Dogs say a lot through their urine, and where they leave their scent is just as important. While the meaning of each wee is obvious to canines, humans need some help to interpret it - and the National Animal Welfare Trust has come to our rescue with a phone app called Map My Wee, to help you track "where and why your dog likes to spend a penny".
By linking to an interactive map through the built-in GPS on your mobile device, you can "record where your dog makes a toilet stop, the distance travelled between stops and whether it’s a genuine comfort break or a scent marking behaviour" - all of this without even having to go sniffing it. The app will also count the number of steps walked, the calories burnt and the distance travelled - and share information with other dog walkers if so you choose.
"By saving the data after each walk you can build up a historical picture of your pet’s favourite wee spots and notice changes if a new dog walks in that area," NAWT explains. "If you choose to make your data public to other local dog walkers, you can quickly build up a map of the most popular pee stops."
National Animal Welfare Trust came up with the idea of Map My Wee through observing the rescue dogs using the designated toilet areas as part of their Open Paw programme.
CEO Clare Williams explains, "Part of the Open Paw kennel routine is to encourage dogs to toilet in designated areas because we know many owners like their dogs to use one particular spot in the garden. We noticed how much the dogs enjoyed their visit to the ‘wee post’, not just for natural relief, but also to discover who had been there before them. We like to think they are checking their ‘pee mails’.
"We thought it would be really helpful if, when the dog goes home, the owner is able to identify the popular toilet stops on their walks so the dog can settle into the new surroundings quicker by finding out more about the other dogs are in the neighbourhood and leaving their ‘calling card’ for others to ‘read’. Dog owners are always fascinated by their pet’s behaviour and Map My Wee offers some additional interest on their daily walks."
Map My Wee, which you can see at work below, will be available to download for both iPhone and Android devices. For more information, please visit the NAWT website.