28 Apr How to Make Money dog sitting with Rover & Dog Vacay: 11 Helpful Tips
If someone would have told me 6 months ago that I would be making $3,500 a month dog sitting I would have laughed in their face, but much to my pre-judgmental surprise, I am doing just that. How do I make money dog sitting you ask? Isn’t it a lot of hassle setting it all up? The answers are Dogsitting Apps (Rover & Dog Vacay specifically) and No, not as much as I thought. Let me explain.
As a dog lover and somewhat lonely 30-something year old who had seen his friends vanish after getting married, I was in serious need of a life pick me up. And let me tell you, for dog lovers, there is no better way to feel happier in life than spending some quality time with a kind pooch – except maybe to get paid to spend time with that aforementioned pooch. Enter Rover & Dog Vacay.
The hassle in dogsitting and dog walking, especially as a part-time, side business, is hustling to find clients. Pain in the ass hassles two and three are insurance in case something goes wrong and organizing the calendar. The last pain point in starting up a dog sitting business is also handling the payment and billing. Luckily, with Rover and Dog Vacay, they do all of the aforementioned pains for you – for a 20% cut. Regardless of the commission fee to Rover or Dog Vacay, it is still well worth it as it makes the experience more seamless and you can start getting clients without too much of a time investment.
The biggest deterrent for me in the past making side money with dog walking or sitting was all of the work it would take to find clients. If you have friends or family that have dogs, they will expect that you take care of their pooch for free. The time and effort to constantly post on Craiglist or make flyers with your number didn’t jive with my personality. However, signing up with Rover or Dog Vacay takes maybe 45 minutes. When setting up a Rover/Dog Vacay account, you will make a profile with your pictures, services and rates, and they will do a background check. Surprisingly, I was getting messages on both sites for new customers within 2 days of my account being confirmed.
11 Tips to Help you Make Money Dog Sitting
As stated above I have been dog sitting via Rover and Dog Vacay for about 6 months. I was making about $2,000 my second month, and over $3,000 by the third. I do work from home, which makes a big difference in terms of how many dogs you can sit.
Regardless of what your commitment level and how a many dogs you want to sit, you can still easily add $750 a month in income and get to hang with some adorable dogs without adjusting your life too much. Here are some helpful tips to help you start out in your dog sitting business, whether it is a full time or part-time endeavor.
Lower Your Prices
When starting out, look at the average prices for services in your area and go under these until you start getting customers and reviews.
Get Testimonials & Reviews ASAP
Both Dog Vacay and Rover allow you to get ‘testimonials’ when starting out, get these until you can get reviews.
Always do Meet & Greets
Seriously. I can’t tell you how many owner’s description of “their adorable” dog was off. It is hard to tell how a dog will act without their owner around in a different environment, least of all how everyone’s idea of ‘well-behaved’ is different. Always meet dogs and owners before agreeing to host. This will save you headache down the road. If you are hosting multiple dogs, if it is not possible to have the dog that will be staying there at the same time, at least try to have another dog to see how new potential clients react to other dogs. While it is not foolproof, as some dogs just don’t like particular dogs, it will help you suss out some behavior issues.
Try your best to make sure the dog poos and pees prior to meet and greet – even so, if you have carpeted areas like I do that probably have scents from other dogs, dogs will still try to mark. Be ready.
Nature’s Miracle is your Friend
Always have Natures Miracle on hand in case a dog has an accident. Natures Miracle helps eliminate pet odors so your place won’t smell like the zoo.
Respond to Requests Promptly
Try your best to respond to dog requests promptly. There is no better way to separate yourself from the herd than to respond quickly, whether you can’t take the dog or not. I can’t tell you how many people have some back to me even after I said no to their first request because I was busy with another opportunity.
People will try to pay for one night and get two days on your all the time. Likewise, owners may try to convince you in the meet and greet that their dogs behaviors of say…jumping on things is no big deal. Trust your gut and establish your rates and practices. Don’t be afraid to tell owners no.
Prepare for Separation Anxiety
Have a bone with peanut butter frozen in the freezer, in case you get a dog that has severe separation anxiety.
A Dog Bed is a Must
Always have the owner bring a dog bed. You may intend for the dog to sleep with you, but should you change your mind and the dog should be acting strangely, you need to have a back up option or you will be dealing with a whining dog all night.
Follow All Safety Rules. Period.
When hosting multiple dogs, the stakes are raised. Plain and simple. Feeding dogs separately is a must. A cute and kind dog can turn vicious when food is on the line. With that said, when doing your meet and greets, make sure to find out about whether the dog has any food or toy possession issues.
As the saying goes there is not such thing as a free lunch. No matter how much you love dogs, there will be days when you question your sanity and life choices (how did I get to this point?) – especially when you have accepted a dog that ends up like that awful blind date from your single days and throws up all over your place, but that is just part of the game. If you love dogs, you can make money dog sitting with relatively little headache if you set yourself with Rover or Dog Vacay – just don’t forget, that not matter how much poop you have to clean up, it still beats going into an office at 7 am.