After months of careful planning and setting money aside, you finally have saved up enough to take that elusive vacation. You’ve booked the flight, hotel, transportation, and gotten the clear to take the days off from work. You’re all set for an incredible getaway, and then it dawns on you that you’ve forgotten something. Who’s going to watch your furry friends while you’re away?!
Unfortunately this is an all too common inconvenience for pet owners. This recently happened to me as well. I have two dogs, so as soon as I booked my last vacation my first order of business was finding a dog sitter. Months in advance I got confirmation and thought I was all set. Wrong. 5 days before I was supposed to fly out for vacation, my dog sitter canceled on me. So I frantically began considering other options.
While the most frugal way to handle this problem is to have a family member or friend watch your pets while you’re away, that’s not always an option, as my above situation shows.
Another popular option is to board your pets at Petsmart’s PetsHotel. This is certainly a viable option when you’re in a pinch. While I almost decided to go the Petsmart route since there is almost always space available and you know your pets will be getting care from experienced professionals, there were two main drawbacks for my situation. First, the cost was above my budget. For two dogs I was looking at a hefty cost of around $60/night for both dogs, especially considering I was going out of town for a week. Additionally, I was unsure of how much time my dogs would get to be together, how much exercise and playtime they would get, and how much attention they would receive.
After some more browsing, I came across Rover.com, which is a partner of Petco. The concept is simple. You download the Rover app, and it’s basically an AirBnb for pets. You put your location in and then dozens of listings pop up with different people offering their rates. The app offers five different services via the app:
After searching through numerous listings and reading a fair share of reviews, I finally selected a dog sitter. Initially, I was nervous about the whole process. Was I really going to leave my dogs with some stranger I had never met? Despite my hesitations, I contacted the dog sitter and set up a meet and greet for the next day.
The meet and greet left me feeling much more pleased with the whole situation. It let me meet the dog sitter, let me see where my dogs would be staying and how much space they would have to play, and also let the dog sitter meet my dogs. It clearly showed me that the large majority of the dog sitters on Rover are simply dog lovers that are looking to make some additional side income.
Long story short, my first experience with Rover was an incredibly positive one for a variety of reasons:
Overall, using Rover was a very positive experience for me. While I was initially nervous, it worked out incredibly well and I will be using the app again in the future. Using lesser known apps and services such as Rover and DogVacay for dogs, or Catsitter.com and Care.com for cats, are a great way to find quality pet care in a more frugal manner. Give it a try, and save $25 off the first night you book with Rover!
Have you ever tried Rover or any of these lesser known pet sitting services and what was your impression of them?