So you love animals but can’t have a cat or dog where you live? Landlords can be cranky that way, and if you’re in the dorms in college or live in a tiny house, well, it’s hard to have a Great Dane or live out your cat lady fantasies in 200 square feet! But pet owners can’t be with their pets 24×7 either, so there’s a surprisingly big need for dog walkers and pet sitters. Not so much cat walkers, though heck, in Boulder where I live I’ve seen a lady walk her goats.
A company called Rover is offering up a matchmaking service between people who love pets and would like to help their neighbors and pet owners who need someone to walk their dogs, check on their cats, and similar. To learn more I decided to interview some of the Rover pet team: A samoyed called Coconut, a bulldog called Spike, a ridiculously cute new corgi puppy named Daisy, and head dog, the poodle Butters.
Me: Hi. How are you all doing today?
Them: all run madly out the door, barking furiously! We eventually get them all back in.
Me: Okay, more seriously then, there are a number of companies that are a dog walking marketplace. What’s unique and interesting about Rover?
Them: assorted growls, then Butters chimes in…
Butters: What makes Rover different is that Rover connects pet parents with dog people in their neighborhood. Anyone can easily find, message, and book a pet care provider through Rover’s straight-forward website and app. With more than 100,000 pet sitters and dog walkers, our sheer number of sitters and walkers means it’s easy to book pet care you can trust.
No matter where you go, there we are.
Not only that, but every service is backed by premium insurance, 24/7 support, and the Rover reservation guarantee.
Me: Nice Buckaroo Banzai quote! And what’s the Rover reservation guarantee?
Butters: We recognize that sometimes things fall through, so if a pet sitter or dog walker cancels your booking within 7 days of start, we’ll refund your money and we’ll help you find a new sitter or walker!
Me: Nice. Now, other than tummy rubs, what’s the biggest challenge that Rover currently faces?
Coconut: rolls over, lays there eying me.
Butters: looks at Coconut, shakes her head. Well, our biggest hurdle is increasing awareness that a solution like Rover exists, which is also our biggest opportunity. Generally, dog owners only use a commercial solution 10% of the time when they travel. The majority rely on friends, family, and neighbors. However, that is changing. Our data shows 65% of users are people who, prior to Rover, would not have used a commercial service to watch their pet.
Me: As a pet owner myself, I’m pretty darn careful about who I trust to take care of my two cats…
All dogs perk up at the word “cats” and start to look around, growling.
Me: … easy, easy, they’re not here. But how do you vet and check on new sitters and walkers?
Butters: Background checks are completed via Checkr and include the national criminal database, sex offender registries and global watchlists. We only accept about 20% of the people who apply to be part of our service, actually.
Me: Very cool. I’m going to encourage people to check out Rover for themselves. Thanks for the time, mutts.
Them: all look upset at the use of “mutt”, all walk out the room.
Thanks to the team at Rover for letting me interview their pups, actually. If you have pets and are looking for help when you travel or just want them to have a few new friends, or your someone who loves animals and would appreciate a chance to spend time with dogs and cats – and make a few bucks – I encourage you to check Rover.com out.
Disclosure: Rover sponsored this post. But my opinions – and interview experience – is definitely my own.