Finding a pet sitter for your out of town trips is no easy task. For many people, their pets are their children. Obviously, there needs to be an established trust before just anyone is left to care for little Fluffy. But, what do you do when everyone you call is unavailable?

I went through a similar situation at the end of last month. We had a list of people that we knew and could trust to take care of our cat over our 6 day trip. Unfortunately, every single person was either working or out of town during the time that we would need them. However, one of those friends recommended Rover.

Rover is an app (but can also be accessed at Rover.com) where you can book different kinds of services for your pets (and no. This is not a paid advertisement for them). Like the rideshare apps, I believe anyone can sign up to be a pet sitter with Rover. As expected, there were tons of college-aged sitters as I'm sure this is a way to make a little extra cash on the side.

Via Apple App Store

The Services and Cost

You start off choosing the service you need:

Personally, we just needed someone to stop in once a day to clean the litterbox, give our cat, Vader, fresh water and feed him. It was $15 a day. Keep in mind, if you have more than one pet, dogs, or choose another service besides "drop-in" your price will mostly likely be different than mine.

The Meet and Greet

The thought of having a stranger in my home taking care of my cat, understandably, gave me a bit of pause. But, that was put to ease when the sitter I had chosen suggested a meet and greet prior to my trip.

She came over at an agreed upon time, sat down with the cat, and we discussed the details of everything he would need. Vader seemed immediately comfortable and getting the chance to meet her in person calmed most of my anxiety.

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The Updates

What I was most impressed with were the daily updates. As soon as my sitter, Whitney, had finished her visit with my cat she would send me multiple pictures, videos and a brief description of how the trip went. A lot of people may call that silly since she was taking care of "just" a cat, but it gave me the relief I needed to enjoy my trip without the constant "what if" kind of worry about my pet.

I can't speak for every sitter on Rover but, Whitney even took out the trash at the end of it all. I came home to a house that was still clean and tidy and a pet that had been well cared for.

My Only Complaint...

The only thing I would like to see improved, based on my experience, is the message lagging issue. Whether due to poor service on my end or my sitter's, there always seemed to be a lag on getting the messages she was trying to send me. I'm talking an hour or two.

Obviously, in an emergency situation she would call me. But, if she had any pressing questions or was in any other situation where she needed a speedy response, the lag on messaging would have prevented that.

Double Check the Reviews

As with any service, I would advise double checking reviews before you book the sitter for your animals. My needs for my animal were pretty simple. However, if you have more intricate needs make sure you're booking with someone who has the experience you're looking for.

Personally, I would use Rover again. Leaving animals behind is so nerve-racking but this made it just a bit easier.

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