Our neighbors caught on really quickly that we love dogs. They have three dogs that charge the fence every day and I always scamper up to them with a smile. On top of that, we always had some new dog in our yard that we’re dog sitting. I have always been happy to help out a friend or family member when they needed a dog sitter because I’m home all day anyway with two dogs and two wild animals I call children. Then one day it happened. The clouds parted and I heard angels sing when my aunt told me about the Rover app that helps dog owners find me to dog sit. This meant I could get more money and more dogs in my life! Because I am always telling people about this new adventure, I wanted to take a moment to share exactly how to be successful with a dog sitting side hustle to earn extra cash. Keep reading and I will answer all of my most frequently asked dog sitting questions.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission but all recommendations are my own.
Rover is a company that was created to help assist dog lovers in getting care for their pets. Using the Rover app or Rover.com you will be instantly connected with dog sitters, walkers, and visitors in your area so you can easily get help with your pup.
If you are planning a vacation, need a dog walker while you’re at work, or just need someone to pop in to check on your dog during the day, Rover has got you covered.
Now offered in over 14,000 cities across America and Canada, Rover also has over 200K dog sitters and nearly perfect reviews. Learn more about Rover!
How to make money with Rover
There are some basic services offered through Rover that you can use to get started making money:
- Dog boarding (highest earner)
- Dog walking
- Doggy daycare
- Drop-in visits
- House Sitting
Just because Rover offers all of these options, does not mean you have to do them all. You get to pick and choose which types of services you offer.
Choosing Your Services and prices
When you get into your Rover profile you’ll have the option to select several options:
- The size of the dogs you take
- Age of dogs you accept
- Type of services you want to offer
This is what makes Rover so amazing. If you don’t want to take on larger dogs, you don’t have to. You can also choose based on animals you might have in your house.
The first type of service you can choose from is Hosting Services. These are of course things where you host a dog in your home. There are several options available and you get to choose what you’ll charge for each.
Because Rover helps you find clients, they will of course be taking a commission. However, you are able to see what you’ll actually be earning when you enter your prices. Start making your profile!
Traveling services are of course services where you travel. When opting for travel services I always recommend only accepting jobs that are within a 10-mile radius of your own home.
You can see I still charge a similar amount for travel services this is because it takes time out of my day and puts minor wear and tear on my vehicle, and also will cost me some in gas.
What if you have dogs of your own?
No worries! I have 2 dogs at home, one big dog and one little one. Because our smallest one has had “run-ins” with bigger female dogs, I was nervous to take on any large dogs at first. Now we have gotten a pretty good process down, and our dogs are actually quite used to having strangers in their home. Here are some of the things that have helped us make smooth transitions:
- Let the dogs meet on “neutral territory” like at a nearby park.
- Put your dogs in a separate room when your Rover dog first arrives.
- Introduce your dog(s) on a leash so you can control any big reactions that might happen.
- Plan for dogs not getting along. Sometimes we’ll end up leaving one of our dogs in our room during another dog’s visit if they don’t seem to get along.
- Give your Rover dog a separate area to eat in order to prevent food fights.
- Always keep your Rover dog on a leash when outdoors. This is not only a Rover must-do, but it also helps keep you in charge.
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- Running a Blog: Do You Actually Make Money While You Sleep?
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- How to Successfully Start Hosting (and Making Money) with Airbnb
- 3 Ways Uber Can Help You Save for a Vacation
Tips on getting started
After I applied online, I made to sure watch Rover’s welcome videos that talked about how to be successful with Rover’s dog sitting services. Here are some of the best tips that I implemented that worked wonders for me.
- Accept first bookings – I made sure to start using Rover during a time when my calendar was wide open. Accepting your first few bookings will help you get better reviews and increase your chance of people finding you.
- Keep prices competitive – When I first started out, I used Rover’s recommended prices. Because I wanted people to select me over other sitters they might find, I did my best to keep my prices competitive.
- Request reviews – Before I even dog sat through Rover, I asked a few friends whom I had dog sat for to leave some positive reviews on my profile. This is very reassuring to potential clients. After you have booked through Rover, give a friendly reminder to your clients to leave a review for you as well.
- Keep an open calendar – As I said, when I first signed up for Rover I made sure to have plenty of time available in my schedule. Keeping an open calendar will present more opportunities for people to take advantage of your dog sitting services.
- Create a solid profile – Be super informative when creating your profile and be sure to add lots of pictures! People who will be reading your profile are most likely dog lovers, so if you have photos of your own dogs, make sure to share them! Click here to get started!
How to be a 5-star dog sitter
Ok, so we know how to get started smart with Rover, but what are some things that you can do to get those good reviews? How can you be one of the best dog sitters or dog walkers out there?
- Send pictures – Just like kids in daycare, dog parents like seeing photos of their pups snuggled up or having fun.
- Be flexible – A lot of times I get last-minute bookings so I make sure to be patient and flexible as people try to get their plans in place.
- Meet in advance – If you’re able to, offer to meet potential clients in advance so they get a chance to know you and feel comfortable with you.
- Check-in with any questions – If a dog is walking funny, or you find something in their doggy bag (haha) that you aren’t quite sure about, feel free to reach out and ask. You want to make sure you are giving each dog the best possible care and people most often appreciate that you are taking the time to reach out.
- Praise them – Let each family know how much you loved their dog. Tell them specific fun times you had or silly things that their dogs did that made you giggle.
- Respond quickly – In order to make sure you get a good review and are getting as many bookings as possible, it’s a good idea to download the Rover app. It syncs to your phone so when someone messages you on Rover, you will receive a text message right away!
How often do you make money?
How often you make money will vary based on the types of services you offer and how many people are in your area.
There are definitely certain times of the year where you stand to make more money. In my personal experience, we have found having availability during these weekends has been beneficial:
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day
- Memorial Day
It’s also important to remember to give your original customers a good experience. They are more likely to come back and will recommend you to other people.
Creating good reviews and keeping prices competitive will be the two things most likely to continue to help you generate income.
What should you charge?
When I first started Rover, I kept Rover’s recommended prices. After taking on several different dogs and getting a good feel for how things run, I decided to up my prices just a little.
Originally my prices were rather low, so I bumped them up another $5 or so. While I do want to get paid for my services, it’s important to remember not to price myself too high.
How do you get paid?
I have Rover set up through my PayPal account. Once a dog visit or dog walk has been completed, Rover will issue a payment to me through PayPal. It takes a few days after a visit or walk is done to completely transfer to your bank.
Does Rover get a commission?
Yes, in order to operate, Rover takes a small commission from each of my bookings. This is part of the reason why I upped my prices a little.
I, of course, don’t mind Rover taking a commission because, without them, I wouldn’t be finding all of these bookings anyway!
What if you have “bad” dogs?
I like to get as much information as possible about each dog so that I can know what to expect. If there is a dog with potty problems, I know about it in advance. When a dog needs medication I make sure to get all the information first.
People are pretty open about their dog’s problems because they want you to have a positive experience as well. So far, the biggest problem I have had with a dog was that they wouldn’t stop barking.
Just make sure to ask if there are any problems or any concerns that the family wants you to be aware of. That way you can handle any issues that might arise.
How do I get started?
You can sign up for Rover quickly and easily online. Because people want to know their dogs are in good hands, each potential sitter must pass a background check.
My application process took only a few days and I booked my first dog in about 20 minutes! Just make sure you are checking your e-mails for updates and get all the steps done as soon as possible!
My kids tell me every day that they love my “job.” Although it has never actually felt like a job.
Hopefully, this post was helpful in answering some of your major dog sitting questions and getting you totally psyched up for joining Rover. You won’t regret it, I promise. Click here to apply.
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