Newsletter: June 2019

Table of Contents

The Water Bowl is paws down the best monthly newsletter for pet professionals. We provide editorial on current events in the dog walking and pet sitting world, review gear and gather interesting information from around the web.

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  • June is National Safety Month
  • Mo Money Mo Problems at Wag
  • Wrist injuries are on the rise
  • Study shows puppy classes work
  • A podcast for dog lovers.

Be Safe


National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month. Here are 4 tips for creating a safer environment for the pets you care for:

  1. Take a Pet CPR class
  2. Leave a "Pet Inside" decal for your customers
  3. Check leashes and other equipment regularly
  4. Send pet parents a seasonal safety guide

And for the Humanz...

  1. Wear close-toed, comfortable shoes
  2. Wear a helmet when you ride
  3. Wear reflective clothing when you walk
  4. Carry a first aid kit

Do you have safety tips you want to share? Post them using the hashtag #NationalSafetyMonth to share with the community.

Bad Dog. No Tails are Wagging at Wag

In 2018 Wag received a massive $300M investment from the SoftBank Vision fund, but as the saying goes, "Mo money, Mo Problems". According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Wag isn't meeting it's growth expectations, falling behind with only 8% growth. So why isn't Wag growing?

Bad press: The recent surge in bad press, ranging from lost pets and PR missteps could be taking its toll. A recent search for "Wag Dog Walking" yielded some questionable results.

  • 7 of the top 20 results were negative press coverage.
  • 2 results were negative reviews by Wag's walkers on popular sites like
  • 4 of the results were for Wag's own website or links to their apps.

Having 50% or more negative articles can't be great for business

We're good at our jobs: One theory about why Wag isn't growing as investors had originally anticipated is that local dog walkers are doing a great job. Wag made headlines because of the technology they employ, but that's where the benefits of their service end. Unlike rideshare companies, dog walking apps aren't entering a broken industry--there's not much to disrupt.

Locally owned dog walking companies like yours are doing a great job caring for your clients' pets. And with companies like Scout providing enterprise level software to local businesses, there isn't much of an advantage left for Wag in the marketplace. The choice between local business and an app isn't about convenience anymore; pet owners can get the same convenience from a small business that has ties to the community, and avoid the baggage of hiring a complete stranger with no reputation to protect and often times, no insurance.

While the threat to small businesses is real, it seems as if Wag's investment isn't the apocalypse many envisioned. If you're looking for a way you can compete with on-demand companies, check out my article How to Compete with Wag and Rover

Blurbs. Curated Content from the Interwebs

  • The First Cut is the Deepest. As the rate of pet ownership continues to increase, surgeons are warning that hand and wrist injuries are on the rise. Just another reason to avoid using "extender" leashes.
  • School for dogs. The results of a recent study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior shows that "proper socialization combined with positive reinforcement-based training in the context of a group puppy class could help puppies grow into well-adjusted pets."
  • Can I Pet Your Dog? This #1 rated podcast airs every Tuesday on your favorite podcast app. Allegra and Alexis tell you about dogs they've met, dogs in the news, and any other dog they can think of.

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