Rover enlists freelancers to advertise their availability to pet-sit, train and dog-walk on its site
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: 20 – 25%
Requirements: Be 18 or older, good with animals and have a smart phone to communicate with their owners; other requirements depend on whether you’re also house sitting
You don’t need a college degree or a perfect resume to make a decent living watching and walking people’s pets. And Rover allows you to do just that. Indeed, Rover has become one of our favorite side hustles for a host of reasons.
Freelancers tell us they can make more than $1,000 a month with relatively little work. And many have turned this into a full-time job. You don’t need experience to be successful — just a love of animals. And your rates and schedule are completely up to you. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves….
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How it works
If you want to provide pet care, dog-walking, animal training or grooming, you simply sign up here and post a profile. Your profile says where you are, what you do and what you charge. (Rates are up to you, but it’s smart to see what other freelancers in your market are charging. And, if you’re new, charge a touch less until you get a few good reviews on your profile.) You’ll also want to include a short bio and a number of photographs of you, ideally with the kind of animals that you want to watch, train or groom.
Those who want to provide multiple services can set different rates for each. You might, for example, charge $20 for a 30-minute dog-walk; $45 for having animals overnight at your home or $50 for pet-sitting in the client’s home. Want to charge more on holidays? The site provides a way to do that too. Finally, you also decide how many pets you can accommodate at once and what your availability is.
Once your profile is live, you can sit back and wait for the site to find you clients. Or you can market yourself by posting on social media or creating fliers and/or business cards to give out to people you think might be interested.
One highly successful Rover petsitter says he brought business cards to local veterinary offices and travel agents to get his dog-sitting business started.
You can register as a pet-sitter here.
What Rover offers
Rover is the preeminent pet-sitting site, with more than 9 million web visitors each month. The site allows potential clients to search for services a variety of ways — by location; date; by the type of service they’re looking for; or by the type of pet they have.
The site also encourages meet-and-greets with pet-sitting clients, particularly for overnight stays. These are always a good idea but they’re particularly important when you have your own pets or you’re sitting more than one animal at a time.
Reviews by people who work with the site are overwhelmingly positive, with Rover scoring a 4.3 average rating on Indeed, with more than 1,200 reviews.
Registering as a pet-sitter is free. But the site will take 20-25% of your earnings for each booking. The more costly percentage is for those who choose to be part of “RoverGo,” which gets you a higher placement in the site’s listings and professional photographs.
Pet-sitters and dog-walkers get paid within 48 hours of completing a job.
If your primary interest is in dog-walking, you may also want to sign up with Wag. However, because Wag takes 40% of worker earnings, we consider it the less attractive opportunity.
You can sign up for Rover here.
What their pet-sitters say (from Indeed):
Rover mostly relies on your schedule and the client’s requested time for pet-sitting. Clients are very willing to work with your schedule and help you take care of their animals in the best way. Most clients are kind and tip nicely.
Watching all the dogs were great because I love animals. Meeting all the dog parents was tedious until you are able to keep the meetings short. Highly recommend.
I worked for Rover throughout college while I was living at home. Paid for my groceries and gas. I enjoyed taking care of different dogs and had several regular customers that appreciated me a lot. Low stress.
Meet the dogs
The app is good. Downsides are people pulling out without much notice, and people giving you dodgy dogs. Do as much homework as possible and don’t let anyone leave you with a neglected and/or a poorly socialized dog. Ask lots of questions and try and meet the dog beforehand. Also make sure your rates are competitive. Check out the competition.
The Job can be easy if you’re lucky got get well-trained pets. It can also be difficult if you end up with poorly behaved ones. A 20% fee hurts but Rover encourages people to leave tips and if they do it helps. It’s a great gig if you’re in between jobs or a student.
“Rover is a great way to make extra money on the side for any pet lover. Their website is easy to use and they’re extremely helpful in making sure you get everything set up correctly and easily.”
It’s been a great career and side source of income since 2016. I do enjoy the flexibility of my independence, and clients. Unless I work 7 days a week though I won’t be able to pay my bills fully. Income is based on the income of the community around you, not necessarily skill.
“I love dog sitting. You get to meet wonderful people and all kinds of dogs. It can get hectic at times if you take on multiple dogs, but it’s still great. It’s the most relaxing work I’ve ever done. You do run into situations because not every dog you sit is properly trained. That’s when I try to train the client’s dog free of charge. I just love the work and dogs obviously. I would definitely recommend this job for anyone that is a dog lover.”
“This is a crime to be paid to stay in really nice houses and sit for lovable dogs, get paid for walking and getting fit. The sad thing is saying goodbye if they move or they find another sitter/walker. Sometimes the pet parents are unreasonable sometimes the dogs are naughty or sneaky, too noisy or too much trouble. In time I was able to pick clients I wanted to keep.”