It’s the dog days of summer, and doggone-it, you need a vacation! With all paws on deck, you’ve finally found that perfect location — the white sand beaches of Panama City, the glorious South of France or a trip for the family to Disneyland! The only problem is you can’t take your furry friend with you: your dog doesn’t like long trips in the car, flying is too stressful for the pooch or you simply aren’t going to a pet-friendly place!
You can’t find a friend willing to take care of your pet, and you don’t want to kennel your precious pooch for a small fortune at the boarders. At first, it gives you paws-e, but you know — it’s a deal-breaker, the vacation is off. But have no fear! Rover.com, the website that pairs dog sitters with vacationers, is here!
Rover.com is one of the leaders in the dog sitting industry. 94.3 of their sitters are rated 5 stars, and Rover.com provides numerous services that will seduce even the pickiest pet parent! Dog sitting is now a 10 billion industry and is quickly growing!
One of them is the Pet Protector ID tag. If you sign in for the Sitter Protection Package, you receive a 1-800-HELP-4-PETS Pet Protector ID tag to attach to their Rover dog’s collar during their stay. This tag has a unique ID number that is connected to your sitter’s profile and contact information. A dog wearing this tag is connected to a 24/7 live emergency hotline with expert support from 1-800-HELP-4-PETS.
Rover.com also has a mobile app, free of charge, making communication between pet parents and sitters easy by providing them with a direct forum to share updates while parents and their pups are apart! With this app, sitters can upload pictures of the dogs they’re watching to reassure the anxious parents, and parents can check-in with their sitters to confirm when they came to the house or went to the park.
Plus, Rover.com has a 24-hour vet service, so a professional veterinarian is always available if your pet gets sick while you are away!
And using Rover.com is incredibly easy — The first step is to create a profile for your pooch, and then you can navigate and search for the perfect sitter. Plus, creating a profile, navigating and communicating with other Rover.com users is completely free of charge!
Animal Fair had the pleasure to meet with Aaron Easterly, CEO of Rover.com, to ask him a few question about his incredible company.
Animal Fair: It’s so great to sit down and talk to such a huge innovator in the pet industry! How did you get started? What inspired you to start this business?
Aaron Easterly: The inspiration for building Rover.com came from the fact that, as a technology executive, I constantly had a problem of what to do with my Pomeranian, Caramel, when I was traveling. I would never take her to the kennel, so I would often be running down the list of friends, family, and neighbors to see who could watch her. When the opportunity came up to build Rover.com and become CEO, there was no question about joining as I realized I could help fellow dog owners solve a problem I frequently faced!
AF: Now, obviously this would make some pet parents nervous — having someone they don’t know watch after their dog while they are away. How does your company help make pet parents at ease about this art of the process?
AE: To qualify as a Rover.com sitter, an applicant must have experience with dogs and obviously love them! We have a team of customer experience specialists that hand-reviews every application, evaluating each sitter’s experience. We require that each sitter demonstrate a care plan for Rover dogs, and we look for and highlight advanced skills and affiliations such as medical/vet training, CPR certification and associations with Humane Societies, Pet Rescues and other charitable organizations. In addition to passing our technical screening, which verifies sitter’s contact information, sitters must provide a third party verification via a testimonial and/or TrustedCloud badge.
AF: So, you are incredibly safe and secure with the process, that’s fantastic! But why would a pet owner choose pet sitting over just boarding their pet at a kennel?
AE: There are lots of dog boarding solutions out there, but we believe that in-home care is the best, for many reasons! First, dogs receive individual care and direct human contact from their sitters. Also, it is in general a lot safer as there is less likelihood for altercations with dogs and contacting communicative diseases. And finally, it’s a lot less stressful on the pups because they are in a real home, so it’s easier to keep a dog on their general routine for walks and at home care such as medicines and/or feeding.
AF: So, in the process, your customers’ pets go to a host’s home and stay there for the duration of their vacation. What does your company take into account as the best qualities for a host home?
AE: We actually believe that the qualities of the host are more important than the qualities of the home! We encourage dog owners to find the dog sitter that fits their dog’s unique needs — one who understands that each dog is different, follows detailed care instructions, and has shown that they have thought through safety issues to provide a safe environment.
WD: But, also, this is a business. Hosts get paid for dog sitting from pet parents looking for a vacation. How does that work exactly — how do sitters make money with Rover.com?
AE: Our dog sitters set-up their profile, set their price and respond to requests from dog owners; they keep 85 percent of their sitting fee.
AF: I am curious… Are pets allowed in your office?
AE: Yes! That was key when getting an office for Rover.com; we wanted to ensure dogs were welcome. On any given day, I would say there are upwards of 12 dogs in the office!
AF: That’s great! And your dog’s name is Caramel, right? What’s Caramel’s favorite treat? And yours?
AE: Bacon, of course, for both of us! However, Caramel has also been known to dance when she smells Pad Thai or Chicken Tikka Masala.
You can find your ideal dog sitter on Rover.com! Just visit the website, set up a profile and start searching today!