Rover vs. Wag: Which Is a Better Way To Make Money?

Happy woman walking with dog in early Sunday morning in London, Notting Hill.
LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

The gig economy and smartphone apps have made it easier than ever to make money. Today, that includes getting paid to care for some adorable pets. If you have ever considered taking up pet care, you have probably heard of Rover and Wag.

But what are the differences? And if you want to get paid, which one is a better way to make money? While Rover and Wag are similar in many ways, there are a few key differences. Thus, knowing what sets the two services apart will help you decide which one is right for you.

If you want to work for yourself and set your own schedule, read on to find out whether Rover or Wag is a better way to make money.

What Is Rover?

Rover is a service that connects pet owners with independent pet care providers. Rover is the most popular dog walking service, available in over 24,000 neighborhoods. Thus, if you have considered offering pet care yourself, there’s a good chance you have heard of Rover.

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In addition, Rover acquired DogBuddy, Europe’s first and foremost platform for doggy boarding, doggy daycare and dog walking. This will allow Rover to further expand its footprint in the European market.

Application and Requirements

To join Rover as a sitter, you’ll first have to meet the basic requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Live in an area where Rover operates.
  • Complete a background check.

The application process for Rover is relatively straightforward and involves a few steps. First create your profile by adding contact information and photos, and then choose your services and rates. If you don’t know how much to charge, you can search your area for other sitters. You’ll see how much they charge for each service. If you are new to the service, it’s best to set your rates on the low end. You can always increase them once you have more testimonials.

While the mobile app isn’t required to join, it is needed for many of Rover’s services, such as walks and drop-ins. Rover also requires a background check for all sitters which costs $25. For $35, sitters can opt for an enhanced background check that includes a manual search of county court records based on your address history. The enhanced background check isn’t required, but it might give your potential clients more peace of mind.

Finding Gigs

On Rover, clients come to you. As long as your profile is complete and you pass the background check, you are ready to start caring for some furry friends.

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If you want to go the extra mile, though, try to make your profile stand out. Show your personality and, more importantly, show pet owners how much you love dogs (or cats).

Other ways to help you find gigs on Rover is to keep your schedule updated and respond to messages quickly. Also, Rover recommends booking as many requests as you can when you are new.

Getting Paid

How much you will earn from Rover depends upon the services you offer as well as where you live. Different services have different rates, and you should have rates that are competitive with other sitters in your area.

Keep in mind that Rover takes a 15%, 20%, or 25% fee, depending upon when you created your profile. Also, as an independent contractor, there are no benefits, such as health insurance.

Boarding or Hosting Pets

If you can board dogs and cats –host them at your own home — those rates are generally higher than sitting rates, i.e., staying at the owner’s home. However, you only get paid a flat rate per 24 hours for sitting and boarding. Walking and drop-ins can be more lucrative because they are 30-minute visits and the rates can be almost as high as sitting rates.

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Thus, the best way to get paid using Rover is with walks and drop-ins, but those can be difficult to come by, depending on the demand in your area. Thus, boarding will help you make some extra cash if that is something you can offer.

Sometimes pet owners might offer you a cash tip, but Rover doesn’t support tipping on the app.

Good To Know

Whether you use Rover or Wag, be sure your profile is inviting. Owners love to see your personality and, more importantly, interacting with pets. Let them know their pets will be loved while they are away!

What Is Wag?

Like Rover, Wag is a service connecting independent contractors to pet owners. Services on Wag include boarding, pet sitting, drop-ins, and even pet training. Rover doesn’t offer training, so Wag is your app of choice if you want to offer that service.

Application and Requirements

To join Wag as a sitter, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 and legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Live in an area where Wag operates.
  • Pass a safety quiz and background check.
  • Have previous training experience and complete an assessment (only for trainers).

The Wag application is a bit more stringent than the process for Rover. As noted above, a safety quiz is also required to join, and there is a $29.95 processing fee for the application.

In addition, you must have endorsements from people you know, such as friends and family. Once that is done, the application will take around three days to process, but can sometimes take a few weeks. According to Wag, the more endorsements you have, the quicker your application will be processed.

Finding Gigs

The way Wag works is a little different from Rover. Pet owners can either request you or Rover will recommend you depending on the type of service.

Also, Wag has on-demand services that you can see nearby. With a walk, for example, you can see the time the walk is requested, how far away it is, the length of the walk, and the type of dog.

Getting Paid

Like Rover, how much you get paid depends on the service you offer and where you live. Wag says the average rate for a 20-minute walk for one dog costs between $12.75 to $19.99. However, unlike Rover, Wag does support tipping. Tipping is encouraged, but not required. For boarding, Wag says the average rate for one dog is $48 to $69.

Unfortunately, Wag has commissions and fees at 40%, or double the Rover fee. The only silver lining is that you don’t pay fees on tips.

What Is the Difference Between Rover and Wag?

Rover and Wag are similar in a lot of ways with a few key differences. Wag has a slightly tougher application process and has on-demand services, plus pet training. Rover has doggy daycare, something Wag lacks. If you want to use some of the unique features of both Rover and Wag, nothing is stopping you from working for both services.

However, the glaring difference between the two is the fees: Rover charges a 15-25% fee and Wag charges a 40% fee. While you may want to look into both apps, it’s tough to recommend Wag unless you want to offer pet training. The only way you can make up the fee difference is with tips, which Wag supports and Rover doesn’t.

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About the Author

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer who specializes in topics such as investing, banking and credit cards. He left his day job in 2019 to pursue his passion for helping people get out of debt and build wealth. You can find his work at outlets such as Business Insider, Forbes Advisor and SoFi.
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