Rover Dog Boarding & Dog Walking Program Review
These days it seems like there is a gig economy role for just about everything; indeed, how many times have you heard people say things such as, “It’s like Uber, but for ____?” Well, here’s another intriguing gig for you to consider—and this one doesn’t require you to have a vehicle, though it does help if you get along with canines. The gig is called Rover, and when you sign up to be an independent contractor for this company, you’re essentially signing up to be a pet sitter and dog walker.
If that strikes you as a fun way to generate some income, keep reading; we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about working for Rover.
How Rover Works
In a nutshell, Rover is a company that allows pet owners to travel while resting assured that their furry friends are being taken care of. Indeed, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the pet industry is pretty massive, generating millions of dollars and serving hundreds of thousands of households each year. It was inevitable that it would get the gig economy treatment, which is just what Rover does.
But Rover doesn’t only serve the needs of pet owners. It also serves those who want to make money as dog walkers or pet sitters, providing them with an easy way to connect with clients and to earn gigs. Here’s how it works: When you sign up to work at Rover, you’re patched into a vast nationwide network of pet owners who may present different needs or opportunities. For example, some will want you to stop by their house once or twice a day to look after little Fifi while mommy and daddy are on vacation. Others may prefer you to actually stay in their home, pet sitting and house sitting at the same time to keep the little bundle comfortable.
As you might imagine, a big part of the gig is just spending time with the animals and making sure they are safe and well. There is a little more to it than that, though. For one, pet owners generally like to receive photos of their animals throughout the day, helping them feel more comfortable that their companions are being loved on. Also, some gigs may require you to watch the pet in your own home, which means you have to maintain a safe, pet-friendly environment.
Landing a Gig with Rover
Obviously, pet owners care deeply for their furry friends, and want every assurance that they are in good hands—so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the vetting process for Rover is pretty intense. In fact, this is one of the more challenging gig economy positions to land, as you need to meet Rover’s very high threshold of eligibility. The company claims that only about a third of the people who apply for work are deemed eligible.
And to be honest, this really isn’t something we recommend to those who have never served as a pet sitter before. Rover is really more for professionals who are looking to expand their customer base. When you sign up at the Rover website, you’ll be expected to provide a photo of yourself, some indication of your rates, and information about any of your own pets. You will also need to answer questions about how much space you have available for the pets who come to stay with you, how many other animals will be at your home, etc.
The plus side is that, if you are accepted, you have the freedom to set your own rates, and listing your services on Rover is free. Meanwhile, you always have the agency to accept or reject any requests you receive.
Check out Youtuber The Crafty Peakokk’s video for a walkthrough of how the Rover app works.
Rover is Not for Amateurs
So can you actually make decent income from Rover? The answer is decidedly yes—but only if you’re a fairly seasoned pet sitter, you’re willing to do it more or less full time, and you’re comfortable watching multiple animals at once. If you can’t meet that level of commitment, it’s simply not very likely that you’re going to earn enough income to make this your primary gig. And, though we would normally say you could supplement the gig with something like Uber or Lyft driving, that may be fairly difficult to do if you constantly have animals in your home who need care and attention.
Rover is a great service, and it earns our endorsement—but only if pet sitting is something you’re really serious about. Amateurs need not apply.