What Does Pokemon Go Have to Do with Pets?

Anyone here who hasn’t heard of, seen, or played Pokemon Go? We figured as much. Now that this insanely popular new app has been downloaded over 30 million times, plenty of people have spent thousands of hours with their eyes glued to the screen, getting out into their neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and more, trying to track down and capture cute, virtual animals. And it isn’t just kids. People of all ages are getting into the craze.

Now there are some good benefits to this. People are getting up and out of their homes, connecting and having fun social experiences with total strangers (be safe and smart about this part, of course), and actually getting in some exercise. What’s more, many people are taking their pets long on the extended walks they’re taking. But did you know there are a few extra benefits (and cautions) you should be aware of when pairing your pet with Pokemon playing?

For instance, did you know about the Walk for a Dog app? It tracks your steps and based on how far you go, contributes funds or resources to a local pet shelter–which can be one of your choice. The app can run in the background as you play Pokemon Go, so it won’t interfere.

You could even volunteer to be a dog walker for a local shelter, getting some pups some much-needed exercise they wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy. Plus, when shelter dogs are walked, it greatly increases their chances of being adopted.

But beware. App players are already discovering the hazards of walking around in public areas with their attention focused on the screen. It’s easier to trip and fall, bump into objects, or even into traffic! And if your pet is along for the experience, they might share in the danger. Definitely have fun, but always remain aware of your surroundings. Lastly, don’t forget that your dog may need extra water and rest if they’re not used to so much physical activity right away, especially if you’re out and about on a particularly sunny day.

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