The 6 Best Dog Walking Services of 2020

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Dog walk

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Our Top Picks

Most Popular: Rover

"Now the largest network of dog walkers and caretakers in the country, Rover offers boarding, house sitting, grooming, daycare, dog walking, and drop-in visits in 34,000 cities."

Best for On-Demand Walking: Wag!

"The immediacy of this startup’s services—dog owners can request dog walkers that arrive as quickly as within the hour—make it a top choice for busy owners."

Best Walks-Only App: Barkly Pets

"Barkly provides in-person training for each dog walker, and owners can choose theirs from a list of profiles or be assigned one by the company."

Best for Odd Hours: Fetch! Pet Care

"Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, Fetch! Pet Care is a national franchise that matches sitters from their network with dog owners based on their individual needs."

Best for International Travel: Petbacker

"Ideal for globetrotters who want to keep their pup in tow, the app’s simple navigation makes scheduling walks a breeze."

Best for Variable Pricing: Holidog

"This UK-based site serves as a middleman between dog owners and dog lovers, so those looking for a personalized experience may prefer it over traditional dog walking services."

Most Popular: Rover

Rover

Rover

First conceptualized as “AirBnb for dogs,” Rover was born at a startup hackathon in 2011 by then-college junior Philip Kimmey. Teaming up venture capitalist Greg Gottesman (whose yellow lab, Ruby, had recently come down with “kennel cough” after being boarded) and eventually picking up help from Microsoft alum and now-CEO Aaron Easterly, the tech entrepreneurs set out to pair dog parents with dog people—the kinds of folks who’d treat any dog like their own. Now the largest network of dog walkers and caretakers in the country, Rover offers boarding, house sitting, grooming, daycare, dog walking, and drop-in visits in 34,000 cities.

To use the service, start by entering your location, marking which services you are looking for and what dates you will need them. For dog walking and daycare, options are available for single visits or recurring daily or weekly services. Then, you’ll answer questions about your pup’s weight and age before the site populates a list of available dog walkers in your area—and the starting price for their services. Single strolls tend to start at $15 to $20 per walk, and users can scout reviews, profile pictures, and brief biographies for each potential caregiver.

Booking with Rover comes with peace of mind, too: The site offers background checks, ongoing education for sitters, and around-the-clock support. 

Best for On-Demand Walking: Wag!

Wag!

Wag! 

When it launched in 2015, endorsements from stars like Olivia Munn and Mariah Carey put this Silicon Valley startup company in front of a massive audience quickly. And the immediacy of its services—dog owners can request dog walkers that arrive as quickly as within the hour—helped Wag! stand out against its competitors. Walks start at $20 and are ordered in 30-minute or one-hour time blocks. Owners with multiple pups only pay an extra $5 per walk, per pup.

All walkers are insured and background checked, and for busy owners who want to schedule recurring walks for their pups, two models are available that cater to different canine personalities: “Friendly Furball,” the most popular offering, allows your dog to get to know different walkers; the more expensive “Picky Pooch” option sends the same walker to tend to your dog each day, a great option for shy dogs or animals with specific needs.

Regardless of who’s holding the leash, Wag! makes your pup’s location available in real-time in the app, and owners can expect bathroom updates, photos, and a report card after the visit. Wag! does more than walking, too—look to them for overnight sitting, drop-ins, boarding, and daycare, too. An added bonus? Wag! looks out for all pups by donating a portion of its profits to GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank, which provides food to shelter dogs across the country.

Best Walks-Only App: Barkly Pets

Barkly Pets

Barkly Pets

The best pups aren’t just beloved by their owners: They weave themselves into the fabric of entire neighborhoods. Washington, D.C.-based Barkly Pets was founded out of that relationship when Dave Comiskey, Chris Gonzalez, and Jim Camut—three friends and neighbors—realized they couldn’t keep relying on only each other when they needed reliable last-minute help with their pups. As word of their business spread through dog parks and local networks, what began as a local on-demand dog walking service on Capitol Hill quickly grew into a nationwide resource, with operations now in 39 cities around the United States.

Rates for thirty-minute walks range from $15 to $21 depending on the location, with an extra $5 for each additional pet. An hour-long walk costs around $30. Barkly provides in-person training for each dog walker, and owners can choose theirs from a list of profiles or be assigned one by the company.

Hours run between 6 a.m. and 10 pm., and walkers will heed a personalized checklist made by the owner—that means favorite toys, medications, and special notes for each pup will be taken into account. And through the iOS and Android apps, owners can follow along, with photos and updates provided throughout the walk.

Best for Odd Hours: Fetch! Pet Care

Fetch! Pet Care

Fetch! Pet Care

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, Fetch! Pet Care is a national franchise that matches sitters from their network with dog owners based on their individual needs. Its first location opened in 2002 in Berkeley, California, and today there are more than 70 locations helping busy pet owners get by. Before you book, an in-home consultation, which comes free before your first appointment, allows you—and your pup—to get acquainted with the dog walker before anything is confirmed.

Once a scheduled walk begins, owners can expect calls, texts and a post-sitting report card to keep them informed about their pup’s care in real-time. Individual walks cost between $18 and $24 for each visit, and in addition to dog walking, Fetch! offers puppy training, overnight care, and even a “Pet Taxi” to assist with those anxiety-inducing trips to the vet. Each sitter or walker is background checked and insured, and the company reserves a “back-up” sitter for every reservation so you can always rely on getting your dog a walk when they need it. 

Best for International Travel: Petbacker

Petbacker

Petbacker

Singapore-based Petbacker covers the entire United States, and the growing company is a resource for dog lovers around the world, with operations from Italy to India and beyond. Ideal for globetrotters who want to keep their pup in tow, the app’s simple navigation makes scheduling a walk easy. Each walker sets its own price, and users get instant access to five quotes from those nearby—chosen by Petbacker or selected individually. Verified reviews for each potential walker are readily available before you book along with “trust points” awarded to the walker for each social media account they have linked to the app.

Petbacker also performs spot checks to ensure the quality of the care given to each pup. A report card given after the walk provides helpful information about your pet’s care, with a map of the walk, a bathroom log, food and water information, and a photo. In addition to walks, Petbacker can provide grooming, sitting, boarding, and taxi service. And frequent users reap big benefits: Petbacker enrolls each new user in its Royalty Rewards program, which offers bigger discounts the more you spend. 

Best for Variable Pricing: Holidog

Holidog

Holidog

This UK-based site serves as a middleman between dog owners and dog lovers, so those looking for a personalized experience may prefer it over traditional dog walking services. Holidog offers boarding, sitting, and in-home visits in addition to walks, and the sitters are vetted by Holidog advisors before their profiles are approved. Owners can search the site for free, and dog walkers set their own rates. You'll pay a small fee to Holidog each time you book, but you can save by signing up for a membership that covers everything but the walker’s individual rate.

Because each walker decides whether to accept your assignment, book early—it can take around 24 hours for many to reply to bookings. Walks are offered in 30-minute increments, with regular options up to 90 minutes and the capability to walk multiple dogs at once. Arrange a recurring walk for two, three, or four times a week, or choose the “Holidays” option to arrange regular walks for a more limited time period. 

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