As an on-demand dog walker, you play an important role in every owner’s experience trusting Rover with their beloved pets. Currently, on-demand dog walking is Rover’s only service that allows you, as a walker, to accept a request without any prior conversation with the owner. Rather than you having to do the work to build client relationships, the service does it for you!
Because on-demand is the only service owners use where they may not ever meet their sitter face-to-face, we place a great deal of trust in you to create a 5-star experience for every walk, which begins with stellar communication.
First, as a reminder, you should always be sure to thoroughly read through the request details before both accepting the walk and asking the owner any questions they may have already addressed. Often times, owners leave important details in their requests which sometimes limit the type of walker who should accept them. Below are a few commonly seen special requests that you should be on the lookout for:
“My dog is reactive around men. Female walkers only, please!” (or vice versa)
These types of notes are particularly important to keep your eye out for. Some dogs, for some reason or another, are highly reactive around a particular gender. Just as many dogs can express anxiety, fear, or aggression around people wearing hats, people with different voices, etc. they can feel less comfortable around a certain gender. The best practice is to always assume “owner knows best.” Owners spend every day with their pets and know better than anyone what will upset them. More often than not, the owner is making these types of notes to also look out for you, as their walker. They don’t want you to have to go through any trouble getting their dog to warm up to or show any aggression towards you if they can avoid it.
“Flexible start time of XTIMEX to XTIMEX”
Because our system currently only allows scheduled requests to be made at the half hour or hour mark, often owners are okay with a flexible start time, or window of hours the walk(s) can take place. If, for example, an owner requests walks that repeat weekly every Monday at noon, but really they’re okay with the walk taking place anytime between noon and 2:00 pm, they’ll often include this in their request details. If an owner does not have a note like this, please do not request a flexible start time. This is up to the owner, and for all other requests, you should plan on arriving promptly at the requested start time.
“I need a Meet & Greet beforehand!”
On-demand is the only service where the option for a Meet & Greet isn’t provided on the platform. Owners who are new to using the service, or maybe have a dog with very specific care instructions to make for successful walks, may require a meet and greet prior to the walk(s). Owners are welcome to request these in their walk request details. If you see a note like this, only accept the walk if you are willing to arrange a time to meet up with the owner.
From Pre-Walk to Post-Walk, Communication is Key!
Pre-Walk – You’ve Just Booked
As soon as you book a request, be sure to send the owner a message in your Rover Messages introducing yourself. While this isn’t required, it’s highly encouraged as it opens up room for conversation should the owner have anything additional they want to let you know, or you them. It also lets the owner know that you’re a responsible, reliable walker they are able to feel confident in.
Here’s an example of an easy way to first reach out to an owner: “Hey Jack, my name is Jill and I’ll be Max’s walker on Friday! I’m looking forward to walking Max!” If you want to go above and beyond to make for a 5-star experience, you might include something that illustrates you really understand their instructions, such as “I notice you mentioned that Max sometimes pulls on the leash a bit, so I’ll be sure to keep that in mind!”
I’m On My Way!
When you are on your way to the walk, let the owner know. This helps give them an idea of an ETA, and assures them you’re right on time! When owners don’t hear from you that you’re on your way, sometimes they wonder where you are or whether you forgot about their walk. When in doubt, letting the owner know where you are is always best! If you get stuck in traffic, let them know your ETA and that you’re doing everything you can to get there ASAP. If you run into any trouble along the way (ex: car accident, become ill, have an emergency, etc.), let them know that unfortunately you’re unable to do the walk and that you’ll reach out to Rover Support to help find them a replacement. The more communicative you are with an owner, the better their experience is.
Whether you’re running just a few minutes behind because you had to park a few blocks away, or are about to harness up the dog, give the owner a quick message, “I just arrived! I’ll be walking Max shortly.” Owners love updates! Let’s say you arrive and you can’t figure out the entry instructions – whether the owner forgot to include them, their lockbox is a little tricky, or you simply cannot find the key where they said it would be – do as much troubleshooting on your own as you can, and if you’re still unable to get in, message the owner right away. If you don’t hear back via your Rover Messages within 2-3 minutes, give them a call. It’s always best practice to contact the owner by all means possible before contacting Rover Support. If you never hear back from the owner and it’s been 10+ minutes, contact Rover Support and they can assist from there!
Post-Walk – Oops! I forgot to let you know that…
If for any reason you forgot to include anything in your Rover Card that you meant to, go ahead and message the owner. If you forgot to include pee and poop breaks, for example, we’re sure the owner will appreciate learning their dog did, in fact, do their business!