Everything You Need to Know About Wag: How to Hire or Work as a Dog Walker
Wag! is an on-demand dog walking app that lets people book dog walkers either for one-time walks or recurring appointments. Hyped as the “Uber for Dogs,” the website and app provide an easy way for dog owners to find qualified caretakers for their pups.
In this article, we’ll go through it all. We’ll first look at Wag! and how to book a dog walker using its website. Then we’ll dive into working for Wag and how much it pays, then answer some frequently asked questions from pet parents and walkers alike.
What Is Wag?
Wag! is a dog-walking service that promises on-demand pet care. The company allows pet owners to book one-time dog walks, recurring dog walks, or overnight boarding services directly through the website or conveniently on their app.
The company was founded in 2014 in Los Angeles and has raised over $350 million in venture capital. Its CEO is Hilary Schneider, who was formerly the CEO of identity theft protection company Lifelock, and the company has boasted of celebrity users that include Mariah Carey and Kendall Jenner.
Wag! dog walkers are classified as independent contractors, similar to workers for other on-demand services like Uber or Lyft. They are paid per walk, with rates varying depending on the length of the walk, and the amount of dogs walked.
For pet parents, Wag charges $15 for a 20-minute walk, $20 for a 30-minute walk, and $30 for an hour walk. They charge $3 more per dog, if you have more than one dog in need of a walk. So if you had two dogs, a half-hour walk would cost $23.
Wag’s overnight sitting services cost $26 per night, plus a $15 fee for pick-up and drop-off.
The Wag! Lockbox
If you open an account with Wag!, they will send you a lockbox if you request one. The lockbox allows you to keep a spare key for the dog walker to pick up. You are responsible once it’s sent to you, but it does allow you to set a 4-digit code that will be shared with Wag walkers and only accessible by them.
A Guide to the Wag! Website
The first time you visit the Wag! website, it will cue you to sign up to get your first walk free. To get started, you just need to provide some basic information to create your account — an email address, name, phone number, and password.
The prompt looks like this:
Once through that, you’re in … and ready to start booking walks.
Booking a One-Time Walk
To book a one-time walk, first click the Wag! Walk icon at the top of your screen. Then you can:
- Choose how long the walk is
- Schedule a walk in the future or request one ASAP
- Give the walker instructions on how to get into the house
- Provide any notes about your dog
- Choose your payment method (the first walk is free, but they need a credit card on file)
After that, you’re all set. Your walk is booked and you’re good to go.
Scheduling a Recurring Walk
If you want to set up a regular, recurring walk for your pup, go to the Wag! website, then tap the Weekly Walks icon at the top of the screen. Then:
- Choose your preferred time of day and walk length, the days of the week you want walks (or every day), and your start date
- Select whether or not you’re fine with Wag! sending any preferred walker, or if there is a specific walker you want for every walk
- Provide instructions for the walker to access your house
- Give any special notes about your dog
- Choose a payment method (it will use your card on file if you don’t make a selection)
You’re done! Your recurring walks will begin on your start date and go on from there. They can also be changed, put on hold, or cancelled at any time — just go to the Weekly Walks section and make changes.
The Wag! Report Card
After every walk, your walker will provide you with a Wag! Report Card which lets you know how the walk went, with star reviews, if the dog went pee or poop, and any other notes you should know about. Some walkers even like to include photos of the dog while on the walk.
Working for Wag!
If you have a passion for dog care, a great way to bring in some extra money is as a Wag Walker. They pay on set times through the Payable app, and if you’re starting a full-time dog walking business, or just looking for a part-time side hustle, it can be a great way to connect with customers quickly.
Wag Walker Requirements
Wag! has a vetting process before bringing on a new walker. First, you must pass a knowledge test which asks questions on collar/harness safety and basic pet care. If you pass the test, you will then have to complete a background check.
The background check requires a $25 processing fee which must be paid by the applicant.
Wag! says most background checks take 3-5 days to process, though some are nearly instant.
How Wag! Payment Works
Wag Walkers are labeled as independent contractors and are paid per walk, every week, through the Payable app.
When it comes to the amount of money, it varies based on location and walk length.
“On average, a walker will currently make $12 + tip for a 30-minute walk. For a boarding or sitting service, the current base pay per night is $26. Any tips go 100% to you.
“Additionally, you’ll be able to see the payout per walk before requesting and agreeing to the walk. This ensures transparency before you commit to a service.”
To let Wag! know that you are available for walks, either ASAP or on a recurring schedule, you need to download the Wag app and request walks there.
You will get access to the Wag walker app once you’ve been approved to become a walker and passed the background check.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wag
We’ve walked through how to use the Wag! app as a dog owner, and how to become a dog sitter with Wag! Let’s get to some frequently asked questions.
1. Where is Wag! operating?
Wag! is currently connecting pet owners and walkers across the United States. The app is extremely popular in California, especially in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area. They have a large market in New York City as well.
2. Do I need experience as a pet sitter to apply to Wag?
Any dog lover with basic safety knowledge and an understanding of basic dog safety can apply to walk with Wag! If it’s your first time trying your hand at dog handling, you may want to do some research into how to properly put a dog in different types of harnesses, and some basic information on different breeds and their behaviors.
4. What happens if I don’t hear back about a background check?
Wag! says if your background check was three weeks ago and you haven’t heard anything, you should email “[email protected] for an update. If your background check is declined, and you believe it is inaccurate, you can dispute the findings by emailing [email protected].”
5. How do I reach Wag! customer support?
Walking Dogs With Wag!
If you love dogs, you should check out Wag! The company provides on-demand dog walks provided by staffers who are required to complete a knowledge test and background check, and rates are reasonable. You can even book overnight boarding directly from a walker in your neighborhood, and get regular updates on your pup if you travel out of town.
For walkers, the app lets you connect with a ton of dog owners in your area, and handles payment directly through the app. If you’re looking to bring in some side income, Wag! can be a great way to do so.
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