Working for Rover: How Much Do Dog Walkers Make?

FT Contributor  | 

There are so many ways you can earn an income today. We live in an economy where gigs of all kinds allow us to make money on our own time and terms, from online jobs to rideshare driving and even dog walking.

Dog walking and dog sitting are neighborhood jobs that have become more specialized over the years. Now, they are one of the most popular jobs in the gig economy. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that Americans spent $69.5 billion on their pets throughout 2017. Some $6.16 billion of that total was spent on services like dog walking and dog sitting.

With all of that money spent on pets, you might think there’s a lot to be made walking dogs or pet sitting, which you can do through the service Rover. While the gig economy is full of money-making opportunities, not all of them pay out a substantial amount. It may not be a sustainable full-time job, but working for Rover is a way to earn extra money in your free time.

If you’ve considered dog walking or dog sitting as a potential source of income but want to know how much you really stand to earn, this article will help.  

How Does Rover Work?

Rover.com is an easy way to start your own dog sitting business. In the past, you would have to create flyers or take out an ad in local publications to find dog walking or dog sitting work. With Rover, you can do all of this online through their app. Like the babysitting website Care.com, Rover was designed to provide babysitting services for pets.

To get started with Rover, all you have to do is sign up through their portal. A background check is required. Then, you’re connected with local pet owners who seek care for their animals. This could be anything from boarding to pet sitting or even dog walking.

The amount of time for each job varies, too. Some pet owners are looking for someone to stop in and check on their pets while they go away for the weekend, while others are looking for someone who can move into their home for a period while they travel abroad.

You get to determine what your rates and availability are for each service you want to provide. You can also provide information on yourself, the pets you own, or information on the kind of space the dogs will be staying in while they’re with you. Additionally, Rover allows you to choose the size of the pets you’re willing to watch. You can accept or deny any job proposition that comes through.

You can also choose to watch pets from the comfort of your own home. Essentially, you’re running a daycare out of your home for animals, where their owners drop them off and pick them up. Your job duties might include feeding, walking, and playing with the dog a few times a day, along with any other specific requirements the owner might make, such as administering medication. Rover encourages all of their hires to send photos of the pets they’re looking after throughout the day to comfort the owners.

When you initially get started with Rover, your job opportunities may be small. Once you establish a reputation in your area, more jobs will come through. It’s also important to note that for any job you take on, Rover receives 20% of the profits. This is to keep the platform running.

Rover Dog Walking

Not every pet owner has time during the day to walk their dog. Walking is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for dogs — that’s where Rover comes in. Users can log on and scan local dog walkers in their area. An in-person meeting is scheduled so that you can meet the owner and their dog, then you’re ready to get started.

When you take the dog for a walk, the app will track your start and stop times. It provides a map of where you walked, a record of when the dog took a break to relieve itself or eat food and drink water, and a place to upload photos.

The dog walking rates vary by date and location, so it’s important to check the app for the most accurate rates in your area to ensure you’re charging a competitive rate.

Rover Dog Sitting

Pet sitting is another way to earn money through Rover. You can work full-time or part-time caring for a multitude of animals in any given month. Rover allows you to watch animals other than dogs, including cats, caged animals, and even horses.

Arranging for a dog sitting job is similar to the process you would take for setting up dog walking jobs. You’ll receive an offer through the app, then schedule a meeting with the owner and their pet to get to know more about their specific needs. You’ll also do a walkthrough of their home or your own, depending on your arrangement.

As with dog walking rates, the dog sitting rates vary by location and time. You are responsible for setting your rates, but keep in mind they should be competitive with other Rover workers in your area.

Rover House Sitting

House sitting is a great way for pet owners to prevent anxiety in their pets. Rather than being uprooted from their environment, pets can stay in the comfort of their own home while a Rover sitter comes to check on them and the house at the same time.

As with all of the jobs on Rover, you’ll receive a gig offer through the app and you’ll schedule a meeting with the owner of the home. The owner will provide you with a walkthrough and will ask you any specific questions they might have. This is also a great time for you to meet the pet(s).

Once again, the rates vary depending on the length of stay and the location. Rover allows you to set your own house sitting rates — just make sure they are competitive with other house sitters in your area.

Average Dog Sitting Rate

The rates charged for pet sitting depend heavily on the services required while you’re pet sitting. Are you tending to a dog that requires medication throughout the day or one that only needs a few walks? The number of pets, the location, as well as the dates and times of the job will also factor into the rate you charge.

On average, dog sitters can earn $20 to $30 a day. With Rover, you get to set your own rates, but it’s important to remember that the company takes 20% of your earnings. So if you charge $40 a day for pet sitting services, you’re really only taking home $32. Keep this fee in mind, as well as what other sitters in your area are charging when you’re setting your rates on Rover.

Rover is an easy way for animal lovers to earn money through dog sitting, dog walking or even house sitting. Consider the pros and cons of your unique situation before you sign on to work full-time or part-time with Rover.


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