You can get a lot of things on demand in New York City if you have the right apps on your phone - take-out, laundry, groceries, even a date - and from today you can also find someone to take your dog for a walk.
The creators of an app called “Wag!” are bringing their service to New York after launching in San Francisco and in Los Angeles.
The app lets you call a dog walker on demand, or schedule a regular walker at the same time every day.
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During the walk, a GPS attachment tracks the dog’s location, and when the dog gets home owners receive a pee/poop report, a log of the distance their pet has traveled, and a photo along with a note from the walker.
Co-creator of the app, Josh Viner, is a 27-year-old tech entrepreneur whose friends and family kept telling him he shouldn’t get a dog because his lifestyle just wouldn’t allow him to care for it properly.
“About six months ago I really wanted to get a dog and I kept getting convinced out of it by my parents, my brother, my friends, who said you just don’t have the time to make that commitment, so I got really frustrated and I noticed a lot of other people had a similar problem,” he said.
So Viner came up with Wag! as a solution for busy twenty and thirty-somethings who might have unpredictable plans - or on the other hand, perhaps just over-scheduled lives.
Viner is still working on adopting his own dog but says the Wag! offices have a five year old golden retriever named Oliver, who hangs out with him at work.
Wag! launched in L.A. in January and in San Francisco earlier this month. It’s been in beta testing in New York City for the last couple of weeks, but is now officially available in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The service promises to have a walker at the customer’s door within 30 minutes, and charges $20 for a half hour walk, $30 for an hour, and $5 extra per extra dog.
Viner says the walkers are screened for experience with dogs, get background checks and go through an in-house training course before they are hired.