One of the most difficult parts about traveling for my wife and I has been arranging boarding for our dog Phil. Originally, Phil, now 6 years old (I think), would spend time at the local kennel while we were gone. While that wasn’t an ideal situation, it gave us peace of mind that he’d be supervised to a certain extent. A few years back the pet sitting app “Rover” burst onto the scene and we were hooked. Since American Express has a Rover offer going on right now, I thought it would be a good time to review the product and help you save up to $55 off your first booking.
When my friends ask me what rover is, I usually reply: “It’s kind of like an airbnb for dogs.” Once you sign up, you’ll be presented with a list of available pet sitters in your area who are ranked by other users. You can filter whether you want the sitters to have other pets, or require that they live in a single family residence among other things. Additionally, each sitter will provide a brief bio outlining their qualifications.
The Rover Experience
Once you’ve selected a sitter for your time away, you’ll be asked to pay up front. Rover holds the money until the stay is complete. In my case, the first time we met our preferred sitter, we met with her ahead of time. This allowed her to make sure our dog got along with her dogs. This was just a quick 10 minute intro and all went well. I’m not sure if all sitters do this.
Our first experience sending our dog to a Rover sitter came last February. We spent 10 days vacationing in Thailand and Cambodia. That seemed like a long time for us to have our dog locked up in a kennel. Upon dropping him off, we knew we had made a good decision. The host was extremely kind and it was clear that our dog would have a great time. Not more than an hour or two after we dropped him off, she started sending us photos of him like this:
These photos automatically come through to you via the Rover app and SMS text if you prefer. Our sitter was savvy enough to ask if we would get charged extra for data overseas. If so, she offered to send us email updates instead. Most highly regarded Rover sitters will send you a couple photo updates everyday you’re away. Our first stay, and all since then have gone off without a hitch. We’ll probably never go back to the kennel.
Rover also offers doggy daycare, dog walking, and in-home care for your pet. I’ve never taken advantage of these services, but you’ll have access to the same great network of caregivers. I know many dogs have anxiety leaving their normal home, so in-home care could be a great option for those scenarios. Another attractive aspect of Rover has been the price. Most sitters in my area are about $25 per day. That’s actually slightly less than most kennels. Why would I put my dog in a cage for more than what it costs for him to hang out at another house?
Rover and Amex
Rover is running a American Express offer of $30 off any purchase of $75 or more. The offer ends April 3rd. Additionally, if you’ve never used Rover before, we have an affiliate partnership with them that will give you another $25 off, totaling $55 off your first stay. That can get you a full seven days of care for roughly $120. Not bad.
If you’re accustomed to using kennels for your dog while you’re away, I’d highly recommend giving Rover a try. I can’t pretend to get into the mind of dogs, but the photos I get from our sitter seem to show him having a much better time than he would in a kennel cage. Plus, taking up to $55 off your first stay will help make your vacation a little more affordable.