While we consider our dog a member of our family and travel with her whenever and wherever possible, she makes the occasional trip to the local kennel. During our recent trip to Mexico for spring break, we spent over $350 on kennel fees, paying extra for a fifteen-minute walk every other day and a special bath and grooming the day before we returned home. At the base service, the kennel allows dogs five minute bathroom breaks three times a day. And while I know our dog is otherwise safe, fed, and in the company of other animals, the overall kennel experience always seems like I’m paying a small fortune on canine jail time.
So when Rover.com reached out to me about their network of pet sitters and dog walkers, I felt like I was receiving a solution to a problem so many of us frequent travelers face on a regular basis. To begin, read this article for a bit of a backstory on Rover.com’s mission and vision.
As it turned out, we had an upcoming three-day, two night getaway to a destination without pet-friendly lodging options. A quick search for our desired dates returned twenty available Rover.com pet sitters within a five mile radius of our home address. Per night rates are set by each sitter and (for my region) ranged from $25 – $40. Like Lyft or Uber, individual sitters are reviewed and rated by clients utilizing their services. I read bios and reviews for several individuals and decided to reach out to a sitter familiar with canine first aid and CPR as well as a fenced yard and additional daily exercise.
Rover.com customers and sitters communicate through a chat feature within the program; messages arrive by text and email and you can communicate seamlessly through both platforms. After a pre-stay meeting of our sitter’s dog and our dog at a local park—for compatibility and and to better understand our dog’s verbal commands, preferences, and personality—we mutually agreed upon a match and the requested dates and rate was accepted by both parties.
Users are required to list their local vet before traveling; our sitter also provided us with a packing list (including comfort items, like a dog bed and favorite toys). During our trip we received text updates and a few photos of our pup enjoying an outing at the local dog park. She was even able to continue her habit of sneaking up on the human bed at night. Rover.com also offers house sitting; we may look into this option for a longer trip (assuming we can match with someone willing to sleep with a dog and two cats each evening).
A third option would be to match with a Rover.com sitter in your desired destination (allowing you to travel with your pet and pick them up for the journey home). We’ve used out-of-town kennels on several different occasions, mainly when visiting friends and family pet allergies. In this situation, positive customer reviews and repeat client visits provide excellent filters for narrowing down your search.
Overall, we have nothing but praise for our first experience with Rover.com. While the rates are competitive with the local kennel, the perks, convenience, and peace-of-mind are priceless. In a nutshell: we’ll be using this service from now on.
See for yourself—use this referral link to receive $20 in Rover credit after completing your first booking: www.rover.com/refer/julieh95/
Happy Tails and Happy Trails!