PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you have trouble finding time to walk your dog, there’s a solution. Or maybe you could even earn a little extra cash?
Two apps allow you to summon a dog walker or sitter with tap of your phone.
This is kind of like Uber for your dog. Only your dog isn’t being driven around, it’s being walked around.
Leslie Calhoun, from Mount Washington, has an older dog named Flick. A friend told her about the app, Rover.
“He has a dog walker that comes every day, Monday through Friday to walk him, and he also has a babysitter for when I travel,” said Calhoun.
Rover gives you a list of potential walkers in your area, so does another app called Wag.
KDKA found Rover gave us dozens of choices in our area and exactly how far away they are. Wag narrowed it down to 10 choices in our neighborhood.
Both apps allow you to see how many stars previous customers have given the walkers or sitters and to read their reviews.
“From a walker perspective, I like Wag because it’s very flexible,” said Mallory Vopal, from Mount Oliver. “I can work whenever I want. There’s no minimum number of hours I have to have.”
Vopal earns extra money being a dog walker for Wag.
“Just walking two nights a week throughout the entire month, and you could easy make $200 plus in your pocket,” said Vopal.
Wag offers free lock boxes with programmable codes, so the walker can get into your home. Or you have to make other arrangements.
In addition to being a dog walker, Vopal is also a dog owner and has used Wag to hire walkers for her dog, Jenny. She loves that with Wag you can even see exactly where your dog is in real-time during the walk, using the GPS from the walker’s phone.
“You get a notification that they’re at your home, then once they walk your dog, they’re tracked with GPS in their phone,” said Vopal.
Rover will send you a map of the walk after it’s over, and both apps will give you activity reports at the end of a visit.
And both companies say they vet walkers to make sure they’re trustworthy.
In fact, Rover tells KDKA’s David Highfield they reject most dog walker candidates: “Actually, all new sitters and walkers pass a background check, so that results in only 20 percent of the people making it through the process,” said Jenna White, director of Dog Walking Operations at Rover.
As for the price of a walk, both services are comparable.
With Wag, KDKA found a 20 minute walk was $14. A 30-minute one was $20, nd an hour was $30.
Rover offered walks ranging from $10 to $25, with the prices set by the walkers for 30-minute walks.
In addition to walks, both Rover and Wag offer sitting or boarding.