Dog-walking has come a long way since the days of giving the neighbor boy a buck to take the dog around the block a few times. It’s a serious business these days, particularly in areas where many dog owners are high-powered executives who care about their pets but just don’t have the time to give them regular exercise. A GPS application now gives owners the ability to check up on the dog walking service they hire and see if Fido is really getting his ten laps.
VeriWalk, not surprisingly, was co-developed by a dog owner who was tired of finding out that he was paying someone who didn’t treat his job seriously. If only there was a way to check in and see exactly where that dog-walker was during the scheduled walking time! With so many cell phones featuring built in GPS technology, all that remained was to build a program around that technology, tailored to meet the needs of dog walkers and their customers (their human customers, that is). That meant adding a text/email notification at the beginning and end of each walk, plus a map that updates in real time during the walk.
Initiation of this GPS application requires installation by both the dog walking service and the customer. The software is free to customers, and only minor fees apply to the software used by dog-walkers. The producers of VeriWalk anticipate that the app will quickly become popular as a form of accountability that has been conspicuously absent from the industry. The last time dog-walkers were this accountable was when you could ask the neighbor boy’s mother whether or not he earned his buck!
A second version of the GPS application is available for internal use only; that is, supervisors at the dog-walking service can track their employees, without the customer being involved at all. This is a fascinating variation on the quickly growing “fleet tracking” program, usually applied to cargo shipping, city bus, and trash truck fleets.
Dog-walking services might jump at the opportunity to gain an advantage over competing companies by being the first in the area to offer verified walks. Unfortunately, the app will not tell customers whether or not the walker cleaned up after Fido…but the neighbor will probably let you know about that!