If you love dogs and you’ve got experience dog walking or pet sitting, then working on Rover or Wag! as a side gig is a great way to make some extra cash. Though both apps are similar in the services they offer and how they operate, there are some nuances you’ll need to get to know before you choose which service is right for you.
Working for Rover
Founded in 2011, Rover has become one of the largest networks of quality pet sitters in the United States. The company currently operates in over 14,000 cities and has more than 200,000 vetted pet sitters working on the app.
Rover aims to provide the best in pet care and accepts less than 20% of applicants, all of which have to pass background or identity checks before they begin as a Rover sitter.
In addition to both scheduled and on demand dog walking services, Rover also offers dog boarding, pet sitting, doggy day care, drop-in visits, and house sitting services.
Pet owners use the site to search through dog sitter profiles to find the right sitter in their area. Each profile gives some information about who the sitter is and their dog sitting preferences as well as reviews from former clients.
Pros and Cons
There are a few benefits that Rover has over Wag! for sitters. For one, you have the ability to set your own rates. That means you have control over your income potential. Whether you want to set your rates lower than average to get an initial client base built up or set higher rates to maximize income, this is entirely under your control.
Another pro of working as a Rover sitter is that the platform is designed to promote repeat business. Instead of constantly searching for new clients, you can easily rebook with past clients with the click of the button. This makes it easy to build a sustainable side gig income source, as you can set up a regular walk schedule or make yourself available to clients who go out of town often.
One downside to Rover is that their on demand walking service is rather new. For this reason, you may find it difficult to get a high volume of on demand walks, which can really help boost your income when you don’t have as many scheduled walks, boarding, and sitting clients.
How to Get Started
To get started on Rover, you create a profile that helps showcase information about you that pet owners want to know. This profile includes details like your experience and background with animals as well as your preferences for dog sitting and walking. For instance, if you are open to caring for dogs of any size, but only want to board smaller dogs, you can make these preferences known in your profile.
You will also create your schedule and set your pay rates. If you can’t work on Tuesdays or only want to take dog boarding customers on the weekends, you can set these preferences on your calendar so that pet owners will know if you’re available. Once your profile is approved, you can start accepting requests from owners in the area. Payment is available for withdrawal to your PayPal account two days after you’ve completed the service.
Working for Wag!
Wag! co-founder, Joshua Viner, started the company because he wanted to make it easy and convenient for busy people like him to care for their pets while they are away. The app first started as an Uber for dog walking, through which pet owners could find nearby walkers and walkers could accept jobs when they wanted to. This on demand service made it easy for pet owners to not only schedule walks ahead of time but also find a walker at the last minute if necessary.
Today, the app offers additional services including dog sitting and dog boarding so that pet owners can make sure their pets are cared for when they’re away for longer periods of time.
Wag! services are available in many cities across the United States, allowing owners to search for the right sitter using their database. And like most side gig apps, it allows you to be your own boss and work as much or as little as you want, whenever your schedule allows.
Pros and Cons
One of the major pros of working with Wag! is that you are able to accept on demand dog walks. Though Rover has recently added their RoverGo service, which also provides on demand services, it’s relatively new and most pet owners are already familiar with Wag! as an on demand provider. This means that if you use Rover instead of Wag!, you will not have as many options to take on demand walks during flexible times.
Another benefit is that Wag! provides owners with the option to add a tip right in the app, while Rover does not. Though customers can always tip you in cash, many owners are not present when you walk their dogs, so they will be much more inclined to tip you if the option is available conveniently within the app.
That being said, Wag! also has some major cons that might be a deal-breaker for prospective pet sitters and walkers. For one, Wag! sets your rates for you, so you have less control over your income potential. Wag! also takes a 40% commission rate (as opposed to Rover’s 20%), which means your monthly income will be lower for the same amount of work.
With Wag! it’s also harder to get repeat business. When owners use the on demand walking feature, they are not able to communicate with those who have walked their dogs before to see when they may be free. Though they have the option to send the walk request to walkers they have worked with before, there is no guarantee you would get the walk over another Wag! walker.
How to Get Started
Getting started with Wag! is easy. Anyone who is at least 18-years-old, legally allowed to work in the U.S., and physically about to walk for at least 20 minutes can apply. First, you fill out an application with some basic details about yourself. On the application, you will be asked about your experience walking and watching dogs. You will also be asked to complete a quiz on dog care and safety. This helps Wag! determine whether or not you will be a good fit for the job.
After you’ve filled out the application and taken the quiz, you’ll be asked to complete a collar and harness test to show you understand the different types of dog collars and harnesses. You’ll also need to complete a situational assessment where you will prove you can handle different unpredictable situations involving dogs. These assessments help show Wag! that you have experience when it comes to handling dogs and you can be responsible and professional about caring for pets.
Why Not Try Both?
While there are pros and cons to working for each service, there’s also no stipulation that says you can’t work for both. Using both Wag! and Rover to find dog walking and pet sitting gigs allows you to open yourself up to new opportunities as most pet owners in your city will be using one app or the other. So if you’re serious about making some extra cash watching and walking dogs, then you may want to use both apps to maximize your opportunities.