The ultimate in pet entertainment: Jolly Dog [Awesome Apps] | Cult of Mac

The ultimate in pet entertainment: Jolly Dog [Awesome Apps]


Jolly Pet dog game running on an iPad with dog looking on.
Jolly Pet is popular iPad game for canines -- and some humans too.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

Jolly Dog, an iPad game for dogs, is rapidly climbing the App Store charts, thanks to viral gameplay clips on social media.

Originally released in 2016, the app currently ranks No. 27 on the top free iPad apps in the United States, according to App Figures, a market research firm that provides app analytics.

I couldn’t get our dog interested in it, but plenty of pet owners say it provides lots of gameplay fun — and not just for their furry friends. Some humans enjoy playing it, too.

Jolly Dog: Play simple catch games with your dog on iPad

Jolly Dog is a simple game of catch: Various cartoon animals skitter across the screen while making noises. If your dog “catches” the critter by landing a paw on top of the skittish character, it disappears in a cascade of stars, and another animal appears. If you let it, the game will play in an endless loop. You can see the gameplay in the YouTube video above.

Each cartoon animal has different running patterns and noises. For every 10 characters caught, the game unlocks additional animals and environments.

The app’s color scheme appeals to cats’ and dogs’ vision spectrum, according to the developer.

Jolly Dog is free to download and play, but is restricted to just three animals — a mouse, a rabbit and a pig — and three play environments. A paid pro version, which costs $1.99, unlocks all 14 characters (including a gopher, crab and spider) and four more play environments (a terrace, a seashore, and so on.)

iPad game for dogs is a hit with pooch owners

The game seems like a hit with pet owners, with favorable reviews and ratings. “My cat loves the basic version so I paid for the pro version,” said one.

Another reviewer said she plays it herself to help with her anxiety.

“This app is amazing,” she wrote. “I saw people say ‘my cat/dog loves it’ but I thought my anxiety would love this and it does ❤ it’s a great little sensory game for young children or people with anxiety like me! I couldn’t let this game be called ‘game for pets/animals’ because it’s a great sensory game for pets/animals and humans! And I love it. I literally played for over an hour just pressing the little toys and watch them turn into stars. It’s amazing 10/10.”

Where to download: App Store


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.