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I never considered house and petsitting as a way to make good extra cash until I discovered the petsitting app Rover. Before, I was petsitting for family friends here and there, but the work was few and far between. But when I signed up with Rover, the requests started pouring in.
I love dogs, but can’t have one because I currently live on a sailboat, and also, dogs tend to make it harder to travel. Rover not only gives me an outlet to be around dogs, but I also get off the boat for awhile and get to stay in a real house, with things like a refrigerator, which I don’t have on the boat. Staying in these beautiful houses and apartments feels like a luxury, and I’m very grateful.
How Rover works
Rover is a website and an app that connects you to dog owners or dog sitters in your area. If you’re a dog owner, you can use Rover to book dog walks, in-house visits, an overnight pet-sitter, or find a home where your dog can hang out while you’re at work or on vacation.
If you’re a pet lover, you can use Rover to create an online profile, and offer house and petsitting services.
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I created a profile and was getting requests within days. I got to play with a 3-month-old little puppy all day in Sausalito, do a long weekend with two gorgeous dogs in Sausalito, and have an upcoming 2-week stay coming up in Tiburon. These dogs are all so wonderful, and just watching them and playing with them will make me around $800 just in September alone!
Also, I put out an ad on Craigslist offering my house and petsitting services with a link back to my Rover profile, and a sign-up bonus for anything new to Rover.
You can get that sign-up bonus, here, to get $25 off your first booking: www.thewaywardhome.com/rover
How I decided my dog-sitting rates
Sometimes, it’s hard to know how much to charge for a service, especially when you’re new to house and petsitting. I did some Googling, and also relied on what past dog owners had paid me. I think the average pay for a dog sitter for an overnight stay is $35 per day. So, I set my rate at $35 per dog, with an added rate of $40 for a puppy, since they require more time and attention. So far, nobody has balked at these rates.
I’m sure rates also depend on where you live. If you’re in a smaller town, you may need to charge less for services. I happen to be in one of the most expensive areas in the United States, so everything costs a bit more.
If you’re interested in checking out my Rover profile, click here.
One thing I always do before I agree to a house and petsitting is to go over and meet the dogs and the owners. I want to make sure the dogs are well-behaved and friendly before I commit to spending several days with them. But, so far so good!
The downsides of Rover and an alternative
There are a few downsides to using Rover if you want to make money petsitting. The app does take out a pretty big chunk of services fees from each booking you get, so that’s a bummer.
Another thing is that its a highly localized service. You can’t be running around the country trying to get Rover bookings, as dog owners look for someone who’s based near where they live.
But, there is an alternative to Rover.
You can use Trusted Housesitters, which is more of an exchange than a paid gig. You get a free place to stay, and pet owners get someone to watch their animals for free. Plus, Trusted Housesitters doesn’t just focus on dogs. You can watch cats, birds, and even farm animals, like this couple did. I really want to use Trusted Housesitters when I start to do more traveling outside the San Francisco Bay Area. There are beautiful homes all over the world!
I think petsitting is a great way to make a little extra money and also get to experience the love and joy of dogs. I can’t wait to keep using this service and see which lovely animals I’ll get to meet. Have you used Rover yet? How do you like it?
To join Rover, go here: www.thewaywardhome.com/Rover
To join Trusted Housesitters, go here: www.thewaywardhome.com/trustedpetsitters
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