How do I know I can trust these sitters and how do I know they will take care of my furbabies?

asked 2015-02-20 15:06:02 -0500

I'm leaving my fur babies for tonight for the first time ever. I feel like a new mommy and I'm terrified to leave them, but I can't afford the trip. How do I know I can trust the person I met on rover.com to take care of my pets? They will also be staying in my home, how do I know I can trust them not to go through my personal things. Are the sitters scanned at all for reliability?

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You did a meet and greet, right? I do my research. I understand how you feel. You should let your sitter know that you are nervous. Rover does a great job but you need to feel comfortable with your sitter.

Laura F.'s profile image Laura F.  ( 2015-02-21 16:30:51 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2015-03-11 11:11:27 -0500

I agree with most issues raised in the first answer, but not in its entirety. Rover actually has no way to confirm the accuracy of what we as sitters say about ourselves during the "application process" (i.e., what we say in our profiles and the questions we answer). And those of us who have opted for a background check have only proved that we haven't been caught doing anything criminal, and that we live where we say we do ... it's pretty basic info. The two most important tools are your "gut" and the reviews. If you like what you read, then you must do a "meet and greet". Spend some time with your potential sitter, and form your own opinion on how closely they and their lifestyle mirrors their profile, and how comfortable you and your precious one feel while there. The other immutable truth is the reviews cannot be altered or tampered with. They are a true 3rd party reflection of the sitter (not so the testimonials). This is not a one-size-fits-all business, and you must take an interactive role in choosing the right sitter. It's also incumbent on the sitter to choose the right guest. It's important that we recognize our own limitations, and hopefully they'll be in the profile if you read it carefully. So don't take it personally if you are turned down ... it just means the sitter is looking after your pup's best iinterest! I know which dogs I would not be able to provide a great visit for, and don't accept those bookings just to have more business. The responsibility of caring for someone's loved one is too important! Hope this helps.

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Great answer!

Amber G.'s profile image Amber G.  ( 2015-11-06 16:33:25 -0500 ) edit
answered 2015-02-21 14:54:01 -0500

Rover takes great care to only approve and keep the best sitters on their site. Unlike classifieds or craigslist, all Rover sitters undergo an application process, and many opt to have a background check completed (indicated by a badge on their profile - a check mark in a shield). All reviews of our services are public and in the order they've been left, and while we can write responses, we can't censor unfavorable reviews. Rover uses algorithms (which take ratings, response time, and a number of other factors into account) to put the best possible matches for your needs at the top of your search results.

Of course you can never be 100% sure of the service a sitter will provide, but I highly encourage you to be an active participant during meet and greets with potential sitters and ask any and all questions you need. In my experience, the sitters listed on Rover seriously care about the animals they care for.

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Great advise. I hope everyone does a meet and greet.

Laura F.'s profile image Laura F.  ( 2015-02-21 16:25:14 -0500 ) edit
answered 2015-03-11 14:03:49 -0500

I agree with both of these answers. However, even with the meet and greet, background checks, gut feel, etc., there is no foolproof 100% way to know that these sitters are who they represent themselves to be. I had an negative experience with a sitter that I truly trusted (at face value), only to find out on our return that the house was filthy, there were remnants of pee and poop in the unfinished part of our basement, most of the food in my pantry was gone and some of my kitchen utensils were missing (I didn't realize this until several days later), but my dogs seemed 'no worse for the wear'. However, I have a gut feeling they probably didn't get much quality time from this person. So I'm not sure how one gets comfortable with trusting 100% that the individual will be honest, trustworthy and reliable and that your pets will be taken care of the way you take care of them. By the way, like the person asking the question, the sitter I hired was staying in our home for the visit. Not really encouraging, but hope this helps.

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I'm sorry you had that experience. And I agree, there's no way to know completely for sure how any sitter is going to treat your pets or property while you're away. But I do feel that Rover has a good system in place to minimize these kinds of experiences. Though I hate to recommend against trying new Rover members (since I was once one, and I'm extremely grateful to those first few people who booked with me when I was starting out with no star rating and way down the search results), your best defense against a bad experience is going with someone with overwhelmingly positive reviews that mention the kinds of things you care about in a sitter. For us, a lot of our reviews talk about how great we were with their shy, nervous, or anxious dogs, how we take a ton of pictures... (more)

Laura R.'s profile image Laura R.  ( 2015-03-11 14:22:03 -0500 ) edit

That is horrible, Donna! I am so sorry!

Cassandra M.'s profile image Cassandra M.  ( 2015-05-19 10:10:52 -0500 ) edit

I agree with Cassandra M.! Horrible feeling you were left with. The meet and greets are essential, but insist on as many pictures as the host/sitter will agree to with you. These real-time pics you are sent may help give you an inside look into what's going on in your home, or the host's home. Try a nanny-cam. Susan d.

Susan D.'s profile image Susan D.  ( 2015-08-12 15:42:34 -0500 ) edit

Laura is so right, I am also grateful to the few people that took a chance with me and it worked out well. so yes sometimes going with someone new is great, you get that vip status because you believed in that sitter. But go investigate. see the home, ask all the questions, the meet and greet questionaire is a great tool to use.

Shawna M.'s profile image Shawna M.  ( 2015-11-05 14:10:52 -0500 ) edit
answered 2015-11-05 14:05:31 -0500

You have to go with your gut, the reviews and of course a Meet and Greet. I have so many dog parents that come to me and say that their precious dog was attacked at a sitters home. I cant believe that people let that happen but believe me it happens more than you think. Make sure you are checking out where your dog will stay, do they have clean water for the dogs, if the place smells like a dog potty then I dont know how much pride they will take in your dog. I have watched lots of dogs and the one thing people always say is "wow your home does not smell like an apartment that has 4 dogs staying here" that is wonderful, of course I have dogs that come in with stomach ache or just nerves and I make sure they are cleaned up and then the carpet. Its not an issue, the accidents will happen, Also do they have a second door so that your dog just does not run out the front door. Will they use a harness so your dog cant get out of his collar and run away to look for you. These are some of the small measures I have taken to ensure that I give the best possible care and no missing dogs. Again just going with your instinct and meeting the person and seeing where your dog will be. I send tons of pictures during the stay cause pictures do not lie. So be aware of sitters that dont take pictures and dont have a CPR Pet first aid cert. Because they might be in this for the money and not have any respect that this is your most TREASURED COMPANION.

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How can you tell if someone has first aid or CPR certified?

James B.'s profile image James B.  ( 2018-10-08 20:51:02 -0500 ) edit

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