Best Dog Walking App: Rover vs Wag vs Barkly Pets

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Are you in search of a walker? No, we’re not talking about the Walking Dead. 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 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.

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.

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.

Be 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.

Rover Review

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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
  • Provides up to $250,000 vet care and $1 million home property  coverage 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

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 free 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

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If you live in the metro areas of New York, D.C., Baltimore or Philadelphia, Barkly Pets is an excellent option for booking dog walks. This app works much like Wag!, allowing you to schedule walks on a recurring basis, one-time or on-demand.

Barkly Pets lets you review and choose walkers that meet your preferences. 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 trains each walker in person, and each employee is fully insured and bonded to protect you in case something unexpected happens to your pet or your home.

Pros

Cons

  • On-demand bookings
  • Walkers are bonded and insured
  • Provides a free lock box to store your key
  • Provides activity reports after each walk
  • Criminal background checks conducted
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Offers loyalty packages
  • Only available in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C.
  • Usage not as widespread as Rover and Wag!, even in these cities

Pricing

Barkly Pets sets rates, which range from $16-$24 per 30-minute walk.

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).

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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Kelly
So I have used Wag for years and had a positive experience. Until now, this past weekend while I was out of town, a walker canceled (“requested a cover”) before our scheduled Saturday evening walk. Given the time, Wag “couldn’t find another walker.” As a result, I Jada to drive home at 1:00 am to take care of my dog. She would be left in the crate for over 18 hours, if I didn’t do this which is completely unacceptable. I was very fortunate that I could come home, but I have no idea what I would have done if I was further away and unable to get home to take care of her. There was no accountability on Wag’s part. I was basically told that it was too bad. For a company that made me believe they cared about my dog’s wellbeing, they didn’t show it with their actions. I will never use them again after the poor customer service I experienced when I actually had to interact with the company.
Syanna Swyers
WAG does not take seriously animal abuse, neglect and fraud committed by WAG pet sitters.

A WAG pet sitter – who was booked for overnight dog sitting in my home committed fraud an animal abuse and neglect. She left my dog abandoned inside my house for almost 4 days with only 2 hours of care per day. He was left abandoned in my home 22 hours a day for periods of up to 15-18 hours at a time with no access to the outdoors. My security system proves this – this is not speculation.

Wag was a nightmare to deal with – they were unresponsive in dealing with this fraud and animal neglect and the damage to my house since my dog had no access to go to the bathroom outside. I was assured they would follow up. I have spent hours on the phone trying to get someone to take this seriously and make sure that pet sitter can never abuse and neglect someone’s pet ever again.

Tom Bryant
DON’T EVER USE WAG.
Wag does not care about their walkers. When I first moved to New York city I struggled to maintain a job, I am an artist and came to the city to pursue a career doing that.
To make ends meet, my friend told me about WAG! A dog walking service and I loved it. Besides the couple dogs and owners that were problems, it was usually great and easy money.
The problem started about a week ago, I was at the front door of a walk, and to begin a walk you must press the start walk button on your smart phone. When I did it was immediately linked to a phone call that was seemingly associated with Wag, it was common practice for Wag to call you, so I didn’t question it. Long story short I was tricked by the scammers into giving away vital information thinking it was a representative of Wag. They unknowingly switched out my account information so that all the money I made from walks went to a prepaid debit card.

Here’s where the fun begins, I call Wag, thinking its probably an easy fix and they’ll be able to refund me NOPE THEY tell me that they aren’t in charge of their finances that I NEED TO CONTACT A separate company called PAYABLE that has no phone number just EMAIL.

SO, I email them, and they tell me to contact Wag! I screenshot Wag and call them telling them what happened and guess what they did? Yup you guessed it, gave me the email address to PAYABLE.
After two days of back and forth PAYABLE finally responds by saying that I have to change my account information via their app. The only problem is to change the account information I have to know the previous account, which I don’t because it wasn’t my card!!!

But they did not care they refused to change my account information and for three weeks I was without a paycheck. 100% of my expenses came from DOG WALKING.

To make it worse, WAG BANNED me while I was asking them to investigate the scammers, then I was given an email saying after a payment been made, they can’t do anything about it basically. I’m f—-d

SO, I ask what about next weeks paycheck, because we get paid out weekly. They see they will change it back to my original account. Boom Here we are in next week and the money went straight into the scammers account.

WHAT DO I DO? I EMAIL AND CALL WAG WHO TELL ME TO CALL PAYABLE WHO TELL ME TO CALLE WAG. I HATE THIS COMPANY. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THEIR MONEY.

Colleen Nolan
My Dog and MANY other dogs have been killed by Rover.com. As a person that has been eligible for their “vet care” coverage, they do not cover anything unless you sign a non-disclosure agreement with them, essentially buying your silence so you will never be able to warn others of the danger of this company. They lie about the vetting on the website and the terms of service completely contradict their marketing. In a lawsuit currently undergoing Rover has refused to provide the number or % of dogs killed in their care claiming it would take 300 man hours to produce that data. In fact you are talking about the “walking dead” as you so casually put it. You should update this article after you read the terms of service of these sites.

BEWARE. If you want you dog to live don’t use ROVER, WAG or ANY of these companies.

My dog “fell” 2 stories on to concrete because of this company. To hear this story and the stories of 14 other dogs, which is only a small portion of the real number of dogs who have died, watch the CBS National News story on app based dog services.

John
U don’t think a dog has ever been killed inside a dog kennel/boarding place?
jason
A dog kennel doesn’t scam pet owners into thinking it gives pet care services and doesn’t. What dog kennel falsely advertising that every stay is covered is under premium insurance or whatever rover changed it to now? Also post links to pet kennel’s abusing and killing animals that go unpunished. They should also be exposed for defending animal abuse like rover and wag. There is no justification for animal abuse and companies that justify it should be closed down.
jason
Also, you should take out Excellent transparency with pricing, walker profiles and more under rover pros.
They are not transparent and the service profile reviews are not verified for accuracy. See their terms of service again.
In section 2.6 – Rover does not endorse reviews of Service Providers by other Pet Owners that may be available via the Rover Service, and Rover makes no commitments that such reviews are accurate or legitimate.
Also, In court papers, Rover’s IT director claims it would take the tech company too long to find out how many animals have died.

I don’t think a company like this deserves to have excellent transparency under your review. They killed our furbaby and it is clear that it was cheaper for the company to kill her instead of getting her medical attention under their rover protection plan. I can’t believe this is number 1 on your list and you didn’t even read their terms of service and are misleading other furbaby owners.

Matthew
Jason,
I am sorry for your loss and it’s heartbreaking to hear such a story!
While I can understand the frustration and anger when a company publishes background checks service and doesn’t deliver or when a company does not stand behind it’s promised insurance coverage, at least the story you referenced here with the link you provided does not show that Rover killed your dog. I searched online for more information on that horrible story and from the looks of it, the dog was killed by a car – not by Rover. The dog sitter may have showed some negligence in protecting the dog from being able to escape, but neither does this constitute to killing the dog.
I have been using Rover for years to find sitters for daycare for my dog and sometimes for full boarding when we go on trips. I have had excellent dog sitters, somewhat ok dog sitters and a couple of really bad dog sitters. I wasn’t even aware there is a coverage for anything beyond vet services by Rover and even that as far as I knew was only if you chose the extra charge. To me, vetting a dog sitter starts by the reviews where I fully understand that there is no guarantee to the accuracy of the reviews. For me, Rover only facilitates up to that point. From here on it’s me and how much effort I put in to vet the sitter. I demand a meet & greet with the sitter and I expect that the sitter will let me in to show me where my dog is going to stay. I ask to know if there are other dogs that may be staying along with my dog and more information on those dogs. I also request picture and video updates throughout the day and at least every couple of hours. And last but not least, I give them all the information or other things they need to know to care for my dog – Food, allergies, my dog’s preferences, etc. While I will hold the sitter accountable if something was done and something happened not following what we agreed, from this point on I am the one that takes the risk. This is regardless whether I booked the service through Rover, Wag!, Barkely Pets or simply a doggy daycare around the corner. I do like the Rover service since it gives me the flexibility of finding a sitter in a vicinity that suits me (search sitters by location on map), it allows me quite easily to see if there is a fit from the sitters’ profiles and it enables me to quickly start the conversation with the candidate sitters. These are a few of the advantages that I see over Wag!.
jason
Rover does not do background checks! Read their terms of service before you post lies and misleading dangerous information.
In Section 10-
Be aware of the following limitations in Background Checks: Except as otherwise expressly provided in these Terms or through the Service, Rover does not automatically run Background Checks on any Users. Background Checks may vary by type, breadth and depth. Records not available to third-party Background Checking agencies will not be included in the results. Not all arrest logs and records, conviction and correction records, sex offender registries and motor vehicle records are available in all jurisdictions.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
jason
Not sure why you sent me links to pages rover.com misleads its users. Their terms of service are the end all be all NOT the website links you provided. These links are meaningless since rover contradicts those links in their terms of service and that’s what they go by in court NOT THEIR WEBSITE LINKS. PLEASE READ THEIR TERMS OF SERVICE AND POST LINKS TO IT before you send links to misleading information like you just provided me. I REPEAT ROVER IS ALLOWED TO SAY ANYTHING THEY WANT ON THEIR WEBSITE AS LONG AS THEY CONTRADICT IT IN THEIR OWN TERMS OF SERVICE WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE MISLEADING LINK YOU PROVIDED ABOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS. READ THEIR TERMS OF SERVICE BEFORE YOU POST ANY MORE DANGEROUS MISLEADING INFORMATION.
Carly C.
I worked for Barkly and THEY DO FULL BACKGROUND CHECKS, while Rover does not. Please update your article and stop spreading misinformation.
Disappointed
Rover gives the impression they do background checks but they do not!