Most of us wish we had more money at the end of the month. One way to boost your income is with the help of a side hustle.
A side hustle is something you can do in your spare time and is relatively simple, such as driving for a rideshare company, cleaning homes, selling items online, or even pet-sitting. It takes advantage of an existing skill or ability you have so that you can earn extra money.
If you’re looking for a good side hustle and you love dogs, you might be able to make extra money each month with Rover.
What is Rover?
Rover is a technology company that connects pet sitters to pet owners who need a variety of services. Founded in 2011, Rover is available in more than 14,000 cities and provides access to more than 200,000 sitters. Some of the services you can provide through Rover include:
- Dog walking
- Dog boarding
- Drop-in visits
- Doggy day care
Whatever service you want to provide for a dog, there’s a good chance you can make extra money with Rover. The idea is to connect dog owners with people who can provide their furry friends with love and affection when they can’t be there.
How does Rover work?
Many people with dogs need help taking care of them. You know your dog needs to be walked during the day, but how can you do that when you’re at work? Many people travel, and while they wish they could take their pets, it might not be possible. This is where Rover comes in.
If you have the ability to board a dog at your home while someone is on vacation or if you can drop by someone’s house during the day and play with a pooch for half an hour, you might be a good fit for making money on Rover. Other people will hire you to check in on their pets and sometimes even stay at their homes so you can better care for their furry family members.
As an app, Rover is fairly straightforward. You sign up for a Rover account and fill out the profile, and the app connects those who need services for their pets with service providers.
If someone wants to use your services, they’ll send a request, which will appear in your “Pending Requests.” You can click on the request and see what’s required. If it’s a good fit, you can book it.
The booking process is a bit lengthy, however, especially for new clients. Rover suggests that you meet up with any new owner before completing the booking. Then either you or the client can click the “Book It Now” button, opening a 72-hour window for the other person to accept the request.
Clients pay through the app after you complete your service. You can withdraw your funds two days after finishing the job. However, Rover will take a cut of 20% or 25% of your fee depending on whether you use Rover or RoverGO, a program meant for sitters who can pet-sit four or more times a month.
Who can work for Rover?
Working with Rover can be a rewarding experience. However, you do need to meet some basic requirements. In order to do the simplest job — dog walking — you must be at least 18 and pass a general background check.
You might have to meet additional criteria to do other jobs with Rover. For example, before you can be approved as a sitter on Rover, your profile will go through a manual review. Rover prides itself on offering an alternative to kennels, so there’s a requirement to provide personalized and loving care to the pets, whether you’re boarding them for several days or you provide doggy day-care services.
You’ll be an independent contractor, so you won’t receive a regular salary and benefits. But you do have a degree of freedom to set some of your own rates and work when you want. However, you should also be aware that, depending on where you live and the local laws, you might need to get a business license.
Those who love dogs and can provide them with special care and consideration are best-suited for a job with Rover. If you have a flexible schedule and the ability to provide consistent care, you’ll likely do well as a Rover service provider.
How much can you earn with Rover?
According to Rover, you can earn up to $1,000 a month as a dog walker or dog sitter. Additionally, for dog sitters willing to also become a dog boarder, it’s possible to earn up to two times more than those who just offer dog-sitting services.
As with any type of side hustle, though, your earnings depend on what types of services you offer and how often you provide them. The more work you’re able to book, the more money you can make. In fact, it’s potentially possible to make more than $1,000 per month on Rover if you have a good system and regular clients.
Rover is cashless, so you need to provide information about your preferred way to receive payments. You can get paid via PayPal or by check. When a service is completed, you can withdraw money two days later. You need to do this using the Rover app or by initiating a withdrawal on your computer in order to get paid, since it’s not automatically sent to you.
With PayPal, you receive your money within one to four days without worrying about a fee. If you opt to get a check, though, it can take up to five business days to process and 20 days to come in the mail. Plus, there’s a $2 fee for requesting a check.
Your clients can also choose to give you tips in cash. This is on top of what you’re paid through Rover.
Maximizing your earnings with Rover
- Offer boarding services as well as sitting services: According to Rover, sitters who offer boarding services in addition to sitting earn double the amount. Dog boarding offers the highest earning potential.
- Focus on repeat clients: Rover makes it easy to book with repeat clients. If you can find clients who want you to keep looking after their pets, you’re more likely to be their go-to person.
- Work the algorithm: You can be one of the top service providers when you answer messages and requests quickly and when you get good reviews.
- Take pictures: Some Rover users recommend taking pictures of your walking or sitting experiences so others can see the level of care and attention your provide to pets.
- Offer services for pets with special needs: If you’re equipped to provide puppy care, watch elderly dogs, or take care of dogs with special health requirements, you might be able to charge more.
How to get good reviews
Anytime you go through an app or website to connect with others and provide a service, there’s a good chance you’ll be reviewed by clients and customers. In general, the better your reviews, the better the chance that you’ll be recommended and receive more work.
When providing any service via a side hustle, there are a few things you can do to increase your likelihood of getting good reviews. Some tips for getting good reviews on Rover include:
- Provide frequent, clear communication. Respond quickly and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re working with a new dog.
- Be professional and polite in your interactions online and in person.
- Offer exceptional service. Come prepared with dog treats, for instance.
- Provide extra touches that add value to the experience. For example, send a cute photo update of the dog having fun on your walk.
- Follow through with what you promise and be punctual.
Common questions about Rover
Before you decide to begin earning money with Rover, here are some of the most common questions people ask.
1. Does Rover do background checks? Are they free?
Rover does perform background checks through a third-party service called Checkr. There are two types of background checks: Basic and Enhanced. You’ll receive a badge on your profile when you pass these checks.
You might have to pay what Rover calls a “small fee” for your background check, depending on the type of check that’s done. The more advanced services you offer, the more expensive your background check. However, you might be able to earn the money back quickly, since customers may consider you a more trusted provider.
2. How much does Rover pay per walk?
As a service provider on Rover, you set your own rates. It can make sense to look at average dog-walking rates in your area, however, to give you an idea of what the competition is charging.
Dog walkers on Rover keep 80% of what they make. Rover takes a cut of your service charge in fees, which are used to support the Rover platform.
3. How much should I charge on Rover?
How much you should charge depends on the market rate in your local area, as well as other factors, including the types of services you offer and the kind of dogs you provide those services for.
For example, you might charge $20 for a dog walk and $15 for a drop-in to feed and play with a dog in their own home. If you live in a higher-cost area, you might be able to charge higher rates for services.
If you’re boarding a dog, you might charge a nightly rate. If the dog has special needs, such as having to take medicine, you can usually charge more for all of your services.
No matter how much you charge, though, it’s important to be clear about what you offer and the charges for taking care of dogs with special needs.
4. How much does Rover take out of your pay?
Rover takes a 20% cut of what you make. If you’re a sitter on RoverGO, the company will take a 25% cut. When pricing your services, keep this in mind.
How to sign up for Rover
Signing up with Rover is fairly straightforward. You'll start by entering your name, address, and other details at Rover.com. Then, you'll fill out a simple form that includes information about why you want to be a Rover sitter, as well as how much you expect to earn using Rover.
After that, you'll be taken through the process of completing your profile, including adding a photo, inputting your services and rates, adding info about your own pets, and setting up your schedule. Additionally, you’ll have to provide information for a background check.
Other side hustles to consider
Dog walking or pet sitting isn’t for everyone. The good news is that there are plenty of other options, some of which might work better for you. Carefully consider your personal preferences and needs, as well as the skills and expertise you have.
There are plenty of side hustles you can do on the weekends or evening, including:
- Being a brand ambassador
- Mystery shopping
- Reselling items online
- Freelance writing
You can also try other sharing economy jobs, like driving for a ride share company. Once you start looking around, you might be surprised at some of the ways you can make more money.