What: Wag connects dog-walkers, pet-sitters and trainers with people who need animal care, but the site takes a big percentage of your earnings.     

Expected pay: $10 – $21 per hour

Husl$core: $$$

Commission & fees: 40%* plus $30 “application fee”

Requirements:

  • must be 18 or older
  • an iPhone or Android;
  • experience with dogs;
  • be in good shape
  • and have transportation to get to clients

Wag Review:

Wag used to be primarily about dog-walking, but has since updated its services to add pet-sitters and animal trainers, too. However, some of the concerns we had when we first reviewed Wag a year ago appear to have gotten worse.

Our biggest concern: Wag takes a huge chunk of the dog-walking/watching fees. And, where the site used to be fairly transparent about its 40% cut, it has recently updated its terms to obscure just how much it gets. It may be taking even more now, but it’s almost impossible to know given the way Wag discloses payments to workers.

Worse, Wag has added an “application fee” that you pay before you’re even approved as a dog-walker. That $30 fee is non-refundable.

Dog walkers also complain that they’re given very little information about the pets they’re picking up in advance, which has led some to be unpleasantly surprised by a dog’s aggression. Competitor, Rover, encourages meet-and-greets between pet-owners/pets and sitters in advance — ideally in a neutral setting, like a park. 

Moreover, walkers complain that Wag gives out coupons that reduce walker earnings and is poor about providing walker support. That said, walkers generally earn $10 – $12 per half-hour walk, which is decent pay for a reasonably low-stress job. You get paid more if the client books an hour-long walk or if you walk multiple dogs. Although the site has a pet-sitting option now, too, it does not give you the opportunity to watch multiple pets at one time.

Recommendations:

Wag’s main competitor, Rover, allows you to list your dog-walking, pet-sitting and grooming services. And Rover charges freelancers a much lower percentage of your pay. It also allows you to decide how many animals you can walk or watch at a time. Thus, people with the right space and marketing skills can turn Rover into full-time income. That’s largely not an option with Wag. We think Rover is the better deal, by far. You can read our Rover review here.

What their walkers say:

“With one client and I found out that their three walks a week were breaking the bank. This is when I realized they were paying $20 a walk plus tip and I was only getting half of that. They said that they loved having me walk for them and that I was the only reason that they use the app anymore.”

“Working with many dog breeds and personalities is fun! You can set your own schedule, including early morning and late night walks; Some owners tip very well (I have a few clients who tip 50% on a $12 walk). If you wear Wag gear and put a Wag bandana on the client’s dog you get a $1 advertising bonus per walk; dog sitting/boarding is worthwhile in terms of payment….But, the app does not give you enough info on the dog(s) before you accept a walk.

“Wag takes 40% of what the owner pays (major downside!).  Owners should be informed how much the walker actually receives so they are more likely to tip.”

“Wag, if you plan on taking 40% of the walk payout, provide more support for the walkers. You should also consider paying out more to walkers that have walked a lot. I walked my 350th dog and I was still making only 60%.

Suggested Options.