Dot-com Dog Walking

When it comes to our dogs’ safety, is the gig economy a good model?
Photo by Kerkez

It’s a dot-com world. Wielding our smartphones like light sabers, we order up a ride, a meal, a grocery delivery, someone to fix our leaky kitchen faucet. Many of life’s mundane details can now be managed by deploying an app.

So it was just a matter of time before another detail—walking the dog—popped up on the app menu. With a screen tap, petwalking apps allow busy people to schedule their dogs’ outings, promising instant updates, route information and GPS tracking. The companies market their services, which also include boarding and pet-sitting, with assurances of background screenings, insurance and 24/7 customer support.

The big selling point, of course, is convenience, and dog lovers are signing up in droves. The apps are cheap and fast; you can book a walker without having to arrange interviews, and schedule a walk in seconds with the click of a button if you get a last-minute dinner invitation or have to work late.

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