• Oh My Dog!

To Wag Or Not To Wag, That Is The Question!

Dog-walking app Wag loses yet another pooch

Wag killed our dog — and tried to buy our silence

I read a handful of these types of articles yesterday and it made me think about relationships. Why is it important to know your pet care person and for your pet care person to meet and know you? I’m a firm believer of the “Meet & Greet” before I agree to take on a new client for a myriad of reasons, but the most important reason is to get to know your pet(s).

I'm very lucky to say that all of my clients have been wonderful people with wonderful pets, but I have also heard stories of pet sitters not being able to get into a house because the key or code didn't work, pet sitters stealing from homes or not even showing up, pets being extremely aggressive when a pet sitter walks into the house because they've not met them before, walkers losing dogs because they didn't know what frightens them, and even horrific pet sitter animal abuse.

And let's be real - we all make mistakes and have epic pet sitter fails, but if you have built a relationship with your client, doesn't it sound easier to be comfortable enough to reach out and say, "Oh shit, I did this dopey thing...." and then ask for their suggestions, get crackin' on fixing your mistake, and resolve the issue quickly?

I tried Wag when I was first starting out and I only signed up for one walk. I stopped working with the company afterwards because I simply didn't enjoy the experience. I had no contact with the owners throughout the whole process and I couldn’t figure out how to get into the lockbox and unlock the door without help from a neighbor. Nobody told me about the cat inside, that was an escaped artist when I opened the door (I got him back quickly and renamed him Houdini). Other things like...there was no water for the dog when I walked in, the dog was in a crate entirely too small for its size and I knew I had to put her back in there before I left, and there were no instructions as to what trails they typically walked or where they would bring the dog. So for me, this situation didn't feel good or right.

It’s important to me that I see your home, meet you as the pet parent, and meet your furry babes so I have more knowledge about what you and your pets need. Sometimes bigger is not always better and in pet care, I believe there needs to be personalization. I embrace an organic development of a relationship with my clients in order to provide the best service. There is, in my opinion, better communication and more honesty in having a face-to-face conversation with the person entrusting you with their beloved best friend. Meeting the people you will be working with, getting to know more about who they are, who their families are, and being invited into their homes, is an extremely personal thing.

What has been your experience with Wag or Rover, or any of the other larger pet care companies? Sound off below!