Tech VS Pet :
Which Business Really Provides Better Care?
These days there is an online, on-demand service for everything. Whether you want to hail a rideshare, order food from your favorite restaurant or have groceries delivered, customers are turning to online tech companies more often than ever for quick-fix solutions and services.
Recently, the trend of app-based platforms has spread to the world of pet sitting and dog walking, giving pet parents the option to request care for their pets at the press of a button. However, many pet owners are torn on whether to utilize this new technology or hire locally run pet care providers.
The Pet Gal – a professional pet sitting company with nearly 10 years of experience – believes that there is no better choice for your pet than a trained, certified professional from a local company. While new pet care apps emerge every day in the wake of this on-demand boom, local pet sitting is a business model that has stood the test of time, offering a variety of benefits for both pets and their owners.
Building a Relationship with Pets
The Pet Gal believes that finding quality pet sitting and dog walking is as essential to your pet’s overall well-being and behavior as regular veterinary visits and proper training. There is no better way to achieve this than to hire a local pet sitter with whom you can build a solid, trusting relationship with. Online tech companies are less likely to provide this personal, caring relationship than local companies.
Consistent, familiar pet sitters can help your pet maintain good behavior, as sitters will know the family training techniques and can enforce them. It also helps keep your pet in good health – pets do not feel anxious or nervous each time they are visited if they have a relationship with their sitter. In addition, knowing and trusting who is coming into your home can provide priceless peace of mind for you.
As opposed to increasing client base for the sake of making additional profits, local pet sitting companies work hard at building their reputation with clients in their community one pet at a time.
“Our dog with glaucoma’s ophthalmologist said putting your dog in a kennel can cause eye pressures to go up and cause stress. The added stress is not good for senior pets or pets with health issues. Consistent, trained sitters coming to the house is the best for their health.” – Pet Gal Laura
App Industry vs. Service Industry
The origins and growth of many leading pet care apps are often based in the development of software and expansion of business, rather than a genuine desire to work in the pet industry. For example, the popular on-demand dog walking service Wag! has recently hired a new CEO following a $300 million-dollar investment from SoftBank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate. It is corporate moves like this that give massive corporations, not pet lovers, heavy influence on how the business is run. In comparison, local professionals nearly always start and consistently run their companies because of their true passion for pets.
When looking to hire a pet sitter or dog walker, pet parents should do some research on the company’s owner and any corporations that may have a stake in the business. Do their qualifications speak more to their experience in pet care or software development? Does their business model seem more focused on increasing profits or the personal experience of pet care? Often you will find that local pet care companies offer more reassuring answers to those questions.
Recently, The Pet Gal began utilizing app technology in tandem with personalized services. However, owner Susan Anderson, began her pet sitting journey nearly 10 years ago to fulfill her passion of working with animals and providing the absolute best pet care possible.
“There have been multiple occasions when a prior Wag! or Rover client contacts us looking for quality care after sharing a not so pleasant experience with their sitters. They’re blown away by our level of service. While we use tech daily, our focus is personalized care, love, and attention.” – Susan Anderson, Owner of The Pet Gal
Offering a Path to Careers in Pet Care
While it is true that people with a passion for pets can and do work for online tech platforms, the business model of these companies does not offer pet professionals a path to a long-term career. Local companies offer the chance for pet sitters and dog walkers to grow, not only with the company itself but also in their own journey to a career in the pet industry.
Many of The Pet Gal’s independent contractors have gone on to become employees with us, as well as create successful careers as private pet sitters, trainers, pet photographers, and more.
When pet parents hire a local pet sitting company, they are promised a professional that is committed and has a vested interest in learning and growing in the industry.
Profit Driven vs. Quality Driven
Dog walking and pet sitting apps may offer a quick solution and promise great customer service, but their quick-fix business model is more reflective of their desire to earn a profit rather than their passion for providing excellent pet care. Local pet sitting companies prioritize pet care and service over profits.
A look at the hiring process of leading pet-sitting apps reveals how online tech companies prioritize making money over hiring the best possible candidates. With only a background check and basic information, people can on-board with some of the leading pet care apps in as shorts as 1-5 days. In comparison, The Pet Gal utilizes background checks, references, resumes, and an intensive in-person interview process with every potential contractor we work with. This guarantees that all our Pet Gals are passionate about working with us and committed to their career as a pet professional.
In addition, local pros are more selective on the clients they choose to work with. In their desire to increase profits as much as possible, app-based services will often provide pet care for anyone and everyone. Comparatively, The Pet Gal’s onboarding process for clients ensures that we are the best fit for you and vice versa.
“When we first moved to Austin, I tried Rover. The Sitter was okay, but was always unavailable and never gave me feedback, photos, or updates. I suppose she was there, but without all the wonderful feedback and tools that Pet Gal provides, how do you know? I also used VIP and they sent me text updates, but never cleaned poop and gave our old dog too many treats, causing him to be sick. Then, I found Pet Gal. Joy and Suzy provided great updates, photos, and really understood how to take care of our senior dog. That’s why I applied to work here.” – Pet Gal Laura
Security & Certifications
Incidents – whether over the safety and security of the pet or the home – for online tech pet services are on the rise. From losing dogs while on walks to violating the trust and privacy of the clients’ homes to simply being negligent, the lack of security provided by some of the leading on-demand pet apps can be alarming.
With local, pet care companies such as The Pet Gal, clients can rest easy knowing that their pet and home are in good hands. They take absolutely every precaution when it comes to ensuring a safe, happy, and secure experience for both pets and their owners.
All independent contractors at The Pet Gal are required to maintain certifications for pet CPR and first aid as well as behavioral training for both cats and dogs. Many also have training and experience beyond that, as they hire pet lovers who are often looking to expand their career in the pet industry. To top it all, every sitter on their team is covered by an insurance policy up to $1,000,000. It is extra-mile steps such as these that truly set local, pet care companies apart from on-demand tech companies.
Additional & Personalized Services
Online tech companies may offer quick solutions, but they pale in comparison to the variety of services and level of personalization local pet care professionals offer. Whether your dog is special needs, your cat needs medication administered, or you need additional services such as pet wedding attendant or pet taxi, local pet companies like The Pet Gal are the best option to not only meet but exceed your expectations.
“If it were me and I had an animal that needed medicines, that would be scary to have a random individual possibly giving it wrong or not at all. Going over it all with a sitter is better and offers peace of mind.”– Pet Gal Kathleen
Give Back to & Supporting the Community
When hiring local pet professionals, you are supporting your neighborhood and community rather than big business. Best of all, local companies can use their status as a locally-owned business to give back to their city by supporting community organizations. For instance, The Pet Gal routinely partners with other local pet professionals throughout the industry to attend and host group events that benefit local rescue groups and give back to the community.
When it comes to providing the best possible care for your pets, the choice is clear. Choose a local professional or company to ensure a personal, quality, safe experience for you and your pet.Pet Gal Kirstie.