Factors such as breed and size can affect how many times you should walk your dog, but experts generally recommend walking your dog twice a day for 15 minutes at least.
But what do you do if you don’t have time to walk your dog? That’s exactly the problem that apps like Wag! are tackling. And maybe you’ve heard about it and are wondering:
Is this a legit dog walking app? Thankfully, the answer is yes. Wag! is an app that connects walkers and pet owners so that your dogs get the exercise they need, even if you don’t have the time.
Let’s dive in and take a closer look to find out what this app is all about, how it works, and what you need to be cautious of if you decide to use it!
Wag! was founded in 2014 and is currently operating in 110 cities across 43 states. So far, it’s a successful company, bringing in a revenue of about $30 million per year. And they earn that money by taking percentages of their caretakers’ pay.
Wag! is an app meant for connecting dog walkers, sitters, and boarders with pet owners who are looking for a helping hand with their pooch.
With Wag’s growth and their focus on dog walking, they have been appropriately dubbed the “Uber for dogs.”
Wag does not share the amount of pet owners that use their app, but they have a total of about 50,000 workers on board with them.
What Are Their Requirements?
If you’re looking to earn some extra cash as a dog walker, you’ll be happy to know that the process of signing up with Wag is simple.
You just go on their website and sign up, which involves filling out a profile and taking a few quizzes to ensure that you are experienced with dogs and know how to handle them in difficult situations.
You also have to undergo (and pass!) a background check, which will cost you $25.
Once you get approved, then you can start walking dogs and earning money!
One thing that Wag does to try to provide some safety reassurance for pet owners (and their homes) is by providing a lockbox to the owners upon request. This is so the Wag workers can enter the home and take care of the pet when the owner isn’t home.
While it sounds like a decent idea on the surface, they do state that you use the lockbox “at your own risk” and that they aren’t liable for “any loss, claim, or damage of any kind incurred” as a result of using the lockbox.
Can You Really Earn Money With Wag?
Unlike their competitor Rover, Wag does not let you set your own rates. Instead, Wag charges $14 for a 20-minute walk, $20 for a 30-minute walk, and $30 for a 60-minute walk.
On top of that slightly disappointing fact, you can also expect to earn less with Wag than with Rover or Barkly, because Wag takes a whopping 40% from the rates mentioned above, leaving you with only the remaining 60%.
So, that means with Wag you can potentially earn $8.40 for a 20-minute walk, $12 for a 30-minute walk, and $18 for an hour-long walk.
That being said, $18 an hour is above the minimum wage in the United States (by quite a bit in some areas), so it’s not something to scoff at. You can still earn a decent amount on the side, or even turn it into a full-time gig if you really enjoy it!
What Are Dog Walkers Saying?
As with most apps, there are some good things being said about Wag by customers and workers alike.
Many dog walkers claim that it’s a great way to earn extra money, especially on the side. Workers also cite the freedom of schedule and location as bonuses that make this side hustle extra appealing.
Plus, as a worker, you do get to choose who you work for (meaning you can decline an offer to walk a dog if it’s unappealing to you for some reason).
Wag also has positive feedback from pet owners as well – especially those who need someone to care for their pet last-minute. Plus, people like the ability to have their pets cared for at home when they’re going on vacation.
But there’s also a different side to that coin. Wag has some strong negative reviews from both customers and workers as well.
As with similar apps like Rover, one of the main issues is a lack of support from the company, and bad customer service.
There is, however, more of an issue than just bad reviews. Wag has been under scrutiny from pet owners (and the media) for pets that were injured, killed, or otherwise simply poorly cared for while in the care of a Wag worker.
What’s perhaps even more troubling is the common response from Wag when these issues are brought to their attention: namely offering a (small) sum of money in exchange for the victim keeping silent about the issue.
Just one example of this is a Texas couple whose dog was hit and killed by a car while in the care of a Wag worker.
Wag’s response was to offer to pay $188 for the dog’s cremation and paw print memorial, which they would only get if they signed an agreement saying they wouldn’t say anything (orally or in writing) about the incident.
There was another, separate situation where a couple’s surveillance camera caught a Wag walker repeatedly hitting and kicking their dog to the point that it was vomiting blood when they returned home.
But Wag ensures people that only the best workers get hired, claiming to use a “robust vetting process” They also claim only 10% of applicants make it through the “rigorous” checks.
So, this means that people that might be neglecting your dog to the point of it getting killed, or who are physically abusing your dog, are part of their great 10% who pass all of their vetting and testing.
Is It A Scam?
No, Wag! is not a scam because they do what they say they do.
They provide dog walkers and dog sitters with dog owners who need those services, and the workers do get paid. This does not mean, though, that Wag is necessarily a stellar company to work for or use for your dog care needs.
What I Like
- You have the freedom to choose your own schedule
- Available across much of the U.S.
- The pay is decent
What I Didn’t Like
- They take a very large percentage of the pay
- You don’t get to set your own rates
- They’ve had many problems with dogs getting injured or killed
- They are currently involved in lawsuits
Summing It Up
With everything that we have gone over, it’s safe to say that Wag is technically a legit company.
Legit and reputable are two very different words, though. And while Wag does have a lot of positive reviews, they do have some stories that leave many people with concerns.
Whether or not you join Wag is a personal decision, and the same goes for whether or not you use them for your personal pet needs.
Whichever way you’re leaning, hopefully this article gave you a lot to think about and enables you to make a more informed decision!