We recently wrote an in-depth review of Rover, the pet sitting and dog walking website, and our experience on the site as pet sitters. While our review is a full explanation of how the site works, where we share our experience from four years using the site in the U.K., in this post we’re answering the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about Rover! We recommend reading both posts to gain a full understanding of how Rover works, and our tips for how to be successful on the site.

How does Rover work?

Rover is a website that connects pet owners with pet sitters, boarders and dog walkers. Pet carers create profiles advertising their services, then pet owners send messages to book the services they require. Rover is free to sign up to, free to create a profile and free to search sitters, but Rover takes fees from each booking.

What are the different services offered on Rover?

  • House sitting: Sitters stay in the pets’ home while the owner is away, caring for both the house and pets. This service is charged per 24 hours.
  • Drop-in visits: Pet carers pop by the pets’ home while their owners are out, to play with and feed the pets. This service is charged per 30 minutes with the option to add extra time in 60 minute increments.
  • Boarding: Pet carers look after pets in their own home, during the day and overnight while the owner is away. This service is charged per 24 hours.
  • Doggy day care: Dog owners drop off their dog to the carer’s home for the day, picking them up again the same day. This service is charged per day.
  • Dog walking: Dog walkers provide regular or one-off walks for owners’ dogs. This service is charged per 30 or 60 minutes.

Is Rover worth joining?

Whether you’re a pet owner, a full time house sitter or are just starting out on your pet care journey, we’d highly recommend using Rover! There are hundreds of thousands of pet carers on the site, meaning pet owners can quickly find someone to suit their needs. As pet sitters, boarders or walkers, once your profile is set up you’re ready to receive bookings with little admin involved – simply keep your calendar up to date and respond to messages when they come through! We’ve had some wonderful pet sitting experiences through Rover, and the site makes it easy for us to book in pet sitting jobs around our availability. When we’ve had gaps in our schedule, we put our dates up on Rover and can earn extra money to fund our travels – all while spending time with new furry friends!

Is it hard to get bookings on Rover as a sitter?

Depending on your location, the services you provide, and your previous experience, it can be difficult to get those initial bookings as your profile won’t have any Rover verified reviews for owners to see that you’re good at your job. (Though Rover does allow you to request testimonials from previous clients, which are automatically added to your profile to help you get started). By the time we signed up to Rover, we had two years of full time pet sitting experiences under our belts, so we found it easier than if we’d just been starting out. This is mainly due to the abundance of information we could put on our profile, citing our years of experience with various animals at 50 or so different pet sits, and the amount of photos we had to back this up. If you want to increase your chances of receiving booking requests on Rover, check out our full Rover review or our tips for creating a successful pet sitter profile!

What are the perks of using Rover?

As a pet owner, you can easily browse the pet carers in your area and read their information to find someone that suits your needs. As Rover focuses on matching owners and sitters locally, you may find someone that can build a strong bond with your pets that you can call upon time and time again. After four years on the site, we now have so many repeat clients who exclusively trust us to care for their pets, and we love returning to their homes each time to settle back in with the furry friends we know and love!

As a pet sitter or walker, Rover is incredibly straightforward and easy to use – they streamline the process so there’s little admin to deal with when booking jobs. You can work as much or as little as you want, whenever you want, updating your calendar and settings to reflect which days you’re looking to take on jobs. The simple messaging system sends you alerts when you receive requests so you don’t miss a booking, and once payment is made by the pet owner the funds are held by Rover, so you don’t have to worry about not getting paid (more on that below). The best part of Rover for us is that you can tailor your services to suit your situation and preferences. If you don’t feel comfortable caring for puppies, or giant dogs, simply uncheck those boxes in settings. Likewise, if you can only house sit locally then set your service radius to only a few miles from your home. If you’re nomadic like us, the next FAQ is for you.

Can you use Rover while travelling?

Yes! While the website focuses on connecting pet owners and carers locally, as nomadic pet sitters we update our location while we travel to find pet sitting jobs nearby all year round. We even contacted Rover to check whether this would be against their terms of service, but were pleased to receive a message from the team telling us to go for it! By updating our location as we love around the U.K., we’ve booked so many more one-off house sits to fill gaps in our schedule and top up our travel funds. The only downside to doing this is when pet owners are looking to find someone local to be their permanent pet sitter, which is an arrangement we currently can’t accommodate as we travel full time.

How does Rover vet sitters?

Once sitters have completed their profile, including the services they offer, their service radius, and pet preferences, their profile is submitted to Rover for approval before going live. Rover conducts identity verifications where sitters must submit a photo file of their passport, driver’s license, ID card or residence permit. Once a sitter’s profile and information have been approved, it’s up to the pet owner to make sure they’re comfortable with a sitter by asking any questions they may have before booking the service. As sitters, we have a video call with every pet owner to ask our checklist of questions before booking in, to make sure all parties are happy with the arrangement.

How long does it take to get verified as a pet sitter on Rover?

A pet carer’s profile check will be carried out within 5 days. Rover keep you updated with the verification process via email, and will contact you if anything on your profile requires tweaking. Once your profile has been approved, simply update your calendar with your availability and you’re good to go! Pet owners in your service area will then be able to find your profile when searching for a local sitter or dog walker and message you with jobs.

How much can you earn on Rover?

This depends entirely on multiple aspects of using the site, such as the services you provide, your experience, your location and availability. Dog walkers charge per 30 or 60 minute slot, while sitters charge per 24 hours at the owner’s house, so you may earn a lower rate purely due to the nature of the service. If you have less experience and reviews than other dog walkers in your area, you may find it harder to compete and therefore book less jobs, leading to lower earnings. For those that live in a city or heavily populated area, again, competition may factor into how much you earn. And of course, if you’re only available on weekends, or keep forgetting to update your calendar, this will affect how many booking requests you’ll receive.

Aside from accounting for these factors, if you’d like to get a good idea for the kind of rate you could be earning on Rover, our biggest piece of advice is to search the site for people in your area who offer the same services as you. Look at the amount of reviews they have, their experience, and see how they set their rates to reflect these. If you’re pet sitting as a couple, like us, you can definitely afford to set higher rates as pet owners are receiving two sitters in one booking! Equally if you’re highly experienced you may be able to set a higher rate from the beginning. Our lowest paid sits have been for cats, as we set our service rate for cat care lower than dog care. Our highest earning sits are for owners with multiple dogs, as we charge extra for additional dogs. As a couple with years of experience, depending on the pets in our care we can earn £45-65 per day on average.

There are many additional services within each base service that could earn you a higher rate too. For those offering the Doggy Day Care service, there is the option to charge extra for bathing/grooming the pets. For house sitters, you can set a peak rate to charge more during busy times of year or occasions like bank holidays.

How does Rover pay pet sitters?

In the messaging stage, once all parties have agreed on the arrangement, the sitter will click a button to accept the booking. The pet owner will then be prompted to pay the full amount for the booking, and when they have done so this officially books in the sit. Rover holds onto the funds until the house sit is complete, and the payment for the booking will be automatically deposited into a sitter’s back account within 5 working days of the final day of the sit, via the payment platform Stripe. Personally we love this system – it ensures both parties can rest assured the funds are being kept safe until the house sit has ended.

Does Rover charge fees? What percentage does Rover take from a booking?

When confirming a booking, Rover charges pet owners a service charge equal to 15% of the booking cost, though this is capped at £49 per booking. As a sitter or walker, Rover takes a 15% cut of your earnings, so it’s worth adjusting your rates to account for this if there’s a certain amount you’d like to earn per service. We don’t particularly mind the fees – obviously we’d love to take home 100% of our rate – but in our opinion it’s worth the cost as Rover puts our profile in front of thousands of pet owners who are looking for our services, and they may not have found us otherwise.

Can I cancel a service on Rover? What are the cancellation policies on Rover?

Depending on the cancellation policy a sitter or walker has set on their profile, the pet owner will have a certain amount of time in which they are able to cancel their booking in order to receive a full refund. The Rover cancellation policies vary for each service but to give you an idea, the policies for house sits are: 

  • Same day: A full refund is available if a pet owner cancels before the booking begins. If cancelled on or after the beginning of the booking, a 50% refund is available for the first seven cancelled days, and a 100% refund is available for any additional days.
  • 1 day: A full refund is available if a pet owner cancels by 12:00 pm the day before the booking begins. If cancelled later than 12:00 pm the day before the booking begins, a 50% refund is available for the first seven cancelled days of the service, and a 100% refund is available for any additional days.
  • 3 days: A full refund is available if a pet owner cancels by 12:00 pm three days before the booking begins. If cancelled later than 12:00 pm three days before the booking begins, they’ll receive a 50% refund for the first seven days of the booking, and a 100% refund is available for any additional days.
  • 7 days: A full refund is available if a pet owner cancels by 12:00 pm seven days before the booking begins. If cancelled later than 12:00 pm seven days before the booking begins, they’ll receive a 50% refund for the first seven days of the booking and a 100% refund is available for any additional days.

Pet sitters can change their usual cancellation policy for a pet sit to accommodate extenuating circumstances if needed, once agreed with the pet owner.

Does the pet owner provide all pet items?

If you’re a full time professional dog walker or pet sitter, you may have your own items to use while caring for pets. However, this should not be expected of all pet carers and it is the owner’s responsibility to provide all pet food, dog leads, poo bags and any other pet items that are essential for the carer to carry out the service. If you don’t mind bringing your own equipment, such as dog shampoo to carry out grooming and bathing, consider adding this cost into the rate of your service to make sure you’re not out of pocket.

As pet sitters, we expect certain things to be provided for us – e.g. Liveable and safe home environment, clean bedding, useable kitchen to cook food. However, we provide all our own food and don’t expect home owners to do this for us – though little treats are always appreciated!

What if something goes wrong?

Rover provides 24/7 emergency support via phone, and have their own ‘Rover Guarantee’ which is a reimbursement program created to protect pets. This includes up to £25,000 in vet care reimbursement for eligible claims related to injury to either the pet owner’s or sitter’s pets, property damage to the pet owner’s home caused by a sitter or walker, and certain medical costs for third party injuries – someone other than the owner, sitter or walker.

Beyond the protection that Rover provides, we recommend owners always provide sitters and wakers with all the information they’ll need to care for the pets, including providing up to date veterinary information. For each new booking, Rover will prompt both parties to arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ to meet each other before confirming a booking. As full time nomadic pet sitters, this isn’t always possible for us, and we find a video call is sufficient in most cases – but we always ensure we ask our checklist of questions and get all the information we’ll need. Whichever side of the arrangement you’re on, it’s essential to ask questions and vet the other side to your standards to ensure everyone has a positive experience.

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