Leaving your pet in someone else’s hands can be risky. Who loves your pet more than you do? For the right amount of money, a few pet tech apps are trying to remove that anxiety by connecting users with people who will care for your pet just as well as you do. The costs can be a little steep, but can free up your time for other things such as work, vacation or recuperating from an illness.
Here are a few pet care apps for dog owners that should save them time, if not money:
This dog boarding app lets you board your dog in someone’s home for a nightly fee that the host sets. You can search by location and dates of availability. You pay upfront through the app with a credit card after you and the host agree on the dates. Overnight sitting at your home is also available.
The app allows users to set up “meet and greets” with hosts so that everyone can meet each other. You not only want your dog and you to meet the homeowner and check out the property, but it’s important if the host also has a dog to make sure both animals get along together.
If your dog doesn’t get along with other dogs, then DogVacay probably isn’t for you because most hosts have at least one other dog staying with them at a time. Ask about that when scheduling a first meeting.
This dog walking app charges $25 for a 30-minute walk and $35 for a one-hour walk. Boarding starts at $50 per night. You can set up a dog walk with almost no notice or can schedule walks in advance.
If you’re away from home during the time your dog needs a walk, you have two options for getting the leash and the dog to the dog walker. You can either leave your dog in your back yard and leave a side gate unlocked for the walker to get it, or Wag will send you a free lock box so walkers can open it with a combination code to get your house key.
The app allows you to follow the dog walk in real time on a map — including the number of times your dog relieved itself along the way.
This is a GPS tracker that attaches to your pet’s collar and displays their location on a map. It may not save you any money, but will let you know your dog is safe at a boarder’s home or is out on a walk.
The tracker costs $80 and requires a subscription plan that costs from $96 to $120 for one year to $168 for two years, depending on how often you’re billed.
All of these apps are useful and easy to use, but aren’t cheap. Finding a friend with a dog may be your best solution for your dog-care needs when you’re on vacation. A reciprocal dog sitting relationship can work well for both sides and can save both people a lot of money.