How to Create an On-demand Dog Walking App like Rover and Wag and Start Dog Walking Service?

on-demand-dog-walking-app

Pets are a part of the family. Just like kids, even they need sitters when the pet parent is busy. With an increasing number of pet parents, the demand for on-demand dog walking apps is also increasing. In fact, a report by Research and Markets states that about 68% of households in the USA have a pet and this number is set to grow.

This boom in pet numbers has opened opportunities for different pet care services to grow their business. Dog walkers being one of them are enjoying this situation the most. Being a leading on-demand app development company, we decided to help out entrepreneurs who are looking to tap into this field.

How to Create a Dog Walking App like Rover and Wag?

steps-to-create-dog-walking-app

1. Business Strategy

The first step to developing an on-demand dog walking app is creating a business strategy that suits your current and future business goals. You can either be a pet-walking / pet care agency or an entrepreneur who is planning to start a dog walking service aggregator business. You may also decide to add new services like dog care, dog training, pet grooming if you want to expand the business, and earn more revenue.

However, make sure you do not bite off more than you can chew. First, focus on what you do the best and then slowly expand to other pet care services.

2. Decide on a Revenue System

The next part is planning on the monetization strategy for your business. There are a few ways that can you use to earn revenue from the on-demand dog walking app.

For Dog-walking Agency- If you own an agency then monetization is simple. You are basically using the app to automate the entire process. Your earning method will be pretty much the same.

For Aggregators-

1. Transactions Fee: Every time a person makes a payment in exchange services booked via your app, you can charge a percentage from it.

2. Paid promotions: You can charge the dog walking agencies or freelance dog walkers to list them on your app. You can charge extra for featuring their services at a certain position.

3. Paid ads: Many pet-related businesses will also pay you for running their ads on the app.

4. Surge Charges: This is similar to Uber surge prices. Many times dog owners cannot find dog walkers in their area due to huge demand. You can provide a dog walker to such dog owners at a higher rate. This helps you as well as dog walkers to earn more

3. Market Research

We will divide this step into three pain parts to explain in it in a better way

1. Understanding Market Landscape: First, get a basic understanding of the market. Answer the following questions to yourself:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are the problems that they are facing? How can you solve them?
  • What are the trends in the pet care sector and how can you add value to it?

After answering these questions, analyze your competition.

2. Analyze Competitors: You need to find out who your competitors are. What’s the best dog walking app? What kind of services do they provide? What sort of marketing channels they use and how are they performing in the market. Next, you should see the type of features they have in their apps. (We will help you with this in one of the next segments of the article)

This doesn’t mean you should copy them. This is only for understanding and getting inspired. You can not just follow others, you need to carve your own path that helps you stand out of the others. Think about what you can do better than them. Make sure you develop an on-demand dog walking app that is the best dog walking app for walkers as well as dog owners.

3. Find Partners: A business that is mutually beneficial for two parties is more likely to be successful. Apart from comparing your competitors, you should also find out businesses that are related to yours but are not competitors. For instance vet hospitals, pet-food brands or stores, pet grooming, or training institutes. You can partner with such firms and bring in more business. In the case of aggregators, you need to find and reach out to freelance dog walkers as well as dog walking agencies to collaborate with them.

4. List Down Features

After comparing and contrasting the competitors, you will get a brief idea of what type of features are extremely important for developing the best dog walking app like Uber for dog walkers. You should note down all the features that you want in your on-demand dog walking app. We will talk about the important and recommended features in the next subtopic.

5. Hire App Developers

The last step in developing on-demand pet sitters or dog walkers app is hiring the best developers for your project. You can find and hire developers from various sites like Upwork, AppFutura, Clutch, and so on. These sites have hundreds of thousands of app developers in their database.

You need to select an app development company that has expertise in on-demand solutions and has developed similar apps in the past. This will give their work more credibility and their experience will also help make your project better.

bhaval patel

Do you want to develop an Uber for Pet Sitters? I have 15 years of experience in the development of Uber-like apps.

As promised, in the next segment, we will talk about the important features of the pet walker app.

Important Features of an On-demand Dog Walking app

Let’s make one thing clear, it is not one app. In fact, there are three main components of a dog walking app: Customer’s App, Dog Walkers App, and Dashboard. Let’s check out each component and its features.

components-dog-walking-app

1. Customer’s App

1. Search and Filters: This feature helps the customers in finding appropriate dog walking services according to their requirements. The customer can search for a specific service, agency, dog walker, dog walking rates, or location. The feature of filters helps pet owners to sieve out unsuitable dog walkers and choose the one that fits their needs.

2. Profile: Before booking a dog walker, pet parents should have an option to check out the profile of dog sitters. This profile can help them do virtual background checks and make informed decisions about leaving their beloved pets under pet services.

3. Photo Updates: This feature helps the dog owners in getting updates and proof of their dog’s care and health. The dog walkers can click photographs of their activities with the pets and send them to the dog owners.

4. Real-time Tracking: This feature is a must in any on-demand dog walking app, Wag, and Rover- top apps for dog walking services apps have this feature. The GPS tracking feature helps the dog owners in knowing the real-time location of their dog and dog walkers, giving a sense of safety.

5. Reports: This feature will help dog owners track all their bookings, walking distance, the performance of the dog walkers, and payments in one place.

2. Dog Walker’s App

1. Create a Profile: The dog walkers can create a profile to show their previous experiences and they give a brief about how they take care of dogs or other pets. They can add their profile image along with some identity proof for the dog owners to check before handing over their pet to walkers.

2. Accept/ Reject Requests: When dog owners send requests to the dog walkers, they can check the description of the job like the number of pets, whether they need to sit the dogs or take them to dog parks, or take care of any other way. After that, the dog walker can accept or reject

3. Schedule: A feature like a calendar or scheduling feature helps the dog walkers in planning their dog walking jobs and schedule their bookings in an orderly fashion. This also helps them in keeping track of their upcoming appointments and payment form dog owners.

3. Dashboard

1. Manage Customers and Walkers: The admin handles the dashboard and has access to the information of dog owners and on-demand dog walkers. The admin manages the details and takes care of any issues.

2. Allocate Jobs: The admin manages the job requests as submitted by the dog owners. Automatic as well as manual job allocations must be possible on the dashboard.

3. View Reports: The admin can also have access to all the generated reports that can help him keep track of the activities on the app. The bookings that are made to how many are accepted, canceled, or completed, every information is available in the reports.

4. Manage Payments: The admin can manage his commission from the service charge and make the payment to the dog walkers accordingly.

Now that you have seen the important features, let’s take a look at how much time and money will it cost to build the app.

Time and Cost to Develop an On-demand Dog Walking App like Wag or Rover

After deciding to develop a pet care platform or a dog walking app, you must have certain questions like “How much does it cost to create a dog walking app?” and “How much time does it take to develop a pet walking app?”. The answers to these questions are connected with each other.

The time and cost develop a dog walking app depend on the type of features you want in the dog walking app. A simple app with regular and only important features takes less time to develop, up to 3 to 4 months. Whereas, a complex app with advance features take longer to develop, 4 months or more.

If you consider Customer’s App, features like registration, the profile of the user, add/edit information of dogs, filter routes by type, location, search on the map, booking section takes about 120-150 hours to develop. If you need more features, the developing hours might increase.

Coming to the cost part, the cost of developing dog walking platforms like Wag and Rover is dependant on the time and developer’s per hour charges. Here is a formula that you can use to estimate the total app development cost.

app-development-cost-formula

Now, if to make your competitor analysis easier, we have a list of 5 apps that you need to study before you start your own app development.

4 Best Dog Walking Apps like Uber for Dog Walkers

Name Of The AppFeaturesPlay Store LinkApp Store Link
Wag
  • Book and hire walkers
  • In-app messaging
  • Dog training services
  • GPS tracking of dog walks
Play storeApp store
Rover
  • Book trusted and experienced caregivers
  • In-app messaging
  • Get instant alerts and photo updates
  • Drop-in and daycare reports
Play storeApp store
Pawshake
  • Insurance covered bookings
  • Provides 24/7 support
  • Public reviews by dog owners
  • Quick messaging services
Play storeApp store
PetBacker
  • Social media for pet owners
  • ID verifications and genuine reviews
  • Receive and send photo updates
  • Real-time tracking
Play storeApp store

1. Wag

Wag is one of the most popular apps in the pet industry. It was launched in 2015 and has now become a household name for people who are too busy to take care of their pets. The popularity is because dog owners can hire a dog walker within as little as 30-60 minutes. On-demand is what they really offer.

Some of the top features of the Wag app are as below:

  • Book and hire walkers at short notice
  • In-app messaging to stay in contact with the walker
  • Dog training services are available
  • GPS tracking of dog walks

2. Rover

Ask any dog owner or pet parent and they would’ve definitely heard of Rover. The policy of Rover guarantee makes it popular among its peers. This policy assures the pet parents that in case of any sort of rare injury or damage is done during the caretaking, Rover will reimburse for any cost that you need to spend.

Some of the top features of the Rover app are as follows:

  • Book trusted and experienced caregivers
  • In-app messaging to stay connected with the sitter
  • Get instant alerts and photo updates
  • Drop-in and daycare reports

3. Pawshake

Founded in 2013, the app had a backing of over $1.5 million and used it pretty well. It has become one of the top names when it comes to dog sitting and walking apps. Pawshake claims that it accepts only 15% of caretaker applications after thorough background checking.

Some of the top features of the Pawshake app are as below:

  • Insurance covered bookings
  • Provides 24/7 support
  • Public reviews by dog owners to help make a decision
  • Quick messaging services

4. PetBacker

PetBacker calls itself the Uber and Airbnb for Pets. The customers can find sitters as well as drop their pets at dog boarding care services. PetBacker has your back for everything from a pet sitter, a groomer, or a dog walker. All the services are insured and you do not have to pay anything extra for it.

Some of the top features of PetBacker are as below:

  • Social media for pet owners- share photos
  • ID verifications and genuine reviews
  • Receive and send photo updates
  • Real-time tracking of the walker and pet

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Let’s move on to some of the commonly asked questions.

Read Here: Lessons To Learn From Pawshake & PetBackers

FAQs

How to start a dog walking business?

Steps to start a dog walking business:

Step 1: Come up with a business plan. Decide on what sort of services you will provide
Step 2: Allocate budget and get resources necessary for your business
Step 3: Get the necessary documents, license, and insurance
Step 4: Develop a dog walking app and website
Step 5: Advertise and promote your business

Is a dog walking business profitable?

Yes, dog walking businesses are in demand right now. About 70% of Americans have a pet. This number is set to increase in the future. Most of the pet parents need a caregiver for their pets on a daily or weekly basis. With proper strategy and marketing, you can make the most of this demand and earn profits.

How do dog walking apps work?

The dog owner searches for a walker by entering requirements on the app. He can send a request to the walker that is available and suits the needs. The walker can accept or reject the request. After the walker accepts a request, the walker reaches the required location and takes care of the dog and returns back. The payment can be online as well as in cash. The admin takes its share of commission and the rest is paid to the walker for their services.

Conclusion

We hope that this blog has answered your question about creating an on-demand dog walker app like Uber. If you think we have missed out on something, feel free to tell us.

We are a leading mobile app development company with experience of developing over 50 on-demand apps like Glovo- the most downloaded on-demand grocery app in Spain and Bevy- an on-demand alcohol delivery app for a UK startup.

glovo

Glovo

  • Most downloaded Spanish on-demand delivery app
  • Services in over 21 countries and 124 cities
  • Has over 30M installs on PlayStore
bevy

Bevy

  • Alcohol-delivery app developed for a UK based startup
  • ‘The New Age of Alcohol’, according to TechCrunch
  • Services across London

If you have any questions regarding app development cost, process, or timeline, you can contact us and we will do our best to answer all your questions. The consultation is absolutely free of cost.

This page was last edited on September 28th, 2020, at 6:50.

Author Bio

Bhaval Patel

Bhaval Patel

Designation: Director (Operations)

Bhaval Patel is the Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has over 15 years of experience in business management and sales. He has expertise in the taxi booking app solution and on-demand applications. Under his guidance, Space-O has developed 50+ Uber-like taxi apps on both iOS and Android platforms.

 
 

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