In either case, dogs need to be walked, and a lot of people are paying dog walkers to do the job for them.
People have responsibilities, and while they slave away at their cubicle, their four-legged friend at home will need to be taken care of properly. For anyone who is at work for 10 – 12 hours a day, this means hiring a dog walker to act on your behalf.
But how do you know your dog walker is really doing their job?
The walker you hired may bring your dog out for two minutes to do his business and leave afterward, although you're paying for 30-minute sessions.
Rover Cards Aim to Change Dog Walking
Rover.com is a network that connects dog walkers and pet sitters with dog owners who need their services. And the service has been a major success.
Innovation has helped the company jump into the spotlight, but now, Rover Cards have been introduced.
Think of Rover Card as a report card that is given to the dog's owner after every walking.
This card, or app, uses technology to ensure that a dog is walked up to the owner's standards. It's a way to offer transparency in the dog walking industry. The technology has been built into an app that allows dog walkers, or anyone caring for a dog, to track and share information with the dog's owner.
The app will tell the dog owner:
- When the caretaker arrived
- Where the dog was walked via a GPS map
"Zeus ran after the mailman – here's a picture" may be a note added to the report card. And if the pet is recovering from being sick or from a surgical procedure, the app can have notes attached that puts the dog's owner at ease.
"Zeus took all of his medicine and is standing better today" may be a message left to the owner.
All report cards are delivered to the pet's owner immediately when the dog gets back to the house. It's a step in the right direction to ensure that dogs are getting the time and attention they need when not in their owner's care.
With 83% of owners worried that their dog walker isn't doing a satisfactory job, this is a way to ease the mind of dog owners.
"Dogs are an integral part of people's families, and with 65% of people getting dogs for companionship, it makes sense that people would want their dog's properly cared for in their absence," states Joe, an expert on dog care and training.
Dog Walking is a Huge Industry
Who hires dog walkers? A lot of people don't have the money to make their rent every month, but people are willing to splurge on their dogs. And believe it or not, people are willing to pay a lot to have their dogs walked.
There was a recent article on MarketWatch about dog walkers.
People with small backyards or no backyards at all – think people that live in the middle of New York City – often pay someone to walk their dogs. It's an industry that has been popular since the 60s, and the industry brings in $900+ million a year.
The growth of the industry is 3% per year, and 23,000 people are employed as dog walkers.
It's a niche market, and it's likely to remain one, but it's an industry teeming with high energy dogs that can't stay in the house all day.
Ryan Stewart, a dog walker in the Big Apple, was covered by MarketWatch in the same article linked above. Stewart charges $15 to walk clients' dogs, and walks 40 – 50 days every day.
Did I mention that he also has three employees under him?
Do the math. He makes $600 - $750 per day.
He has expenses, but he personally walks dogs 25 hours a week and makes $110,000 per year.
Stewart isn't alone in this money-making venture. A lot of people are cashing in on the craze, with one of Stewart's friends making $2,000 a week walking dogs.
And now with the help of Rover Cards, there is proof that dog walkers are earning their paychecks. There is no longer the fear that dog walkers are cutting corners and lining their pockets in the process.
Rover Cards offer details for:
- Start times
- End times
- GPS maps
- Food breaks
- Water breaks
- Pee and poop breaks