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Are Dog Walking Apps Safe? Advantages & Disadvantages

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Professional dog walker or pet sitter walking

Are Dog Walking Apps Safe? Advantages & Disadvantages

The pet industry has developed many creative solutions by staying updated with the latest technological trends. These days, you can find several different phone apps and programs that claim to help you care for your dog. Dog walking apps have become popular over the years, but they aren’t always guaranteed to provide a safe experience for you and your dog.

While it’s possible to find responsible dog walkers through apps, there are still some risks involved. You can do a few things to screen dog walkers and find someone trustworthy or explore other alternatives to find good people who will help you care for your dog.

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The Advantages of Dog Walking Apps

There’s no doubt that dog-walking apps are convenient. All you have to do is download an app, set up an account, and start your search for dog walkers near you.

Dog walking apps have more flexible hours available as individual dog walkers can set their own availability and work at odd hours. You can also find more success with scheduling last-minute walks for your dog.

Dog walking apps often have reviews and ratings for dog walkers. So, you can choose dog walkers that have a good reputation amongst customers. You might also be able to find lower prices since dog walkers can often set their own rates on the apps.

Young smiling girl owner holding phone with yorkshire terrier dog sitting in park
Image By: Rohappy, Shutterstock

The Disadvantages of Dog Walking Apps

You’re more likely to find a lot of options with dog-walking apps. However, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find good dog walkers near you. Dog walking app companies usually state that they have a strict vetting procedure and only onboard trustworthy, experienced dog walkers. However, this procedure doesn’t tend to be as thorough as the hiring processes of reputable dog-walking companies.

You may also have a harder time finding a good substitute walker if your walker cancels on you. While it might be easy to find multiple people who are willing to replace your usual walker, it’s harder to find someone that you can actually trust.

Dog walking apps provide less accountability for their dog walkers. If for some reason, your dog walker is unresponsive to your calls and texts, you don’t have a centralized place that you can call to try to reach your dog walker.

Dog walkers from dog walking apps also don’t go through standard dog walking training. So, you won’t find a consistent level of service from all the dog walkers on an app. These dog walkers may not be prepared for emergency situations, and even the most well-meaning ones can still end up putting your dog’s health and safety at risk.

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Alternatives to Dog Walking Apps

One of the safest ways for you to find a dog walker is to connect with a reputable dog walking company near you.

Good dog walking companies will take the time to train their dog walkers. Dog walkers will receive training on safe leash walking and how to properly handle different situations, like dogs that run loose or accidentally eat something off the street.

Dog walking companies also usually set up an initial meeting with the dog walker and the dog before the first walk. This allows owners to meet the dog walker and ask any questions and also share any important information about their dog. The dog can also meet the dog walker while its owners are home, which helps it not feel as startled when the dog walker revisits for a walk.

If you don’t have a dog walking company near you, you can try enlisting the help of nearby family members or friends. Making a formal agreement with them can help create a consistent walking schedule for your dog.

If your only option is using a dog walking app, make sure to screen the available dog walkers to ensure you find someone trustworthy. You can ask about the walker’s experience with dogs and also request a trial walk or an initial meeting before deciding to hire them as your dog walker.

woman goes with a jack russell dog walking in the autumn at night
Image Credit: thka, Shutterstock

Summary

Dog walking apps may be convenient, but it’s often much safer to work with a reputable dog-walking company or ask trusted family members and friends to help walk your dog. If a dog walking app is your only option, don’t hesitate to ask thorough questions and request an initial meeting before letting someone walk your dog. Your dog’s safety is the most important thing, and responsible dog walkers will be willing to take the time to prove that you can entrust them with your precious dog.


Featured Image Credit: SB Arts Media, Shutterstock

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