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What do you get when you take the Uber app model and dog walking, and smash them together?
Simple, a dog walking app.
The dog walking app model has been in vogue for the dog owners for quite some time. It is not easy to have a pet dog. No matter how much you love your furry little baby, you still have social responsibilities, and a job to take care of (I mean, the job is kind of a must, considering the lavish lifestyle you want your dog to have!).
These responsibilities can easily interfere with the various responsibilities you have towards your dog. You can’t just adopt a dog, you need to train him, groom him, take him to the vet, and regular walks.
Now, you can’t outsource help with all these responsibilities through different dog walking platforms. But you can when it comes to dog walking. With on-demand dog walking app development we mentioned, it is super easy to get dog walkers on short notice for pooch’s regular exercise. Especially for those millennials who are busy to take their dog for a walk. Interested to create your own dog walking app like Uber? Read on to know more.
How to Develop an On-demand Dog Walking App?
Here is a step by step description of how to create an on-demand dog walking app like Rover and Wag!
1. Dog Walking App: How Does it Work?
An amazing use of the Uber for X application model, the dog walking app is making it easy for busy dog parents to get walkers easily whenever they want.
Similar to any on-demand delivery app, with these dog walking platforms, the users register themselves, with adequate details about them and their dog. They can add detailed notes about their dogs, which might include information on vets and medications, leash, collars, and harness, etc. After registering, the user can book a walk or ask for a dog walker and they will be matched with a walker near them who can take care of the dog when the pet parents can’t. Uber for dog walking solution has made this easier.
Right now dog walking app platforms are extremely popular, among both the dog owners and dog walkers. Because it happens to be a great source of earning money, as well as hanging out with dogs.
Don’t worry though, making such a dog walking app is actually very easy. All you have to do is to follow the below steps or contact a professional dog walking app development service.
2. Will it be Profitable to Develop Another Dog Walking App?
Of course, we all know how much dogs are loved and cherished by their owners, but what does that have to do with the rising popularity of the dog walking apps? Is developing a prosperous pet care platform really profitable?
Well, in order to understand the rising popularity of the on demand dog walking app, we have to look at two different kinds of statistics. The first one is, of course, the number of households in the US that own dogs and the second are the average numbers of hours a person has to work every week.
According to APPA’s national pet owners survey 2019-2020, around 63.4 million households in the USA owns a dog.
And according to this statistic, at least 40% of workers have to work 40+ hours every week.
If we consider these two stats, you’ll see that most of the dog owners have to work more than 8 hours every day. And on top of those 8 hours, they also have tons of social and personal things to do. And even though they do love their dogs, these things are still important.
Thanks to these apps, people, especially those who have too much to do every day, can rest assured that their pets will be taken care of.
Here are a few reasons why dog-walking apps are becoming so famous.
- Time-saving & Efficient
- Another Way Of Earning
- Increase In Business For Dog Sitters And Daycares
3. Basic Features That You Need for an MVP
First things first, you have to sort out and implement the basic and necessary feature for your app. This would answer how to develop an on-demand dog walking app in the first place.
As you can already tell, a dog walking app is a very feature-driven app. These features need to be designed to make it easy for the owners to use the app. And that’s why we have listed below some basic features that your dog walking app needs.
a. Sign Up/set Up A Profile
Like any Uber-like app, your app should have the feature of signing up and setting up a personal account. This is a must-have feature because it will be easier for the owners to manage the walks and sitters they book, schedule the bookings and cancel in case they don’t need a sitter anymore.
b. Inserting Information About The Dog
This feature would enable the users to add special notes on their dogs to their app profile. These notes can be on anything, from their behavior quirks to any medicines they might need, or any allergies they might have. These notes are going to further help the designated walker to take care of the pup while on a walk.
c. Booking A Walk
Of course, you need this feature for your app to be called a dog walking uber app. The users should be able to book a walk easily and efficiently. Keep in mind the time factor for implementing an easy walk booking feature on your app. It is an important and the main feature to build your on-demand dog walking app solution.
d. GPS Tracking
With this feature, the users would be able to track their dog on their walk and would also be able to check the route the walker has taken. This is another convenient feature for those anxious dog parents who are not exactly assured about having a stranger walk their dog.
e. Walk Log
With the walk log feature, the dog walkers can keep a log of events that happened on the walk. These records can include pee-poop logs, any other dogs they met on the walk, duration of walking, water breaks, whether the dog played any games or not. With this, the user would have an easier time keeping a track, which might come in handy.
f. In-app Payments
With the in-app payment feature, the users can easily pay off the walkers through the app. It means that the users don’t have to hand over cash or go through complicated back transfers. They can just pay using their debit or credit card through the app.
g. Ratings And Reviews
The users can leave reviews and ratings based on their experience. These ratings would help the dog walkers to get even more assigned walks. Additionally, the users can express additional tips concerns about a certain walker if they have a bad experience.
h. Scheduled Walks
This feature lets the users make a one-time booking and schedule regular walks for a longer time span. This is a convenient feature for those who for some reason or other can not go take their pet dogs for regular walks.
e. Push Notifications
Of course, push notifications are important because how else would the user stay alerted about everything? From the walker picking up the dog to all the actions that happen on the walk, cancellation, successful bookings, payment confirmation, all the information needs to reach the user in a convenient way.
4. Advanced And Unique Features for On-demand Dog Walking App Development
While the above features are the very basic features of an on demand dog walking app, your app needs some advanced features to truly stand out and become one of the top dog walking apps. So let’s see what kind of advanced features you need for your app to stand out for the mobile app development for dog walking.
a. Filtering Feature
This feature is going to help both the owners and dog walkers to filter and sort through the walkers and walk requests.
This is a much needed yet much-ignored feature. The dog owners can filter out walkers depending on various factors and choose one from the pool of walkers they prefer. The walkers too can choose and filter through assigned dogs based on the area and dog breeds.
b. Curated Professional Advice
This is going to be a valuable feature for those first-time dog parents. With daily tips on grooming, training, and diets, the daily tips and notes from professional vets, trainers and groomers can be very useful to the dog parents. Extra points if these daily tips can be modified to match specific breeds of dogs.
c. Doggy Playdate
Just like human beings, dogs too need daily socializing. While dog parks can be a great place for this, often there are bigger dogs there who can intimidate all the other dogs and ruin the fun.
That is why being able to set up a dog playdate can be an amazing way for the pet parents to set up playdates between two or more dogs so that they can get the much-needed socialization they need.
d. Sales & Events Notifications
The users can be notified whenever there are any specific events or sales going on nearby. This will not only be a fun way to spend time with their dogs but also help the owners to meet other dog owners. Events such as dog show, special training campaign, service dog training, along with a sale on toys and dog food can be included in this feature.
e. Community Feature
The group or community feature can help the dog parents and walkers on the platform to come together in one group and exchange information about caring for dogs and important notifications. This will be a good way for everyone to communicate with each other.
5. Designing An Attractive UI/UX to Create Your Dog Walking App
Even though it is a dog walking app, you need to pay enough attention to the UI/UX design. The ease and flow of the user interface will determine whether the user is going to come back to your app next time they need a dog walker or not.
Make sure that the User interface is easy to understand and navigate through. Booking a dog walker is not going to be as easy as ordering a cap or food. Even though the app model is a lot similar, the interface design needs to be different.
Since there are going to be a lot of details to put in regarding the owner and the dog as well, make the forms precise and easy to understand. No need for fancy use of language or extra images.
Remember that at the end of the day it is an app for busy dog parents to get a walker for their dogs in an efficient way. They are not going to be impressed with extra effects and animation if it does not help them to schedule a walk quickly.
6. Safety Measures To Take – Make Your App Secure
The dog service app still poses a lot of security risks to both the dog parents and the walkers. And to make it more secure for them, you should integrate some extra security features when you go for on-demand dog walking app development.
a. Background Checks For The Walkers
There has been more than one incident where the pet care provider from popular dog walking services fell short of the quality these companies promised.
Considering all the weird incidents that created headlines like this one, dog-walking apps have a shaky reputation among the users.
b. Safe Way To Hand Over The Keys
In most cases, the dog walkers booked through the app are arriving at your apartment when you are not home. In such a case, they need access to your apartment. Apps like Wag! Provide the owners with a lockbox, with a security code facility. The users keep the keys of their apartment inside this box and lock it with a code. The security code is only shared with the walker books, through the app.
Even though this system seems full-proof, it isn’t. There have been many instances where the dog walkers, with access to the security code, have robbed the house. And that’s why you need a safer way of handing over the keys.
c. Insurance For Pets And The House
There was a tragic incident, where the pet parent left their blind dog with a sitter booked through one of the popular dog walking uber app, but the dog fell off of a two-story building and passed away. Not to mention the various robbery incidents that have happened to many dog owners.
d. Live Cam And Photo Posting Feature During The Walk
The live cam and photo sharing feature can actually guarantee the real-time safety and security of the beloved pet. Having the dog walker go live through the app when they are picking the pup up for the walk and dropping them back home, can satisfy users to know that their dog is safe and sound.
7. How To Earn From Your App
Of course, the main aim of creating an app is to monetize it. And we take care of this in our dog walking app solution. When it comes to monetizing an app for dog care on demand, you need to know about the various monetization models.
a. Make Money With Marketplace Model
You create a platform, where all the other pet care providers can register and get bookings independently. All they have to do is pay a small charge to the platform for every booking and sitting completed.
This is basically a peer to peer-based payment model which helps the users to pay for the pet care service to the walker through the app.
b. Create Your Pet Care Agency App – The Agency Model
There is another model for this app, which is the agency model. With this model of monetization, you hire pet sitters and walkers, provide extensive training and eventually employ them as pet care providers. Unlike the marketplace model, the walkers here are not independent workers, rather they would work under your platform.
c. One Time Sign Up Fee
This one is for both service providers and pet parents. Having them pay a one-time signup fee would not only help you to raise revenue, but it will also help them take advantage of the various features of your platform.
d. Annual Fees For Users
The recurring annual fee to get access to premium features is a common monetization model for the most on-demand app. And that’s why utilizing it for your app can be a great way of raising revenue
e. Product Advertisement
You can easily monetize your app by showing relevant advertisements to the users. Getting into paid partnerships with various dog food or dog toy companies. However, make sure before you get into a partnership that the company is reliable and doesn’t endorse any kind of harmful product to the pet parents.
f. Selling Merchandise
Of course, selling merchandise on your dog platform is an amazing way of raising revenue. People consider their pets as part of their family, so they are obviously going to spend money on buying various toys and clothes for their precious family members.
g. Charging extra For Platform Assured Services
With this service, they provide extra guarantee and assurance to the user, in return for a specific charge. You can also do this for your users. Every time they book a dog walker, users can choose the assured service so that they have a better guarantee that nothing would go wrong.
Popular Dog Walking App In The Market
Even though it is a relatively new market, there are still a few chart-topping dogs walking apps in the market. These platforms will become your direct competitors should you choose to develop a dog platform.
Wag! Has been one of the top dog walking apps for a while now. Founded back in 2014, it has been named the uber for dog walking.
However, a few recent events have put the reputation of the company in jeopardy. Even then, the company raised $300 million in venture capital funds in 2018 from Softbank.
Users can schedule a dog walking service according to their schedule or get an emergency service within 15 minutes. The platform also offers other features such as dog notes, and instructions for the walker, live notifications and walk reports, etc.
Founded in 2011, Rover has been in this market for eight years, and it is one of the top players in the dog walking uber app segment.
Users can contact and message sitters and walkers right from the app and get easy replies. With the app, they can also perform easy and hassle-free payments. The Rover app also provides a map feature so that the user can track the walking route chosen by the walker. Along with that, there is a live notification feature for pee/poo, food and water, and additional personalized notes from the walkers or sitters.
Also launched in 2011, Barkly Pets had a simple aim, to provide the dog parents with quality pet care services. It is a great example of a successful on demand dog walking app development.
Besides the pet care services from 6 am to 10 pm 365 days, Barkly pets also offer a 24/7 customer care service for their clients. The users can meet the dog walker to get to know them before entrusting their precious family member to them. It is very easy to manage all the bookings, scheduling, and billing within the app.
So, what is the one truly necessary thing you need to create a successful dog walking app?
The answer is true love and compassion for animals. You must know that when you are taking care of someone’s dogs, you are not just taking care of an animal, but their family members. And that’s why you have to make sure that your client’s pets are treated with utmost love and affection.
Oh, and you’ll also need an app development partner who can turn your idea into a successful and scalable dog walking app. Plus, you also need to know the cost to develop an on-demand dog walking app which is mainly based on the features you choose.
So if you are truly thinking of making an app for dog walking, then feel free to contact us for further consultation and help. We have devised the best dog walking app solution for our beloved fuzzy little pets.