Dubbed as the “Uber” of dog-walking apps, Wag! Walking has become famous for their walk booking services. Dog owners can now hire someone to walk their dogs using the Wag! App or website. It’s an on-demand service and it’s pretty nifty. If you need to walk your dog, just open the app, book the walk, and someone will show up on your door to pick the pooch up. Also, the Wag dog walking cost is already affordable for those who have extra bucks to spare.
For this post, we will review the walking service from the perspective of a dog owner. Check out our test drive of the service here:
What is Wag! Walking?
Wag! is a popular dog walking service with about $300 million in venture capital funding. It’s a large company and a direct competitor of another dog walking service, Rover. They claim to have invented dog walking services back in 2015.
Their dog walking service can be availed using their app or website. It’s like booking an Uber or Grab car. Wag! also states that their dog walkers are strictly vetted to ensure the safety of the dogs. As of this writing, Wag! has already walked millions of dogs.
Currently, their service is available in 50 states and 110 cities all over the United States. Aside from their dog walking service, they also offer dog sitting, boarding, and the upcoming daycare hosting. Below, we also took a brief look at these services.
Wag! is also known to raise funds for animal advocacies, including feeding shelter dogs in the U.S.
Like any dog walking service, Wag! isn’t one without controversy. Lately, they’ve been called out after one of their dog walkers was caught on camera assaulting a dog he’s walking. To be fair, Rover also has a bad record when a Dachshund got killed by another dog while in the care of their dog walker.
Types of walks
Wag! offers three types of dog walks: ASAP, One-Time, and Recurring. Here’s how each one works:
When you book for an ASAP dog walk, the walker will arrive within an hour. It’s helpful if you have sudden schedule changes or have to run a pressing errand.
One-time walks are usually set on a later date or a specific time of the day. It’s a one-time transaction which is best for those who are not in a hurry to send their dogs for a walk.
These are regular walks set in specific recurrence which could be in a daily or weekly basis.
Areas they service
Currently, Wag! Walking is available in 110 specific cities scattered over the 50 states. We suggest that you check the complete list on this page.
We believe that all the cities have the same pricing when it comes to the dog walking service. Also, Wag! has grooming services, but it’s only available in Los Angeles as of this time.
Is your dog fit for the service?
The big question here is this: is Wag! Walking ideal for my dog? If your dog meets any of these conditions, it will usually do well on a booked walking service:
Your dog has separation anxiety
The pooch loves lots of playtime and has lots of energy
Your dog requires more exercise
Your dog needs walking as part of its medication
Wag! lets you book a walk for your pup, adult, senior, and disabled dog. Being cautious is important here. One consolation is that their walkers are pre-vetted, so you at least have the peace of mind that your dog is in good hands.
If your dog is in a frail condition or has a particular medical need, we personally think that letting a stranger walk the pooch is a bit dangerous. It’s not that the walker will harm your dog, you just don’t know when your doggo might need immediate medical attention.
Overall, if your dog is healthy, you can try the service. Besides, they will be sending dog walkers on your locality. Who knows, you might even know the walker personally.
Advantages of using the service
Wag! Walking makes dog walking easier. If you don’t have the time to do it, you can hire someone else to walk your dog around the neighborhood.
Also, they give free a Lock Box if you request one. It’s useful, especially if no one’s home to greet the walker. It’s also a safer way to hide your keys.
As for the fees, it’s reasonable, considering the duration and convenience of not having to walk your dog when you’re busy.
Aside from that, you can track your dog with the live GPS feature of the app. You will also receive activity reports each week if you signed up for recurring or regular walks.
Also, we like that they have a mobile app where you can easily manage your walk bookings. Most of all, they have a $1 million insurance for your home whenever you book for a sitting or walking service.
Some cons to keep in mind
One thing that we find disadvantageous is you won’t get to choose your walker. You book a walk and then wait for confirmation. Basically, you don’t have control about which gets selected for your booking. It would be nice if you can choose a walker, especially if you prefer your last walker and wants to maintain a regular walking transaction.
Aside from that, their coverage isn’t as comprehensive as Rover. They only service selected cities per state. Lastly, many complain about their poor customer support. If you want to get real-time answers, you have to call them. There’s no live chat option just in case you can’t manage a call. Emailing them isn’t a good idea either if you need urgent answers.
We also wish that Wag! will let us meet the walker first or the sitter, daycare host, or boarder if ever we decide to avail other services. It’s added peace of mind that we only found in Rover.
How it works
Ready to book your first walk for your dog? Your first walk with Wag! is free so you can try their service with a lower risk. Here’s what you need to do:
If you’re planning to book a dog walk, the process is straightforward. Just download the app or visit the Wag! Walking website. Click “Book a Walk” or their new customer offer of “1ST WALK FREE”. You’ll be redirected to the signup page where you need to enter your email, password, and phone number.
After that, you’ll have to tell them about your dog’s name and breed. For this test drive, we booked for our one-year-old Corgi, Rio.
You have to indicate the age of your pup. A rough estimate should be fine if you’re not sure.
After that, you’ll be offered a Lock Box. It’s a special key storage from Wag! You can put this on your door and indicate the code on the next step so your walker can get into your house. This is perfect if no one’s home to hand the dog over. It’s free and it lets you store your keys inside. If you don’t want it, just click “No Thanks”.
At this step, you’re going to choose how the walker can get into your house to pick the dog. It’s either “someone is home”, you have a hidden key somewhere that’s not a Lock Box, you have a Lock Box (supply the passcode), or the key is on a doorman.
You can also add some notes for the walker. For our Rio, he has to eliminate during the walk so we will also hand a poo bag to our walker. You can also indicate the name of the person who will hand the dog over.
After that, you’ll wait for a walker to confirm. It will usually take 10 minutes for the confirmation to arrive. After that, you’ll wait for the dog walker.
NOTE: Your first dog walk as a customer will be free (actual cost is $20). However, the only available schedules are mostly night time around 6 pm to 10 pm when we tried to avail it. Since it’s free, we don’t have complaints.
Dog walks will last for about 30 minutes to an hour depending on what you book.
You can reschedule or cancel bookings too. If you have questions, Wag! can be contacted via email or through their phone number.
If you wish, you can contact the dog walker via call or text on the Wag! App or website.
Vetted dog walkers
The dog walkers that Wag! have in their system are pre-vetted. They screen each dog walker applicant to ensure that your pooch is taken care of properly.
Still, you should book at your own risk. Just like any dog walking services, there can be some bad apples along the way.
If you encounter issues with the walker or if you have concerns, you can contact Wag! to report any incident.
What we appreciate is that Wag! conducts criminal background checks on the walker applicants. This is added peace of mind for dog owners like me. Aside from being a plus point for your dog safety, your home will also be secured.
The following are Wag!’s basic requirements for those who are applying as a dog walker:
Must be at least 18 years of age
Legally allowed to work in the United States
Can walk a dog for at least 20 minutes
The process will also include the following tests:
Knowledge and experience about dogs. It’s a big plus if the walker has prior experience with dogs, especially if s/he owns one. For this part, the walker has to answer a quiz and a dog safety test.
Collar and harness test. The walker will be asked to show your background on dog harness and collars including types, purpose, etc.
Situational assessment. The walker will prove that he or she can handle unpredictable dog situations.
The walker will undergo further assessment as deemed necessary by the Wag! team. Once his or her application is accepted, the walker can now confirm for walk bookings.
Many of their walkers have worked on shelters, veterinary clinics, or have been long-term dog caretakers and owners.
Wag dog walking cost
The Wag dog walking cost depends on the booking duration that you like. For 30-minute walks, it will cost $25 per dog and $5 for each additional from your household. Meanwhile, a 60-minute walk will cost $35 with the same additional fee for every dog on your home.
Depending on the location, some dog bookings will have a lower cost of $20 for a 30-minute stroll. Nevertheless, all booking includes video and text messaging, GPS tracking, and updates during the walk.
Take note that canceling a walk booking in less than 24 hours from the schedule will have a $10 fee. The only exception is when you’re canceling the free first walk.
When paying for the walk, make sure that you pay using a credit card. Wag! accepts Mastercard, VISA, and American Express. If you pay in cash or check through the walker, you won’t be eligible for 24/7 support and their premium insurance.
Don’t worry because your card will be charged after the walk is finished. Wag! will hold the funds first within 48 hours before releasing it to the walker. If you have problems with the walker, you have time to report it to Wag!
Other Wag! services
Aside from their flagship walk booking service, Wag! also offers dog sitting and dog boarding. They also have the upcoming daycare hosting service. Below, we took a brief look at each of these services.
Wag!’s dog sitting is a per-night basis service that starts at $39 per night. Just like their walking services, your first night is free upon signing up.
Wag! screens dog sitters on your locality. Your dog will stay in your home and the sitter will arrive to stay with the pooch. This includes unlimited playtime, potty, and more. You’ll also receive video and text updates about your pooch to ensure that the doggo is in good condition.
For the sitting services, you can book a one-night service or a recurring night sitting for the whole month. For a long sitting duration, you can choose the same sitter.
You can book a sitting service for pups, senior dogs, and even canines with special needs. It’s a helpful service if you’ll be out of town or spending the night away.
The Wag! dog boarding service is like pet sitting, except that your pooch will stay in the house of the sitter. It also costs $39 per night and your first night is also free upon signing up.
If you can’t go through the hassle of going to and fro the boarder’s house, you can pay an additional $15 for the boarder/sitter to pick up and drop off your pet.
You will also receive text, photo, and video updates of your dog while it stays on the sitter’s home. Also, Wag! vets their boarders carefully to ensure that your pooch is in the right hands.
The Wag! Daycare is like the boarding service except that the dog will stay on the sitter’s house during the day. It’s an ideal service if your pooch has separation anxiety and you’re very busy at work. It can be a one-time or regular dog sitting. Updates will be sent to you regularly.
Again, you can pay for additional $15 so the daycare host will pick up and drop off your dog before and after the service. The daycare host will be located locally for your convenience.
Complaints about Wag!
We’ve checked Wag! on the Better Busines Bureau site and it surprisingly got an A+ rating. But when it comes to reviews, it’s lagging. Even with the stellar rating, it’s not accredited by BBB yet.
There are a lot of complaints about customer support, walkers not showing up, and other concerns about charging fees. Wag! is quick to respond, though.
By the way, Rover (its main competitor) has an A+ BBB rating and accreditation since 2012.
Wag vs. Rover
If you’re scouting for dog walking services, you’re probably wondering how Wag! fares with its major competitor Rover. Here, we listed some pros and cons to help you gauge which one is better.
Take note that both have something to offer. It’s up to you which one suits your dog better:
|Wag! Walking||*GPS tracking for your dog |
during the walk
*Insurance coverage of
up to $1 million
checks for walkers
*Free lock box
|*Area coverage is available on
specific cities per state only
*Can’t view walker profiles until
you enter credit card info
*Can’t pick a walker
|Rover||*GPS tracking for your dog |
during the walk
*$1 million home property
*Criminal background checks
for walkers coverage
+ $250,000 for vet care
*Ability to check walker profile
even without credit card info
*Wider area coverage
|*No lock box
*Lots of terrible stories
from dog owners
When it comes to the cost of service, Rover offers more affordable rates. Rover walking services start at $15 per 30 minutes while Wag!’s lowest price is $20 for the same duration.
I think the biggest consolation with Wag! is you’ll get the first walk for free, something that Rover doesn’t offer.
What we like about Rover that Wag! can also consider is they allow a Meet and Greet with the walker, sitter, boarder, or daycare host first.
Lastly, Wag! is only available in 110 cities while Rover has operations in as much as 10,000 cities all over America. If your place isn’t serviceable by Wag!, Rover is most likely the best alternative.
Overall, Wag! is an interesting service. Considering the Wag dog walking cost, we can say that it’s worth the try. Still, you should be cautious when availing this service. Some dog owners report untoward incidents with a walker. It’s best to start with a short walk first before entrusting your dog for longer services like pet sitting, boarding, or the upcoming daycare.
What do you think of our Wag! review? Let us know below by dropping a comment!