As the summer approached, I needed money. Despite already working near full-time, that wasn't cutting it. I'm a 19-year-old college student. What does that mean? I have a lot of things to pay for: student loans, book costs, car insurance, cellphone bill, and the list continues. Working 40 hours a week at a job paying slightly above minimum wage wasn't cutting it for me. I had to think of another solution fast.
I had a moment of insight when I remembered a side job my freshman year roommate's boyfriend did: Dog walking. I remembered when I first heard about it, I thought it was some type of scam or a low paying job. I didn't think many people actually pay for their dogs to be walked by complete strangers. My roommate told me that many people truly do pay for their dogs to be walked, such as the elderly who cannot walk their own dogs, those who work long shifts such as nurses, or those who work irregular work shifts such as nights. I found the concept interesting but didn't pursue it anymore, until recent. Upon researching, I found out this dog walking is through an app called "Wag!" It is available on both Androids and iPhones. The layout is simplistic and easy to navigate.
Requesting The Walk: Someone who wants their dog walked puts in a request for their dog to be walked. The information given to the pool of dog walkers is the desired date/ time of the walk, location, the dog's photo/ name, and the pay. Most requested walks go by a first-come, first-served basis. If you request the walk and are accepted, that walk is yours. After you get accepted for said walk, any notes the owner has for you are written in the app. When the time comes for the walk, you (the dog walker) hit a button on the app that allows the owner to know you're on your way.
Getting The Dog: Once arrived, there's another prompted button on the app that you click which tells the owner you've arrived. Typically, there are two ways to get the dog: the owner is home and will bring the dog to you, or there is a keypad that you enter the code into (which the owner has already given you in the notes section of the app). After familiarizing yourself with the dog and leashing him/her up, you hit "Start walk" on the app and begin the walk for the designated amount of time.
During The Walk: During the walk, you have the ability to mark on the app when and where the dog goes to the bathroom. The app also tells you how much time has elapsed, so you know if you're 10 minutes into your 20-minute walk, you should turn around to go back to the dog's home. The owner's phone number is listed in case of an emergency during the walk.
After The Walk: After bringing the dog back in the house, the app will prompt you to end the walk and fill out some questions. This is your chance to write a note to the owner about how the walk went. You can also leave notes for future walkers of the dog such as where the best parking is, or what triggers the dog has. The app also reminds you to ensure the door is locked before your departure.
Getting Paid: As soon as the walk is over, you will get paid however much the owner had listed. Sometimes, the owner will tip you through the app as well. The money doesn't go into your bank account immediately but has a normal pay schedule like most jobs.
If this sounds like an easy, fun job, you should apply to be a "Wag! Walker." The process is simplistic, as long as you meet the "Wag! Walker" requirements, such as a clean background and decent endorsements, you should be accepted. You will also receive a "Wag! Walker" shirt after paying the $25 fee. Want to make extra money this year while being around dogs? Visit Wag Walking to learn more.