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

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Rover logo
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DogVacay logo
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Fetch logo

Going to be away for work or vacation and looking for an in-home pet sitting service? The sites in this article provide in-home dog sitting as well as other services 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 and which ones are less detailed.

Before You Read

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.

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!

Rover Review

#1

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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.

Coupon Code

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

Read our in-depth Rover Review

DogVacay Review

#2

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Similar to Rover, on DogVacay each sitter has a ranking so you can see how they’ve performed for others. Make your reservation online or via the app and you’re all set. How do you know your dog is in good hands? Each sitter must be approved before they can join DogVacay. Customers share reviews of their experience that you can read to get more of a feel for the sitter. With each reservation you are covered with pet insurance ($25,000 in medical coverage and $250 deductible), 24/7 customer support, home insured (if the pet sitter is at your home) and daily photo updates so you can see your pooch having fun.

Fetch! Pet Care Review

#3

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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.

Other Pet Sitting Website Reviews

Below are reviews of other in home dog sitting sites.

Care.com | HouseCarers | PetSitters.org

Care.com Review

Care.com logo

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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.

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.

Pet Sitting is Better Than 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. So 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 3 year old hound mix, in 2017 and is loving life as a pet parent.

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

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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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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,… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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.

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