There are apps to request taxi service, food delivery and the location of your child. Now, you can request on-demand dog walkers for your furry best friend who needs just a little bit more human interaction.
Wag!, the first app to offer certified dog walkers, provides access to fully vetted walkers who can be called at the push of a button, or scheduled in advance.
Wichita is the first Kansas city Wag! has moved into.
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Sarah Johnson, a Wag! user in Wichita, and Owen, her 5-year-old pit bull/shepherd mix who was rescued from the Kansas Humane Society, have been using the convenience app for nearly three months.
“I would compare it to a convenience service like Uber, but with a whole different realm of convenience,” she said. “When I first saw there were walkers available in my area I immediately booked one and have been using it ever since.”
Johnson said she was at first apprehensive about allowing a dog walker into her home to pick up Owen but that her fears were put to rest after reading dog-walker profiles and learning about the certification program. All dog walkers have past dog-handling experience and are considered lifelong dog lovers.
“They keep pride in my home and dog just as I do,” she said.
The app provides dog parents with a notification when their four-legged friend is picked up and the opportunity to watch the walk’s progress in real time through GPS.
At the end of the walk, the walker sends a “pup report” detailing distance walked, when and where the dog took a bathroom break and a photo or video of the pet during the walk. The handler also sends a notification when the dog is back at home and the house is locked up.
“The GPS is one of my favorite things,” Johnson said. “We immediately get on there and see them walking. That’s so awesome because I like seeing how my dog reacts to the walker as well.”
Johnson uses the app once or twice a week, but it varies depending on how much she’s at home.
“Sometimes you feel like a bad parent,” she jokingly said, referring to the limited time she has to walk Owen herself. “Now with Wag! Owen for sure gets walked in general a lot more. It’s just good knowing he had human interaction that broke up the time period he was home.”
The rates for dog walks in Wichita vary by duration. Wag! walks are $14 for 20 minutes, $20 for 30 minutes and $30 for 60 minutes. There is a $5 cost for additional dogs in the same household. The first walk is free.