Best Dog Walking Apps and Software for Pet Care Companies
Ultimate Guide to Dog Walking Apps
Twenty years ago, we’d check into 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: $40/month for one dog walker. Team plan: $30/month plus $14 per active staff member.
Additional features: The ability to schedule messages (a game changer for our night owl and early bird office managers) and set automated responses for messages received outside of business hours. Stripe, WePay and Apple Pay payment options for clients. Scheduled in Past feature, a super handy tool that shows us which walkers have been to a particular client, how many times, and the most recent time they were there. The ability to limit services to specific time blocks, so cat clients aren’t scheduling visits during dog walking windows. Post-walk satisfaction reports. Staff management and accountability features, like reliability reports, schedule acknowledgement (so we can see when walkers are awake and have checked their schedules for the day), late notifications and time-off tools. Client and staff flags, which we use to indicate lockboxes, alarms and COVID protocol. Photo gallery, which is great for our Instagram!
Bottom Line: Switching to Time to Pet changed everything for us. 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. Profile update tracking. Sitter biographies. 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: $21/month for the solo plan, $21/month plus $12.50 for every staff member added. Custom plans available for large teams. They also have an add-on option that includes a fully customized app, website, domain name, email, and more. This 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 an appointment is added, canceled or changed. Helpful pop-ups when you enter a home with an alarm (we want this).
Bottom Line: Scout is the new(ish) 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. Scout’s website/app development option is a very intriguing option for someone just starting out in the pet care industry or a company looking to modernize their website.
Pricing: DoTimely has three plans: Essential (free), Pro (from $15/month plus $10 for every additional staff member), Enterprise (contact for quote).
Additional features: Push notifications for clients and staff when schedules change or update. Delivery and read receipts for in-app messages (we want this). 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: $14/month for one walker, $45/month for 2-5 walkers, $90/month for 6-10 walkers, $160/month for 11-20 walkers, $260/month for 21-50 walkers, $320/month for 50+ users, $14/month for “a la carte” package
Additional Features: Staff accountability features, like “short visit” notifications and late services notifications.
Bottom Line: It would be hard for us to remain competitive in our market with this software. Since it doesn’t have an app (and all the intuitive and interactive features that come with it), clients and staff will need to log into the site via their browser each time they need to do something, which isn’t really convenient.
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. In 2020 it launched a separate client app where pet owners can schedule services and make payments, but it is unclear if it supports real-time in-app messaging.
Pricing: Solo pricing: $30/month (or $25/month for Affiliates); Team pricing (2-25 active staff): $20/month + $10 per active user (or $17/month + $8 per active user for Affiliates); Large team pricing (25+ active staff): $270/month (or $217/month for Affiliates)
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. (We love this feature. No more wondering if walkers have accidentally overslept!)
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. Also, we haven’t tested the client chat hub, so we can’t say much about it. But we did notice it’s been a Beta version for a few years now.
Pricing: $25/month, no matter how many active staff or clients you have.
Additional features: Family specific pricing, friendly bill reminders for past-due payments, customizable cancelation policies.
Bottom Line: We know a lot of companies who use and love PetPocketbook. Plus, a flat rate of $25/month is pretty appealing. However, without being able to see how the software really looks and feels, especially the communication center, we don’t feel comfortable making any strong judgements one way or another.
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.