Dog walking apps for your smartphone is one of the high points of modern technology. However, it’s still a relatively new idea, and many people don’t understand it enough to be able to choose between the many available services. To help, we’ve chosen two services that are extremely popular and likely to be available in your area, Rover and Wag. We’re going to compare and discuss the pros and cons of each service with you so you can see if these apps are right for you and choose the one that better suits your needs.
What is a Dog Walking App?
While you must have some idea of what a dog walking app is, or you wouldn’t be here, let’s go over it quickly, so everyone is on the same page.
A dog walking app is an application for your smartphone. It is like the driving apps and food service apps where you can request someone come and take your dog for a walk. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had to be away from home and couldn’t find someone to let the dog out. This app solves that problem by supplying you with someone at the time of your choosing. Each certified “Dog Walker” must undergo a rigorous background check before they can work. Also, many previous customers leave feedback so you can get a good idea of the type of person that’s going to be walking your dog before you even meet them.
Before You Request a Dog Walker
There are a few things you should consider before using an app like Rover or Wag.
Your Dog’s Temperament
The main thing you’ll need to consider before requesting a dog walker is whether or not your dog will allow the person in the home. You don’t want to put anyone in danger, nor do you want to cause anxiety for your pet. If your dog doesn’t adapt to new people quickly, you may need to find an alternative way to walk your dog.
Another thing you’ll need to consider before requesting a dog walker is the area or route that the dog will walk. A site with a lot of aggressive dogs or other hazards can put the dog walker and your pet at risk. We recommend preplanning the route and scouting it thoroughly to make sure it’s free of danger before using the app.
Naturally, you don’t want the dog walker, or your pets to be out in the rain or other bad weather. However, the dog will still need to do its business, so you will need to establish some alternative for bad weather days if you set up regular dog walking services.
Rover vs Wag: Our Comparison
Let’s take a look at how these two apps are the same and how they differ.
The Rover dog walking app came long before Wag. It’s been helping pet owners since 2011 and employs close to 100,000 walkers and sitters and is one of the largest pet walking services in the United States.
The age of the service shows with its attractive and intuitive user interface (UI). It’s fun to look through the many options, and you can research your area without needing to sign up first. Besides dog walking, you can also schedule boarding, drop-in visits, housesitting, and daycare.
Each dog walker has a profile page and bio so you can learn more about them before you meet, including if they had a background check, if they have repeat customers, and what their reviews say.
While the service is pretty great, we can mention a few ways it can improve. It doesn’t ask many questions about what your dog likes or if it has any special needs, so dogwalker won’t know beforehand the best way to interact with your pet. It doesn’t supply any tools like a lock box to keep your house key in, which isn’t necessary, but Wag does provide one. One more slightly inconvenient thing is that you can only schedule the walks for morning, evening, or nights. There are no specific hourly time slots.
Dog walkers can also set their prices, so some may be more expensive than others, but they are generally cheaper than Wag. One of the biggest advantages of Rover over Wag is that it allows you to choose who will walk your dog.
Wag is a newer app, and you can tell by its slightly more difficult to use interface, and difficult to understand billing. Since it’s much newer, our experience shows there to be far fewer dog walkers available. However, these dog walkers tend to have more experience and knowledge because there’s less competition.
The app spends a lot more time getting to know your dog than Rover does. It asks several questions about what your pet likes to do and what it avoids doing, along with any allergies it may have and any other special needs the dog walker should know about. This knowledge can help the dog walker prepare for anything. Another handy feature it has over Rover is that you can schedule your dog walks by the hour for much greater control over when your dog gets out.
The dog walkers also provide you with a detailed report that they call a “Report Card.” The report card is a GPS map of where the dog walked with flags detailing where it dd it’s business, as well as a written report about how the dog behaved and if there was any excitement along the way. The biggest advantage Wag has over Rover is its ASAP option. The ASAP option is for when you need someone to come and walk your dog as soon as possible, usually because of some unforeseen emergency. This feature has come in handy more than once and is not something you want to lose. You also get a free lockbox to put your key in when you sign up for this app.
Unfortunately, Wag is considerably more expensive than Rover and can cost almost twice as much. The pricing system is also confusing and not very straightforward. You do not get to choose who will walk your dog, and you can’t see any information about the walkers in your area until you sign up and download the app. The dog walker bio pages are also much less detailed than the ones Rover provides, so it leaves you with several questions about the person who will be walking your pet.
Why Use a Dog Walking App?
As we’ve mentioned, the most common reason to use a dog walking app is that you’re on vacation, and there’s no one to walk the dog. You might also use this service if you are elderly or disabled and need a dog to help you around the house but can’t take it for a walk. If you live alone and work all day, that eight or more hours can be stressful for a dog if it needs to go out. Having someone stop over to take your pet for a short walk can really improve your dog’s day and reduce the chances of an accident occurring while you’re gone.
You may also want to use a dog walking app if you enjoy the company of dogs but don’t own one. This app can let you take them for a walk without the need to feed or house them.
Choosing the best dog walking app comes down to what your needs are. If you need someone to walk your dog regularly, you will probably prefer the Rover app. It’s less expensive, and you can choose the person who will walk your dog, so you can use someone you trust and avoid people you don’t. As long as your dog gets out every day before noon, you probably don’t care about the exact time, nor do you need a detailed report with flags pointing out where they did their business. However, if you rarely require someone to walk your dog, you may feel justified in paying the extra cash for the detailed report because you won’t know the walker enough to trust them. One reason that every dog owner should sign up to Wag is for the ASAP feature because you never know when you will need to step out and be unable to walk your pet, and if it happens it might be too late to look for and sign up, so do it beforehand.
We hope that you have enjoyed our comparison between these two popular dog walking services. If we have helped you make a choice, please share this Rover and Wag shootout on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: a katz, Shutterstock