This post comes from Nat Smith at partner site Rover.com.
The holiday is great for many things, but poses perennial challenges — what to do with the pets if you’re traveling, or how to raise enough cash to cover gifts for the nieces and nephews if you’re just getting by.
Here’s an idea for people on both sides of the coin: Rover.com. The pet-sitting and dog-walking network connects pet owners who need a trusted critter sitter with animal lovers who want to earn some extra money. The company is primarily for and about dogs, but is open to all pets and pet lovers. It’s a network that operates year-round, of course — but can be a godsend during the busy holiday season.
How to make money caring for critters
If you’re looking to earn extra cash, gain a four-legged friend, or just stay active during the winter months, becoming a Rover sitter can help you get there.
Here’s how it works:
- You’ll go through an application process and background check and fill out your profile.
- Once approved, you can start hearing from owners right away, but it may take several weeks or more to get a bite.
- To give your profile a little boost, ask friends or family to vouch for you in reviews, and start with competitive rates.
- Rover recommends looking at what other sitters are charging in your area, and setting your rates about $5 lower. Of course, you should also factor in prior experience and any extras you offer owners and their pets. Are you offering dog walking, in-house petsitting, or both? Are you available to stop in daily and feed a fish, cat, lizard, ferret?
- You receive payment through PayPal 48 hours after the gig is complete.
How much you make is completely up to you and how much you want to work, as well as the demand in your particular area.
If you like animals, this is a way to connect with the critters and people in your area, and plump up your gift-buying budget — or your travel fund for 2018. You might even score a swanky place to stay for a bit. Do a good job and you’re likely to gain a customer who will hire you time and again.
If you’re a pet owner looking for help
Rover.com can find you a helper who is tailor-made for your needs and your pets.
Some of the services Rover providers can offer:
- House-sitting — looking after your pet and your home while you’re gone
- Hosting your pet in their home
- Stopping by as needed to give your pup some TLC when you’re busy (decorating the tree, throwing in the Christmas pudding)
- Taking your pet for a brief playdate. (Perfect solution while you go holiday shopping!)
To get started:
- Go to Rover.com’s homepage.
- Sign up (and qualify for a discount on your first booking)
- Create a simple profile: add a photo of your pet and information about what you need
- Start searching for sitters: To locate the right person in your area, you can filter by zip code, availability on specific dates, and other factors such as whether providers have pets or children and whether they allow dogs on the furniture.
- Set up a meet and greet with a pet walker or sitter to make sure it’s a great fit.
- While your Rover sitter is helping you, you can check in frequently to find out how your pet is doing, get photos, and answer any questions that arise.
- Make payments to sitters through the Rover website or app with a debit or credit card. The payment is held by Rover until 48 hours after the service has been completed, and then paid out to the sitter.
Once you’re a part of the community, you might find yourself on both sides of the equation. Owners often become sitters, and vice-versa. Whether you have a new friend at your side and cash in your pocket, or the peace of mind that comes from knowing your pup is safe and happy, Rover could be the way to stave off the holiday blues.
Do you have a side gig that helps you get through the holidays? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.