11 replies
  1. Xanthe
    Xanthe says:

    These app companies even admit they are primarily tech companies. Safety is an issue, especially working with dogs. I see people offer such low prices they aren’t even covering their travel nor making even minimum wage. Devaluing the profession of pet sitting & driving down living conditions. If an independent pet sitter were to insure independent contractors, they’d risk mis-classification of employees as ICs.

    Reply
    • Bella Vasta
      Bella Vasta says:

      Everything you said it so on point! Hopefully people will see through the illusion that they are tech companies and everyone (pet parents and pet sitters will do their due diligence! – Bella

      Reply
  2. Rhodesia
    Rhodesia says:

    “Contractually” forbidden to take on clients outside of the platform?! Totally laughable!

    I used to dog sit through DogVacay (now Rover), and amassed a decent number of clientele. When they deactivated my account because of an unwarranted complaint (they encouraged me to withhold some information about the complaining customer’s dog while in my care such as his vomiting due to stress and separation anxiety–but I was truthful to the customer anyway), I contacted all of the guests whose dogs I have watched through their platform. And in one fare swoop, with little to no effort, convince them to jump ship and continue to have their dogs watched by me. There is no way for DogVacay, Rover, Wag, etc. to enforce this “contractually prohibited from taking any clients” found through them lol!

    It’s been about 5 years since my break with DogVacay. I’m now an independent licensed and insured pet sitter who handles between 20~30 active clients at any given calendar year and have generated enough profit to quit my regular job and do pet sitting full time. Positive word of mouth goes a long way.

    I also shared my experience of DogVacay with some of the sitters I’ve found through them and they all agreed with me, and have since all severed ties with them and take on their guests independently. I even helped them all formulate liability-release contracts.

    In light of the ever-increasing incidents with these apps, I’m glad I’m not longer associated with them. I don’t need their brand to tarnish MY reputation!

    Reply
    • Bella
      Bella says:

      Wonderful for you! It sounds like you are off to a great start! I was reporting what their agreement says. Of course everyone is entitled to do what they want and you are right – I haven’t seen them suing anyone. They are a tech company that is an incubator for the pet sitting and dog walking industry. Plain and simple. – Bella

      Reply
  3. K. Peters
    K. Peters says:

    You present these points as if the only option available to people signing up is to take in pets to their home. This is hardly the case.

    I have been with Rover for 4 years and have thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve built in that time, and have no qualms about either what I charge. The fee that clients pay to Rover above your personal fee pays for admin, access to a vet 24/7 in case of emergency, a platform to market yourself, and yes part of insurance costs. Of course there is a company charge to you to provide services that only you – the sitter – provide your clients. And when building a new business – with any business – undercutting your competition is completely fair game. They offer this advice under their Q&A, not as any kind of requirement to begin. You build clientele by providing good service consistently and gaining strong verified reviews.

    I do not take dogs into my own home but not for the reasons you state here. I’m an animal lover and have pets at home of my own – this is their territory and I care for my own pets as if they were my children, a common trait with many pet owners. My hard and fast rule is that I don’t allow it – a “stranger”, so to speak, because I value my own privacy, my own pets’ well being, and to control any unusual or undesired circumstances such as fleas, fights or bites. This is why house sitting is a common feature to check when setting up your profile. Potential clients who want to board their dogs while on vacation see that you don’t offer that and move on.

    I have several well established clients who would rather develop a relationship with someone they trust, who can stay at their home during these times of vacation, etc. and who will bond with their animal in their own surroundings. My clients are professionals and have no problem paying my set prices because they’ve received proven quality. It takes time to build trust. All clients leave reviews as well.

    With any business you work on as an independent contractor, you are required to report income for and pay taxes on as self employment, if over a certain legally required amount. That’s the Tax law.. Doing it off the platform once you’ve developed relationships nullifies your insurance because it’s being misrepresented. If you’re caring for a pet and an emergency happens, yet you’ve circumvented your marketing source and signed obligation, why should you receive support on that incident? It’s called working with integrity and honesty in business and your believe complaint here is akin to suggesting that folks do anything to bypass an honest system.

    Additionally out of these regular clients, the ones who do repeatedly book my service and use me exclusively do so because they know and trust their pet is getting taken care of. I often receive tips on top of what they’ve already paid for the service. In two of the cases the tip has been at our over 100%… How often does that happen in an on-demand job like food delivery? Rarely if ever.

    I’ve made over $15K through this business in less than 4 full years. I’m able to pick the jobs I want, control the circumstances around me, and spend wonderful time with great pets. I am also a full time college student, so my intentions were never to make this a “living”, but it beats the hell out of thankless delivery jobs, minimum wage burger flipping or retail work, and has allowed me to build an excellent reputation while doing so. Your article is presented as if there’s not much to hope for and it’s a near-scam. Neither is true by a long shot.

    Incidentally I’ve had two circumstances with two different stays that have caused me to call for help or rather guidance from Rover’s emergency line. Neither were including an immediate or perceived danger to the pet, but rather for advice on how to handle something. On both occasions, the advice was to share everything with the owner and never have I been asked to lie or misrepresent the facts to the owner. Rover has always handled themselves with complete integrity over the entire time I’ve been with them.

    If you’re going to write an article like this, don’t skew it to only present a one-sided and inaccurate assessment. That’s just unskilled and predatory click-baiting. You get out of It what you put in..

    Reply
    • Bella
      Bella says:

      Thanks so much for your time to write out your feelings. I very much value them! At what points of my article do you feel I did you injustice? -Bella

      Reply
    • Eileen Wieck
      Eileen Wieck says:

      I understood that we are not able to accept tips, part of our rover contract, Ive always turned tips down. Please advise.

      Reply
    • #1 Pet Sitter in Phx
      #1 Pet Sitter in Phx says:

      It very much sounds like you are in fact working in an admin position for Rover or the like while pretending to be a student working part time for Rover. It’s just so obvious in your writing. Maybe it would be less obvious if you naturally had some unbiased views – no one is 100% complaint free when working for someone else. I have been the #1 pet sitter in Phx AZ for over 20 years. When I started this industry out there were only 2 other “professional pet sitters” in all of AZ. People wanting to get into this industry used to call me fishing for details of my business hoping to start one of their own, professing to the disguise of their call at the end. Now, there’s a pet sitter on every corner. I would NEVER succumb to working for the likes of Rover or similar – they take away all of your autonomy and money. I checked it out last month purely out of curiosity and could not believe the fees they were asking – I started out over 20 years ago asking for what they are charging now. Ridiculous. If a client is over 2 miles from my resident then I charge $30. a visit – if within 1-2 miles it’s $25. a visit for up to 30 minutes. I believe this is still too low. But, I need to stay somewhat competitive. I don’t know one single service industry that would show up to someone’s home, much less clean up dog poop, cat litter/throw up through out home; feed, walk, administer meds (this alone should be a flat $50-$60 rate if not more); water plants, take in mail, take out trash cans, etc for $25-$30. Until each pet sitter wakes up and starts charging more for their valuable time we will all look back in another 10 or more years and this cap on rates will still be in affect – making just above min wage for each job!

      Reply

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