Wag!

Community Guidelines

Updated: January 8, 2021

At Wag!, we create joy for pets and those who love them. Our goal is to support and empower the Wag! community to create an environment where both Pet Parents and Pet Caregivers feel safe and supported while taking care of pets and their needs.

The following Community Guidelines are here to help facilitate a community-wide understanding of expectations and standards of conduct while using Wag!. By using Wag!, you agree to these guidelines and our Terms of Service. Violating these guidelines may result in loss of access to Wag!.

Wag!'s Community Guidelines are divided into the four following sections: Safety, Home and Personal Security, Respect, and Reliability. 

Safety

Overview

Safety is the foundation of our community. When Wag! refers to safety, we think across our four main constituents: the Pet Caregiver, the Pet Parent, the pet, and the communities in which we operate.

Pet Caregiver Safety

Wag!'s platform aims to provide Pet Caregivers with the information and access needed to support a safe experience while conducting a service booked through Wag!. Before booking a new service, you can read the Pet Parent and pet profiles and consider the information that's made available to you in-app by the Pet Parent before you request the service. This will help ensure you pair with a pet that's right for you. If you have a question about a specific service you've booked, or if something does go wrong, it's important to communicate immediately with the Pet Parent or Wag! for swift resolution. 

In connection with a service, Pet Parents have stated in surveys that they expect Pet Caregivers to conduct the following: 

  • Move easily for the duration of a walk and for the amount of time the Pet Parent has requested, including entry and exit of the Pet Parent's home.
  • Ascend/descend stairs (or use alternate ramp or elevator, if possible) while maintaining safe control of a pet.
  • Readily leash and unleash the pet before the walk commences or when it has been completed.
  • Maintain on-leash and collar control of the pet (regardless of size) during the duration of the service.
  • Pick up after the pet, including proper bagging and disposal of waste.
  • Navigate the features and controls of the Wag! app and perform the appropriate in-app actions associated with each walk (i.e., starting/ending a walk).
  • Be attentive while performing a service, with full focus on the pet.

Walkalongs

Pet Caregivers who utilize the Wag! platform to provide pet care services should perform these services on their own or, under the terms of the Pet Care Provider Platform Use Agreement, a subcontracted party by the Pet Caregiver if such party is also registered as a Pet Caregiver on the Wag! platform. In the event that a Pet Caregiver brings another person on a walk, this person must be at least 18-years old, and the Pet Caregiver should maintain control of the pet during the entirety of the walk and should not allow any third parties into the home of the Pet Parent.

Pet Parent Safety

We encourage Pet Parents to communicate and engage with Pet Caregivers solely through the Wag! app or our website. Remember that Pet Caregivers may have questions and it is good practice to communicate directly when these questions arise. We encourage Pet Parents to keep their mobile devices close during a service engagement. The Wag! app has user safety features that allow you to communicate with Pet Caregivers safely and conveniently. We also encourage Pet Parents to change lockbox codes often and not to share personal information, including phone numbers. When changing your lockbox code, also remember to update this information within the Wag! app to ensure upcoming Pet Caregivers have the information they need.

Pet Safety

Wag! wants every service experience to be as successful as possible. We provide educational resources (like videos and blog posts) to the Wag! community on the Trust & Safety section of wagwalking.com, in emails, and in the Wag! app. In the unlikely event that a pet is sick, injured or lost, we want to act quickly. Wag! is mindful that the Pet Caregiver is the one dealing with an incident in real time, but we are here to help. As a Pet Caregiver, contact 911 first in an emergency and Wag! as soon as you’ve learned that the pet’s health is threatened, the pet has come off leash, has been injured, or you’re experiencing another safety issue.

Off Leash Activity

All services on the Wag! platform are intended to be completed with the pet on a leash or properly secured in the Pet Parent’s or Pet Caregiver's home, as applicable. This includes any outdoor activities, including those in a fenced-in back yard or dog park. In some instances, Pet Parents may request off-leash activity. Off-leash activity may only be facilitated if formally requested in the notes by the Pet Parent, and if confined to the fenced-in backyard of the Pet Parent's home. Even in the event a Pet Parent requests off-leash activity, the request is at the discretion and risk of the Pet Parent and the Pet Caregiver based on potential health or safety risks posed. Contact the Pet Parent and Wag! as soon as you've learned that the pet’s health has been threatened, the pet has come off leash unintentionally, or you’re experiencing another safety issue.

Safety Tools

The Wag! app and our website contain certain safety features that support our commitment to safety to the Wag! community. For example, the Wag! app allows the Pet Caregiver to call 911 directly in the event the Pet Caregiver is experiencing an emergency and needs immediate help or otherwise to reach the Wag! team. Wag! also sends the Wag! community messages whenever outdoor temperatures become hot or cold enough that Pet Parents and Pet Caregivers should exercise extra caution to ensure the pet’s well-being, such as shortening the walk in the extreme cold or bringing extra water in extremely hot conditions.

Illegal Activity

Wag! takes user and pet safety very seriously; the use of drugs or alcohol by the Pet Caregiver at any time while engaged in the performance of services booked through the Wag! app or our website is strictly prohibited. Fraudulent behavior or activity on the platform is also prohibited, and Wag! may block users’ access to Wag! if suspicious activity is detected. Suspicious activity includes, but is not limited to, referral abuse, promotional abuse, and payment disputes.

Home and Personal Security

Overview

Here at Wag!, we take home access seriously. Pet Parents may use lockboxes to securely store a house key for the Pet Caregiver to gain entry into the home to pick up and drop off the pet. In the event that a Pet Caregiver arrives and is unable to retrieve the key from the lockbox, it is important to know how to troubleshoot and work quickly to ensure that the pet inside gets walked on time, and that the Pet Caregiver is not late for upcoming walks. [For more information about common lockbox issues and how to resolve them quickly, go here].

We also encourage all users of the Wag! platform to keep their personal information safe. Keep in mind that Wag! support staff will never ask you for passwords or banking information. If you receive a suspicious call or text message, do not respond and contact law enforcement or Wag! support immediately. 

For Pet Caregivers

Pet Parents expect Pet Caregivers to take the appropriate and safe steps to gain access into a home, which includes reviewing the Pet Parents’ notes. If there are issues with accessing the Pet Parent's home, the Pet Caregiver can contact the Pet Parent directly via the Wag! app. If the lockbox is not working or the home is otherwise not accessible and the Pet Parent cannot be reached, the Pet Caregiver can also contact Wag! through the Wag! app, and Wag! can also help troubleshoot the issue. The best way to ensure a Pet Parent's house keys are secure during the walk is to return the key to the lockbox at the start of the walk, to the original safekeeping place, or to the Pet Parents themselves, and to ensure that all doors and entrances utilized for services are locked upon exiting the home. All keys should be returned to their original safekeeping place, the Pet Parent's lockbox, or to the Pet Parents themselves. Any lost or damaged keys, damaged locks, or unsecured entryways are the sole responsibility of the Pet Caregiver.

For Pet Parents

Pet Parents should ensure the Pet Caregiver has smooth access to the home to pick up the pet. As a Pet Parent, be sure to provide information about accessing your home within the Wag! app or on our website. The Wag! app is the best channel for communication between you and your Pet Caregiver. As a best practice, ensure your pet's profile is filled out adequately, updated as needed, and includes any special details you may want to convey to your Pet Caregiver.

To learn more, please see our Home Access Policy.

Respect

Overview

Respecting others and their space is integral to the success of Wag!'s community and business. To avoid a negative experience, including ones that result in damage to either the home or other property, such as the pet's leash, collar or harness, Pet Parents expect Pet Caregivers to understand their specific instructions to carry out the requested service. Countless services happen daily, and it is important to carefully read each Pet Parent’s profile to learn about their specific pet and their specific expectations.

For Pet Parents, providing accurate and clear information in the Wag! app or on our website is important. Remember, like pets, each of us is unique and will have varying expectations of the other person. Being communicative and asking questions when you feel you don’t have enough information will help avoid misunderstandings of what is acceptable and what is not. A simple in-app message or call can lead to a more successful experience.

Respecting the Home

Use good judgment. Pet Parents expect Pet Caregivers to conduct themselves in a respectful fashion when entering their home. Carefully reading the Pet Parent's home access instructions will help facilitate a smooth experience. Wag! wants everyone to feel respected and comfortable while engaged in any of the service experiences offered through our platform. Pet Parents expect Pet Caregivers to only access areas that are designated as allowed by the Pet Parent, leave everything as they found it, and ensure the home is locked up during the walk and after they’ve brought the pet back home.

While in a Pet Parent's home, regardless of the service you are providing, Pet Caregivers should not take photos. A home is a private space and should be treated as such. The only exception is when the Pet Parent has requested photo updates of the service. Again, this is why it is important to understand specific Pet Parent expectations each time a service is provided using the Wag! platform.

Respecting Others

Wag! supports an inclusive community and is proud to have people of different cultures, races, religions, and sexual orientations on the Wag! platform. It is unacceptable to use the platform in a way that is racist, sexist, ageist or discriminatory in any way. If you feel you have been discriminated against, reach out to Wag! to report the incident.

Remember that every Wag! user may have unique expectations. If you feel you cannot perform the service to the Pet Parents’ explicit instructions or otherwise feel you cannot complete the request, do not request the service engagement.

Pet Caregivers and Pet Parents

Any time a Pet Parent and Pet Caregiver interact, whether within the Wag! app, on our website or in real life, the interactions should be informative, kind, and respectful. We’re all here to bring joy to pets and those who love them, as well as to one other.

Community Interactions

When caring for a pet, Pet Parents expect Pet Caregivers to act in a manner that is considerate and thoughtful. They expect Pet Caregivers to pick up after the pet, be respectful of areas where they are walking, and be mindful of those around them.

Reliability

Reliable Pet Caregivers

The Wag! community depends on reliability, dependability and authenticity. To help ensure a successful experience with Wag!, Pet Caregivers should use every effort to be on time when performing a service engagement. Remember that pets look forward to these experiences. They and their Pet Parents rely on you to carry out the responsibility to which you’ve committed.

Pet Parents use a star rating system to rate performance for Pet Caregivers. Your overall rating will be affected if you're consistently unreliable, and if Pet caregivers are tardy, or miss or cancel a walk. The Wag! app also allows Pet Parents to tip Pet Caregivers for good service – remember that the more reliable you are, the better your chances of receiving a tip.

Reliable Pet Parents

Reliability is important for Pet Parents too. Be sure to keep your home access information updated and accurate. Be sure to communicate directly with the Pet Caregiver in a timely manner if they reach out to you with questions during a booking. And if you’re dropping off your pet for a boarding, be on time and respect the agreement you've made with the boarding host.