How Does Wag! Work – Getting Started Guide
Wag! is a popular on demand dog walking app that pairs dog walkers with local pet owners who need care for their dogs.
Known to some as “the Uber of dog walking,” Wag! makes it quick and convenient for dog owners to find walkers when and where they need them. While Wag! provides similar services to competitors like Rover, it does have some distinct features and benefits for those who work as walkers on its app.
How Wag! Works
The Wag! app makes it easy for dog owners across the United States to get the pet care they need at any time of the day, while providing dog walkers with the opportunity to work a flexible schedule doing something they love. Below, we’ll discuss how the app works for both dog owners and dog walkers.
Wag! for Dog Owners
Using the Wag! app, dog owners can request a dog walker as soon as possible. The app then notifies the owner when the walker has confirmed their availability. Most walks are fulfilled within 30 minutes of the request.
Wag! offers three different types of walks – ASAP, one-time, and recurring. ASAP is for pet owners who need an on-demand walk as soon as possible. One-time is for pet owners that would like to request a walk in the future at a specific time. Recurring walks are for owners who want to set up a recurring schedule with a walker on a weekly basis.
When pet owners use Wag!, they receive a free lockbox so the owner can provide access to their house key for the walker when they are not home. The dog owner can leave instructions for the walker on the app on how to access the key. Owners can also leave notes or instructions for the walker about their dog’s needs and tendencies. The cost for walks is determined based on location and walk length, but in general, a 30-minute walk on Wag! costs pet owners $20.
During the dog walk, pet owners can follow along on the app with GPS tracking, receiving notifications when the dog goes to the bathroom.
When the walk is complete, the owner will then receive a report that includes a photo and the dog walker’s notes from the walk as well as confirmation that the home has been locked. The owner can then leave a tip for the walker as well as a review.
Though dog walking is the most popular service offered by Wag!, the company also provides dog sitting and dog boarding services. Dog owners use the app or the website to find a sitter in their neighborhood who is available during the dates over which they need care for their pet. The owner arranges a meet and greet so they can make sure it’s a good fit. If that goes well, the owner can then book a dog sitting or boarding service with the sitter. During their service visit, the pet sitter will provide daily photos and video updates for the owner.
Wag! for Dog Walkers
Wag! allows dog walkers to make their own schedule, walking as little or as much as they’d like, making it a great side gig option for those who want to make a little cash in their spare time. The app offers a flat rate for walks, so walkers don’t have to negotiate pricing with dog owners. However, as an independent contractor, those working for Wag! will need to manage their own taxes each year.
Using the Wag! app, dog walkers can connect with pet owners in their area that need on-demand walks. On the Wag! walker app, dog walkers will be able to view all of the available walk requests in their local area. The request states what time the walk is requested, how long it is, how far away it is, and the type of dog. Walkers can then choose which walks they would like to take on with the option to serve one-time walks, recurring walks, or both.
Walkers should arrive at the owner’s home on time and prepared in comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Wag! recommends that walkers also bring poop bags just in case the owner has forgotten to provide them. Dog walkers can use different app features to provide the best possible walk experience for owners. This includes live pee and poop notifications as well as the option to include video and/or photos during the walk.
After the walk is complete, the walker will fill out a detailed report card with notes on how the walk went. Dog owners will have the option to tip the walker and leave a review after the walk is complete. Using these features to let the owner know how the walk went is important, especially because in most cases the owner may never meet the walker face-to-face. Dog walkers also have the option to contact owners through the app during the walk in case they have any questions.
Walkers are paid for their services through Payable, an online payment platform. This system is connected to the walker’s bank account through the Wag! walker app. Payments are automatically deposited into the bank account each week for completed walks.
How to Sign Up
Getting started as a walker with Wag! is simple. Wag! requires its walkers to be at least 18 years old, legally allowed to work in the United States, and physically able to walk for at least 20 minutes. Given the nature of the business, Wag! encourages those who have experience walking dogs, are dog owners themselves and are responsible, professional, and trustworthy to apply.
Wag! developed its application process to ensure that those who become walkers are a good fit for the position. The application begins with an opportunity for the applicant to tell Wag! about their experience with dogs, including any former dog walking or pet sitting experience. Then, the applicant will be asked to take a quiz on dog care and safety.
Once you’ve taken the quiz and provided some background information on your experience, you’ll need to take a collar and harness test. This assessment tests applicants on their knowledge of different types of dog collars and harnesses that they may encounter in their Wag! walks as well as proper walking techniques. After this test is a situational assessment, which tests the applicant’s ability to handle varied and unpredictable situations involving dogs such as recognizing and dealing with aggression.
After you’ve completed the required assessments, you’ll fill in your information to complete a background check, which costs $25. Then, it’s time to set up your Wag! profile. You’ll want to upload a clear and professional photo and write a short bio. The bio should contain basic information about yourself that will help dog owners get to know you and see that you’re trustworthy.
With Wag!, there is a set price for each walk, which means you don’t get to set your own rates. The owner is charged a bit more, and a percentage (about 40%) of the fee goes back to Wag!. Here is the breakdown of earnings that dog walkers get for each walk on Wag!:
- $9 for a 20-minute walk
- $12 for a 30-minute walk
- $18 for a 60-minute walk
In addition to this flat rate, you also get to keep 100% of the tips that you earn. Your total earning potential will depend on how many walks you give each day and how much you earn in tips. Though there is no way for owners to request a specific walker, they can add you to their favorites list so that you will get a notification when their dog needs another walk. Building up repeat clients is a great way to maximize your earning potential.
Wag! also offers referral bonuses for walkers who refer new customers to the app. When you sign up for Wag!, you’ll be given a referral code. For each new customer that signs up to use Wag! with your referral code, you earn $25. The customer who uses your referral code will also get $20 toward their first walk.
Does walking dogs sound like the perfect side gig for you? Getting started with Wag! is easy and can be a great way to make some extra cash in your spare time.