New iPhone app helps keep pets trim

Oct 11, 2010 By Stephanie Specchio
John Loftus '12, left, and Joe Wakshlag, assistant professor veterinary medicine, give the new iPhone app CUPetHealth a trial run.

Tipping the scales at 97 pounds, Sam was a chubby black Labrador retriever. Partial to meat, potatoes and the occasional mouthful of popcorn, he was a fine dinner companion and not very old when walking became difficult because of excessive weight. Today, Sam is a trim 85 pounds, much closer to the recommended weight range for his breed. His owner did it the old-fashioned way -- guessing what might be the right amount of food to feed for healthy weight loss.

Now, an iPhone , developed by Cornell students, takes the guesswork out of achieving a dog or cat's appropriate weight.

CUPetHealth, available for $3.99 from the iTunes store and distributed by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, allows caregivers to track what and how much they feed their cats or dogs. After inputting the daily diet and noting several lifestyle variables that must be factored into the calculation to determine the appropriate number of calories each day, the app responds with "overfeeding," "underfeeding" or "appropriate."

Caregivers select food items from a ready-made list (which includes table food) or they can enter additional food items before the app completes the calculation. The app also provides suggested diets with the click of a button. In addition, the app electronically tracks companion animals' vaccinations, including heartworm, notifying the owner when it's time to revaccinate or administer another heartworm pill.

"Nutrition is an ever-growing concern for pets," said Joe Wakshlag, D.V.M. '98, Ph.D. '05, assistant professor at the Vet College. "The Centers for Disease Control says that America has become 'obesogenic,' meaning that we live in a world that promotes increased , choices and reduced physical activity. Our pets live in the same world and are suffering the same consequences of obesity."

The app, which is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, was developed by seven students enrolled in a computer science class at Cornell who partnered with Wakshlag to ensure the medical accuracy of the application. The students earned credit for the class project and will also share in any revenue generated by sales of the application. The application requires OS 3.1.3.

Explore further: Researchers uncover the oldest tea in Britain

Related Stories

Apple bars developer from App Store

Jul 06, 2010

Apple said Tuesday it has barred a Vietnamese program developer from its application store on iTunes for fraudulent activity.

findNano app puts nanotech in your pocket

Nov 12, 2009

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) has developed findNano, an application for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch that lets users discover and determine whether consumer products are nanotechnology-enabled. Nanotechnology, ...

Apple App Store downloads hit two billion mark

Sep 28, 2009

Apple announced Monday that more than two billion applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch have been downloaded from its App Store, just five months after hitting the one-billion download mark.

Recommended for you

Natural enzyme examined as antibiotics alternative

6 hours ago

In 1921, Alexander Fleming discovered the antimicrobial powers of the enzyme lysozyme after observing diminished bacterial growth in a Petri dish where a drop from his runny nose had fallen. The famed Scottish ...

Researchers uncover the oldest tea in Britain

May 28, 2015

Researchers have found what they believe to be the oldest tea in Britain. The dried green tea was acquired in China, around the year 1700, by ship's surgeon James Cuninghame, who subsequently gave it as a ...

Sandwich system found effective in organic apple orchards

May 27, 2015

In organic apple orchards, one of the most serious challenges for growers is determining ways to limit weed competition while improving soil quality and ensuring high yields of quality apples. Scientists from the Swedish ...

Q&A: Why are antibiotics used in livestock?

May 22, 2015

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is the latest company to ask its suppliers to curb the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Here's a rundown of what's driving the decision: ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.