Rover vs Wag: Which Dog Walking App Leads the Pack?

Dog Care


Kayla Fratt


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Comparing Wag and Rover

The digital age finally is hitting the pet care industry. It seems like there are more dog walking and petsitting apps than there are rideshare apps!

How is a responsible dog owner to choose between the wide selection of dog care services available? Or what about going out on your own to find dog walkers – is that the better route? It’s a jungle out there, but getting the best walker for your dog is worth the work.

For the purposes of this article, I’m just going to compare the dog walking services of Wag and Rover – the major contenders in the dog walking app space. We’ll be sticking exclusively to dog walking for this one. Pet sitting is a whole other beast with a variety of other apps and things to consider.

There are many other dog walking services out there, but Rover and Wag are the biggest and most likely to be near you!

Supporting a small, local business that has highly trained walkers is always my first choice – but this isn’t always an option.

Does My Dog Need More Walks? Probably!

First off, I’d like to congratulate you on looking into a dog walker for your best friend. Many of our dogs spend eight or more hours per day just waiting around the house, which isn’t much fun for your pooch.

Finding a reliable person to take your dog out for walks is a great way to improve your dog’s life.

In fact, there are several types of dogs that particularly benefit from having extra walks:

High Energy Dogs. Dogs differ in the amount of activity that they need per day. My 2 year old border collie needs far more chances to expend some energy than my friend’s 9 year old Great Dane. If you’ve got a young and active dog, hiring a dog walker is more worth your money.

Dogs with Behavioral Issues. The vast majority of canine behavioral issues can be resolved with increased exercise, so more walks can often mean a better-behaved pooch (and less damage to your decor).

That said, dogs that struggle with major fear or reactivity might not be helped by your average walker. If this is your dog, contact a trainer and ask if they provide walking help along with their training!

Small Dogs. It’s also important to think about your work schedule. Many small dogs can’t “hold it” for a full work day, let alone if you have a happy hour or late meeting tacked on at the end of the day! That’s why many small dogs should really get regular midday walks, even if their energy levels aren’t that high.

Very Old or Very Young Dogs. Dogs at the beginning and ends of their lives also aren’t as skilled at “holding it” throughout the day. Puppies in the midst of potty training really benefit from getting walks every few hours. Not giving your young puppy enough potty breaks is a great way to really prolong the potty training process. No one wants that! Older dogs often start to lose control of their bladders, particularly if they have any of a wide variety of medical problems that manifest in bladder issues. More walks can save your dog some dignity and help prevent accidents.

Dogs Whose Humans Have Irregular or Long Hours. The first dog that I ever walked professionally belonged to a firefighter who worked two 24-hour shifts per week. The dog clearly couldn’t hold her pee that whole time. Her owner needed help feeding, watering, and walking her a few days per week. Even if you’re only working 10-hour shifts, it’s a good idea to look into getting a walker. That’s a really long time for Fido to hold his pee!

The bottom line is that most dogs would likely benefit from more walks. Most of us are too busy to double their daily walking routine, even though our dogs really could use the added exercise. If you’ve got the cash, paying someone to help out is truly a win-win!

What is a Dog Walking App and How Do They Work?

how dog walking apps work

Dog walking apps like Rover and Wag are mobile-friendly dog walking services. You can install the app on your phone, request a walker for your dog, and go on with your life.

Dog-lovers can sign up as dog walkers and then come give your dog anything from a quick potty break to a nice, long romp in the park (in fact, if you don’t own a dog but adore four-footers, being a Wag or Rover dog walker is a great job opportunity for dog lovers).

On your end, this usually means you’ll have to have a key hidden somewhere that your dog walker can access. Wag offers a free key lockbox for your walker to use. Rover requires a house key handoff between owner and walker.

Dog walking apps like Rover and Wag make finding a dog walker easy just by using your smartphone. You probably could book a walker for Fido while you’re in the elevator — they’re that fast and easy!

Both services do some background checking with their walkers, letting you rest at ease knowing that your pooch is in the right hands. You can also contact multiple walkers at once, ensuring that Fido will get out today, no matter what!

This quick booking and ease of use can be quite a contrast when compared to finding and hiring a private walker on your own.

As increasingly more owners turn to apps for help walking their dogs, the availability of dog walkers has greatly increased. According to dog walking statistics, there are over 10,000 dog walkers employed in the US alone!

The Pros and Cons of Private Dog Walking Services

In college, I walked dogs for people by putting up fliers and advertising on Craigslist. While this was great for me (I kept all of my profits), it can pose a conundrum for the dog owners, including:

  • What if your walker gets sick?
  • What if you need a second walk on Friday and your walker has other plans?

There are times where even these inconveniences are worth it. With some problem dogs, knowing that your walker is also a qualified trainer who you’ve worked with closely in the past may be preferable to using an app, where you’re dealing with a variety of handlers who have different levels of experience.

The major benefit is that both Rover and Wag have a huge network of walkers, so you’ll never be left high and dry. However, you still can use the same walker over and over if you and your dog like having that personal connection.

Rover and Wag will also work on your computer. You don’t need to use the phone apps if you don’t want to. Sometimes I prefer using a computer over a smartphone so that I can spend more time researching walkers and getting more in-depth information.

Things to Consider When Using Dog Walking Apps

how to pick dog walker app

Although getting a midday dog walker is great for many dogs, it’s not the best option for every dog. Think twice about pursuing a midday dog walker for your dog if:

Your dog isn’t super friendly. While there are lots of great walkers out there, it’s important to not confuse dog walkers with dog trainers. Many people who work full-time with dogs still have no clue how to handle dogs that are shy, reactive, or aggressive. If your dog is wary of new people, tends to bark or lunge on leash, or has other behavioral concerns, don’t look at an app. You want a consistent, dog-savvy walker.

Solution: Find a good trainer near you and see if they know of any behaviorally savvy walkers. Many trainers partner with dog walkers that can serve behaviorally challenging dogs.

Your neighborhood is less-than-savory. I used to live in a neighborhood where my dog was regularly charged by off-leash and aggressive dogs. I carried dog repellant spray and used it several times to keep dogs away. Walking Barley was not fun and probably wasn’t even safe. It’s not really fair to expect a dog walker to navigate a sketchy neighborhood.

Solution: Look into the alternatives to walking listed below. Depending on the issues of your specific neighborhood, you also might be able to selectively hire a walker from a local dog walking business who knows the area. If you have a dog-secure fenced-in yard, you can just hire someone to come over and let your dog out for playtime and a potty break without the walk!

It’s 120* outside (or there’s other extreme weather). Extreme heat makes giving your dog adequate exercise challenging. The danger of burning your dog’s paw pads or giving your dog heatstroke isn’t worth it. Likewise, you should stop and think if it’s super cold or there’s a big storm.

Solution: Find a weather-appropriate outlet for your dog. Swimming is great in the summer, and short walks paired with indoor playtime can work in the winter. Talk to your walker about booties, cooling vests, water bottles, and cold-weather dog jackets to help your dog cope with temperature extremes.

Comparing Rover vs Wag: What’s Different?

Remember that there are tons of possible dog walking services depending on where you live. More and more seem to be popping up weekly!

I’ll just highlight two of the most popular options here: Rover and Wag.

While each of these services also covers overnight pet sitting, that’s a whole other topic! For now, let’s just focus on services where a stranger comes to your home, takes Fido out for a jaunt, and returns Fido after 30 to 90 minutes.

For this article, I actually scheduled a walk for my border collie, Barley, with a walker from Rover and another from Wag.

I’ve used Wag before but forgot my password, so I had to create an account from scratch. Rover lets you log in with Facebook, which is a plus as far as convenience. I tried to keep the comparison fair, but there were hiccups with Wag since I had to create a new account.

Option 1: Rover

Rover is the original dog walking app. It was founded in 2011, is available in more than 10,000 cities, and boasts over 85,000 sitters.

One thing I especially like about Rover right off the bat is that the interface is easy to use and looks really nice. I went ahead and booked a walk for Barley to see how Rover would perform in this matchup. Here’s how it went:

Basic information. When you arrive at the homepage, you can select from a variety of dog care types (drop in visits, overnight stays, walks, daycare, or boarding). You then input your zip code, some information on your dog, and the general schedule that you need.

The Walkers. After inputting this basic information, you’re ready to select your walker. Rover presents you with a list and map of walkers with the following information prominently displayed:

  • The walker’s name, photo, and brief tagline
  • Whether or not the walker has had a background check
  • The walker’s cost per walk
  • The walker’s reviews
  • Any repeat clients

Selection. Based off of this basic information and the handy map, it’s easy to select a walker. I had the choice of what seemed like hundreds of smiling faces who wanted to take Barley out for a walk. Even in Denver (a city that’s getting absurdly expensive), walks were mostly in the $13 to $17 range.

rover dog walking app

I chose Andrea, a woman who apparently lives in my building! When you click on a walker, it takes you to their full page where you can learn more about the walker. She looked awesome, with a few repeat clients and a great response time.

Contact. I hit the “Contact Andrea” button. At this point, you’ve got to log in or create an account, or else you can’t continue.

Next, I had to tell Rover if I wanted this walk to be a one-off walk or a recurring event. I chose a one-time walk. It also confirmed that Barley the border collie was getting the walk, not some other dog (in the event of multi-canine households). I put in a brief message to Andrea and checked the button saying that I’d like text and photo updates on Barley during his time out with Andrea.

As soon as I submitted, Rover asked if I wanted to reach out to other walkers. Why not? So I also messaged Amy, Selena, Rebecca, and Margaret, who were also in my general area.

Response. Andrea got back to me almost immediately — and my phone buzzed! I really appreciated that Rover was helping us communicate via text message, rather than forcing us to message through a custom messaging system (which can often be cumbersome). This was just too easy!

Andrea and I confirmed, and then I spent the rest of the day responding to the other walkers. Almost all of them responded and about half of them had time to walk Barley. Since I’d already booked Andrea, I just turned them all down.

The Walk. Though Barley was silent on the subject, I think he enjoyed his walk with Andrea. I came home to a happy and energetic border collie, as per usual. Andrea sent the requested photos and relayed that Barley had peed on his walk. The actual walk seemed relatively anticlimactic, which is definitely a good thing!

Overall, Rover was super easy. I loved the interface. Hiring a walker felt clean, easy, and fast. I loved being able to see reviews and whether or not the walker had a background check on the first page. I also appreciated how easy it was to choose my walker, especially since so many of them were so close to my house!

I could see why Rover was so well known in the dog walking market The question is, how did the newcomer Wag compare?

Option 2: Wag

Wag is newer than Rover, and this really shows on the website. Their homepage isn’t quite as clean and clear as Rover’s. Still, despite that, it’s not hard at all to get started.

Wag requires that you create an account right away, which irritated me a bit after using Rover. I liked how Rover let me pick my walker and essentially “sold” me on the services before I had to do any work creating an account.

Here’s how hiring a walker went on Wag:

Signup. I was initially irked that I had to create an account before looking at walkers — however, that irritation immediately disappeared. Wag forced me into creating an account for good reason: They asked really great questions about what my dog likes, doesn’t like, and any behavioral or medical concerns right off the bat. This wasn’t something I really saw in Rover.

As a trainer, seeing these behavioral and personality questions made me giddy! It really made me feel like Wag wanted to get to know my dog. 

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I put in that Barley loves fetch and doesn’t love playing with other dogs (though he’s polite) and dutifully copied in my vet’s information. Once I’d put in all the required information, Wag offered to send me a free lockbox! Like all good Americans, I love free stuff.

I reluctantly turned it down when I realized that I live on the second floor of an apartment that only has electronic access. My apartment won’t copy my key to put in a box. Maybe you’ll have better luck!

Rover only asks for “any additional details” after getting vet information. This is a far cry from Wag’s specific questions about what Barley likes and doesn’t like, his allergies, and behavioral concerns. I like how Wag spells out the relevant information for me! When I checked Barley’s profile on each site, his Wag profile was much more comprehensive.

The Walkers. The next page showed a map of walkers near me. While Rover showed a full page of at least 15 walkers near me, Wag only displayed three.

Obviously, this could vary in your city and you might have more Wag walkers near you than Rover walkers. For me, the pickings were a bit slim.

I clicked on the nearest walker and was floored. Instead of the measly one to three reviews of my nearby Rover walkers, this guy had 138 reviews! To be fair, he didn’t seem to have much competition being a big fish in a small pond, but it’s hard to even compare that gap in experience.

I didn’t have much information on Austin other than his five-star rating, the number of walks he’d provided, and that he had a background check and was insured. I preferred Rover’s walker selection method, with better in-depth bios given on Andrea and the others. Despite the lack of a full-fledged bio, I was sold on Austin and chose him to walk Barley.

wag dog walking

The Walk Options. The next screen displays several different walk options owners can select, bringing me to my favorite feature of Wag — the ASAP walk. If I elected to have a lockbox from Step 1, I could pick “ASAP” instead of “scheduled” for the walk. This comes in handy in emergencies and unforeseen situations.

To be fair for the comparison, I chose a scheduled walk. Like Rover, I was able to choose which days and times to walk my dog and decide if it would be a regular occurrence or a single walk. One difference worth noting is that Wag had more specific times available than Rover. Rover gives time frames (morning, early afternoon, evening) while Wag gives specific one-hour slots.

Payment. In order to proceed, I had to put in payment information. Rover also requires this, of course!

More Information. After giving some basic walk info, Wag asked a bunch more questions about parking, Barley’s triggers, and how to get into my apartment. Most of these are pretty standard dog walking stuff, and was found in Rover as well.

I loved being able to put in information about Barley’s habits, likes, and dislikes. Rover didn’t ask specifically about any of this stuff! I would like to know more about whether or not their walkers can handle leash reactive, fearful, or aggressive dogs. They ask all the right questions, but I’m not sure how their walkers are vetted.

Confirmation. Within about 30 seconds, I got a text letting me know that Jara would be by Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for Barley’s walk. Awesome! Except wait… I’d looked at Austin’s profile. Could I not choose who walked Barley? She looked good, but she only had two reviews instead of 138, and she had four stars instead of five.

I guess I can’t choose who walks Barley — but in that case, why show me my choice of walkers at all? Just a few minutes later, I got a follow-up text from “Carina at Customer Support” asking for more information on how to get into my home. In my rush to explain where I’d hide the keys, I’d forgotten to explain how to get in! I responded dutifully.

Payment Take Two. This is when I started getting really irritated with Wag. I could purchase “credits” for walks at roughly 90 cents per credit. The smallest package available was $90 for 100 credits. But how many credits earn a walk? Why can’t I just pay for one walk?

As far as I could tell, I didn’t need to purchase the credits. They were just an upsell offer that probably provides a better walk price for heavy users. So I decided to ignore the irritating credits.  

After some digging, I found that one 30-minute walk cost $20. That’s quite a bit more than Rover, AND I can’t choose my walker. I also have the option of a 1-hour walk for $30. The pricing was definitely a bit confusing overall.

The Walk. This is where Wag really impressed me. I got a GPS map of Barley’s walk and markers where he’d pooped and peed (Wag calls this a report card). As a total data nerd, I loved this. My walker had wisely stuck to the pretty residential areas near me and avoided shopping malls and rows of bars that lie not far from my apartment.

wag report card

The Bottom Line: Who Is The Winner?

So after trying out both services, who was the winner? Will Rover or Wag win top spot in my and Barley’s heart?

Rover has more walkers to choose from and offers a friendlier interface that’s easier to navigate. They also let you custom select your walkers, rather than randomly auction off your walk to the first walker that responds.

Wag gives more options for types of walks and really provides a great walk experience from the owner’s point of view, with their awesome GPS tracking and data-packed record of your dog’s potty breaks. As a trainer, I positively drooled over all of the great information that they gathered on Barley.

Wag has that fantastic on-demand option for owners stuck in a bind, which was a really nice feature to see. It seemed to be that Wag hires savvier walkers and tried to emphasize reliability and trust, but I couldn’t really discern if these walkers really were superior to those on Rover.

On the downside, Wag was also pricier than Rover and didn’t let me choose which dog walker I wanted.

Ultimately, it’s a close competition, but I think Rover wins this one. Still, it wouldn’t take much for Wag to catch up. With some price adjustments and walker selection options, Wag would beat Rover flat out in my book.

 Interested in trying Rover? Book your first walk here!

No matter which service you opt for, be sure to hook your dog walker up with thank you gifts from time to time!

Insider Info: Which Service Would Rover & Wag Walkers Choose for Their Own Doggos?

how to choose dog walking app

K9 of Mine Contributor Kate Brunotts has worked with both Wag and Rover, so we asked her to share her thoughts on both platforms.

Rover & Wag: The Inside Scoop

I’ve worked off and on with both Rover and Wag for the past four years years or so, and I’ve seen both companies undergo their fair share of evolutions. 

Our dog Spicy has been seen by Rover and Wag walkers as well, both with favorable results. That being said, while I think both services are great, I think Rover is best for most owners

I had to undergo more extensive training to sign up as a walker with Rover, so I have slight preference towards using their service for my own pooch, when the need arises. 

But pup-parent circumstances vary, as will the best service for different situations. Here’s a quick breakdown of when I think it’s best to use each service.

Use Rover If:  

  • You’re looking to develop a relationship with a specific dog caretaker. The Rover platform is designed to foster relationships between you and your pet care provider. On the dog walker side, it’s very easy to request repeat bookings, and Rover highly encourages having a face-to-face meetup ahead of time to make sure that you’re a good fit for the prospective pet. 
  • You want to be more involved with the selection process. While Wag walkers can choose what dogs they take on, users aren’t able to select walkers other than selecting some of their preferred choices. Rover gives owners this flexibility which is important, especially if your dog has certain needs that require more specialized care. 
  • You’d like to seek more extensive service like boarding and sitting. Wag offers services like boarding, sitting, and even training sessions, but I’ve found that Rover makes these services much simpler to set up.

Use Wag If: 

  • You need an on-demand walker. Wag is great for whenever you need your dog to be walked at a moment’s notice. When I worked with Wag, it could occasionally be difficult to find walks since requests were fulfilled so quickly. And as a pooch parent using Wag, I usually find that my walk request is accepted within 10 minutes at most. That being said, I live in New York City, which is a pretty competitive environment. In my experience, Rover can be a bit spotty if you need last-minute service. 
  • Your dog doesn’t need extra accommodations. You can’t be as selective with walkers on Wag, so it’s best suited for dogs who don’t need a lot of special care. So, if your doggo is well-behaved and easy to walk, go with Wag; but if your dog pulls excessively on the leash, gets triggered by cyclists, or needs medication administered during their check-in, Rover is a better choice. I’ve found that Rover’s walker training program was slightly more comprehensive, so it checks out on that end as well. 
  • You’re looking for more short-term, highly customized services. One thing Wag does have working in its favor is a wide array of on-demand services including training sessions and various walk types. You can choose between 20-, 30-, and 60-minute sessions which is great for flexibility. For example, you may need someone to check-in and play with your floof rather than head out for a full walk. Wag can help you book this service quickly and efficiently.


Alternatives to Dog Walking Apps: What Other Options Are There?

We’ve detailed the dog walking competition between Rover and Wag. But what if you don’t like either? What if you don’t think your dog is a good fit for an app-based walker? What can you do to help give your dog more activity per day? A few of my favorite other options include:

Day Training. If you can find a day training location near you, this is my absolute favorite way for dogs to get added exercise. Rather than the chaotic, kennel-cough filled madness of many daycares, day training is a small group class run by a local trainer. Many locations let you decide what your dog’s goals are. Your dog gets trained, exercised, and cared for — all for one price.

Bring Your Dog to Work. If you’re lucky enough to work at a dog-friendly location, bringing your friendly dog to work is a great option.

This isn’t an option for many folks as most offices don’t allow dogs at all. Still, if you can swing it, it doesn’t get much better than this! Be sure not to pursue this option unless your dog is going to be comfortable lying under your desk, greeting lots of strangers, and being ignored in a strange place for hours per day!

Remember that you’ll likely lose your privileges if Fido is naughty (and you might make enemies with the cleaning crew).

Work From Home More. This is the option that’s most realistic for me. I can’t afford to regularly pay for many of the services that I review.

Instead, I work from home during my three-day weekends so that I can take Barley out for five to seven short excursions per day. Check out Tim Ferriss’s information on how to finagle a remote-work agreement with your boss. Your dog will love it!

Trade Services With a Friend. This is another option that I use often. Many of my dog-free friends are happy to take Barley out for a jaunt in exchange for a beer or ice cream. As a major extrovert who loves people, I’m happy to buy a drink for my friends and catch up. This still costs money, but it’s money better spent, in my opinion.

I also have a list of other dog walkers in my apartment complex. Sometimes I’ll ask if they can walk Barley on a Saturday (I work 10 hour days on Saturday) and I’ll take their dog out on Wednesday (I don’t work on Wednesday). This option works well if you plan on mixing it with working from home!

Running and Hiking Services. I know some dogs that could walk for days without being tired. If exhaustion is your goal and you’ve got an active best friend, you want to look beyond just walks.

Hiring a high school cross-country runner or looking into a company that offers hiking or running services is a good bet. I ran with dogs for money in high school as a way to stay in shape for my fall cross-country season. Owners paid me $5 to $10 per dog, which was a steal for them. But I was going to go running anyway, so it was a great deal for me, too!


There are tons of great options out there for midday exercise for your dog!

Rover and Wag are two of the biggest and best apps when it comes to dog walking, but they’re not the only options for getting your canine exercise.

Both companies offer easy-to-use apps, text support, and walkers with background checks. Both have insurance and seem to be good options for relatively “normal” dogs — if your dog has bigger medical or behavioral concerns, you might want to look elsewhere.

Rover and Wag are really awesome dog walking apps that are convenient for ensuring that your pooch gets the exercise he or she needs to be happy and healthy! Have you ever used Rover or Wag? What do you like about these services? What do you wish would be improved? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Written by

Kayla Fratt

Kayla Fratt is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through IAABC and works as a conservation detection dog trainer.

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  1. Rachel Avatar

    “Supporting a small, local business that has highly trained walkers is always my first choice…” – just want to point out that while Wag and similar corporations get a percentage of profits from use of their apps, you’re still also supporting local walkers/businesses through their app.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      That’s a fair point, Rachel. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Kelley Avatar

    You’re better off finding a local sitter that owns their own business. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great sitters on the platform, but there’s also some awful ones. I got my start of Rover, but that was years ago when they were small. Now, I really don’t feel like the company has pets or owners interests at heart any longer. They’re just another tech giant. After more and more horror stories came out such as sitters being caught on camera abusing dogs, I didn’t want my good name associated with them anymore. I made my own company years ago. It’s definitely a buyer’s beware area now.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Thanks for sharing your insight and experiences, Kelley!

  3. Katie Avatar

    Person never walked my dog and they refuse to refund. I have time stamped entry on my automatic lock and cameras on my entry and exit. He stayed for 5 minutes. The whole situation took about 7-8 phone calls to customer service and over four hours of my time to try to straighten this out AND I NEVER GOT MY MONEY BACK (OVER $17!!!). Do you know of any company that has such a poor customer service that they would put a customer through all of this for $17 after being a loyal customer for years and years?! It actually sounds like I’m exaggerating but I’m really not, which is the sad part. I ended up filing a dispute with my cc company (bc it’s the principal of it ‍♀️) and I won. My cc company apparently believes me and can use their brains to see obvious evidence and make the decision to refund me (whereas Wag’s policy is to listen to no one and keep their money).
    They don’t care whether or not a walker does his/her job or not. They already have their money at that point. Absolutely horrendous customer service.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Sorry you had to go through all that, Katie. But, we’re glad you finally got your money back.
      Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  4. Carlie Avatar

    Rover has the same report card as Wag including the GPS map. I’m surprised your rover walker was able to compete the service and get paid without utilizing this feature. It might be a customer option to request “rover cards” not just photos.

    Also if you schedule 4 or more walks at a time on Wag, you get to select and interview the walker before hand. And the more walks you buy and schedule upfront the cheaper rate you get. Rover lets the walkers set their own prices whereas Wag sets the prices for us so every walker charges and makes the same amount.

    Wag also allows for tipping in app and Rover doesn’t. But as you mentioned Rover allows walkers/sitters to offer a lot more services like drop ins (potty breaks) that Wag doesn’t. I see wag as more for in demand walking – oops I have to work late, I need someone to let my dog out – and Rover is more for ongoing services and vacation services.

  5. Jan Parrishj Avatar

    Really appreciate your comments on both sites. I agree that Rover has a better web site but I have contacted 4 Walker’s who had not updated their calendars, or so they said. Just trying Wag now. Prices in our area are comparable and we are retired so our time is fairly flexible and Wag had a better flexible schedule. I’ll keep looking and hoping

  6. Elizabeth Avatar

    I’ve only used wag and yes it’s costly being that I have 3 dogs but that wasn’t the problem the issue I had with them is they many times got confused because I booked 3 dogs even tho they’re all listed on my account and they wouldn’t get all 3 scheduled. So only 1 would go out leaving the other two very sad. Also I got someone different all the time which was a pain because I’d have to explain every time how to get in, which leash was for which dog etc is won’t use them again. Glad to hear about rover as I’d not heard of them before and I love the idea of picking the walker !

  7. Jon Avatar

    I have not used rover but I make great money with wag. Roughly 25$ for a 30 minute walk and around 35$ for an hour walk. Just highly depends on where you live.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      That’s great info, Jon!

    2. serpil Avatar

      I don’t understand where those figures come from; Wag only pays $12 for half hour walks in NY, $8.4 for 20 minute potty breaks. GREAT MONEY?? Hardly!!

      1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

        Seems like Wag must pay different amounts in different areas!

        1. Carlie Avatar

          Nope, those are the same pay rates as Dallas, TX. Sometimes you get lucky and will get higher payouts, usually if a request has gone unanswered for a period of time.

  8. Leah Avatar

    My vote goes to Rover. I moved to a big city for a temporary job and missed my dogs at home, so I started walking for Wag and Rover.

    Rover required me to do a background check and an in-person harness test. The harness test is also kind of an informal interview where you are expected to be polite, on time, and text the interviewer as if you were “on your way” to really walk a dog!

    Wag just made me pay $30 for a t-shirt starter kit which included my background check and I was in, but I got approved within 2 days, whereas rover took about 2 weeks.

    Rover is also just easier to use. Wag doesn’t let me sort dogs by distance, so it’s hard to see if there happens to be a request near me when I’m free because the app is so outdated!

    I will say, Rover doesn’t make tipping as easy as Wag does, but tips are nice but not expected so overall as a walker, Rover has my vote.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      You’re not alone, Leah! I think that this article might need an update soon – it seems like Rover is definitely the walker’s preferred app, which means a lot.

      1. Carlie Avatar

        The harness test is only for Rover Go, a new service meant to compete directly with Wag for on demand walking, so the client doesn’t get to pick like regular Rover. It’s not available in most markets yet.

        And Wag does let you chose a radius for requests as well as choose if you want or from your home or your current location. You have to change your location settings so Wag knows where you are 24/7.

    2. Carlie Avatar

      The harness test is only for Rover Go, a new service meant to compete directly with Wag for on demand walking, so the client doesn’t get to pick like regular Rover. It’s not available in most markets yet.

      And Wag does let you chose a radius for requests as well as choose if you want or from your home or your current location. You have to change your location settings so Wag knows where you are 24/7.

  9. Kat Avatar

    Thanks for posting! I’m thinking about signing up to be a walker and this helped me make my decision.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      Glad we could help! Let us know how it goes!

  10. R.J. Avatar

    As a current but soon to be no longer Wag walker, I would advice using Rover. Wag treats their walkers poorly with little to no support. If something happens to your dog or the walker while on the walk, it’s virtually impossible to get help. I don’t say this out of spite but out of real life experience. There is a reason why Wag won’t put their walker app on Apple site. It would draw so many complaints they would fail. They bury the complaints like an old bone so no one can see what is really going on with their walkers.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Thanks for the input R.J. Really interesting. I imagine when caring for someone else’s pet, having some support in the event of worst-case scenario deal is important.

    2. Katherine Schneider Avatar
      Katherine Schneider

      I couldn’t agree more!

  11. Katherine Avatar

    In addition to running my own pet sitting business, I walk and sit with both Wag and Rover. I can tell you from personal experience, and from talking to my pet parents, that Rover is the better option. The reason
    Wag gives you a 1-hour window, is because the walk goes to the walker who clicks the button the fastest, not who would be best for your dog. They will reach out and say a walker wants to walk a particular breed, which happens to be yours, or someone is in the neighborhood. These are marketing ploys to get you to book a walk. Rover also has a GPS tracker and you also mark down the number of pee/poops during the walk, if you gave fresh water, etc… I’m not sure why you couldn’t see it on your dog’s walk? Rover has everything Wag does, but they allow you and the walker to schedule a time that works for you and also give some flexibility. Rover also takes a smaller cut of the fee from the walker. Wag pays a very small amount. For example, a walker will only get $8.40 for a 20 min. walk! Walkers can earn an additional $1 if you wear a Wag shirt and take a photo of the dog with a Wag bandana. I feel that this takes away from the walk since your focus is on trying to take a picture where Wag can see the bandana instead of trying to take a cute photo for the owner’s enjoyment. I wouldn’t use Wag for my personal dog since I have no idea who would show up and what their background is, but would have no problem picking someone from Rover.


    I live in NYC. I looked into both Rover and Wag! I was given a certain # of free walks by each. At first Wag! Seemed better. Then my 2 beagles fell in love with the Rover walker. Reading a resume on a walker doesn’t tell you about chemistry. So, I let my dogs pick. Here, the apps work almost identically. Happy ending.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      Glad that you figured out what works for your dogs!

  13. Kristen Avatar

    I am in Denver as well and was wondering if you had any recommendations for good Day Training places?

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar
      Kayla Fratt

      I’d look at Noble Beast or Grace Training, they both are members of Colorado Positive Reinforcement Trainers and I know them well.

  14. Greg Avatar

    I have used Rover for 3 years now. Very happy with them!
    I’ve never tried Wag because they have accidentally revealed customer Lock Box codes and addresses!
    Do a yahoo search for the details.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Yikes! That seems to be an issue with many companies these days, unfortunately.

  15. BB Avatar

    I am retired living in NYC so I see a lot of dog walkers during the day. Many are wearing headphones which signals to me they are not fully focused on the dog and surroundings. Do either of these services address this problem?

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar
      Kayla Fratt

      As far as I know, neither Rover nor Wag explicitly prohibits their walkers from using headphones. That’s a good point – especially in a busy city like New York!

  16. Julianna Avatar

    Wag has lost many dogs and they don’t take responsibility. I would steer clear. Google Wag lost dog before you even consider using them.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar
      Kayla Fratt

      You’re totally right! That’s pretty scary. The top Google result does say it’s just 4 in 3 years, which is probably a pretty good ratio, BUT I didn’t see any such stories when I Googled “Rover lost dog.” The problem with both these apps is you really don’t know how well-trained your walker ACTUALLY will be.

    2. Michelle Hazlewood Avatar

      I am a dog walker and use the Wag app. I have never lost a dog. I also don’t walk part time, this is my full time job, walking and pet sitting. I have quite a few regulars but if I’m not on top of my phone, they can easily go to another Walker. I have over 800 five star reviews and I’ve only not been able to walk two dogs in all that time. They were too aggressive and I won’t risk getting bit. I have had shy dogs and with patience and kindness I was able to walk them. I have had a few close calls with loose dogs in the neighborhood who were aggressive but I put myself in front of the dogs in my care and firmly told the other dog to go home. I stood my ground and eventually the dog went on its way or its owner caught up to it. I have found the key is to not show or even allow myself to feel fear. It seems to work for me. I also used to be a vet tech so I might not be the typical dog walker. I love working with the fur babies and that my schedule is more flexible, being able to take days off when I need or want to or working a few hours or all day. I’m grateful to be able to spend my days with fur babies.

  17. Imara Avatar

    Which app pays their walkers better?

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Would love to hear the answer from a walker!

      1. STEPHANIE Hughes Avatar
        STEPHANIE Hughes

        Wag pays better! I usually do the 30 minute walks and I get paid $15 plus tip so $17.50 for a 30min walk.

        1. Dawn Avatar

          Rover pays way better. And you can also get “raises” through Rover as you grow your business. Rover doesn’t control your rater, only their percentage. You can raise your rates on Rover, but it’s only useful after you’ve developed a client base. Which makes it a bit harder. Wag has Tips and the possibility of a few extra bucks for wearing their T-shirt and putting the bandanna on the dog. Wag doesn’t pay better per walk, it just has more consistent work because of it’s on-demand design.

    2. Kay Avatar

      I am a walker for Wag! and Rover.
      Rover keeps 20% of what the walker makes. Wag! keeps a whopping 40% of what the walker makes. Sooo, that being said, Rover “pays” better than Wag!, we really rely on tips overall. Neither Wag! nor Rover provide benefits for walkers, besides advertising profiles for walkers to get walks. It’s easier to get walks on Wag! than it is to get walks on Rover.

      1. Meg Marrs Avatar

        Thanks Kay – it’s great to hear about the experience from the walker’s perspective.

      2. Jennifer Avatar

        Hi Kay, Any chance you would be willing to be interviewed for an article on how to get started and succeed as a dog walker with Rover? I’m writing it and in need of an interviewee.

        1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

          Hi Jennifer. I’m happy to talk to you, but I never really walked for Rover much so I’m not exactly an expert!

      3. Lynn Avatar

        I walk and petsit for Rover but I only just heard about Wag. I guess it varies a bit by area, because when I submit a walk card the owner does get a map of where we walked, number of poos, pees, water stops, etc. plus photos (one of my favorite parts, besides cuddling the pups). I do wish that the app had more flexibility for instructions and details and a more in depth pet profile section, but walkers are encouraged to contact the owner for a meet n greet before walking or sitting for the first time to learn the needs of each pet. In regards to the Wag’s requirement to make a profile before you schedule, I agree it’s a bit of a hassle but one reason I’d prefer the owner to put on their info first is that there are a fair number of scamming attempts going on through these apps. An owner who requests the walker’s info but has little or no info about their pet is how these false profiles often look. Wag may have less of that because of requiring so much info and not allowing you to guarantee who you get. Interestingly, I see that other walkers rely on tips. I have to say I have good reviews and several repeat clients but not many of my clients tip me. Maybe it’s not as common in my area (suburban Delaware). I will say Rover specifies that sitters/walkers are never to take cash directly from a client for services. Possibly people interpret that to include tips. I don’t fault them either way, but I do appreciate a tip! We do have the capability of adjusting our rates and locking a client at a rate so that if I raise my general rates, clients I’ve quoted at a lower rate stay there. I have established relationships with theses clients and it would be uncomfortable for them not to be able to specify getting me out of A list of other sitters when I am available. As a pet owner myself I would prefer that. The service I used for my cats before I knew about Rover gave me little contact with my sitter and I was frustrated by that.

  18. Janean H Avatar

    Interesting read! I was disappointed to see in your Alternative Section that you didn’t include the local professional Pet Sitter option. Just Google Pet Sitter or Dog Walker in my area! I’ve been in business for 15 years and feel I provide a higher standard of TLC for your fur-baby than many of the part-time app walkers. Both Rover and Wag have big funding behind them. I prefer to support local small businesses.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar
      Kayla Fratt

      That’s a great point, Janean! We did mention local trainers early on as our first option, but this article was meant to help people decide when a local walker isn’t a good option for whatever reason. I always prefer to go local and often just hire neighbors to walk my dogs, but there are times where my schedule changes rapidly and I need the on-demand service that Wag provides.

  19. Don R Avatar
    Don R

    I have never used Rover but have used WAG many times and generally love it. I like that you can choose a favorite walker and ask for them before they try other walkers. In practice however, your fave walker is probably not available and you will be assigned another. In general all walkers have been great though and I like the info they provide about Luna’s walk. If a walker doesn’t do a great job you can request not to use them again if they come up in your queue.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Thanks Don – always awesome to hear personal experiences!

      1. Dawn Avatar

        From the walker side it’s sometimes frustrating. Even if you “ask us first as a preferred walker, god forbid we aren’t near the phone. Because Rover allows walkers to set a range of times they could show up, if I know I *could* get to three dogs within a two hour time frame, Fido #2 isn’t taken away as an option if I could do it at 12:30 and not 12:00 on the dot. There are dogs I would have been happy to walk again with a softer commitment to a time range instead of an exact time.

        1. Meg Marrs Avatar

          Thanks so much for sharing your experience Dawn – this is really helpful.

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