As much as you love your dog, it’s not always possible to travel with them. You could ask a friend, family member or neighbor to drop by and take care of the everyday duties, but not all dog owners have that luxury.
That’s where Rover.com can help.
RewardExpert spoke with Leah Almeling, Public Relations Manager for Rover.com, to get a glimpse into the company’s roots and what sets it apart from competitors.
Personal experience sparks an idea
“The idea for Rover.com grew out of a negative experience co-founder Greg Gottesman had with his dog at a traditional kennel,” says Almeling.
The dog was boarded at a high-end Seattle kennel while Gottesman and his family vacationed. Unfortunately, the pet was injured during her stay at the kennel, which left the Gottesman family upset.
That experience sparked an idea. Gottesman saw an opportunity to offer something better to dog owners and put together a team to pitch his idea at Seattle’s Startup Weekend in September 2011. Rover.com won first prize. The website officially launched in November 2011, a product of dog-loving techies who wanted better care for their pets.
Why the website is popular
Rover.com today serves as a network of pet lovers, whether they’re owners, caregivers, or both.
“Through Rover, pet parents can discover, book, and manage personalized care for their dogs, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy day care,” says Almeling.
The benefits of Rover.com, adds Almeling, are that it “ensures dogs nationwide are happy and well-cared for,” and “empowers dog owners to live fulfilling lives.”
Rover.com casts a far net for dog owners who need care. The service is present in over 10,000 cities and boasts over 85,000 registered sitters, many of whom live within a short drive to 92% of the site’s users.
So what sets Rover.com apart from its competitors?
“For Rover, it starts with high standards for our pet sitters and dog walkers; we’re only looking for the best,” says Almeling.
Each sitter that registers on the site undergoes a manual review of their profile and only 15% receive a passing grade. Rover.com also looks at data from all booked stays and interactions to make sure approved sitters continue to meet expectations.
Rover.com also makes use of what it calls Rover Cards. This technology gives dog owners an in-depth look at their pet’s activities while they’re away, including GPS maps of walks, photos of the dog, and details about bathroom stops.
“Rover Cards is the first large-scale deployment of this type of technology,” adds Almeling.
Get dog sitting as you travel
When asked for a great Rover.com customer story, Almeling recalls a couple who had booked a destination wedding and needed a dog sitter at that location to watch their pet during their nuptials.
“The bride had never used Rover before,” says Almeling, “but after reading the profile and viewing the pictures of the sitter, she reached out and confirmed a booking within 30 minutes.”
“The sitter actually brought the dogs to the wedding site for pictures and then took them back to her house for the duration of the stay.”
Other Rover.com stories include retirees who sign up as dog walkers for added income and owners of a special needs dog finally being able to vacation after finding the right sitter on the website.
How to book a sitter
Dog sitters on Rover.com set their own rates, so you’ll need to browse profiles on the site to get an idea of what a stay or a drop-in visit might cost. Profiles also tell you more about the sitter, including their living situation, house rules, and cancellation policies.