Disclosure: I am bringing this post to you through my paid partnership with Rover.com, their dog boarding and pet sitting website, and sharing the news about their campaign.
As I type this, I’m sitting at home, watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey (it’s a sickness) and playing around on the Rover.com site. I typed in my city and state, I made up a weekend away, and told the site that we have a large dog.
There are lots of pictures of people hugging dogs (great touch) and a couple of people who look too young to be a dog sitter, but I was carded until I was 37, so I’m trying to be open minded about the dog sitters on the site.
What really blows me away are the number of available people in my area and the affordable rates. I expect that the prices will be higher the more pets we have, but it won’t break the bank. But then I ask myself ”can I trust a stranger with our home, our cats, and our dogs?”
Do your homework…
When you click on each sitter, you’re taken to their page to learn more about them and their experience, look at pictures of happy dogs, and read customer reviews. But for me (and my babies) that’s not enough.
Although I’m very impressed with Rover.com’s site, I will be doing a lot of homework. I live with a cop and I suspect everyone, but the Internet has provided us a way to do our own Intel and where that comes up short, I’ll pick up the phone and start dialing for references…
Google the person to see if there are reviews about their service elsewhere. I found that some of the people run in home doggy day cares, so they may be advertising their business on several sites. You might also find out more about their experience – if they work in veterinarian care or dog training, this is a bonus for us (we can check their references).
Use social networking to do some homework. It seems that everyone is on Facebook these days, I find that it’s interesting checking people out to see what they’re like – a friend researched a dog walker this way and found that she complained about the dogs and her clients on her personal profile all the time. Do you want to leave your dog with a person like this?
Call the dog sitters that appeal to you and ask some questions. Rover.com provides a lot of great questions, but follow up on those questions and ask more. Ultimately, our dogs are our responsibility and we have an obligation to be investigate who we’re entrusting their care too, even if it’s only 48 hours.
We want to hire a dog sitter, but if that doesn’t work out and we find a home that seems like a good fit for our pack, I’m going to ask them…
- The number of other dogs do they have/board and what breed.
- If they they have children; our dogs aren’t socialized with children so this is an important question for us.
- How big their yard is, where the dogs will eat, sleep, and how often the dogs will be walked.
- If they have any training and experience in dog behavior and training.
One thing I noticed…
When I started the search on Rover.com, I selected that I wanted our dogs to stay at home. I received in-home pet sitters (my dogs will stay in their home) on the list. At first, I didn’t like this feature – why bother asking? But as I was scrolling through the list, I found several people who were very experienced with working with several dogs at once and I appreciated that. In-home dog sitters might be an option for us.
It’s important to be protective of our dogs, be flexible with the services available, and ask lots of questions. I think Rover.com is a great option for traveling dog families and dog owners should consider playing around on the site, becoming familiar with who is in their community, and what services are offered.
What I wish is that they offered dog walkers or a way for 2 dog owners to partner up for a mini-pack walk.
What questions should I ask potential dog sitters?
Update! This is exciting. During the Rover.com Twitter Chat on Thursday October 3rd, there will be prizes. 1 person will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and 4 more winners will receive $25 Amazon gift cards! Crazy right???? Mark your calendar for the chat at 6-7 pm PST!
Visit Rover.com today to redeem your discount – holiday season is approaching fast!