I first heard of Rover.com on of course, the Internet, and was intrigued. I thought would be a nice back up plan since I already had a pet sitter who loved to take my dog despite his health condition (he has an unpleasant odour despite regular chlorhexidine baths because of his eczema). However, I ended up having to use Rover.com as my usual ‘go to’ dog sitter was unavailable for my dog when we went to Hawaii for 5 weeks, and my sister was also out of town.
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The reason I would use a pet sitter instead of having my dog at a dog boarding place is that most of those place require up to date vaccinations. My dog was really allergic to his rabies vaccine as a puppy (his ears ‘poofed’ out to the side and basically looked like thick triangles on his head) so I haven’t revaccinated him after that.
Since dropping my dog off at a pet sitter was comparable in price to a dog kennel (about $30 a day), it was a good option for me.
What is Rover.com?
Rover.com is basically like AirBnB but for dog sitting (or dog walking, or in home boarding). Rover.com began in 2011 in Seattle and now it is in over 10,000 cities around the world.
It is the largest dog sitting service now since they bought out their rival DogVacay earlier this year.
It acts as a connection between pet sitters and pet owners through an online interface, who would otherwise not meet in real life, and is based on referral and reviews. Instead of word of mouth through friends, you can see word of mouth from other pet owners through the Rover.com app and website.
They do background checks, have 24/7 support, allow you to pay securely online, and has premium insurance (if the claims are over $250 with certain limitations).
When I looked up Rover.com reviews there were a lot of negative comments and Rover horror stories, so of course I was cautious. I think if you do your due diligence though it should be fine. I signed up for Pawshake as well in the search for the perfect pet sitter but ended up booking through Rover.com.
Here’s what the map looks like when you are searching for a pet sitter (in Vancouver, where there are more dogs than children).
Rover.com in Canada
Rover.com is available across Canada, pet sitters and dog sitters are available in the following provinces and territories:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Pros of rover.com
- Confidentiality– you get a special ‘Rover’ number that is anonymous to call the potential pet sitter (and they have their own ‘Rover’ number too)
- Support– online and through the telephone
- It gives you options from a multitude of potential pet sitters in your area
- There is insurance and liability protection
- After the pet sitting session is over, you can review the pet sitter
- You can filter the dog sitter, e.g. Lives in a house, has other dogs present or not etc.
- Lots of options for other services to choose from such as dog boarding, checks, walks etc.
Cons of rover.com
- As mentioned, there seemed to be some negative reviews on the Internet about Rover.com with horror stories ranging from the pet went missing to the pet dying (!)
- They are just a ‘connector’ between pet owner and pet sitter and basically you should select a pet sitter that would suit your pet’s needs (just like how you would select an Airbnb) and look at their reviews
- There is a Rover.com service charge
- The pet sitters vary with their charges, I saw anywhere from $25 a day to $75 a day for dog boarding at the sitter’s home
- Hard to say how they screen potential pet sitters. The one I used didn’t have any previous Rover.com experience and said she just signed up.
My rover.com Review
I actually had a great experience with Rover.com. Well, it went off to a rocky start at first. Rover.com recommends contacting a few potential pet sitters to meet them and review which one is best suited for your pet.
Well, I’m a one-pet sitter kind of gal (unlike with online dating where I went on two first dates in one day on a couple of occasions, but that’s another story), so I picked this one young woman who seemed like a good fit for my elderly, high maintenance dog (he needs to take pills for his eczema condition).
Rover Horror Stories: Being Ghosted
She was super nice, we met in person and my dog liked her. She agreed to pet sit, she was going away in a few days but would be back in time for when I needed her to pet sit. I went home and a week later tried to send her the ‘request’ and she didn’t accept it and let it expire. I ended up messaging her and asking her why she didn’t accept it. After about a WEEK of no response, she finally said she might be extending her trip abroad and might not come back, she recommended I find someone else.
Now we are about three weeks before my trip to find a sitter and I am in full panic mode. I message another person on Rover.com and we message back and forth. I ask to meet in person and then… no response.
Another day goes by and I am panicking again.
This feels a lot like ONLINE dating where you feel ghosted. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, ghosted means you have contact with people and then… POOF… suddenly they disappear without saying why, without saying goodbye, without anything!
I was ghosted by pet sitters!!
After feeling sorry for myself for about a day, I contact someone else on Rover.com, schedule a meet up (which went well and she showed up(!)), sent a request (which she accepted).
In the midst of all this the second person finally replied and apologized for not replying earlier and said she was actually going to a work conference on the days I requested and hoped I would consider her for pet sitting in the future (uh, NO because I don’t like not being responded to in a timely manner, thankyouverymuch).
On the day of my flight, I dropped off my dog (which went uneventfully), and picked up my dog. She even sent me a video of my dog while I was away.
My dog had a good time at her place. It’s good to know I have a backup pet sitter in case my first ‘go to’ pet sitter is not available.
I would recommend Rover.com, but be prepared to use your own due diligence when selecting a pet sitter and I would highly recommend that you meet them in person before booking. Definitely read up on the rover sitter reviews available on the Rover app or something like that.
I can’t say anything about their dog walking services or checking services as I haven’t used Rover.com for that yet.
If you’re interested in signing up for Rover.com, feel free to use this referral link to save $20 off your first booking for a dog sitter or dog walker. I get $20 off my next potential dog sitter session too!
Readers, have you used Rover.com or another pet sitting app/website before? Or do you go the conventional dog boarding route?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
18 thoughts on “Rover.com Review: Rover Dog Sitting Canada”
I had not heard of Rover.com (it does sound like a dating site for dogs!), but we had such a high maint dog that we were grounded a lot. He didn’t get a long with other male dogs…it was a guaranteed dog fight if I was walking him (always leashed) and another person had their dog unleashed and came running up to us for a greeting. Uggh.
When we moved, we ended driving across the state to drop off our dog to the 1 faithful family that we trusted and watched him all those years! So yes – people pay big bucks and do crazy stuff for their first born furbabies! 😉
He’s now passed on – made it to the age of 12! And we didn’t get another dog….but, I think being a Rover.com member to dogsit other dogs would be a good side hustle for me…and bonus – I can get my dog fix in! Nice review!
@Mrs. DS- Oh no, that’s stressful when you’re walking your dog. My dog is a bit like that with bigger dogs, he gets a bit nervous around them. Wow, you drove across the state- if you ever have a Rover.com profile you should add that, it will show dog owners that you go above and beyond! Haha, yes dog parents treat their fur babies really well. Awe sorry to hear he’s passed, my dog is getting on up there in years too, he’s slowing down and doesn’t like to walk too much anymore. It is the perfect side hustle/ FIRE activity. Can’t go wrong with $30+ a day for overnight stays! But I think Rover takes about 20% cut (or so the dog sitter told me).
Do not use them! I just recently had my Rover.com account deactivated. No reason. No communication! I’ve been a licensed Dog Groomer, Trainer, Doggy Day Care provider as well as Dog Boarding in my home for over 40 years. I worked for a Vet, 4-H Dog Advisor, Police K-9 Advisor, An avid dog rescuer/ advisor for many rescues in my area. In order to be on Rover.com, all you need to do is take an online “test”! There’s a video you watch as you take it so you answer THEIR questionnaire quickly and correctly. NO HOME VISITS. They are really about taking their 20 % from us. And yet I was removed because I had a claim that I actually did NOT turn in. But there are Rover sitters out there STILL working for Rover.com even after they’ve lost dogs, injured dogs and some have killed dogs!!!
@Debbie- Thanks for sharing what it is like to become a pet sitter on Rover- I was wondering what the screening criteria were.
I don’t even own a dog, and I totally got sucked into reading this by the hook of your stanky dawg!! Ha ha. Now I’m just waiting for the post about the on-line dating! 🙂
@CashflowKat- Haha! I don’t have a post about the online dating but maybe I will write one up. It is certainly entertaining to say the least- I had a spreadsheet haha.
I would totally use Rover for my dog, sounds like a much nicer environment than a kennel. I also may consider doing it myself when I “retire”!
@Caroline- Yeah, kennels aren’t the nicest, and even giving the vaccine for kennel cough my dog still got kennel cough one time. It is a perfect ‘retirement’ gig, I almost considered doing it while on my mat leave but then I realized I can barely get out of the house with the baby so it wouldn’t be a good idea. And some dogs are unpredictable with babies haha.
I’ve wanted to try this out for a while now. We don’t have any pets (yet) but I think it’d be a good easing into it, to do some dog walking and such for other people. Extra money would be a nice plus!
@Dave- Yes! Let me know how it goes! I think Lily @ The Frugal Gene does it. The gig economy is alive and bustling.
Very good information for pet owners and future pet sitters. The word “ghosted” is hilarious. That’s something I don’t like about online communications. Like in a chat group, someone says something, no response. Anybody there? Dead silence is kind of rude, that’s how I feel, haha.
@Helen- Yeah, I think ghosted is a millennial term. I think there’s another term called submarine, where a person ‘ghosts’ you and then messages you like they were never gone for a long time in the first place, like nothing ever happened.
Rover is great. We made $3,563 last year and didn’t even start until August.
@Finntrovert- Wow! That’s fantastic! I will totally plan do this when I don’t have to work anymore 🙂
GYM, I don’t have any pets, but it sounds like a good idea versus boarding. Tom
@Tom- Yup. Though my dog gets anxious the first night anywhere other than at home, but I guess better at someone else’s home than a kennel 🙂
I don’t have any pets but I would if I consider being a pet owner.
I would not rely on that second person that got back to you. That just shows they are not considerate and likely not punctual. Small gestures like these tell you how a person is.
Cute doggy btw! Is that your dog or a stock photo of he same breed lol…
@fin$avvy panda- Yes, people are terrible sometimes (or very busy?). It’s a stock photo! My dog is not very photogenic 😉