Best Pet Sitting Websites: DogVacay vs Rover vs Care vs Fetch vs PetSitters

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Going to be away for work or vacation and looking for an in-home pet sitting service? The dog-sitting sites in this article are like Airbnb for dogs and provide in-home dog sitting as well as other services like grooming, walking and training so you don’t have to worry about boarding your pooch while you’re away. Find out which of the best pet sitting websites provide guarantees and background checks, which ones are less detailed and why pet sitting is superior to putting your pup in a crowded kennel.

Why Dog Sitting vs Kennel or Boarding?

More than 43 million households own dogs in the United States. We highly doubt all of those households are with their pet 24/7. That’s why a professional pet sitter is so convenient. They come to your home, walk your dogs, feed them, play with them, administer medications, water your plants, get your mail and more.

Before You Read Our Dog Sitting App Review

Pet sitting rates vary based on location, experience and type of pet. Because of this, we have not included pricing. We also have not included pros and cons because these services can vary based on location, so what may be true in one area may not be true in another.

Rover Review

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Rover.com offers pet sitters for your dog at home or they can stay at the sitter’s home. Browse their site by zip code and view the possible sitters. The company conducts background checks, provides reviews of dog sitters and shows their availability dates. Their site is clean and easy to navigate. Also, sitters receive “badges” for various items, i.e. Rover 101, which is pet care best practices. Dog sitting rates are listed upfront and the services along with the types of animals the sitter is comfortable with. Rover offers 24/7 support, reservation guarantee and pet insurance (vet bills are covered up to $25,000 per claim, after a $250 deductible). Sitters can also send updates along with photos and even videos of your pets to “stay in touch” with your fur babies while you are away.

DogVacy Rover Merger

Note: In March 2017 Rover announced its acquisition of its biggest competitor DogVacay and in June 2017 all DogVacay users (both dog sitters and dog parents) officially moved to Rover permanently. The companies joined forces to be the largest network of 5-star sitters and give those looking for a pet sitter more options in a wider range of geographic areas.

Check out this 30-second video to find out why dog people make great sitters (over boarding your dog at the kennel).

Coupon Code

Use this link and you will receive $25 in credit towards your first booking with Rover!

Read our in-depth Rover Review

Fetch! Pet Care Review

#2

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Fetch! Pet Care does things differently. You don’t get to hand-pick your sitter. Instead, Fetch! personally matches every client to the most qualified sitter on their staff for you. Simply submit your request and they find you the most qualified professional in your area that is available on your dates. However, they do schedule a free in-home consultation for you and the sitter to meet and there are client testimonials online. Each sitter goes through a background check and your dog is insured during the reservation. You receive updates via text, email and phone call to know how your pup is doing. They also offer dog walking and overnight visits.

Care.com Review

#3

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Care.com offers pet care as well as other types of care (senior care, child care, etc.). For pets, they will pet sit, walk your dog, train, groom and board them as you need. How does it work? Sign up for an account and create the job you need to be completed, i.e. a pet sitter for a weekend. Care.com guarantees caregivers will contact you within 3 days after posting your job so be sure to plan ahead. Then you can review the profiles of the candidates and request any background checks. You can then conduct interviews and check their references and hire whomever you like best.

Other Pet Sitting Website Reviews

Below are reviews of other in home dog sitting sites.

HouseCarers | PetSitters.org

HouseCarers Review

House Carers logo

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HouseCarers matches you with a house sitter in your area. The house sitter will take care of your home and pets while you are away so you don’t have to worry about boarding your pet. Your house will also look “lived in” while you are away so criminals won’t see your home as a target. The downside is HouseCarers does not have any guarantees and they do not perform any type of background check, so you don’t have that peace of mind. When we searched for a house sitter near our area we found results of people who were available for any location – not necessarily locals. We thought this was strange and not very helpful.

Petsitters.org Review

Petsitters.org logo

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Petsitters.org (run by National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) is a pretty basic pet sitting service. They don’t provide any background on the person who will watch your dog and there is very little information about them provided. There are no reviews so you can’t see how they have done in the past. You have to do a bit of your own investigative work for this one: contact the person, conduct an interview, ask for references, etc. Some of these things could be provided automatically in their profile.

Bonded and Insured

You’ll want to hire a pet sitter that is bonded and insured. What does this mean?

  • Bonding protects the company against employee theft. How does this work? If something goes missing while a pet sitter is staying in your home and you accuse the sitter of potential theft, should the police become involved and convict the sitter of the crime, then the bond would be covered by the company. The guilty sitter would then be responsible for paying back the bond to the company.
  • Insurance means that your property is protected from any damage and that should an item in your home be broken or stolen during house sitting, it will be repaid or replaced by the insured company. So, you are protected from any damages or theft that could occur while the sitter is in your home.

These two items together provide you, the home and pet owner, some peace of mind to know that you will be repaid if the sitter steals or breaks something in your home. Bonus: it is also a good incentive for them to be a good citizen in the first place since their employer will be held responsible for their actions and anything that comes back poorly on the sitter will likely result in loss of work down the road.

  • Pet Health Insurance is another thing to look for when picking a pet sitter for cases where something happens to your pup while in the pet sitter’s care. Oh no, Fido got bit by a horse fly and is acting sluggish! No worries, if the company you chose includes pet insurance during any pet sitter stays then part of Fido’s vet visit will be covered!

Are you interested in becoming a pet sitter? Read our dog sitting guide to get started.

Pet Sitting is Better Than Boarding

Next time you’re leaving town or working late, you may want to search for a dog sitter online. That way your dog can stay in the comfort of his home and not be boarded at a strange place where he may or may not be comfortable.

Have you used a pet sitter before? What was your experience?

Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and at the end of 2017 she adopted Kopa, a one-year-old treeing walker coonhound. She and her husband are loving life as pet parents.

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29 Comments on "Best Pet Sitting Websites: DogVacay vs Rover vs Care vs Fetch vs PetSitters"

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Susan Averre
Susan Averre
You are wrong about Rover.com- they do absolutely NOTHING in the event your paid sitter never shows up. Here is what happened to me: WARNING!! If you use ROVER.COM this can happen to you! I booked a dog sitter from Rover.com to stay with my dog when I took a 5 day trip. I met the sitter first. She seemed nice and my dog liked her. I scheduled and paid for this service three months in advance. I gave her a key to my home. I even stocked food for her stay, making every effort to ensure her comfort. I bought my round trip plane ticket and awaited the arrival of the sitter. She NEVER SHOWED UP. She failed to answer any of my calls and failed to respond to any of my texts. My plane took off without me. I called every boarding facility I could to find a last minute arrangement and finally found one, thankfully, and then I had to buy another round trip flight. Extra costs for the second flight and extra boarding fees ran over $650. The amount of stress I went through for hours waiting for the sitter who never showed up then frantically trying to fix this … I would not wish on anyone. When I contacted Rover.com I was told that they would only refund my payment to them and offer me a $30 credit toward future service. They would not in anyway compensate me for ANY part of my financial losses due to their failure to meet the contractural obligation of their online agreement. After this experience I would never book them again. Since it is their policy that they will NOT compensate you for any losses associated with your engaging of their “service” and it is not made really clear up front that this could happen to anyone who uses them; I am going out of my way to relate my experience and maybe save someone else the horror and financial losses associated with trusting and using Rover.com. Feel free to share this post as a public service.
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker
Thanks for sharing your story and sorry it turned into such a stressful experience for you. We have not had that experience personally but the policy seems very odd indeed. We will consider adding this as a con to our review. All the best.
Rustic
Rustic
PetSitters.org is a great way to find a petsitter. It is not a pet sitting service itself, but instead more like an online pet sitter directory. You are usually supporting local small businesses and because there is not an extra mark up from the online app it can also be less expensive. The National Association Of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) is a great organisation who helps petsitters to always strive to be better. You can see if they have any extra qualifications, and more importabtly if the are NAPPS certified. This certification covers first aid, behavioural issues, good business practices, and so many other essential things for a pet sitter. They also require further study to be completed to renew the cetification, so the NAPPS certified pet sitter will always be up to date on new behavioural techniques, first aid practices, animal health and the care special needs animals. Don’t trust an app to choose a pet sitter for you. Look up small independent businesses in your area and then evaluate them yourself. NAPPS can also help you with what questions to ask a potential petsitter, what qualifications you should be looking for and so many other tools to find an amazing pet sitter in your area. The petsitting apps have one huge flaw in their review system, and that is because it is controlled by the petsitting app themselves, so they are basically in control of the reviews for their own product. They don’t want sitters with bad reviews on their site, it would give the appearance that their pet sitters are not all of the highest quality. Don’t rely on an app that has self governed reviews and instead got to petsitter.org and the NAPPS will show you the pet sitters in your area and how to evaluate them to choose the best one for your pet. I would also suggest that you inform any pet sitter that there are cameras within the home for security. This will give them even more of an incentive to be on their best behavior. Hidden cameras nowadays are inexpensive and easy to come by, but even if you don’t really have them it can be a great motivator.
charlie
charlie
I will definitely try DogVacay.
Katia Shuchman
Katia Shuchman
I would like to leave a negative star but was not offered this option..I was hosting in my beautiful 4 bedroom home with front and back yard. I went to work for Rover Dec 2016 and recently we have parted ways after a few incidents with my property being damaged(dog tore my fence and pulled up boards on my deck all in the few minutes he was dropped off by owner) I also received a sever dog bite..causing the dog to run pass me and knock me off balance dislocating my shoulder. Rover only protects the client not the contractor(myself) my insurance paid for the stitches and Physical Therapy. I in the 8 months and being in great physical shape as a runner bounced back slowly nd still working. I have a small clientele base but wanted to leave Rover in a civilized manner, I was gracious thanking them for the clients (putting the property damage behind me) and requested something that I had truly earned my 22 5 star reviews…they said they could not do this…I was surprised as I had earned them and they were mine to keep. Lucky 8 clients live in my neighborhood and I am grateful for that…one client is an attorney I will have to seek consul from him. Its one thing to take down my profile Rover but to not sending me off with what is mine is wrong. You are truly unprofessional and I will warn others to stay clear of you and be WARE. Remember you take a great deal of money 20% everytime I took a job and in return you do not protect the employee from harms way or return what is their property that is my reviews.
Cynthia
Cynthia
I just joined Care.com as a caregiver and can’t apply to what appear to be legitimate jobs unless I pay. I keep getting bombarded with messages from ‘different’ users all using the same text. Care.com has sent an email advising against communicating with clients who are ‘relocating’ to your area, otherwise don’t seem to be taking actions to remove these users as I’ve been contacted again by the same person. So far from what I have experienced I would not suggest using Care.Com.
Terry Sayler
Terry Sayler
I used DogVacay, one sitter that I used is now on Rover with a 5 star rating??? My dogs came home infested with fleas, saw where others had same issues. I contacted Rover about this, I forwarded emails i had received from him after the issue. they said all reviews are not transferred over yet?? Months later! Be very careful of the ratings on their sitters. He was no longer active on Dogvacay, then showed up on Rover!
Michelle Crosby
Michelle Crosby
DO NOT EVER USE ROVER.COM. I left three dogs and 1 cat with one of their pet sitters. My first dog (she’s 2) had an apparent heart attack but the pet sitter revived her with CPR. Next came a text with my chihuahua (she’s 2) who was bitten by another dog and her eye popped out of her skull. If that wasn’t enough, my cat was lost twice. But the icing on the cake was the third text that came in that my dog (she’s 3) was having convulsions, frothing at the mouth and was near death. The pet sitter said don’t worry, we have insurance through ROVER.COM. Not one of these incidents was actually covered by rover’s apparent premium insurance. Their customer service is deplorable, inhumane and downright rude. Why offer a premium insurance that doesn’t cover one vet incident, and I had three, in one go??? I paid over 3000 USD in vet bills, the cost of the pet sitter and all the time I invested while on vacation dealing with these issues. Piece of mind while you are on vacation????? DO NOT BE FOOLED by their lying marketing! They also treat their pet sitters terribly unfairly. This company will do nothing to assist you and is after every penny they can grab. Disgusting does not begin to describe this company’s practices. Go to BBB (Better Business Bureau) to read more comments like mine
GJR
I too left a healthy dog with a sitter via Rover and came back to a sick one. The sitter lied to me about the maximum number of dogs she would have her in household while mine were there. My dog wound up with kennel cough because there were 6 dogs in the sitter’s house. This is not pet sitting, this is pet warehousing at premium rates. The sitter, of course, denied any responsibility and Rover did nothing to help with the vet and prescription costs I incurred not to mention the stress of the entire situation. Rover offers you a lame complaint process whereby you submit a written statement. They denied mine within an hour of my having sent the official complaint email to them. They spend ZERO time actually looking into complaints. It seems the bottom line with this company is that it is hit or miss with their sitters. You might get lucky and get a good one or you might wind up with a really sick or dead pet. Not worth the gamble. We will never use them again.
Thomas Aiellos
Thomas Aiellos
Rover is a fake and fraud! It takes your crossover information and never sends jobs, then doesn’t list a phone number to get in touch with anyone!

This article must be a paid for service!

L Wyatt
L Wyatt
I’ve worked for rover about 5years now. I have plenty of business from them. The potential clients search for the perfect sitter and book you. IF you do a great job or horrible they will leave a review for other potential clients. I have over 13-5 star reviews, and have very loyal customers. Keep trying and keep your head up. It can take a bit to build a solid foundation but this career is very rewarding.
JENNIFER PEARL
JENNIFER PEARL
Just thought you should know that according to Site Jabber…Care is one of the worst sites possible for work.
Janet Curtis
Janet Curtis
rover and vacay are upping their prices and lowering sitters pay. they gouge u all day long they send clients who have agressive dogs unhousetrained dogs destructive dogs bad pet parents. then when u make a suggestion they simply end u as a host with no reason and never exlain then suddenly they contact u for work and say oh well we removed alot of hosts for six months and put u bk on then take u off again with no explaination again. Im far better than alot of hosts who compete for my area jobs call in lie to get rid of competition etc. Its wrong. they are not ok.
Jamie Shanahan
Jamie Shanahan
I will never use Rover again after my recent experience with them. I booked a weekend stay at a sitter’s apartment through Rover while I went away for a wedding, and my dog had a suspected anaphylactic reaction to something on a walk with the sitter. She was taken to an emergency vet hospital and Rover put down a $1,500 deposit for any care needed there. I was on a flight and unavailable, by the time i got updated the vet hospital had already run up an insane bill in testing and interventions without my consent. My dog was kept over night and released to a new sitter because I was concerned as to what she was exposed to under the care of the sitter. Rover then said this was all my responsibility because allergies were considered a pre-existing condition. This had never happened to my dog before. Rover’s customer service was terrible to deal with, and I was left with the total vet bill, full of testing that I never would have consented for. Looking out for other conservative pet owners, DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!
RangerDog
RangerDog
At the end of March 2017, Rover acquired DogVacay. As a host for DogVacay, I don’t know yet whether this will be good, bad or indifferent. It will probably make the web or app experience better for customers since they can choose from the best of each culture. And, btw, many hosts have long been on both websites.

Since each host is different, your experience with any of these depends entirely on the person you choose. Rover, DogVacay and every comparable outfit has good and bad people so read reviews, ask friends and neighbors and find the best match for your pet. Most people get involved in this because they love dogs. The ones who stick with it are usually the ones with happy customers.

Fetch is a different thing. They make money by selling franchises to people who want to start a business so it’s designed to sell more than to care for pets.

Gregg G
Gregg G
Use Rover as a last resort.

While Rover provides good services such as connecting owners with sitters, an insurance plan, and a solid payment system, there are two very important facts that users must know up front.

1) Rover takes a big chunk (15-20%) before paying the sitter. So if the sitter needs to make $100, and Rover is taking 20% of the gross, the customer must pay $125. That’s a 25% markup, passed to the owner. On top of that, Rover charges the owner an additional, ambigious, 5-7% fee. So, if the sitter needs $100, the owner can pay upwards of $132 – a 32% mark-up!!

2) Once an owner meets a sitter in Rover, the owner is expected per Rover’s interpretation of their terms of service to always go through Rover to use that sitter. FOREVER. This means that anybody you meet there is off the market for any future arrangements unless you intend to pay through Rover.

My recommendation is that you look at other options first (PSI, Facebook, vet suggestions, etc.). Know what you are committing to before enrolling in Rover.

Anon
Anon
Rover is providing a service and deserves to be paid for it. It’s not unusual for a company to make 30% GP on their products. This is Rover’s product. It brings people with specific needs and skills together. I just moved to a new city and am going out of town for the weekend, and without rover my dog would be stuck in a cage at his daycare over night. I think Rover deserves to get paid.
Kierra
Kierra
I believe the host from Dog Vacay treated our doggie with care, but in the future they shouldn’t jump to conclusions with guests and threaten them with their policies without the full story! We have two other small dogs and wanted to use this site for people located in our state but what a horrible and scary experience with this company. Dog Vacay should have communicated with their host about her saying we didn’t have to pay any further. This whole situation was about us being reunited with our lost dog and family member who was missing after 2 years, but our plans fell through to get her across country!!! And Dog Vacay attacked us for their host saying she was working on homing for our baby and we were paid in full! And she was the one who refused to drop her off with SPCA the day after we paid in full! What a scam to hold her hostage for more money! I was raised correct and have integrity! I will never recommend nor use Dog Vacay again!
Aubrie
Aubrie
Surfing web and found this site. I have used Rover and received solicitations. Rover actually contacted me asking me why I’m not booking with certain businesses. The people that did respond wanted my personal email address and asked if I would work for them. It was weird and another one of those companies is listed here on this site (I will leave anonymous). My experience wasn’t good. However, my vet referred to a local company in Montgomery county pa Dogsitter247 who specializes in the individual needs of you dog. Don’t know if anyone has heard of them but I must tell you I had the best experience. They are trained in medical specialize care for dogs and the woman I met is absolutely wonderful with our dog. Wish I would of known about them a long time ago. You may want to check them out. Hope this is helpful
Kevin
Kevin
Rover is amazing! This sitter has almost 100 5 star reviews. Where can customer reviews for Dogsitter247 be found?
Ashley
Ashley
There’s a new site called Sitting for a Cause. Similar to DogVacay and Rover, their commission fees are lower for pet care professionals who use their site, they don’t charge any extra service fees for pet parents, and they donate 50% of their profits from service fees to help animals in need. May be worth checking out!
miss415
miss415
Do not use rover or vacay and either do what the 1st comment suggests or find a NAPPS Sitter.

Ask / Look for the following:
-proof of insurance
-Ask the sitter what their emergency protocols are
-Ask if he or she is familiar with and/or had any formal training in canine body language & behavior.

Someone who can answer these questions and show evidence will separate the professionals from the individuals who simply love dogs. It is possible to find professionals like this through those apps but it is up to each owner to ask and find out! I know 2 separate individuals whose dearly loved dogs died in the care of Rover sitters due to sitter negligence.

Miranda Murdock
Miranda Murdock
Instead of using these app companies where the owners have NO skin in the game, do a google search for “pet sitter + [your city] and hire a local small business, where the owner is actively involved in the scheduling, care of pets, and customer service. These local, independent businesses are insured, and usually far better trained than the random people who sign up on Rover and Dogvacay. Plus, 9 times out of 10, you meet the OWNER of the business, unlike when you use an app company, where the owners have never met the person you are getting ready to hand over your house keys to.
Brenda
Brenda
I have tried to use DogVacay but there are not many in my area here in NC. Thinking about trying Rover instead.
nikki
nikki
It depends on where you live. I’m in NC and use both Rover and Dogvacay although I do agree that Rover is definitely more popular. I also tend to give more attention to Rover than DogVacay as they seem to be a bit more professional.
Terry Sayler
Terry Sayler
Do not trust their 5 star ratings, they combined with dogcavay but terrible reviews were not transferred. I know as I used one on Dogvacay that was no longer a listed sitter, now on rover? I contacted Rover when they merged, still not transferred in?? Be very careful where you leave your pets.
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