10 Best Pet Sitting Websites - Buyer's Guide 2018
You can't leave your pet with just anyone. You need to find a great pet sitter. Here are the nation's top pet-sitting services to help you find the best match for you & your furry friend.
Pet sitting services provide in-home petcare when the pet’s owner is away on business, on holiday, or are too sick or injured to care for their pet. This means that diet and exercise routines carry on uninterruptedly, travel trauma for both owners and pets is minimized, exposure to illness is controlled, and the pet experiences less stress, while remaining in a familiar environment.
Pet sitters are expected to feed the pet, change their water bowl, provide exercise and playtime, clean litter boxes and any other pet messes, and administer any necessary medication. They may also perform other tasks, within reason, if previously agreed to with the owner. When comparing pet sitting services, makes sure to ask about the cancellation and refund policies, whether there’s a re-scheduling penalty, a satisfaction guarantee, and if it’s possible to request or change a specific pet sitter.
Many pet sitting services act as a bridge between the pet owner and the pet sitter, with the service extracting its fee. With that in mind, it’s important to ascertain their role before choosing one. Certain pet sitting services, for instance, insure their sitters, as well as the animal being watched, for the duration of the care period. It is also wise to make sure that the prices are fair, and not predatory. On average, $10 per hour is reasonable, discounting possible subscription fees and additional features.
Finally, since pet sitting involves the care of your furry friend, it’s important to verify the company’s reputation, their customer service, and the availability of communication with the sitter and the service.
Top 5 Companies
- Over 25,000 pet sitters nationwide
- Complimentary premium pet insurance
- 24/7 support and Rover reservation guarantee
- Sitter background checks
- On-call veterinary assistance
- Daily photo updates of your pet via free mobile app (IOS & Android)
- Over 10,000 pet sitters nationwide
- Starts at $25/ night
- 24/7 support
- Pet insurance available
- Daily photo updates
- Requires 1 year subscription
- Up to $1,000,000 liability insurance
- Available for a variety of pets (reptiles, rodents, fish, etc.)
- Pet medical cover optional
- 24/7live chat service
- Dogs, cats and small animals
- Free in-home consultation
- Franchise-based business
- Pet sitters bonded and insured
How We Compare Pet Sitting
A company with a sizeable network of pet sitters or pet care providers gives you the best chance of finding a pet sitter with the best qualification and one located near your area. However, having a large pool of pet care professionals does not guarantee the quality of service. This merely assures you that you’ll have the widest choice of candidates to choose from.
At the end of the day, it is the pet sitter you choose to work with that determines the level of care your pet receives. Online portals or sites that connect pet parents directly with thousands of pet sitters gives you the best balance between an pet sitter who has made pet care their profession and a pet sitter who works in a structured environment such as a pet care business.
Pet care booking services such as rover.com for example merely acts as a portal connecting pet parents with pet sitters. But there are mechanisms to ensure that pet sitter profiles are accurate and updated. Go for pet sitting services that provide a detailed profile such as training and experience. Features such as feedback and reviews by previous pet owners should also give you a more accurate picture.
Check other services such as meet and greet or in-house consultations. This are usually free and gives pet owners a chance to meet pet sitters personally. There are also messaging services which allows pet parents to communicate directly with pet sitters.
Accidents by nature are unexpected and even the best pet care professionals are not immune from this unfortunate situation. Knowing that your pet sitter is bonded or insured ensures that you and your pet will always be protected.
Rates for pet sitting services may vary according to the person’s experience or location. But generally, average hourly rates across the country stands at the $10 per hour. Some pet sitter services require monthly service fees. Subscription allows you to fully use all its features such as messaging and pet sitter look ups. Other pet sitter providers require you to purchase insurance on top of its subscription services.
The only reason why a pet care business continues to thrive or exist is because it has consistently been able to provide quality services to its customers. Reading other pet parent reviews is the most accurate method for assessing how good a pet sitter really is. This information is available under the pet sitter’s profile.
Before enlisting the services of a pet sitter from a pet service provider, be sure to check its policies towards cancelling and refunds. Things we looked into and compared are the following:
- Booking time
- Changing pet sitters
- Satisfaction guarantee
What's important to know about Pet Sitting?
- How does pet sitting work?
- How will I know if the pet sitter is right for my pet?
- How much does pet sitting cost?
How does pet sitting work?
Pet sitting has become a wonderful alternative to boarding your pet in a kennel when you leave town or need extra care support for your pet. Often times a pet sitter will come to your home to care for your pet, either visiting intermittently throughout the day or staying there while you are gone. Additionally, some pet sitters will even host your pet in their homes. Pet sitting companies work to match you with a pet sitter in your area who will best meet the needs of you and your pet.
Some sites also can help you find pet walkers, trainers or nannies for daytime care.
How will I know if the pet sitter is right for my pet?
Pet sitters set up their own profile pages and provide information about themselves and the services and care offered while sitting. Additionally, pet parents are encouraged to review and rate the sitters based on their experience. This makes it easier to find a the right pet sitter.
Most pet sitters also encourage (or even require) a meet and greet prior to the first pet sitting to make sure that the match is a good fit. This gives you and your pet a chance to meet the sitter, check out where your pet will be staying (or show the sitter where they will be staying/visiting), and discuss any special care directions the sitter should know about before sitting for your pet.
How much does pet sitting cost?
Pet sitting fees vary depending on the sitter, the service you are looking for and where you live. However, the cost is usually comparable to the amount you’d pay to board your pet. Sitters who are less experienced or are new to pet sitting may offer services at a lower price, while those that are experienced or provide more activities and space for your pet may charge more.
Most pet sitting sites also include liability insurance, veterinarian support to sitters and sitters will send you daily text and photo updates as part of the cost.