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New Apps Offer Dog Walkers On Demand

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A growing number apps are offering dog walkers on demand for busy dog owners.

Julien Lopresti considers his dog Reptar family, but for much of the day, he's stuck at work.

"You're leaving your apartment at 7 a.m. and sometimes not getting back until 7 p.m. It's not fair to the dog to leave them that long," he said.

So he downloaded Wag, an on-demand dog walking app the lets him hire a dog walker with the push of a button. On one occasion, Eleanor Clowe got the job and with the help of a Wag lock box, she gets into his apartment without a problem.

"Once they start the walk, you get a notification, you can follow them on GPS and it tells you what happened during the walk," Lopresti said.

And Wag's not alone. Similar apps Swifto and Zingy are also gaining traction in the growing dog walking industry.

But on-demand dog walking  also has its risks, CBS2's Diane Macedo reported. Some dogs are comfortable with just about anybody walking them, but not all dogs are.

Anne Marie Karash of the Humane Society said for some dogs, having a stranger walk them can be very stressful

"Sometimes dogs just have a sense of who they like and who they don't for whatever reason," she said. "So it could be that the dog walker has a deep voice or a very high voice or they smell of smoke of they have just something about them that the dog is weary of."

To ease those fears, all three apps say their dog walkers have to pass a background check and are very well-trained.

"We have a very tough vetting process," said Wag Manager Matthew Kinzle. "We hire less than one percent of the walkers that apply."

"It's a lot of security in knowing the dog's been taking care of," said Lopresti.

The apps also allow users to set up a meet and greet and reserve a preferred walker, but for last-minute reservations, you'll have to settle for who's available.

Pricing ranges from $10 for a quick potty break to up to $65 for a two-hour walk.

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