Best Dog Walking Apps and Software for Pet Care Companies
Ultimate Guide to Dog Walking Apps
Twenty years ago, we’d check in to dog walks by using the client’s landline. Visit reports were handwritten notes left on the kitchen counter. Schedules were set a week in advance and texting did not exist. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine operating like this. (But then again, we didn’t have the internet in college, so we’re basically cavemen.)
While Urban Tailz continued to evolve with the times, everything changed when Wag and Rover hit the market. These dog walking apps, heralded as “Uber for dog walking,” were major threats to local pet sitters who struggled to match their dog walking app technology.
To be clear, Wag and Rover are dog walking apps. They connect people who need dog walking services with people who want to walk dogs. They are very similar to Uber and Lyft in that they are technology platforms that connect two people together vs providing services of their own.
But we’re a pet care provider, not a dog walking app. A small local business, not a tech giant. Where Wag and Rover use their platforms to source independent contractors for on-demand needs, we vet, hire and train employees for the longterm. Pet Care providers are licensed, bonded, and insured to provide pet care services. Wag and Rover are dog walking apps that have pages and pages of service agreement contracts where they highlight how they are not liable for anything that happens to a client’s dog or cat.
Again, we built a dog walking business, not a dog walking app. Which is why we rely on tech-savvy software companies like those listed below to help us stay competitive against the big guys. If you’re thinking of switching services, or just starting out in the dog walking/pet care world, this guide is for you. Here are the best options for your dog walking company:
Pricing: Solo plan: $35/month for one dog walker. Team plan: $25/month plus $13 per active staff member.
Additional features: Post-walk satisfaction reports. Staff management and accountability features, like reliability reports, automatic late notifications and time-off tools. Client and staff flags, which we use to indicate lockboxes, alarms and, now more than ever, COVID protocol. Photo gallery, which is great for our Instagram!
Bottom Line: Switching to Time to Pet has changed everything. It was a big investment, but we had a feeling Time to Pet would stay ahead of the curve, and they have. It is something that has worked perfectly for our needs as a large dog walking company.
It’s well designed and user-friendly. The team is open to suggestions and, on more than one occasion, has turned our feedback into actual changes.
Having a client app keeps everything in one place and helped us move away from staff-client texting. With real-time in-app messaging, our management team can read and review all communication between dog walkers/sitters and clients. This communication center (also available with Precise Petcare and DoTimely) has proved invaluable. More eyes on everything leads to fewer scheduling errors and miscommunications. It also protects the privacy and safety of our dog walkers and sitters. We had an issue several years ago with a male client harassing a female cat sitter over text. We never want that to happen again.
Pricing: $15/month for one dog walker, $35/month for 2-5 walkers, $75/month for 6-10 walkers, $140/month for 11-20 walkers, $180/month for 21-30 walkers, $230/month for 31-50 walkers, $290/month for 51-101 walkers, $390/month for 101+ walkers.
Additional features: Communication center where admin can review all messages sent by staff and clients. Built-in staff accountability tools, like automatic late arrival alerts, easy-to-read walker reliability reports and a “Live Sitter Map” that shows the last recorded location of each walker. Calendar integration, so clients and staff can view their appointments on Google Calendar, Mac Calendar or Outlook.
Bottom Line: Precise Petcare looks like a great investment for pet care providers. It has sleek, user-friendly tech for clients, plus a communication center (a must for us!) and walker accountability features our office staff would love. We know other dog walking companies who use Precise and who absolutely love it.
Pricing: Increases by $15 with every dog walker/sitter added, starting at $25/month for one walker. Launch by Scout, a more expensive option, includes a fully customized app, website, domain name, email, and more. Launch by Scout is a great option for new companies just starting out.
Additional features: Staff accountability tracking and tools, like arrival confirmations and photo check-ins. Calendar integration. Automatic push notifications for staff when a client changes or cancels appointments. Helpful pop-ups when you enter a home with an alarm (we want this).
Bottom Line: Scout is the new kid on the block. They have a great app with many useful and innovative features. We were seriously considering it, but without in-app messaging, it was not worth the price for us. If they add in-app messaging down the line, this looks like a solid contender for best pet sitting software. Launch by Scout is a very intriguing option for someone just starting out in the pet care industry or a company looking to modernize their website.
Pricing: $129/year for one walker (new users only with up to 300 clients), $45/month for 2-5 walkers, $90/month for 6-10 walkers, $160/month for 11-20 walkers, $260/month for 31-50 walkers, $320/month for 50+ users, $14/month for “a la carte” package that includes a “’sitter on the side’ option, limit of two, that allows you to manage your active sitter list without having to double your package price.”
Additional Features: Staff accountability features, like “short visit” notifications and late services notifications.
Bottom Line: Power Pet Sitter is a solid service that covers most of the basics, except photo updates. We believe a software update may be coming soon, at which point we will reevaluate our rating.
Pricing: DoTimely has three plans: Essential (free), Pro ($.025 per invoice under $100, or $0.69 for each invoice over $99) and Elite (from $689/month).
Additional features: Push notifications for clients and staff when schedules change or update. Communication center.
Bottom Line: DoTimely offers a lot of technology for free, which is pretty incredible. One thing to note, however, is its software is built to fit many different service industries, not just pet care. We wanted a specific pet care app. But to each their own!
Pricing: $27.99/month for one dog walker, $39.99/month for 2-5 walkers, $59.99/month for unlimited walkers.
Additional features: Mapping function to help plot routes. Accounting suite for tracking expenses.
Bottom Line: PetSitClick covers most of the essentials at a competitive price. Though it has a client app where pet owners can schedule services and make payments, it is unclear if it supports real-time in-app messaging.
Pricing: $30/month for one dog walker; $50/month for 2-5 walkers; $90/month for 6-10 walkers; $150/month for 11-20 walkers; $195/month for 21-30 walkers; $245/month for 31+ walkers.
Additional features: Post-walk satisfaction reports. Dog walkers can “acknowledge” their schedule when they check in, so managers know they’re awake and have seen their route for the day.
Bottom Line: Pet Sitter Plus is more expensive than PetSitClick, but without an app. Instead, it has an “app style” mobile-friendly online portal for staff, admin and clients. The client chat hub is new, and appears to offer a communication hub.
Pricing: $34.95/month for 1-5 walkers, $74.95/month for 6-11 walkers, $139.95/month for 12-20 walkers, $179.95 for 21-30 walkers, $219.95 for 31-50 walkers, $299.95 for 50+ walkers.
Additional features: Mapping function so dog walkers can plot their routes. “Home Safe” notifications.
Bottom Line: We used LeashTime before switching to Time to Pet. It worked great when we first signed up, but over the years we felt we needed a more innovative service to stay competitive. There’s no client app, so clients were required to do everything through an online portal. This made it difficult to accommodate last-minute requests. The UX design is still lacking.
Also, now that we have it, we can’t imagine operating without in-app messaging.
Our goal in writing this post is to highlight the dog walking apps and software services who help local dog walking companies, like Urban Tailz, stay competitive in the evolving landscape. That said, if we’ve misreported any information above, please let us know and we’ll update the post. The ratings above are only opinions of Urban Tailz and should not be treated as fact.