You’re probably aware if you read this blog on a regular basis that we have a Yellow Labrador named Casey. I’ve been reading a lot about dogs behaviour lately, and I came across a few interesting articles about dog walking related to dominant and submissive characteristics in our furry friends. Casey has a lot of pent-up energy, and after reading this I felt motivated to start walking her properly (and much more regularly).
I searched Google Play for dog-walking apps and came up with a few. One of the highest-rated ones I could find was MapMyDOGWALK.
You may have heard of MapMyWalk, and I’m assuming there’s not much difference between this and any of the other MapMy apps. The only real thing seems to be that they named the app after dog-walking instead of plain old walking or running alone. This is a smart move for its creators, MapMyFitness, Inc. I don’t know a lot about marketing, but I know I wasn’t searching for a regular MapMyWalk to motivate me to walk the dog, and I probably wouldn’t have downloaded a regular walking app.
Bonus: You can add activity based on what you’re doing for most of the common workouts, even sans-dog. Walking, running, stairs, push-ups — you get it.
Enter your profile information before going on your first walk. Weight, height, age, gender, etc. It will give you nutrition charts and a calorie meter based on these (to be discussed later).
Maps are cool.
Make sure your GPS is on. (Obviously! I only remind you because I commonly keep mine off to prevent rapid battery drainage.) Select Record Workout, choose Dog Walk if that Activity is not already selected, and press the Play button. You have the option to select Live Tracking as well, for the stalking convenience of any friends who know about your MapMyWalk profile.
Stats are among my favourite things, and this app has a good amount of them. After you map your route (make sure you press the Pause button and save), it gives you all kinds of stats on your MapMyWalk dashboard. For example:
Nutrition: Add food and drinks consumed.
I found it cool that after my route was complete, it listed calories burned. I’m not
really at all a calorie counter, so this was intriguing to me. It metered how many calories I had burned and how many I had left to burn according to (I’m assuming) my weight, height and age, entered into my profile before the walk.
Then I realized how much I eat throughout the day by adding my meals, drinks, and snacks in the Nutrition area. What’s cool is you can select according to brand names, or just (for example) roasted chicken thighs with skin, etc. I was less impressed. This is probably my own fault, but it seemed odd that I was at 100% of my protein intake by just before dinner. Then again I had a protein-heavy cereal. Who knows how accurate this thing is? Not me. I suppose you’d have to be a fitness nut to know for sure.
Because I prefer not to calorie-count, I probably won’t use this function too often, other than for interest’s sake.
Add your other Workouts.
So, not that vacuuming or dusting is considered exercise by most, but it does burn calories. I’m not saying this is my only other activity throughout the day (as that would sure make me seem lazy, wouldn’t it? Ignore my grimace, unrelated of course). My qualm is that there is no point of a calorie meter if you can’t count all the calories burned in regular everyday activity as well as hard workouts. This app is wonderful but it doesn’t include much more than standard workouts.
Which is fine! It’s a dog-walking app, recall. I’m just pointing out the irrelevance of the full workout/calorie-counting system.
Mapping a dog-walk route is extremely good motivation to walk that dog more and more. Not only does it show you the exercise you get from it, but you are also tracking the exercise, time and pace that your dog gets. This can be shown to your veterinarian, if needed (or if you just really like to bother your vet with details; might as well make those costly appointments worthwhile).
Perhaps if it had you enter the dog’s size, weight, age, etc. and enter her food and other common exercises, this app would be truer to its name.
I do enjoy the accuracy of the map and the multitude of options. I will continue to use it, but I feel it could be more dog-centric. That said, it does what it says it will, just has a bunch of other neat functions completely unrelated to your pooch.
Rating: ★★★✰✰ (3/5)
If you’ve used this app, how did you like it?