Photo Credit: carlofranco / Getty Images

Time is money, and if you’re a dog walker, this is even more true. You can only fit in so many dog walks a day, and you want to make as much as you can with the time (and energy) you have. So it’s no wonder that a ton of dog walkers use apps to find paid walks. Two of the biggest dog-walking apps out there are Wag! and Rover. But which one is better for you? Well, there are pros and cons to both. We’ll break down the differences in these dog-walking apps so you can decide where you should invest your precious time (and make those big bucks). If your dogs are going to be barking either way, you might as well get paid royally, right?

Dog-Walking App Requirements

For both apps, there are some similar requirements. You must:

Be 18 years old or olderLive in or around an area where the company operatesComplete a profilePass a background checkDownload the latest version of the dog-walking company’s app

But this is where the similarities end. Now onto each dog-walking app’s unique approach.

Wag! for Dog Walkers

The application process at Wag! is slightly more complicated than Rover, so stick with us while we walk you through it (see what we did there?).

First, you’ll need to fill out an application in the Wag! app. This involves setting up a profile, including previous canine care experience, and gathering five endorsements from family members, friends, or acquaintances that can speak to your canine competence. You’ll also be expected to complete a brief quiz on dog care and safety, and consent to a background check. The application processing fee will set you back a cool $49.95, so make sure you’re serious about this dog-walking venture before you embark on it.

Once you’ve submitted all the necessary requirements, it can take around two weeks for your application to get approved. Once it does, you’ll have to download the Wag! Pet Caregiver app (which is different from the regular Wag! app) and create a Stripe account, where you’ll share your debit card or bank account information, so you can get paid.

Finally, you’ll be ready to work. Dog owners will either choose you or Wag! will recommend you. You’ll receive notifications about bookings through the app. Confirm, and you’re ready to start walkin’.

Now, how much will you get paid for all that walking? Well, here’s where many dog walkers take umbrage with Wag! You don’t get to set your own rate (Wag! does that for you), and for one dog, it ranges from $12.75 to $19.99 for a 20-minute walk to $25.50 to $36.99 for a one-hour walk. But all that dough isn’t just for you; Wag! keeps a crushing 40%.

And this is why many dog walkers go over to the competition…

Rover for Dog Walkers

Rover lets dog walkers find work as independent contractors for dog walking, pet sitting, pet boarding, and doggy daycare, as well as drop-in services.

To become a dog walker for Rover, you must create a profile on the company’s app. You will provide contact info, state which services you offer and the times you’re available, and set your rates. You will also be expected to share a photo, work experience, and testimonials. Then it’ll be time to take a quick quiz and consent to a background check, which may cost you a small fee. Once complete, your profile should be approved in five to 10 business days.

After your profile is approved, it will be made visible to pet owners, who can contact you through Rover to book services. Many pet owners will want to get to know you a little better and ask questions before booking. You will have to sell yourself to some extent to get work on Rover, as the app won’t do the heavy lifting for you.

Now, onto the good stuff: getting paid. With Rover, you set your rate, which is awesome…but of course, Rover takes a fee off the top, which is currently 20% of each booking. Funds are dispersed via direct deposit, for which you’ll need to provide your bank account info and Social Security number.

The Bottom Line

Which is better for dog walkers: Wag! or Rover? Well, it depends. If you’re more entrepreneurial, like to have control over the services you offer (and the rates you charge for them), and want to get to know your dog-walking clients on a more intimate level, then Rover might be a better fit for you. If, however, you just want someone to tell you when to show up and how much you’re going to get paid for it, Wag! might be more your style. No matter which app you use, the good news is you’ll likely get plenty of one-on-one time with adorable pups, as well as heart-healthy exercise for yourself. As far as side hustles go, we call that a win-win!

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