As inflation continues to be a problem and wages fail to increase, supplementing your income with a side hustle becomes increasingly essential. Even if you don’t necessarily need it, adding a leisurely side hustle to your daily routine can help you afford daily necessities, pay off debt, and retire early.
The good news is, if you’re a pet person, there is a side hustle for you. This hustle can be easily supplemented alongside your main job and investing endeavors. Rover and Wag are a couple of popular options that can help earn you money through their on-demand dog walking services.
These app-based side hustles have been around for a few years now. Just like Uber and Lyft, the customer can put out a request for immediate service or schedule a walker for a later time. As a side hustle, this can be a lucrative way to pay off debt and get ahead. Let’s look at Rover vs. Wag to find out which is more worth it for you.
Rover vs. Wag: Let’s take a look at Rover
Rover is an extensive network of pet sitters and dog walkers that customers can reach out to when their furry friend needs them. It’s a fun and easy side hustle for anyone that loves animals and wants to make a few extra dollars on the side.
Rover offers an array of services that walkers can provide to their customers, such as:
- Dog Walking: This usually entails you going into the customer’s home and following their instructions to locate their dog. Once you do so, you’ll be taking the dog out for a walk, whether at your own discretion or with specific instructions.
- Boarding: You’ll either have the pet dropped off to you, or you’ll pick them up and bring them to your pet-safe home. You will then watch them overnight. The owners may give you special instructions regarding tasks such as bathing or medication.
- House Sitting: This is a little bit different than boarding. Instead of staying at your place, you will go to the customer’s home and watch their pet there. It’s up to you and the client to agree on certain accommodations that will be provided.
- Pet Sitting: It is a lot like boarding, except that it’s only done during the day. You either pick up and drop off the pet yourself, or the customer drops them off to you and picks them up later. This is generally done in your own pet-safe home. Any special care instructions will be discussed ahead of time.
Rover for dog walkers
How long is a dog walk on Rover?
A dog walk is usually 30 to 60 minutes on Rover, depending on the customer’s preference. The pay will be proportionate to the length of the walk.
How old do you have to be for Rover?
You must be at least 18 years of age to work for Rover.
How do I sign up with Rover?
Getting started is easy. Make sure you:
- Download the updated app
- Complete your profile
- Pass the background check
- Take the Rover certification test
- Have a home that permits animals (only if you plan to board or pet sit)
- Are flexible for weekday scheduling
The processing of the background check along with taking the certification test typically takes around 10 days.
After that, you’re ready to start earning.
Pros and cons of Rover: The pros
- You are not exclusively required to care for dogs. If you are comfortable, you can also offer services to owners of cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other Rover-approved animals. This gives you more options to earn. Unfortunately, if you were looking forward to taking care of venomous snakes or horses in particular, you’re out of luck as Rover prohibits those animals.
- You can set your own pricing, services, and availability. This puts you in charge of your earnings. As your own boss, you won’t be having a supervisor micro-manage you.
- Rover is safe. They do an extensive background check to make sure there are no discrepancies in your criminal history. There are less stringent requirements for the customer, but they do their due diligence for you.
- Rover allows you to combine services so that you can maximize your earnings. If you are pet sitting and the customer wants a walk as well, you can make that an add-on and earn even more.
- Rover doesn’t require you to walk or board one animal at a time exclusively. This helps you further maximize earnings in an efficient manner.
- 24/7 support. You will always be able to reach out to Rover if needed. You also have access to veterinarian services if an emergency requires it.
Pros and cons of Rover: The cons
- The first elephant in the room is the 20% fee that Rover takes from each booking.
- If you are looking for full-time earnings, Rover is likely not the way to go. While up to $1,000 a month can be good, it won’t likely take over a full-time income.
- It helps to like animals. This may seem obvious, but it’s not uncommon for folks to enter into a job solely for the money. Just because you’re motivated to earn doesn’t mean you’ll magically enjoy taking care of animals.
- It isn’t required, but you may want to look into getting extra insurance to avoid a financial bind in the event of an emergency.
- Some services that you’d like to offer may require a fee for the background check. Paying to work always sucks.
How much does a dog walker on Rover get paid for an hour walk?
As a dog walker on Rover, you will set your own rates. Typically, dog walkers set their rates between $20 and $40 for an hour walk. Tips usually range between 10% and 20%. Here’s a breakdown of what you would take home if you charged $30 (the midpoint) per hour dog walk and got a 15% tip (again, the midpoint):
- Receive $30 plus $4.50 tip for the walk
- Rover takes 20% of $30 which is $6, so you’re left with $24
- You keep 100% of the $4.50 tip
- $24.00 + $4.50 = $28.50 for an hour dog walk on Rover
How much does a dog walker on Rover get paid for a 30-minute walk?
Rates are prorated based on an hourly rate, and remember, you’ll be setting your own rate, which is usually between $20 to $40 per hour. After doing all of the above calculations with the same rates, but for a 30-minute walk instead of an hour walk, you’ll end up with the following:
- Receive $15 plus $2.25 tip for the half hour walk
- Rover takes 20% of $15 which is $3, so you’re left with $12
- You keep 100% of the $2.25 tip
- $12.00 + $2.25 = $14.25 for a 30-minute dog walk on Rover
How much can you make on Rover in total?
Rover estimates that you can make up to $1,000 per month. The $1,000 a month is a part-time estimation. As a part-timer, you will earn less. If you run it full-time, you’ll probably make more.
Who are Rover’s competitors?
Rover really only has one true competitor, and that competitor is Wag.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at Wag and see how it compares.
Rover vs. Wag: Let’s take a look at Wag
Wag is Rover’s biggest up-and-coming competition. They offer similar services to Rover, except that they also provide training.
This sets Wag apart as customers get the added benefit of a possibly obedient dog when they are done.
Let’s take a look at the services they offer:
- Wag! Walks: You’ll visit the customer’s home and take the pet on a walk around the neighborhood. GPS will be monitoring these walks, and you can digitally mark where the pet uses the restroom.
- Drop-Ins: Typically involves a short stop at the pet owner’s home. It involves making sure that the pet is safe and sound, and if agreed upon, will often include feeding or playtime. This should generally take less than 20 minutes.
- Sitting: With sitting, you will visit the customer’s home and supervise their pet. It typically includes feedings, playtime, and possibly bathing. This can also be an overnight stay, depending on the owner’s needs.
- Boarding: You will take care of the assigned pet in your own home throughout the day, and it may include taking care of them overnight as well.
- Digital Training: This is an excellent service for any pet owner to connect with a professional trainer in a safe digital format for 30 minutes. The trainer will teach basic obedience skills that the pet owner can use to train their pet on their own time.
- In-Home Training: This training runs a little longer at 60 minutes. The trainer will physically stop by and teach the pet owner basic obedience training skills in the comfort of his or her own home.
Wag for walkers
How long is a dog walk on Wag?
Dog walks on Wag are usually in 20, 30, or 60-minute increments, depending on the preference of the owner. Pay will be proportionate to the length of time of the walk.
How old do you have to be for Wag?
You must be at least 18 years of age to work for Wag.
How do I sign up with Wag?
Getting started with Wag is just as easy as with Rover. Make sure you:
- Are at least 18 years of age
- Are located in a city where Wag operates
- Take the care assessment quiz
- Pass the background check
- Live in a home where pets are allowed
- Have training experience (if you plan to train)
- Have an updated Wag Walker app
This process also includes recommendations and referrals from friends and family and takes about 14 days in total. A bit longer than rover since it’s a bit more extensive.
Pros and cons of Wag: The pros
- You can set your pricing and availability so that you can earn on your own schedule.
- With your background check and Wag’s commitment to safety, you can be sure that you are part of a safe work environment.
- Wag allows you to combine services such as boarding and walking to give you the ability to maximize earnings.
- You can have multiple clients simultaneously.
- Wag has a referral program that allows you to earn more when others join via your link.
Pros and cons of Wag: The cons
- If you thought Rover’s 20% fee was bad, Wag will take 40% for their fee.
- You have to pay $30 for a background check.
- Wag charges customers an additional fee on top of what you charge them. This may force you to lower your price a bit more than expected to stay competitive.
- You may want to get some sort of liability insurance to make sure that you’re covered in an emergency situation.
- As with Rover, you should like animals, as this makes the job easier for you.
How much does a dog walker on Wag get paid for an hour walk?
As a dog walker on Wag, you will set your own rates. Typically, dog walkers set their rates between $20 and $30 for an hour walk. Tips usually range between 10% and 20%. Wag has claimed that each half-hour walk pays out $12 plus tips on average, so if we assume $24 for a full hour plus 15% tips, we get the breakdown below:
- Receive $24 plus a $3.60 tip for the walk
- Wag takes 40% of $24 which is $9.60, so you’re left with $14.40
- You keep 100% of the $3.60 tip
- $14.40 + $3.60 = $18.00 for an hour dog walk on Wag
How much does a dog walker on Wag get paid for a 30-minute walk?
Rates are prorated based on an hourly rate, and you’ll be setting your own rate, which is usually between $20 to $30 per hour. However, Wag has claimed that their average dog walker makes $12 plus tips for each half-hour dog walk. However, that does not take into account the 40% fee that they take from it. Here is the true Wag pay broken down:
- Receive $12 plus $1.80 tip for a half-hour walk
- Wag takes 40% of $12 which is $4.80, so you’re left with $7.20
- You keep 100% of the $1.80 tip
- $7.20 + $1.80 = $9.00 for a 30-minute dog walk on Wag
Remember, this is taking into account the 40% they take from your pay, which nets you $9.00 and is quite the stark difference from the $12 (plus tips) that they claim.
How much can you make on Wag in total?
According to Wag, if you do five 30-minute walks per day, 5 days a week, you can earn around $22,000 per year. That’s about $1,833 per month or about $458 per week. Each 30-minute walk throughout the week would net you approximately $18.33. Not too shabby for a side hustle, depending on where you live and the cost of living in your area.
Who are Wag’s competitors?
Wag really only has one competitor that comes close, and that competitor is Rover, as we previously covered.
The downside of pet sitting
Pet sitting can sometimes get tricky. You are taking care of something alive, and it comes with a lot of responsibilities. If you really want to continue with this side hustle, it is really recommended that you get some kind of liability insurance just in case.
Rover vs. Wag pay
As previously mentioned, Rover pays about $1,000 a month. In comparison, Wag pays about $1,833 a month. The main reason for the discrepancy in pay is that there are more ways to potentially earn your money on Wag than on Rover. If you’re in it for the money and are willing to learn whatever it takes to make that money, Wag may be the better fit. Also, that figure likely doesn’t account for the 40% fee that Wag takes out of your earnings. However, if you only want to be a walker, Rover is the better choice, as their 20% fee is much better than Wag’s 40% fee and you end up making more on their app.
Now that you know all there is to know about Rover and Wag, you can make an educated decision based on your own personal preferences. Is Rover better than Wag? Is Wag better than Rover? If you are someone that wants a simple side hustle, Rover is the best way to go. If you are a professional pet trainer or are willing to learn to train pets, you can potentially make more on Wag.
All things considered, Rover has a slight edge over Wag as a whole for their cheaper fees, but with more dedication, Wag could potentially out-earn Rover. With that said, it’s always best to try each app and see which one you jive with best.