Best Dog Walking App: Rover vs Wag vs Barkly Pets

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Walking with lab on leashAre you in search of a walker? Whether you’re at the office all day or face frequent delays getting home, finding a reliable dog-walker can be a chore. How can I find dog walkers near me?

That’s where the best dog walking apps come in super handy. You can easily connect with many walkers that live near you and are eager for your business.

Article Overview

Can I Benefit From A Dog Walking App?

Dog walking apps are similar to Uber and its competitors in respect to your location. You’re going to find more app members in urban areas than you would in smaller cities and more rural locations.

The more popular the app, the greater chance you have of finding dog walkers near you. Hey, that’s technology, folks. But there are other factors to consider, including dog walker cost, reliability and safety/security issues. We address these factors in our reviews of Wag vs Rover vs Barkly Pets.

What You Must Know Before Reading Our Reviews

Dog walking rates vary based on location, experience and type of pet. Our pros and cons reflect feedback we’ve received on each overall company, not the online pet sitters you can find on their sites. Please read our cautionary statement below carefully before ordering from any of these services.

Best Dog Walking Service: Proceed With Caution

While we have personally had great experiences with these services, we are aware of many disappointments as well. Many online dog walkers are untrained, non-professional, unlicensed individuals. A love for pets is what brought them to work in this business, but a lack of knowledge, experience, CPR and First Aid training may lead to complex and heart-wrenching circumstances.

Many companies claim that they run background checks on the contracted walkers you can find on their sites. A background check into the criminal history of any contractor can give you peace of mind that your dog walker may not rob your house or has a criminal history of animal-related offences. But in no other way can a background check predict how a total stranger will care for your dog.

Treat your dogs as you would your children. Would you trust a childcare provider without getting personal references and word-of-mouth recommendations from your trusted friends and acquaintances? No. For this reason, we strongly urge you to take these same steps for the care of your dogs, no matter what service you use.

Sadie Rover ReviewsBe sure to choose dog walkers who have a long history of positive reviews and discuss in detail your expectations and make sure they are taking note.

We also recommend that you always meet the walker before allowing them to care for your pet to make sure you are comfortable with the person, their schedule, etc.

If you have any concerns about your pet being cared for by an unlicensed and unbonded individual, search your local listings to find someone who better meets your needs.

Best Dog Walking Apps

Here are our top-picks for dog walking based on our experience and popularity.

Rover Review | Wag! ReviewBarkly Pets Review

Rover Review

Rover logo

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Rover.com, the popular pet sitting portal, can help connect you with independent dog walkers near you, regardless of where you live. Rover is akin to Uber for dog walking apps regarding its popularity. Their site is easy to navigate, and everything from pricing to availability is upfront.

Through their site or app, you can filter by days and times of day your pup needs a walk. Each pet caregiver also has a profile page, including customer reviews and other services they offer that are easily accessible. You can choose the walker you think is the best fit. Rover.com offers the ability to track your dog’s walks or you can put a Fitbark on them to track their activity throughout the entire day.

While Rover does criminal background checks on all of the dog walkers you can find on their site, as mentioned above we still recommend you get personal references and set up an informal meet-up to get to know the person before leaving your pet with them, as the background check should not be used as an indication of how well your pet will be treated.

Pros

Cons

  • More users than other apps, so it’s easier to find a walker near you
  • Ability to GPS track your dog’s walks
  • Rover Guarantee reimburses you up to $25,000 for vet care expenses or property damage if something goes wrong
  • Easy search and filter features
  • Transparent pricing, walker profiles and more
  • Criminal background checks conducted
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • On-demand bookings not available in every area
  • Quite a few stories of terrible experiences with Rover sitters

Pricing

Dog walkers set their own rates, with prices beginning around $15 per 30-minute walk.

Coupon Code

Use this link and you will receive a $10 credit towards your first booking with Rover!

Read Our In-depth Rover Review

See how you can find a local groomer who comes to your home via Rover.

Wag! Review

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Another popular dog walking app, Wag! has a couple of cool features that Rover doesn’t offer. The most noteworthy is that you will receive weekly activity reports, so you know how your dog is doing when you are not there.

Wag! does criminal background checks on each new hire and provides them training. Wag! also provides profiles of their walkers, but you’re required to provide credit card information before you can view walkers in your area — Rover doesn’t have this requirement. Like Rover, Wag! also offers extended pet sitting and boarding services.

Pros

Cons

  • Your home is protected up to $1 million when booking a walking or sitting service
  • Provides a lock box to store your key
  • Follow your dog’s walk with live GPS tracking
  • Provides activity reports each week
  • Company donates meals to rescue dogs
  • Criminal background checks conducted
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Usage not as widespread as Rover (but good in medium and large urban areas)
  • On-demand bookings not available in all areas
  • Can’t always pick your walker of choice (especially with on-demand feature)
  • Some users complain about the company’s poor customer service

Pricing

Wag! sets rates by market, with the average at $20 per 30-minute walk.

Barkly Pets Review

Barkly Pets logo

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Barkly Pets has expanded from 4 major U.S. cities to hundreds of cities in all 50 states within the last couple of years. Their app works much like Wag!, allowing you to schedule walks on a recurring basis, one-time or on-demand.  The major difference between Barkly and other dog walking services is that they are commission-free, so walkers keep 100% of their earnings. 

Barkly Pets lets you review and choose walkers that meet your preferences. Another unique feature is you can create a customized checklist for each walk if your dog needs medicine, food or a favorite toy. After each walk, you get a detailed activity report.

Barkly Pets offers their walkers training certification courses. After passing, walkers receive a badge on their profile page which indicates their certification to prospective customers.

Pros

Cons

  • On-demand bookings
  • Walkers are bonded and insured
  • Personalized relationship with your walker who provides activity reports after each walk
  • Criminal background checks conducted
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Offers loyalty packages
  • New to many cities so it may be harder to find local walkers, depending on where you live

Pricing

Barkly Pets sets rates by market, which start at $16 per 30-minute walk.

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Want To Become A Dog Walker?

If you are interested in starting a dog walking business, all of these services offer a great way to connect with clients. Be sure to learn about dog walking insurance and see if it is a right fit for your business.

Need A Pet Sitter?

If you’re going on vacation or a business trip, you’ll need more than dog walking. Rover and Wag! also offer pet sitting and personal boarding services, but there are some others to consider. Be sure to check out our reviews of the best pet sitting websites for some alternatives.

How do you usually find reliable dog walkers?

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets). Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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