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    How to Build an On-demand Dog Walking App?

    We just adore our pets, don’t we? After all, we consider them almost our children. We do our best to keep them happy, we cherish and take good care of them. However, constant busyness sometimes leaves us no time to complete the simplest tasks! Among them is buying cat food or, say, walking the dog. As a result, we feel guilty and regret that there is no magic wand, at the wave of which at least some of these troubles would disappear… 

    But such a wand does exist! In the modern world, it has taken the shape of mobile pet care services, the most popular of which are on-demand dog walking apps. Though it's got nothing to do with magic and sorcery, it's all about innovative digital technologies.

    So if you're interested in a promising startup or your business is related to pets, it's high time you thought about creating an on-demand dog walking application. And we’re ready to help you, both in theory and in practice. 

    Perhaps, we should start with the very basics, do you agree?

    What are On-Demand Dog Walking Apps?

    We’re talking about a mobile application that allows dog owners to hire experienced and reliable walkers in minutes and at any time. As to the walkers themselves, they get a chance to find more clients and thereby increase their earnings.

    What problem does the app solve?

    • Too stirring life, a lot of things to do, and no time to walk your pet.

    Actually, there are 2 basic types of dog walking app solutions to the above problem:

    • Main business support. Do you have your own pet-walking / pet care agency? Then you should develop a pet walking application to offer your customers additional services and thus make them appreciate and trust you more.

    • Intermediary services. You can also provide a mobile platform, which the owners of four-legged friends and freelance dog walkers use as a meeting point. That is, you yourself don't have to belong to dog walking businesses, you're just an intermediary.

    Usually, these applications are based on an on-demand model and use the Uber concept.

    History of the Uber-like pet care services

    It all started with a mobile taxi service that appeared in the spring of 2009 in San Francisco. The idea of a cheap, always available, easy-to-order taxi turned out to be incredibly popular, and within a few years, the company managed to conquer the markets of at least 80 countries around the world. What's more, by 2014, the so-called Uber for X concept had become the basis of many on-demand applications, from house cleaning and food delivery to, of course, dog walking.

    creating an on-demand dog walking app

     

    How are Uber-like apps different?

    1. Uber-like programs, including dog walking apps, give users access to various types of offline services.

    2. After a new order enters the system, the service provider (be it a taxi driver, courier or dog sitter) receives a notification and is free to accept it if he wants.

    3. It is also assumed that there are several functional panels, each of which is focused on a specific user group: service customers, service providers, and, in some cases, couriers (say, when it comes to delivery from restaurants).

    How does a dog walking app work?

    Every on-demand Uber-like mobile platform uses the same principles, and an app for dog care is no exception.

    So how does it work?

    The dog owner places a walking request and initiates the search for the desired candidate. When a suitable walker is found, he is booked; the pet is then hand-delivered to him (or her). 

    The walk begins, and an orderer (namely, a person possessing a four-legged friend) may track it in real-time and communicate with the dog sitter using various online tools. 

    When the walk is complete, the pet is returned home. And its owner can leave his feedback on the service provided.

    What about payment?

    Surely, the user must have multiple payment methods, both in cash and through the app. As to the timing of payment, it's up to you. Choose the concept you think is best.

    Reasons for Developing an On-Demand Dog Walking App

    In recent years, there has been an active trend towards an increase in the number of pets in American and European households. The market is constantly growing.

    dog walking app development

    Alas, there is one problem: most of us have a busy work schedule, which means we have very little free time. And we don't always manage to find a quarter of an hour to walk our pet.

    application for dog walkers

    The above infographic proves without further ado: dog walking marketplaces are absolutely essential; by helping us take care of our beloved pets, they save us the hassle and make our life easier.

    However, let's list the benefits one by one.

    Benefits of on-demand dog walking services

    • Saving time and effort. As we've just explained to you, the platform for dog walkers is a great way to simplify your daily chores and save your time (without harming the pet).

    • Search for clients. Dog sitters use these apps to find new customers and get more walking orders.

    • Company image. Pet care and dog walking businesses also benefit from these apps by increasing the level of services they provide. In addition, an on-demand platform is a good extra income (if you approach the issue of monetization correctly).

    Basic Features for a Dog Walking App

    As you already know, you need to create several functional panels with different sets of features. Let's discuss each one in great detail.

    features for a dog walking app

    Dog Owner's features

    First of all, you have to create a functional dashboard for dog owners. What is important to consider when building it?

    • Primarily, a dog owner should register in your app in the simplest possible way (say, through social networks) and create his profile. Most dog walking services also offer the user to describe his pet: its name, age, breed, health, habits, and more. Such a mini-questionnaire will allow a dog walker to properly handle a four-legged friend.

    • Besides, you need to provide features designed to help the user find the right dog sitter. Supplement the search engine with filter and sorting systems so that the pet owner could clarify his wishes (suppose he is interested in walking the dog with training). And, of course, the profile of each candidate must be open for viewing.

    • The search is followed by booking a dog walker for one or several sessions (with time specification using a calendar feature). 

    • Also, you shouldn’t forget about real-time tracking of the walker and pet (in other words, the dog owner has to observe the walk using GPS and video-photo reports).

    • And, finally, a dog walking marketplace for pet owners is impossible without such useful features as reporting, reviews, payments (of course!), notifications, and more.

    Dog Walker's features

    Now let's talk about a functional platform for dog walkers. What opportunities should it provide to them?

    • Naturally, it all starts, once again, with the registration process and the creation of a personal profile. Dog sitters must provide as much information as possible about themselves. The focus should be on the experience of dealing with dogs and/or other animals.

      • By the way! The dog walking app like Rover and Wag (which belong to market leaders) wouldn't allow the user to register as a pet care professional until he proves he is worthy of trust. And you'd better follow this lead. Of course, you'll have to find a team to test candidates, which may prove to be a tedious task... However, such an effort would help you earn a high reputation.

    • Surely, the dog sitter must be able to manage incoming walk requests. If a certain order suits him, he accepts it, otherwise, he rejects it. If desired, he visits the page of a potential orderer (pet owner). Your task is to offer features that help him implement all of the above.

    • What other features might a dog sitter need? Among them are such options as his booking schedule, notifications informing him of important news and events, payment acceptance, and so on.

    Admin features

    And finally, mobile pet care services should include an admin panel needed to manage all in-app processes. The above infographic clearly demonstrates which features are indispensable in this case. It’s a sort of application control center.

    How to Create an On-demand Dog Walking App?

    Developing an on-demand dog walking app requires a special, thoughtful approach and considerable financial investments. 

    But let's discuss the topic in order to make it absolutely clear.

    1. Market research. If you want your dog walking app solution to generate income for you, don't act at full gallop, right off the bat, so to say. Study the market carefully and pay attention to the following aspects:

      1. demand for the service. Make certain your potential users are ready, on the one hand, to get a dog walking job and, on the other hand, to resort to the help of pet sitters.

      2. target audience. Who are your users? What do they expect from your application? 

      3. competitive analysis. Explore the best on-demand dog walking apps and analyze each strategy. Perhaps you can adopt and adapt a few of their ideas?

    2. The solution to related issues. Creating an on-demand dog walking app is only half the battle. In fact, you'll have to face a lot of problems that you should solve in advance:

      1. how to distinguish yourself from competitors? Come up with some ideas to give your service a unique feature;

      2. how are you going to approach financial issues? Decide on the form and method of payment. What types of payments will you accept?

      3. what about advertising? Think over your marketing strategy from A to Z;

      4. how do you plan to interact with the client? How will you check the professional aptitude of pet sitters? What are the ways to secure dog walkers and pet owners? Answer all these questions before you're ready to proceed with your project.

      5. how to monetize your application for dog walkers? By the by, we provide some tips on this matter later in the article.

    3. Development of the basic concept. It's time to frame your shaky idea and turn it into a well-thought-out project. Define the goals of your service and list the main features for a dog walking app you have in mind.

    4. Finding developers. You should hire a team of professionals who can develop a pet walking application meeting your specific requirements. Pay attention to developers' experience, their company's reputation, analyze their portfolio. Also, make sure you'll be able to get along with them.

    5. MVP creation. Mobile app development for dog walking is a rather complicated and expensive task. Therefore, the best place to start is by creating an MVP model, which includes only the most must-have features. Thus you'll save money and get a chance to test the first version of the application on end-users to see if you have taken into account all their wishes.

    6. Further improvement of the application. Now you can gradually improve your service and update its functionality as needed and possible.

    How to Create an On-demand Dog Walking App
    Lifestyle mobile apps bring good profit to their owners. Wanna become one? Our experts are at your service!

    Challenges in creating an on-demand dog walking app

    Development and marketing are challenging initiatives in themselves. However, alas, these are not the only obstacles on the way to top dog walking apps.

    • Forbidden Territories and Cleanliness. Firstly, there are places in which dog walking is prohibited: parks, the territory of hospitals, kindergartens, schools. Secondly, to avoid complaints from others, one should clean up after the dog. Of course, owners of on-demand dog walking companies cannot control the pet sitter, but they may describe the rules of conduct that each user must familiarize himself with (and tick the "I agree" box).

    • Protection of pet owners, or rather their dogs. What problems can arise while walking the dog? There are many options, actually! An animal can pick a foreign object up off the ground and eat it, attack a passer-by, feel bad... you never know! And the pet sitter must be able to correctly respond to every situation. Well-known dog walking businesses use the following ways to avoid unpleasant consequences:

      • checking each pet walker candidate, his ability to take care of the dog;

      • GPS tracking of dog walks (which we already wrote about above);

      • the requirement to constantly send a photo-video report during a walk;

      • pet insurance.

    • The need to secure dog walkers. The dog may be too large, even aggressive, which might lead to injury to the sitter (especially if he has little experience in a dog walking job). Unfortunately, dog walking services rarely think about protecting pet sitters, though they should! And you can come up with your own way to secure all your users (optionally, with insurance).

    The Cost to Create a Dog Walking App

    Calculating the cost of the development project is actually very simple. Just use the below formula: 

    cost to create a dog walking app

    As you can see, you need to know the rate of the team you’ve hired and the time required to develop a pet walking app. We're unable to name the exact price since we have no idea about your plans regarding the project scale, but we’d be happy to give you a couple of useful tips anyway:

    • If you limit yourself to only basic features, you'll be able to complete the dog walking app development process in 4-5 months. Of course, more features will increase this period.

    • The rate of the development team depends on many factors, not the least of which is the company location. US and UK experts are more expensive, while IT specialists from Eastern Europe ask for less money and work equally professionally.

    Finding a development budget

    As you already understood, the cost to create a dog walking app is quite high. If you don't have your own funds, the wise solution is to find sponsors. And when it comes to any type of on-demand application, the chances of attracting a potential investor increase: you just have to say that the project is based on the Uber concept, which has proven to be effective and popular among users.

    How to Monetize an On-Demand Application for Dog Walkers?

    There are several key monetization options that can be combined if desired:

    1. Fees for the services provided, which is one of the most popular application monetization methods.  Many top dog walking apps (say, Wag!) are using it to make a profit, and quite successfully.

    2. Subscriptions. Another option to earn money is to invite users (dog sitters) to subscribe to the application in order to gain access to its functionality and be able to find new customers. In this case, you should not charge a commission for each transaction. 

      1. It's better to start with a free trial period so that the dog walker can enjoy all the benefits of the application before he is ready to shell out.

    3. Advertising of dog sitters services. You can also make the app for dog care profitable by offering pet walkers to promote their accounts and therefore effectively advertise their own services.

    4. Freemium model. If you don't want to monetize your app through a subscription, you can provide users with some paid features (say, an improved search engine, more filtering options, etc.).

    5. In-app advertising. Of course, there is no point in giving up the in-app ads either. Dog walking apps offer tons of opportunities to implement such an idea since you can promote:

      1. veterinary clinics;

      2. various pet products, including cat and dog food;

      3. any pet care services.

    Best On-Demand Dog Walking Apps

    Are you ready to discuss your competitors? Perhaps their examples will inspire your own ideas.

    Wag!

    The Wag! application is very popular in the USA. This is one of the most striking and impressive dog walking Uber app examples. It connects dog owners with professional walkers who are ready to help with pet care.

    Wag! was established in 2015. Its creators are brothers Joshua and Jonathan Weiner. The service was originally available in New York and Los Angeles but now covers 4,600 cities across a wide variety of states.

    Wag!, like any other similar dog-walking marketplace, has two types of users:

    • Pet owners. These users get access to the best services of trusted walkers. Moreover, the owner can track his pet from a distance using GPS navigation and communicate with the sitter through a mobile chat. And at the end of the walk, he'll receive a detailed report on the walk.

      • There is also an opportunity of booking a dog walker for a certain period, which is especially important if the pet owner is going to be away.

    • Dog walkers. Pet sitters, being Wag! users, also have a lot of great features. Among other things, they are welcome to manage their booking schedule, select their preferred orders, and earn at least $ 25 per hour.

      • The walker must be physically healthy, active enough, and should know the basic commands to deal with dogs.

    How to get a dog walking job at Wag!

    When developing an on-demand dog walking app like Wag!, remember that the company's employees pay special attention to checking up and interviewing potential sitters. Each candidate is obliged to fill out a questionnaire and undergo detailed instructions.

    In doing so, Wag! was able to join the number of successful dog walking businesses worthy of user trust.

    top dog walking apps

    Swifto

    Another example of top dog walking apps is Swifto, created back in 2013, and focused primarily on New York.

    Why is Swifto so good?

    Swifto offers a number of cool features like GPS tracking of dog walks, photo reporting, real-time notifications, and more. The purpose of the application is to provide pet sitters with the opportunity to get hired and offer dog owners the chance to receive high-class service.

    How does Swifto work?

    The way Swifto works is similar to that of all best on-demand dog walking apps: the system receives an order, which is accepted by one of the walkers; then there is a meeting of both parties. Everything is elementary!

    With Swifto, users can not only find a suitable pet care expert but also monitor the process of walking online (if desired). So the dog sitter knows that he has no choice but to treat the animal well since they can be watched.

    In addition, at the end of each session, owners receive a message on how the walk went.

    Best on-demand dog walking apps

    More Ideas for On-Demand Pet Care Services

    If you don't want to develop a pet walking app for some reason, consider other similar pet care ideas:

    • Pet food delivery service. Lack of cat or dog food is one of the main problems that each owner occasionally faces. And with on-demand applications, the situation will no longer cause concern: a couple of clicks, and the food is ordered and then delivered. A good example of such apps is EasyPet, by the way.

    • Information resource. Have you heard about the Royal Canin brand? The company is known all over the world and specializes in the production of quality cat and dog food. However, representatives of Royal Canin didn’t stop there and created a special information resource available to both veterinarians and pet owners. Users can exchange experiences on keeping cats and dogs, ask pet-related questions, get some professional advice, and so on. 

    • Pet "dating" apps. In addition to the dog walking apps and the above services, you can develop a mobile application like Tindog that operates in the US and Europe. It resembles Tinder but is dog-oriented. The goal is to find users who have cute pets you really like and, possibly, make a new acquaintance with another dog lover.

    • Finding temporary pet housing. These platforms offer pet-keeping services and are very useful to those cat and dog owners who have no place to leave their pets while they're away from home. 

    Summary

    Now you know how to create an on-demand dog walking app. It's time to decide if you’re willing to invest money and start your own pet care project.

    More Ideas for On-Demand Pet Care Services
    If the answer is yes, and you think the game is worth the candle, please contact us. We’ll help you make your dream a reality.

     

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