Wake up in new apartment in an unfamiliar city. Open up the Wag app. Killy, a mini golden–doodle half a mile away. Take leash and head over. Meet Killy, who is fluffier than expected. Take Killy on a walk through San Francisco past the Golden Gate Bridge. Drop Killy off and have $20 more in bank account.
Sound like the dream? This summer, it was Eva Killenberg's (E '21) reality, thanks to the innovative app Wag, known as the Uber for dog walking. While Killenberg was in San Francisco, she discovered the app through a friend and was intrigued by the idea. She signed up because she "wanted to make money over the summer and Wag seemed like a fun way to explore the city."
Surprisingly, she says, "I was actually not a huge dog person so that was my least favorite part of the job." But by the end of the summer, the self–proclaimed cat lover gained a new appreciation for dogs.
The app offers dog sitting, dog boarding, and its most popular service, dog walking. You can either sign up as a walker or sign up your dog to be taken out for walks. Applying to be a walker includes online quizzes, references, and a background check. Once you’re officially a walker, you can take as many jobs as you want.
If you sign up as a dog owner, you submit pictures of your pooch, a description, and usually leave a key in a lockbox for the walker to pick up your dog.
When a walk is started, the dog owner is able to see the walker’s location via GPS tracking. After the walk is complete, the owner can leave a rating and review. The average walk length is 30–minutes, at a rate of $20.
Killenberg ended up taking about 40 walks and made $800 over the course of the summer. One of the highlights of the Wag experience for her was when a huge husky she was walking lied down and refused to move for over half an hour. She ended up having to drag the dog home.
With a busy class schedule, Wag may just be the perfect way for students to make a little extra cash. Campus dog owners take note as well: Wag can ensure your dog gets the exercise it needs even when you're in class or caught up with extra–curriculars. The app makes it as simple as pressing a button.
On Penn’s campus, walks are unfortunately taken very quickly. There are usually more walks available in Center City for students willing to make the trek. Another way around the traffic is signing up for walks early in the morning or late at night. The app allows walks from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
So dog lovers take note—a day spent frolicking in the grass with adorable dogs is just a few clicks away.