If you’re a pet owner, chances are you’ve encountered a time in which you needed help caring for your furry friend while you were out of town or had something else big or all encompassing going on in your life. We’ve been lucky in that often, we have been able to rely on the kindness of friends and family for help with our dogs – however, recently, we adopted a puppy who has grown into quite a big guy, and his training is still in progress – asking family for help with him feels a bit more burdensome.
Recently, while completing some major home renovations, we found ourselves in a circumstance where we really needed the dogs to not be underfoot, so the projects could be completed. I didn’t have family to turn to this time, and decided to check out the Rover app/website I’d heard bits and pieces about in the past, but had never used.
You can access Rover by computer at Rover.com or by app (which is free to download). Once you’re on the site, you’ll see the various services that are available to dog or cat owners. The services include boarding (at the sitters house, overnight), house sitting (at your house, while you’re away) or drop-in visits (for extended absences where your pet needs to be fed, checked on, given some attention, but long stays or boarding isn’t needed). And, let’s say you aren’t taking a trip or going to need help overnight but need help for the daytime (as was in our case), you can also book doggy day care (at a sitters house or your own) or a dog walker.
Like many service-based industries, one of the best things about Rover is that you can read reviews from other pet-owners, who have entrusted their pets with Rover sitters, and read profiles of the Rover sitters as well to help find the ideal match for your pet and your preferences. Some sitters are also rescue workers and volunteers or even vet techs. Also, as is the case with web-based services, something that makes or breaks your experience is participation and availability. (Ever tried to get an Uber or Lyft when they were just starting in our area, and had to wait forever for 1 of 2 cars available?) I’m happy to report that my experience with Rover has shown the Fresno/Clovis area to offer a plethora of fantastic pet caretakers for site users to choose from.
A few things to know before booking your first service (based on my experience):
- Different caretakers will charge different rates, so you’ll want to review what specifically is included in their services, and what they charge when selecting a caretaker.
- Not all caretakers take all sizes of pets – it’s important to find one that will take your specific pet (my dog was pushing the weight limit when we first met our wonderful Rover sitter, Karen, but thankfully, she ended up loving him and has kindly taken him even since he’s grown more – but don’t assume that will always be the case).
- Request a booking as far in advance as you can, to ensure your caregiver of choice will have availability. The popular ones do tend to be booked if you wait until the last minute.
- You’ll build a profile for your pet(s) in the app – be honest about your pet’s needs and quirks so your caretaker can be prepared.
- You’ll send your pet’s own food with instructions, as well as their pet bed typically, with them (if they are going to a caretaker’s home).
- During your pet’s scheduled care, you’ll receive photos of your pet, and the caretaker will provide notes on things like how much they ate, how many times they drank water, and how many potty breaks they took, so you’ll know what your pet’s day was like.
- Assume your pet will likely be with other pets (unless your caretaker offers exclusive care).
- The fees for the service include a small percentage that goes to Rover, but in exchange, Rover offers you not just a convenient way to access care, but insurance coverage that would be available to both you and the caretaker, should something unforeseen happen and vet or medical care be required.
- After your service is complete, the app/website will prompt you to leave an honest review, and you’ll have the opportunity to tip your caretaker if you choose to.
I’m really thankful that Fresno has such a great Rover “scene”, as the service has provided us with peace of mind multiple times now, knowing our rambunctious but lovable (giant) puppy has been in good hands, with someone who loves dogs when we needed help.
If you’re in Northwest Fresno/the Bullard area, we LOVE our Rover Sitter, Karen S.
Rover users are given a referral link in which you can share the service with someone new, and you both receive $20 of your next booked service. Please feel no obligation to use my link, however, I will include it here if you would like to, and would benefit from the discount.
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