Ever wonder if there existed jobs for animal lovers? The answer is yes, but first, let’s set the stage. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans own 83 million dogs and 95 million cats. In 2014 alone, pet owners spent 3 billion dollars on boarding.
This is a significant market that you can tap into through the sharing economy. People view their animals as family, so they want to give them the best possible service, and they are willing to pay for it.
Instead of boarding their animals, people are electing to leave their pets in the homes of others. This is where you come in. Through sites such as Rover.com and DogVacay, you can board dogs or cats for a fee.
If you love animals and/or already have some yourself, then why not capitalize on this opportunity? You’ll be barking up the right tree.
DogVacay has over 20,000 pet sitters in 3,000 cities in the U.S. and Canada. This makes it smaller than Rover.com, which has over 25,000 sitters in over 9,000 cities across the U.S.
Both Rover.com and DogVacay hosts are able to charge an average of $30 a day. So even hosting one pet a day can become lucrative. If you host more, then you can make some serious side cash.
Both sites are also branching out to allow hosts to walk dogs and act as a dog daycare. All these services, of course, can make you money.
To become a host, you sign up on DogVacay and share information about yourself and your experience with animals. The company will run checks on host families, which include interviews, reference checks, training, and verification of identify.
Like other sharing economy platforms, DogVacay employs a rating system for hosts to help ensure accountability. DogVacay provides insurance coverage and 24/7 customer support. Hosts set their own fees on the website but, to be competitive, check current prices in your area.
Don’t only think about hosting one – you can be a dog walker or a be a full-blown dog daycare. One of the many reasons people love this service is that, through the platform, owners can get daily photo updates of their pets.
DogVacay limits the number of dogs you can host to three a day. Even if you had a full-time job and only hosted on weekends, based on the average earnings, you could be making over $700 a month. Some have turned this into a full-time job, making $70,000 to $90,000 a year!
A similar service to DogVacay is Rover.com, which connects pet sitters with those who want to board their animals. In 2014, Rover.com announced an increase of over 500% in year over year revenue. Like DogVacay, you can also do daycare for dogs and dog walking.
95% of reviewed stays have received a perfect five star rating on Rover.com – the customer base is satisfied. Rover.com also has premium insurance for all services booked through their website. Rover.com provides 24/7 vet consultations for hosts. As with DogVacay, Rover.com offers photo and video stay highlights for owners.
The hiring process for these services is competitive, so make sure you put time and effort into your applications. In 2014, DogVacay received 100,000 applications for pet sitters and only accepted 20,000.
If both of these services work for you, then there are others you may want to check out to better stack your platforms. These include PetSitter.com and Dog B&B. Although they are not as popular yet, they are worth checking out.
Sounds like the cat’s meow (sorry!).
Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.