How much do you spend on a dog walker? Our local dog whisperer charges $21 for a 45-minute visit that leaves our pooch tired. I would argue that every dollar she charges is worth it – we just don’t have the extra cash to spend on Darwin.
Darwin is our 11-year old mini Daschund. He is a sweetie a lot of the time and a bad dog the rest of the time, usually because he hasn’t gotten a walk. I won’t go into details about when he is a very bad dog, other than there is a reason we have wood floors.
There is an alternative to hiring a dog walker and that is an iFetch: a toy that spits out mini tennis balls for a dog to chase. The beauty of it is you can train your dog to feed the balls into the toy himself. So the toy plays fetch with your dog, while you relax!
Is a dog walker cheaper than a mechanical toy?
Cost of hiring a dog walker v. Buying an iFetch
A dog walker costs $21 for a 45-minute visit, multiplied times once a week = $1,092 for a year’s worth of service
An iFetch costs $115 and includes 3 mini-tennis balls, but I’m going to budget in $12.50 for an additional five balls = $127.50 for a year’s worth of service
Clearly, iFetch is a ton cheaper. For those nit picky types (you know who you are), buying an iFetch saves $964.50 over the first year. Even if you had to buy a new iFetch every year, which I doubt you would, it’s still a LOT cheaper than a real person taking your pooch for a walk.
I suppose now is a good time to tell you iFetch sent me one of their clever devices to test out on Darwin. After playing with it for several weeks, here’s my report.
Things I like about our iFetch
- Darwin loves it.
- My husband loves it.
- My girls love it and swarm the dog and my husband when it’s on = free time for mama!
- It is easy to use and operate.
- Darwin picked up on how the iFetch works pretty quickly, though we never achieved full zen status: when a dog drops balls into the mouth of the iFetch, which then spits it out for the dog to chase.
Things I didn’t like about iFetch
- The charger cord was a bit short. My daughter OR Darwin chewed it so that the wires were exposed, which was a bummer because now we can’t charge our iFetch.
- Would have liked it to run it on batteries.
Things I don’t like about my dog
- He is so fanatical about tennis balls that he chewed the mini balls that came with the iFetch until one popped. We had to hide the other two in our car. If they are anywhere in our house, he tracks them down and whines and whines and whines and whines.
- He slobbered on the balls so much (we think this is a side effect of his fanatical passion for tennis balls) that they didn’t fit properly into the iFetch. Because of this, the iFetch wouldn’t kick out the ball, so they’d effectively be stuck in the machine until my husband popped them out with a butter knife. On the iFetch FAQs page, it recommends we buy mini squash balls for slobbery dogs.