Rover Dog Sitting Reviews: Other Options Besides A Kennel

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Pet sitter with dog: Rover dog sitting reviewsTaking a last minute trip but need your dog cared for while you’re away? You call the kennel, but they’re already booked up for the weekend. What other options do you have?

Pet sitting services like Rover offer pet sitters in your local area the opportunity to meet and make bookings to watch your dog while you’re away. Read our Rover pet sitting reviews to see why we think it’s the best pet sitting service.

Rover logoVisit Rover’s Website

Rover Review

4.65 / 5
Rover Review
Customer Support 5.0
Website Functionality 5.0
Mobile App 5.0
Communication Forms 4.3
Price 4.0

Pros

  • Background checks
  • Excellent customer support
  • Choose your pay rate as the sitter
  • Great app and website to book and pay
  • See sitter’s availability on the calendar and their fees upfront
  • May be more flexible for drop off and pick up times opposed to a kennel
  • Great sitter communication via the app with text, photo and video sharing
  • Ability for sitters to GPS track walks

Cons

  • Rover takes 20% of sitters’ earnings

Key Features

  • Dog and sitter can stay at owner’s home or sitter’s home (depending on preferences)
  • Sitter walks, feeds, plays and cares for your dog
  • Easy way to find regular or occasional dog walkers near you
  • Reviews of each dog sitter are available on Rover.com website
  • Rates are listed upfront
  • Limited pet insurance included (be sure to read the details)
  • Sitters can send photos and videos to give owners updates

Pricing

Price varies for owners depending on what the sitter charges. Owners are charged a service fee of 5-7% of the booking total. Each sitter charges their own rate and Rover keeps 20% of the profits.

Coupon Code

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

Want To Be A Pet Sitter?

Read our guide to becoming a pet sitter. You can set up a meet and greet with a dog and their owner first to see how the two of you mesh. But first, did you know there’s a proper way to approach a dog? Rover has some tips in this short video below.

What Do Customers Think?

Below are some Rover.com reviews from people who have worked for the company.

Our Personal Experiences

Several members of our team have used Rover.com and had great success with loving caregivers and dog lovers.

In fact, one of our team members has been pet sitting for this service for more than three years. She has enjoyed the opportunity to care for other’s furry friends, and the experience inspired her to get her own dog. Now she uses Rover to have play companions for her pup and has an even deeper appreciation and understanding of the importance of trusting sitters to care for fur babies.

Our number one tip is to do your homework — carefully research and read reviews, do a home visit with your dogs, etc. Feeling comfortable with your pet sitter before you leave your dog with them is crucial to a successful boarding situation.

Positive Rover Reviews

Rover is the best! You can make your own schedule, work whenever you want and simply put your profile into away mode when you are busy. Everything is customizable, so you get to set your price, choose what kinds of pets you’d like to either sit or walk, whether you also do grooming, what size dog you would be open to watching. However, you are taking on the responsibility of someone;s family member, so that is something to keep in mind. – Indeed, 11/19/2016

For most of my old Lab’s Rusty’s life my kids have been able to care for him when I travel. This was getting to be an imposition, so I decided to try Rover.com. BINGO! I found Charmaine and her wonderful family who live
quite close to me. She is in Bridle Trails. We did the meet and greet and Rusty seemed very comfortable with her and the house. She is so friendly and obviously loves dogs. His first 7 night stay turned into 10 and this recent one was 5 nights. She even delivered him back to me because she had an early appointment. Both Rusty and I couldn’t be more pleased. – Susan, Trust Pilot 12/9/2016

Negative Rover Reviews

I would not sign up for the protection plan they offer for $49.95. It is absolutely useless. I have had a horrible experience with the site and getting the funds I am owed. Almost all the dogs I sat for are horribly behaved and don’t have any manners. The owners are demanding and don’t plan well. I’ve had three dogs come to stay and they ran out of food while visiting. The owners refused to reimburse me and the protection plan doesn’t cover food. Nor does it cover the destruction the dogs have inflicted on my house. I will never use this company again and am done with pet sitting in my own home game. This has just been an awful experience all around. – Indeed, 2/23/2016

Had one great dog/house sitter. The second one was nice enough but left my dog alone all evening and my neighbor called to tell me my dog had been whining for four hours!!! Then when we returned home we found the stove burner on. Wow! – Julie, Trust Pilot 12/9/2016

Why You Should Pick Rover Pet Sitting

Visit Rover’s Website

Rover is our #1 pick for best pet sitting website and dog walking app. We think Rover is great because they have stellar customer service, their sitters get background checks and their app and website make it easy to communicate with the sitter/owner. Unlike a kennel, your pup will get one-on-one attention from the sitter and perhaps even some adorable photos or videos of them sleeping or playing to help you rest assured that your furry family member is in good hands.

Why would you pick Rover over a kennel or other pet sitting service?

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 and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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Karen
Our original house/dog sitter cancelled and we have been left to scramble to find a replacement as it is from mid-December through New Year (holidays). Rover was initially helpful in sending potential replacement sitters, although out of several, only two were actually able to house sit over the dates we needed. One was a High School student who had just signed on with Rover, with no previous experience, and the other was a good fit so we figured we’d book this sitter. The issue we had was Rover had initially sent us a support email stating they would provide 25% credit towards cost of replacement. The new sitter was over $500 more expensive than our original booked/paid in full sitter. Rover admitted the Customer Service person had made a mistake and reneged on their 25% ‘written’ offer because the cancellation was outside their 2-week window. I have no complaints about their Terms & Conditions, but they should have honored their employees mistake and made good on the offer. It also raised other concerns; such as what else would they renege on? We have since found a great sitter through our neighborhood network. We will never use Rover again and most certainly won’t recommend.
Steve
My experience with Rover was a complete disaster. My dog was injured during a stay with one of Rovers sitters who had all five star reviews. My dog had a gash in his leg that required veterinary care exceeding $1000. It looks like a knife cut to me, but no one had any explanation of what happened. I was called and informed at 2:00 AM while on a family vacation. I had to cancel my vacation and leave early to come home to take care of my dog. And me, the dog owner, not the sitter is responsible for the first $250 of the Vet Bill per Rovers policy. Make sure you read beyond the first page of their “guarantee”. In the terms and conditions on a subsequent page you will find that you the owner are responsible for the first $250 of the vet bills for the injury that occurred to your dog. I would not recommend using Rover. First my dog was injured and no one will say how. Then I had to end my family vacation early to come back and take care of my dog. Then to top it all off, I had to pay $250 for Vet bills to Rover. My recommendation, use a kennel, they take full responsibility for your dog. They are professionals. Don’t trust your beloved pet with a non-professional and an Internet company focused on making a quick buck on someone else providing a service that they don’t take complete responsibility for. Also, I question their sitter rating system. Even though I input a one-star review, the sitter still shows five stars. There is no indication anywhere of a one-star rating. It seems they mislead you to believe all the sitters receive nothing but five-star reviews.
Linda
Horrible, horrible experience with Rover.com!!! Please DO NOT trust this company!! We had a HORRIFIC experience with our pet sitter. She lost our cat, she lied to us about it (and about everything else), she left the house smelly and filthy, she caused our cat a condition on her chin that will never fully go away, she gave our dogs 6-months worth of dogs treats in less than 2 weeks (they were all overweight when we returned), she didn’t follow any of our rules, she let our elderly dogs pee all over the house instead of using the diapers that were at her disposal, she never took out the trash, and much, much more. We got back to a disaster house, needy, filthy pets, disgusting bowls, smelly litter box, at least 25 pee stains on carpets, shelves and walls and fat pets. She then proceeded to lie about every single thing.

I contacted Rover.com about it and was sure that she would be removed because it wasn’t the first time she had been reported. They did NOTHING. I wrote a negative review and she replied to it with a long list of new lies. There is nothing else I can do. Nothing to warn people about her. Rover.com even encourages sitters to reply to negative reviews to seem responsible and attentive and turn things around in their favor. Please DO NOT use this company!!!

David G
This will probably the only time I will ever make the mistake of entrusting my dogs to a stranger. Let me begin by saying that prior to their stay, we met up with (name redacted) and her husband/boyfriend in their place as per her request for a meet-and-greet with our dogs — a French Bulldog and a Shih-tzu (both aged approximately 12yo). They saw the pets have a good temprament around people and are generally very calm and lazy as long as people are around. They’re potty trained to go only outside the apartment/house, they don’t fight, and they just sit there and rest/sleep. I had informed them that the dogs need to be with someone at all times and I was assured that at least one of them will be in the house with them throughout the duration of the stay. The plan was to drop off the dogs in the morning (past 9AM) and pick them up around 6~7PM latest for both days while we attend New York Comic Con. I had all the supplies packed and handed it over to them on Friday Oct. 5 a little before 10AM. I had almost immediately received a photo of the dogs showing they’re doing okay and was assured that all was going smoothly. To my surprise, at approximately 2PM, a little over 4 hours into our convention experience, I was contacted by (name redacted) demanding that I pick up my dogs immediately — I quote: “Please come get them NOW!”

She explained that she left the dogs unattended in the apartment — and environment new to the dogs — TWICE for a duration of at least 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on which version of her story is true) and to her suprise, the dogs ended up panicking and as a result, defecated and urinated inside the apartment and she claims they knocked over lamps and bit the cable wire. Now, I understand that seeing one’s apartment in that state can be very upsetting but one has to ask — who was at fault and what did a self-professed experienced dog-sitter expect from leaving two dogs unattended in a new environment for an hour?!

After receiving the message, our group of 3 immediately set out to look for a cab immediately as (name redacted)’s messages became more and more frantic demanding that I have to come ASAP. I didn’t care that we had to cancel the rest of the day that we had planned for months. I didn’t care that the props I built for that even that I spent weeks completing all went to waste because of (name redacted)’s incompetence and negligence. I did not care that it was extremely frustrating having to look for a cab while we drag around a 7-foot-tall costume prop during one of the busiest events in NY. My wife and I were furious that after all the preparation and reassurance (name redacted) gave us, not only did she inconvenience us in a huge way but she PUT MY DOGS IN HARM’S WAY!!!! I only wanted my dogs to be safe and I was close to just doing a 25-block sprint to pick them up.

By the time we got to (name redacted)’s apartement (less than 40 minutes later), she brought down the dogs to the entrance and they were visibly shaken up. We showered and groomed them the evening before and she returned them to us with feces stuck to their fur in different places. I did my best to stay calm and try to discuss the situation with (name redacted) but all I heard were excuses and varying stories of how long my dogs were left unattended and she made it seem like the fault lies with the animals.

Needless to say, I will never use this service again. Rover did their part in refunding the entire stay but nothing else can be done about everything else that happened. I hope that our experience here will be a lesson to anyone else thinking of using her services in the future.

Peter
We just had a terrible experience with a very well reviewed dog sitter. Our one mistake was meeting her outside the house and not checking more closely. Picking up next day, she had her phone off and was unreachable. We showed up and a strange man answered who was rude and abusive to us and especially the dogs. House was filthy. Dogs everywhere barking. Our own dog was covered in burrs. They couldn’t find any of our belongings (leash, harness, food, toys). When we contacted rover they apologized, but wouldn’t say if they could guarantee a refund because the “session had already ended.” Woman on phone was very unprofessional and seemed to not know how to handle the situation. We asked Rover to send someone over for a welfare check or to contact a dog agency and they told us that was our responsibility. Unbelievable. This company doesn’t care about your dogs at all. They are willing to let abusive and shady people watch your pets and don’t seem to have a conscience about their wellbeing. Do not use them.
Craig
I’ve had nothing but bad luck with Rover. Cancellations at the last minute (leaving me very in the lurch without options), and once I establish good rapport with a sitter or walker and my dog is cool with them, they change schedules or stop doing the service and I have to start over. It’s been nothing but flakes that, quite honestly, seem to use it like Uber at their whim. Well, that sucks for the customer, this isn’t a one-time ride to the supermarket.
Robin
I booked a pet sitter over a month ago for my dogs. Today on the day I am to drop them off the sitter cancels!!! Apparently she has had a personal emergency. Rover.com claims to have a policy to protect you against this. They will assist in finding you a new sitter, great BUT how can I do this on the day I am to drop them off???? I will not have a chance to meet with the sitter or visit the home where they will stay. We have been forced to now book them into a boarding facility and will be paying over $250 more than we were originally going to. Rover.com will not honor their protection plan since it is an outside company. I WILL NEVER USE THEM AGAIN!!!
Sandra Roosna
Money-grabbing corporation with zero safety in mind:

I’m only on Rover because I happen to have a little bit of free time between work and school and I enjoy spending time with other animals, so money is not too imperative to me.
Regardless, I find it absolutely appalling how they claim to have a great 24/7 support, thus they must take a giant chunk from BOTH the owner and the petsitter (because it’s clearly not enough to just exploit one party).
For example, they take 40% of what they charge for on-demand walks (if they owner pays $20, you receive a lousy $12, and you get $18 for every walk that they charge $30 for).
They also take a large chunk of any other service you provide: I charged $240 for a house-sitting and Rover took $48 from that amount (FOR WHAT!!?), ON TOP OF taking a percent from the owner as well.
All they do is run the app and provide customer service (if you can call it that). I can see maybe justifying that if they actually offered proper training for those wanting to sign up as a petsitter. All they do is offer a 2-minute in-person leash test for those wanting to become on-demand walkers – they don’t offer any other types of training and refuse to make it at least a little bit harder for those who are completely incompetent. This whole “certification” to be an on-demand walker is a complete joke!
There should be a written test about dog safety for all sitters signed up for the app (where you emphasize using backup collars/leashes!!) and at least an hour-long basic CPR course.
It is incredibly unsafe and idiotic to have anyone who wants to “work” with other people’s pets sign up and end up killing said pets (it has happened on numerous occasions on Rover, they are just really good at covering those incidents).
Rover is clearly not at all dedicated to making sure that safety comes first (you choose to test a walker’s knowledge on Rover Cards over how to handle a lost or injured dog situation, or how to prevent these incidents to begin with. Priorities?)
For the amount of money they shamelessly take from you, I expect there to be a large office in every big city where they operate, with a team of trained on-call petsitters or certified emergency personel in situations that call for their intervention. Instead they rent a tiny room in an office building to run their lousy excuse for in-person leash training.
The majority of Rover petsitters that I know are booking their services outside of the app after being contacted by an owner. I as well have chosen to use Venmo or PayPal to do my transactions, and I actively encourage other people to do the same.
I refuse to succumb to this kind of corporate exploitation, and I make sure other people get treated fairly as well.
With being so incredibly greedy, you end up losing more business than the high prices can justify, and you fully deserve it.

Arthur
Our dog is dead!

After carefully searching, checking reviews and references and interviewing candidates, we hired someone ​we thought was an​ experienced dog and house sitter to live in our home​ for our week vacation out of the country. We found (name redacted) on Nextdoor and she had all the qualifications. When we interviewed her she proudly stated that she gets most of her business dog sitting and her doggy day-care from rover.com where they emphasize safety.
On our first day away she locked out one of our three precious little dogs, our beloved, defenseless ​senior 5lb.​pom rescue in the dog run at bedtime. Evidence shows Foxy was mauled and killed by a coyote.

We reported the incident to supervisors at rover.com, since they were​ promoting (name redacted) ​as a trusted and safe dog sitter​. There were ​other issues but they pale in comparison to allowing our sweet Foxy to meet with such a violent death, all due to carelessly leaving her outside and “counting 3 heads” while the door to the dog run was left OPEN, and not looking outside before locking the door.​

(Name redacted) called it an “honest mistake.” The supervisor at rover.com said they could not tell us what action they were going to take but would investigate​ the incident. The lady we spoke to sounded very sympathetic about our loss.​

Now, weeks later,​ (name redacted) is still featured on the site. With a dog dead while in (name redacted)’s care, you would have thought that they would at least temporarily suspend her until they could investigate.

In my opinion, they are more interested in their cut of her fees than they are the safety of our dogs.

Cris Josson
I’m very sorry about your loss, the disgraceful sitter should be banned from taking care of dogs! “honest mistake” is not an excuse for her to get away with it and if Rover is letting her continue working, then they are not to be trusted!
sharon newsham
I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through. The thought of how Foxy’s life ended makes me cry. Shame on the pet sitter and this company !
Sending prayers and healing for losing your fur baby Foxy.
Deborah Roberts
I board dogs for Rover. I have had positive experiences with all stays. I only board dogs from one family at a time. I stay home while boarding except to run to the store for food, never longer than 30 minutes.
Scott
Update: my sweet dog died yesterday, a bit over two painful months after being poisoned at a Rover.com sitter’s house. Neither the company nor this particular San Diego sitter [name redacted] advertises truthfully or is responsible when it comes to pet care. We are heartbroken to lose our previously healthy 2 1/2 year old lovingdog. All dog lovers need to spread the word: Rover.com does NOT check up on the safety or abilities of the pet-sitters it advertises or on the truth of what is advertised on their website, even though on their home-page and related links they make it appear that they screen applicants carefully. Spread the word, please! In the fine print, and contradicting what is stated or implied in the consumer promo material, Rover.com finally admits that “Rover.com does not warrant that any such screen[ing of sitters] is accurate, complete, conclusive or up-to-date,” that “We make no representations or warranties about the quality of boarding, pet sitting, dog walking, house sitting, transportation, or other services provided,” and with respect to their “5 star reviews” they admit in the fine print that “Rover.com makes no commitments that such reviews are accurate or legitimate.” You cannot trust anything you read about sitters on the Rover.com website–not even that a yard is fully fenced in. Find a friend or neighbor you can truly trust with your pet–and please spread the word! Feel free to re-post on other websites.
Kelly
What I want to know is why criminal charges have not been made against Rover or the individual? They all need to be held accountable
Scott
My dog was poisoned at a Rover.com sitter’s house. “A Place for Rover, Inc.” (a.k.a. Rover.com) makes it appear to consumers looking for pet-sitters that all of their “5-star pet sitters” are carefully chosen with “pet safety their number one concern.” That is simply false (curiously, not one of their sitters appears to have below 5 stars, including the sitter I recently gave 1 star). If one digs deeply enough one finds that the company does not seem to check anything their sitters post on the Rover.com website nor carefully check a sitter’s background to see whether the sitter can provide reasonable or safe services, and the company disclaims all liability for any fraud perpetrated via their website. Analysis of the company website, its ad’s for pet-sitters to join them, and communications I have had with the company reveal numerous contradictions about whether sitters are vetted at all, but the bottom line seems to be this: the appearance crafted for the general public is of a company that carefully ensures the highest pet-sitter qualifications with pet-safety and quality of care given priority in “hiring” pet-sitters (except that sitters are “independent contractors,” wink-wink) while the company makes no effort to ensure anything of the sort. I will lodge a complaint with the relevant regulatory bodies for what appears to be internet fraud by the company; I’m not sure about the legal status of individuals who engage in fraud via the company website but that merits a complaint as well. One of my dogs has been slowly dying for two months after a stay with a Rover.com sitter whose abilities do not match her advertising (some people would call that “lying” but it might be a case of “puffery,” arrogance, lack of self-awareness, ignorance, lack of common sense, and greed). This is the review I posted on the Rover.com website after my two dogs stayed at the house of a Rover.com sitter, [name redacted], here in San Diego while we were out of town for Thanksgiving: “Scott L. January 16, 2018 Verified Stay Zero stars. One of our dogs might not survive after being poisoned by extremely toxic plants in [name redacted]’s yard. Contrary to her false profile, [name redacted] isn’t really “intuitive with any potential medical symptoms that might arise and comfortable providing any medical treatments that might be necessary.” She explicitly claims knowing pet “first aid” but if she knew about basic canine medical problems, bothered to examine her yard for dangers or to see what my dog had eaten once he became sick (rather than passively stumbling upon the cause on the fourth day of illness), or called the Rover.com support line for veterinary advice (per Rover.com protocol) when my dog was on his second day of ghastly bright yellow diarrhea, my dog might not be slowly dying from damage to his GI tract going on two months now. Nor was it true that [name redacted]’s yard is fully enclosed: our two dogs walked out of her yard on the first day, one dog crossed a dangerous street to return home but, fortunately, was found uninjured by another dog-sitter whom [name redacted] had no previous acquaintance with but had sub-contracted for the first few days while [name redacted] was out of town; the sub-contracted sitter had to find boards to block the gap in the yard’s enclosure. Most recently, in a hurtful and presumptuous response yesterday to my request for her gardener’s contact info to see what other toxins my dog might have ingested, she refused to provide the information and asserted, with zero basis and falsely, that I am “trying to cast blame for a medical condition that was already present prior to Mufasa’s stay with us.” [name redacted] is irresponsible, negligent, and untruthful, and our previously perfectly healthy two-and-a-half-year-old dog, Mufasa, is now suffering the consequences as we pay mounting vet bills in a desperate attempt to save him. And yes, [name redacted], NOW I am casting blame.”
Kerrie Ann
I was just fired after many many positive stays because an American Bulldog attacked my puppy and tried to kill him. They say the cover sitter and pets but do not pay any medical for sitter just dog after $250 deductible then fire you for using a whole $528 They will reimburse me between 5 and 20 days. They are punishing me because my dog was attacked. I would love to possibly join the suit.
Kerrie Ann
After many discussions Rover has not reconsidered. I still watch my favorite clients pups they just no longer get paid. Their insurance isn’t any good anyway. BTW I did get background checked when I was a sitter but I also get background checked and fingerprinted for my real estate license, volunteering at my kids school and other things. That would not guarantee good service.
Sylvia
Due to an accident which left me immobilized, I had to urgently find a dog walker in Manhattan last Tue. [name redacted] agreed and showed up just before midnight.
I had booked 2 walks, morning and afternoon/evening, for one week.
Out of the 3 mornings since then, she managed to oversleep 2 times, resulting in ‘morning’ walks at 0251pm(!), 12:41pm and 1146pm (the last one after I had told her that mornings means before 12pm).
The evening walks took place at 1150pm (yes, midnight), 1122pm and 1104pm. I have never heard of a dog walker showing up close to midnight.
Everybody knows what those long times mean to a dog.
[name redacted] keeps postponing her appointments constantly, changing them for example from 7pm to 8pm then to 10pm and finally to 11pm, always showing up more tham 4 hrs later than promised, making it difficult for me to time the meals/drinks. Juliana W. is the most irresponsible and unreliable dog walker I have ever come across.
After I got mad about her constant lies and the unbelievable hours, she quit on me last night and cancelled the whole weekend + Monday and left me in the lurch (I cannot walk as of now).
I contacted Rover but they do not see themselves responsible to provide me with a replacement.
AVOID ROVER. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOG.
AVOID [name and location redacted]. SHE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR DOG.
IF YOU LOVE YOUR DOG, STAY AWAY FROM ROVER AND [name redacted]
Deb
I am interviewing Rover sitters but have not selected one. My problem with Rover is the individual sitters do not update their profiles. I need a place with no other dogs and seems so many I contacted did have dogs. Also, they state they do overnight stays but the ones I contacted do not (update profile). Really nervous about this service because I cannot kennel my Yorkie
Jocel Wettstein
Do NOT use Rover sitters. The insurance policy they use has an out for any “illness” which could frankly get them out of paying for almost anything. My dog almost died during an 8 day stay with a sitter. She was very lethargic, vomiting, dehydrated, heavy bloody discharge, thickened intestines, etc. She even lost several pounds during her visit for almost 1/3 body percentage / weight lost. My pet has never had any health issues and in fact had just visited the vet a few days before my trip for her annual visit with a clean bill of health.
Honestly, the sitter returned the fees and was more concerned than Rover.com. I am extremely disappointed with the false sense of security provided with the insurance and statements on the Rover website. I gave them several attempts to make this situation right and it still has not happened. My vet stated that if I returned even one day later, my pet could have died.
I can not stress enough – DO NOT USE ROVER!
DogSitter
I’m a dog sitter who has used DogVacay in the past but looking to switch. Just curious from a dog owner’s perspective if you like one or the other better and why?
Paula Banas
Rover all the way!! Great to work for and they care about their customers!