Whether it’s vacation, the holidays or work, we hate leaving our dog behind when we travel. Are you nervous dropping him at a kennel or even a dog hotel? Now there’s another option where the dog sitter comes to you – Rover.com.
Rover.com is a nationwide site of 25,000 sitter profiles where you can search and find the perfect fit for you and your dog. Co-founder Greg Gottesman thought of the idea after a bad experience at a high-end kennel where his dog, Ruby Tuesday, was injured. He thought his dog would have been more comfortable in his own environment.
“He and his team pitched the idea for Rover.com at the 2011 Startup Weekend in Seattle and won top prize,” Rover.com CEO Aaron Easterly says.
If you’re worried about having a stranger in your home, rest assured Rover thoroughly checks out its sitters.
“A member of our team reviews every sitter profile before we allow the sitter to list their services,” Easterly says. “Rover.com offers background checks and sitter training; sitters who complete those have badges displayed on their profile.”
Rover.com also asks for third-party references and backs every stay with Rover’s insurance, 24/7 emergency support and reservation guarantee.
Each sitter is also rated and reviewed by previous users. Some even have pictures posted of the dogs they’ve watched.
“We also recommend pet parents have a meet and greet with the sitter to make sure that all of the people and pets are comfortable with each other,” Easterly says. “Pet parents can also evaluate whether the sitter will be a fit for their dog’s routine and special needs, such as medication or behavioral training needs.”
Sitters set their own rates and you might find this option much more affordable than a kennel or hotel. Some sitters offer multiple-dog discounts or first-time user discounts.
As you might imagine, this idea has spawned a lot of copycat sites but Easterly says the business is much more complicated than it appears.
“Slapping up a pretty website does not guarantee success because there is such variation in dogs, their parents and sitters,” Easterly says. “Actually, Rover’s biggest competition comes from pet parents using their friends and families because they don’t realize a more convenient, guilt-free option exists!”
Rover cares about connecting dog owners and sitters, but they are also animal lovers in general. Check out their blog for cute animal photos and helpful tips.