Dog walking platform Rover finally making its London debut

You know the drill: find the perfect place to go on holiday, get your flights and a hotel sorted and then you remember your furry friend needs looking after whilst you’re enjoying the sun.

Instead of spending days scrabbling around to find a kennel nearby, you can always use Rover, the world’s largest network of dog walkers and pet sitters, which is launching in London today.

After beginning in 2011, the platform is already hugely popular in its native US and the UK is the first stop in Rover’s European expansion.

Megan Teepee, Rover’s vice president, said: “Given how important dogs are to Brits, bringing our mission and services to the UK feels like a natural progression. We can’t wait to help UK pet parents find the perfect dog sitter or walker to make it easier to have dog love ion their lives.”

You can access Rover’s services using its app, or on a desktop. It has an easy to use interface, which allows you to pick which service you’re looking for, including options such as house sitting, dog boarding or drop-in visits, as well as your postcode and some basic details about your dog.

Then, you are served with suggestions of who to pick, their location, and pricing.

The difference between a platform like Rover and other services like BorrowMyDoggy is that its free to use, but the sitters and dog walkers are paid for their services.

Rover says it accepts less than 20 per cent of all potential sitters to ensure all Rover dogs receive the best possible care.

Sitters have to pass an identity verification check, a safety test, and undertake a review by the platform’s sitter quality specialists, before they can start looking after dogs.

As well, it has a Rover Guarantee, which covers things like vet care or physical damage, for services booked and paid for through the platform.

This makes Rover more like a TaskRabbit style platform, but specifically for looking after dogs, and a good way to get your dog walking business off the ground.

Finally, if you want to check on how your dog enjoyed its time with a sitter, the platform offers a Rover Card, which is a detailed report with a GPS map of the walk and photo slideshow updates.

Aaron Easterly, CEO of the platform, told the Standard: “In the past, dog owners had limited choices for dog care, and those choices weren’t appealing. You could board your dog in a kennel, which can be stressful for your dog and expensive, or you could rely on friends or family, which is not always convenient and can feel like an imposition.

“Rover provides dog lovers with a community of like-minded people who love to take care of dogs and more often than not are willing to do it for less money than a traditional kennel charges.”

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