I have just started a few projects with a fun group, Rover.com.

Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

How Rover Works

by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member

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Rover.com is a dynamic, supportive community of dog lovers. The site connects owners with dedicated, experienced caregivers who provide a range of services like pet sitting and dog walking.

But it goes deeper than that. At its heart, Rover gives you a way to expand the borders of your family. Whether you’re a busy owner who needs a trusted source of support or an experienced pet-sitter with a lot of love to give, Rover makes it possible to find exactly what you need.

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How The Site Works

When you sign up, you can set up a profile as a dog owner, dog sitter, or both. For sitters, Rover will run a background check to ensure the safety of the site’s users. Rover specialists determine whether a sitter’s level of experience qualifies them to provide care through the site, and once they approve an application, the sitter can complete their profile.

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Owners use the search tools to find local care providers. They might need dog boarding, house sitting, dog walking, doggy day care, or drop-in visits. Owners then browse profiles, contact a sitter, and set up a meet and greet prior to the initial stay.

Rover itself provides access to 24/7 support, including vet assistance; handles automatic, secure payments; covers premium insurance for both parties; and walks owners and sitters through every step of the process.

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Hiring a Sitter

Owners should think through the following questions: What helps their pets thrive? They should think back to past experiences with strangers, or times they’ve been away. Is their pet happiest in their own home? Nervous with new people? Do they get along with other animals? What unique care requirements does their pet have?

Owners can narrow Rover search results with the specific dates they will need care. Rover’s system of owner reviews can give guidance on which sitter profiles to focus on. Once they have contacted a sitter, the owner can schedule an initial meeting prior to any stay or walk. This gives them get a sense of who the sitter is, and they can watch the interactions with their pet. Does the sitter’s personality match up with their pet’s needs? Owners should ask any questions that will help them make the final decision. Everyone can also go for a walk together or enjoy playtime during the meet and greet. Owners should look for a connection that helps put their pet at ease, and a confident sitter with great communication skills.

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Becoming a Sitter

After signing up, sitters will create a profile, set their rates and availability, respond to requests, and enjoy their first stays. Over time, they can raise their rates and increase their income. Sitters can choose which services they’ll offer, and customize their profiles with plenty of personal information to help owners make informed decisions. Successful sitters keep their availability up to date at all times, respond promptly to requests, and employ excellent communication skills. They demonstrate their reliability and devotion to pets with each interaction.

Whether people join Rover as a sitter or owner, they may soon find themselves on both sides of the equation. Lots of sitters are biding their time until they can adopt a dog of their own—at which point, they’ll turn to Rover for sitter support. Meanwhile, many owners find that pet sitting is a great way to socialize their pets and earn income on the side. They’ll forge lifelong connections, and give their pets one wonderful experience after another.

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