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Experts Say Use Caution Before Using Dog Walking Apps

Nicknamed the “Uber for Dogs and Dog B-N-B,” Wag and Rover are popular apps that are transforming the pet care industry.

The apps offer on demand dog walking and dog sitting services through your phone, but a growing number of reports of dogs being mistreated are raising new questions about how well these apps screen their walkers and sitters.

Rover and Wag advertise “rigorous screening” and “background checks,” but those claims are coming into question as more and more people report their dogs are being mistreated.

The apps offer on-demand dog walking and sitting, but who those people are and how they’re screened is the big question. Rover advertises that fewer than 20 percent of sitters who apply are accepted; adding that all must pass a background check and be approved by a team of specialists.

One woman who left her special needs dog in the care of Rover while she was on a business trip says her dog died on Rover’s watch.

Pet care experts say, the industry is beginning to adopt more regulations but for now, pet owners should be looking for pet care providers with professional licenses.

“If you had a child, would you just accept a person on an app to take care of your child? Or would you do more investigation, and that’s what I encourage all pet owners to do,” said one expert.

Rover and Wag say these incidents are “rare,” but declined to provide exact numbers adding they don’t keep track on their platform of how many dogs have died but the well-being of pets is their top priority.

Rover also says they are continually working to improve safety. Wag tells us they are committed to improving services and care deeply about the safety of dogs.

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