The average employee that works for Park Cities Pet Sitter has been with the company for five years. That longevity is almost unheard of in our industry, where around one year is more typical for most companies.
Finding and keeping great staff is at the core of what makes Park Cities Pet Sitter successful, and has led to so many of our raving reviews. We know clients prefer consistency in pet care, and want to have the same one or two people always caring for their pets and home, if possible. So that is what we strive for.
But finding great Dallas dog walkers and pet sitters to join our team can be a challenge. Today we want to discuss some of the reasons working for Park Cities Pet Sitter is preferrable to working for a national dog walking or pet sitting company, like Wag or Rover.
Tax Obligation. All of Park Cities Pet Sitter’s Dallas pet sitters and walkers are employees, not independent contractors. One benefit of being an employee is that the Company pays 7.65% of the employee’s payroll taxes, and the employee pays the other 7.65%. When a Dallas dog walker works for Wag or Rover, they are not classified as employees—they are independent contractors. An independent contractors’ taxes are not withheld from their check(s), AND they have to pay the entire 15.3% payroll tax on their own, later. Ouch. This translates to less take home pay for an independent contractor, on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
Tax Budgeting Is Not Necessary. With Park Cities Pet Sitter, our Dallas pet sitters fill out an IRS W-4 form when hired, indicating the proper tax withholdings for their personal situation. When our employees are paid every two weeks, the appropriate taxes are taken out of their check and remitted by the Company to the tax entities. No budgeting for taxes is necessary by PCPSI employees. When working as an independent contractor for Wag or Rover, taxes are not taken out of the check, and must be remitted quarterly to the IRS. This can be stressful to know the appropriate amounts to pay, and can be a challenge for people that don’t manage or save money very well.
Workman’s Compensation. Park Cities Pet Sitter has workman’s compensation insurance to cover the Company’s Dallas dog walkers’ medical costs and lost work time if they are injured on the job. If a walker slips and falls, gets bitten by a cat or dog, etc., this insurance covers those costs for our employees. When working for Wag or Rover as an independent contractor, you are not covered for any injuries incurred while working, nor will you be paid for lost work time because of those injuries.
Training. Every Dallas pet sitter hired by Park Cities Pet Sitter goes through paid onboarding training, and receives paid ongoing training throughout their time with the Company. This equates to each PCPSI employee having more pet skills and knowledge, improved safety and being better prepared for every pet sitting visit. As independent contractors, Wag and Rover legally cannot train their sitters and walkers. That means it is up to each of their individual walkers and sitters to train themselves on pet care, knowledge and best practices, and it is up to the client to screen that person as to whether they are qualified to care for pets. Do you want to play Russian Roulette with your pet’s health and safety by having a pet sitter or dog walker that may not have any training at all?
Over-Hiring and Client Assignment. Park Cities Pet Sitter only hires new Dallas dog walkers and pet sitters if there is clearly enough work available in the geographic area that the walker/sitter lives. This ensures that the employee can make the income they need from the position, and that they aren’t spending all their time in their car, traveling all over town for visits. Park Cities Pet Sitter is also responsible for all marketing of our Dallas pet sitting and dog walking services, and for assigning clients to each employee. The Company also handles all service pricing, reservation processing, interactions with clients, complaints, etc. Lastly, detailed notes are logged in the Company’s scheduling software on each client and pet(s), and are shared with other sitters who may need to serve as backup. Wag and Rover try to get as many pet sitters and dog walkers as they can on their platform, irrespective of how that might impact the wages of anyone else that works for the Company(s) in the same area. This is an area where they receive many complaints, as new walkers/sitters feel like they are constantly competing to get clients to use them and are often not able to generate the income they need. In addition, on Rover, it is the walker/sitter’s responsibility to market themselves and get new clients. This is often an area that many walkers/sitters don’t have expertise, and thus they struggle getting consistent work.
Managers. Park Cities Pet Sitters have a local Manager-on-Duty 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These managers are familiar with all of the Company’s Dallas dog walkers and pet sitters, know each client, and know the neighborhoods we serve. If a walker or a sitter has any kind of emergency, has a question while on the job, or simply needs assistance in getting a door to lock, one of our managers can be on site in an hour or less. With Wag and Rover, their support staff have never met the walkers and sitters on their platforms, are not personally familiar with each client, and do not have the ability to assist a walker or sitter in person because they are working in a call center many states away. This can leave a Wag walker or Rover sitter in a precarious position if there is an emergency, or simply not feeling well supported by the Company.
While the list presented here is far from complete, it does highlight some of the big differences between working for a Dallas pet sitting company like Park Cities Pet Sitters, versus one of the “Uber-style” national pet sitting and dog walking companies like Wag or Rover. We believe the proof is in the numbers—we take pride in the fact our staff stay with us on average for five years, and hope that others who might be interested in a professional Dallas dog walking career will consider us first when searching for the best place to work as a pet professional.