When I’m here at school in Manhattan, I work for Wag! Dog walking, and, it’s probably one of the best jobs in NYC.
Wag is an on demand dog walking service, and it’s pretty affordable! Think of it like Uber for dogs. My job is to get assigned to walks, go to the dog owner’s apartments, and walk the dog. Simple as that! Now, you may be thinking, “why would I trust some stranger to come into my house and take my dog when I’m not home?” Well, Wag makes sure they run an extensive background check and they perform a series of intensive interviews to make sure their walkers are trustworthy. That, and they have all of our information, and can track our phone – which is where we get all of the dog owners information from.
Wag! is run on two different apps. There’s the original customer app that the dog owner has, and the app that the walker (that’s me!) has. The dog owner can go onto the Wag! app and book a walk any time between 8am-10pm, for either 30 minutes or 60 minutes. The price for the owner is $20 for 30 minutes, or $30 for 60 minutes. For the walkers, we receive 60%, plus tips. (So $12/30 mins, or $20/60 mins.) Then the workers over at Wag! Headquarters look at which walkers are closest to the dogs locations, and recruit a walker for a specific walk. Once they recruit us, the dog owner gets to see our profile and watch a short video and decide whether or not they would like us to walk their dog. If they would like to meet us first, we can set up a “meet and greet” so that we can meet the owner & the dog and make the owner more comfortable.
In many situations, the dog owner isn’t home and they need a wag Waller to let them self into the apartment to get the dog… How do we do this? Well, Wag! supplies every dog owner with a free key lock box – which has its own combination on it. When were assigned a walk, we have all of the information about the dog and the situation as a whole in the app. It tells us where the box is located, what the combination is, which apartment it is, any triggers the dog may have, and even a picture of the dog!
Once we get the dog and begin walking it, we keep the owner up to date via the app. We let them know when we’re on our way, arrived, and began the walk. The app tracks where we go with the dog so the owner can see where we walked their dog. Once the walk is over, we make sure we take a picture of the dog (we even have a special Wag! bandana we like to dress the dogs up in) and upload it to the app along with the rest of the walk report. We fill out if the dog pooped/peed, and write any tips that may be helpful for the next walker. (Elevator on the left, dog is shy towards other dogs, etc.)
Although there are one time walks, owners can also book reoccurring walks to have their dog walked the same time by the same person every week/few days. As of now, I have a walk every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for the same little guy named Tuck.
Sometimes a walk may be booked last minute, and those are called ASAP walks, and if we can do them, a lot of times they pay “full fare” which means we keep the full $20 or $30 depending how long the walk is… And of course, we almost always get tipped!
In conclusion, although Wag! Isn’t the easiest job to land, it’s certainly a great job to have. I love dogs and getting paid to spend time with them is the best!
Thanks for reading! – Devin Zacchino