DogBuddy is an easy-to-use website & app for connecting dog owners with trusted, insured, local dog sitters and dog walkers. Those looking for a dog walker or who don't want to leave their dog in a traditional, impersonal kennel can find someone to care for their dog as if it were their own.
- Review of DogBuddy
- How much is DogBuddy?
- Customer Reviews
Our Thoughts: DogBuddy Review
DogBuddy ticks a lot of boxes for dog walkers and dog owners alike. Beyond the main purpose of helping dog owners and dog walkers or sitters find each other (they have thousands of dog and people signed up), there are other significant benefits of joining related to safety, security and convenience.
For instance, dog owners can have peace of mind knowing that dog walkers are checked out by DogBuddy beforehand. We also like that even before you sign up you can look around the website to get an idea of dog sitters and walkers in your area. On a sitter's listing you can view pictures of a sitter and their home, read about their experience with dogs and find out if they've been "approved" by DogBuddy. We found this very helpful in gaining comfort with the service.
By spending some time browsing the site, both dog owners and dog walkers can get a feel of what they really want. For instance, one dog walker might realize they want to walk bouncy, energetic young dogs whilst another might find older, calmer dogs more their speed. Or perhaps one dog owner would rather form a relationship with someone who walks lots of dogs already whilst another might prefer a dog walker with few dogs and a very open schedule.
We really like the features available on the App. As expected, you can search for sitters, read reviews and make a booking on the App. In addition, once your dog is in a sitter's care, the App lets you receive messages from the sitter including photos. Plus you can see GPS tracking of each dog walk, complete with a map.
A great DogBuddy feature is that the App handles payments, so dog owners can quickly and securely pay for dog walking and sitting services. This eliminates the need to carry cash, plus tracking of payments helps both parties avoid confusion (e.g., was the last dog walked paid for?).
While DogBuddy is like a match making service, they do try to maintain the quality of their sitters and assist if you have a problem. For instance, if a sitter cancels at the last minute, you can inform DogBuddy and they'll work to help you find an alternative sitter as they offer a concierge service and can cover up to 25% of the difference in cost. If a sitter has a poor response rate or cancels bookings without a valid reason, DogBuddy may even remove the sitter from their platform.
DogBuddy Benefits: for Dog Owners
Booking through DogBuddy can give pet owners peace of mind about who is watching their beloved dog. For instance, one feature we really like is the reviews, where you can read about previous experiences from other dog owners.
You can also learn quite a bit about a sitter before engaging with them. As part of the sign up process, dog walkers have their ID validated and background checks performed. This information and more is available for you to see whilst browsing for a sitter. For example, here's a recap of what you can see on a sitter's listing:
- If they passed the assessment
- If they have provided proof of address
- If they have been approved by DogBuddy
- Number of completed bookings on DogBuddy
- Response rate (i.e., how quickly they respond)
- Reviews from other dog owners
Below is an example of a dog walker's credentials in their listing, so you can see how the information is presented.
You can also get to know a prospective sitter prior to leaving your dog in their care by arranging a Meet & Greet. This way you can assess how your dog and the sitter get along. Meeting a dog sitter in their home gives you the chance to see where your dog will be staying, to decide if it seems suitable.
Once your dog is with their carer, you can get updates via a messaging service on the app, which includes photos and GPS maps of their walks. The app includes:
- Finding dog sitters and walkers
- Reading reviews
- Making bookings
- Message service
- Photo and video uploads
- GPS walk mapping and tracking (called "Walkies")
- Making payments
DogBuddy Benefits: for Dog Walkers and Sitters
DogBuddy has a number of benefits for dog walkers to help both established businesses and the occasional dog sitter to find & contact clients, manage bookings, track payments and stay protected. For instance, by working under the DogBuddy umbrella, you might choose not to set up an official dog walking business if you don't want to—which means you don't need to sort out service contracts or public liability insurance.
As discussed above, the DogBuddy app lets you accept and manage bookings, contact clients, track walks, accept & track payments and share photo updates with dog owners.
The public liability and vet cover only applies to bookings made through the site. If you establish a relationship and have regular bookings with a certain dog make sure all bookings are still made through the site, or you won't be covered. For instance, a booking made through text messaging with an owner (not via DogBuddy) would not benefit from the liability or vet cover. Be sure to use the website or the app for bookings.
- Help creating a listing
- £1.7M public liability insurance
- 24/7 vet line
- £2,000 veterinary reimbursement
- Secure payments
How Much is DogBuddy?
The DogBuddy service fees are 15% of the booking value. The dog owner pays this amount on top of the rate charged by your dog walker. The fee will be automatically taken when you pay online through the website or through a mobile app.
DogBuddy is rated quite highly by dog owners and dog walkers alike, achieving a remarkable 8.9 out of 10 stars on TrustPilot. Of particular note are the app being easy to use for communication between owner and dog carer, bookings and payments.
If your priority is spending time with dogs, not making money, then you may also want to consider joining BorrowMyDoggy, an online platform to connect dog owners with those who want to spend time with dogs (for free).