What: Animal care, pet and house-sitting

Expected pay: You set the rate

Husl $core: $$$$$

Commission: 20% to 25% of your fee

Where: National

Requirements: Be good with animals and have a smart phone to communicate with their owners; other requirements depend on whether you’re house sitting too, or just walking/caring for pets

Review: You don’t need a college degree or a perfect resume to make a decent living watching and walking people’s pets. And Rover, which purchased competitor DogVacay in early 2017, allows you to do just that. You simply post your profile, which says where you are; what you do — i.e. whether you board pets overnight or just take them on walks or check on them at home; house sit or provide pet day care services — and what you charge. You can charge fees for overnight visits; and have a separate rate for taking a dog on a 30-minute walk, or dropping by for a 30-minute check. Given the rates listed on the site, you could expect to easily earn more than $20 an hour for walking dogs and anywhere from $25 to $50 for boarding them overnight. And since you set your own rate, if you’re underpaid, you only have yourself to blame.

Business appears to be brisk. Indeed, one dog sitter complained that even when she says she’s unavailable, people keep contacting her for bookings. We’ve personally interviewed dog sitters who say they make more than $1,000 a month with this simple side hustle, so it gets our top rating. Notably, while registering as a pet-sitter is free, 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. 

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. 

What their pet-sitters say:

“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.”

“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.”

“My experience as a contractor has not been great. I don’t like how they process customer coupons. Without disclosing that a customer had a coupon, I accepted a job. Then lost $50 off the top of my normal rate, plus Rover then took their 20%. I don’t mind paying the percentage to them, however, I feel that coupons need to be disclosed. We live in a couponing society. Lots of people will be using them. I feel the contractors need to know this up front so we can make an informed decision on whether to accept the job or not. I’ve also had an issue with confused or lying customers. Marking that their dog is neutered, then admitting that it isn’t. Since Rover grades you on your booking percentage, this hurts my numbers when I refuse service after the meet and greet when I realize the deception.”

Try Rover