer to. “When was her last dental exam?” “How often does she get walked?” “Holy crap, do you feed this thing buckets of lard?” With the exception of that last question, I don’t always have the information right at hand (and for the record, she only gets lard when she’s been good).

CDD is my new dog log book. I don’t feel it’s necessary to get into the minutia of what my dogs do all day (Tuesday: Freckles slept from 8 AM to 10 PM. Consider giving her coffee), but the major events should get recorded. Should my vet tell me that my dogs need to be walked more often, then I notate that in the system and mark down each walk as well to ensure that I’m consistent. It doesn’t have to become a burden unless you want it to be.

Setting It Up

CDD walks you through the setup process, making it easy to enter in your dog’s vitals (One note: I couldn’t find a way to change a pet’s sex after they had a profile created, so take that in mind when you build your own). The details are pretty basic — weight, sex, name, etc — then your profile page is generated for you automatically.

You can also post events for one or both dogs.

You can also post events for one or both dogs.

The page itself does look very Path-esque, with little plus signs along the left column denoting when a special occasion occurs and a circled picture of your pet in the upper left corner. If you have multiple pets, you can switch between them by tapping on their icons on the top of the screen.

When you want to notate an activity with your dog, just hit the plus sign underneath their icon to be transported to a new page complete with circular icons for each task. Tap on one or more to categorize what you’re doing, or even just note it down for a future appointment. You can add a picture too if you like, and even add geotags for specific spots.

The Caniner System

In my house, both my wife and myself take turns working with the dogs, whether it’s feeding them daily or taking them to appointments and what-not. What’s nice about CDD is that you don’t have to connect to the Internet every time you want to post an update. However, if you setup a Caniner account via the app (which is free), you can sync with other iPhones that have the app installed. So if my wife has to take Scrappy to the vet in an emergency, then she can note down what happened and why, and I’ll get the information the next time I open up the app.

Handy directions walk you through each step of the process.

Handy directions walk you through each step of the process.

Final Thoughts

This isn’t a homescreen app. You’re not going to download CDD and have to check in every day with your dog, or use it to catch up with friends. It’s not a burden, it’s a system. And that’s awesome.

For me, it solved a simple problem: When is my dog’s birthday? But more importantly, it became a way to track my dogs as they get older, which may help when diagnosing health issues later in life. And even if it doesn’t, it’s nice to have pictures and landmarks for my pet, just like I do on Facebook.

If you’re a dog lover, Caniner Doggie Diary is going to be your new best friend. Well, on your iPhone, anyways.


Summary

A social network for your pets, minus the social. Think Path plus pets.

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