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The Best Pet Sitter Services

Where is the Best Place to Find a Pet Sitter?

Are you planning a fun getaway, but you're worried about your furry friends? Sometimes you can find a relative or a neighbor to watch your puppy, lizard, or bird. However, that doesn't always work out, and you still need someone you trust to watch the extra members of your little family who can't travel with you. Thankfully, there are lots of services that help connect pet owners to pet sitters out there today.

While pet sitters used to be a word-of-mouth service, or based on who you knew locally, the addition of pet sitting services online has made it much easier to find animal carers anytime you need them. Online platforms provide a convenient way for pet owners to find reliable and trustworthy pet sitters. With just a few clicks, pet owners can connect with potential sitters from the comfort of their homes.

Tuesday, April 16th

2024 Pet Sitter Service Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Bark Review 5 Star Rating

Bark

5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Zero searching required: providers reach out to you
  • Exotic animals acceptable
  • Variable care types and locations
  • Variable timetables
  • One-stop shop for many types of service beyond pet sitting
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Bark, despite its name being primarily associated with dogs, presents itself as a versatile online service marketplace that collaborates with small pet sitting businesses to connect customers with local service providers. With a user-friendly website layout, Bark streamlines the process of contacting pet sitting professionals in your vicinity, making it both intuitive and efficient. Additionally, the site offers to connect you with a variety of professionals like hedge trimmers or plumbers, which makes this site a good one-stop shop for local help.

Free to get started

To get started with Bark, you just need to enter your zip code, email address, and phone number, so that you can quickly initiate the search process. Additionally, you will be prompted to answer a few more questions about the specific care you require, ensuring a tailored experience. Then, you just have to sit back and wait for professionals to respond to your leads. It's a zero-effort search for the customer. The best part is that the site is free to use and the only time you pay is when you accept a price proposal from a particular service provider.

Wide options for care types and skills

Unlike platforms that inundate you with profiles of pet care providers and require you to navigate through customer reviews and service rates, Bark takes a more personalized approach. It carefully selects professionals from your area based on the specific criteria you specify. For instance, if you require a last-minute lizard-sitter who can stay at your house for a week, and do extras like administer medication or give your lizard a bath, Bark will only notify pet sitters who meet your requirements. This tailored approach saves you the hassle of individually contacting multiple providers. Instead, up to five Bark freelancers will have the opportunity to respond to your lead allowing them to provide you with quotes. You can then review their profiles and make an informed decision about whom to hire.

Exotic pets included

One standout aspect of Bark is its support for a diverse range of pets. As Bark partners with businesses and professionals worldwide, the types of pet care services available will depend on your location. However, what sets Bark apart is its inclusivity towards various species. Whether you have rabbits, reptiles, fish, birds, or any other non-traditional pets, Bark enables you to search for care providers who can meet your unique needs. So, you don't need to worry about finding reptile or bird care if you're searching through Bark.

Best Pet Sitter Services

How long do you want your sitter?

Further, you can tailor the time of service from a variety of options including those where the pet sitter stays in your home full time to just occasional check-ins. The pet sitting styles offered at Bark are:

  • Where the pet stays with the sitter at their house
  • Where the sitter visits the pet
  • Kennels

Customers can also ask Bark to suggest sitters for you based on your pet needs. So, if you're not sure what kind of service you want for your particular pet, Bark is here to simplify the process even further for you.

Top-rated service across the board

In terms of user feedback, satisfaction expressed by Bark's customers highlights the platform's efficacy. Many users attest that Bark delivered exactly as advertised, connecting them with professionals they may not have discovered otherwise. Across third-party review sites, Bark has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5, with repeated comments about how quick the process was to connect them with a professional.

Customer support readily available

Should you require assistance, Bark offers customer support through email and phone, with dedicated service available on weekdays from 9 am to 8 pm Eastern time. While some customers felt that sometimes it was hard to find someone urgently or didn't appreciate that they couldn't browse professional listings themselves, most customers agree that the company is doing exactly what it promises with reliable professionals.

Best one-stop shop, including care for exotics

Considering its functionality as a pet sitting lead-finding service, Bark proves to be a solid choice. It curates a select pool of highly-rated professionals for you to choose from, narrowing down the options. However, as with any service, it is essential to thoroughly read through pet sitter reviews and ask relevant questions to ensure that Bark has indeed connected you with the best pet sitting fit for your specific needs. Despite not being designed strictly for pet sitting, this service stands out as our top site in that category. The features and focus on pets other than cats and dogs make this the most competitive site as well as a one-stop shop for care. It's worth your time to check out the leads here. For this reason, Bark is the best pet sitting service online, especially for customers who need assistance watching exotic pets.

Rover Review 4.5 Star Rating

Rover

4.5 Star Rating
  • Free to use the platform: pay only for the pet care services you use
  • Focus on dogs and cats
  • Meet and Greet feature
  • Mobile app
  • Background checks for sitters
  • Guarantee covers many issues
  • "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB

Rover is an exceptional online platform that specializes in connecting pet owners with independent pet sitters who cater to both cats and dogs. Whether you require overnight boarding for your furry friend while you embark on a vacation, in-home sitting services, or someone to take your canine companion for a refreshing walk while you're busy at work, Rover offers a comprehensive range of pet care solutions to meet your specific needs.

Free to browse

To get started at Rover, simply visit their user-friendly homepage where you will be prompted to specify the type of care you require, the size of your dog or cat, your zip code, and your desired availability. Once you provide this information, you will be presented with a curated list of available pet sitters in your local area. However, it is a little disappointing that there aren't any options for pets outside of dogs and cats during the initial filtering process. On the other hand, the care style and other filters are very comprehensive. Rover offers boarding, house-sitting, drop-in visits, doggy daycare, and walking services for dogs. For cats, there are more limited styles of care including boarding, house sitting, and drop-ins.

Sitting prices vary by individual

Rover understands the importance of accommodating different budgets and preferences. Sitters determine their rates for services such as boarding, drop-in visits, daycare, and dog walking, which may vary based on your location. However, Rover offers convenient search tools that allow you to narrow down the list of sitters based on your budgetary constraints and specific criteria, such as having a fenced yard, pet first aid certification, or the presence of other pets in the sitter's home. The bottom line is that customers don't have to pay a dime before they connect with a sitter.

Best Pet Sitter Services

Security and background checks

If the thought of entrusting your beloved companion to unfamiliar individuals makes you nervous, Rover has you covered. All sitters on Rover have passed a background check and are vetted by Rover's specialists before being allowed to list on the website. Additionally, the listings offer "badges'' so that users can browse Rover and easily see highlights of sitters' skills. You might see qualifications and completion of various training programs such as Rover 101, which is Rover's basic pet-care course.

Meet and greet options to know your sitter

You can put your mind at ease by reading reviews from other pet owners who have utilized the services of prospective sitters. Beyond that, Rover encourages pet owners to arrange a meet and greet session with potential sitters before making a final decision, ensuring compatibility and establishing a sense of trust. On the other hand, while the platform attracts responsible and passionate pet sitters, some individuals may view it as a quick way to earn extra income. When meeting with a potential sitter, take the opportunity to inquire about their level of experience and communicate any unique requirements or special needs your pet may have. This meet-and-greet is definitely recommended if the sitter will watch your pet at their own residence and they have other animals in the home: it gives you the chance to make sure your Fido and her Fifi will be able to coexist in peace during the stay.

Highly rated mobile app

Unlike a few other sites in his review, Rover does offer a mobile app. The Rover app serves as a valuable tool for staying connected and informed while you're away from your furry friend. Pet sitters can utilize the app to send you photos of your pet during walks, playtime, and mealtimes, ensuring you remain involved in your pet's daily activities. You can even receive detailed information about the routes and duration of walks, including the number of bathroom breaks or snacks.

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Insurance available for purchase

To further instill confidence in their services, Rover offers the Rover Guarantee. In the unlikely event that an issue arises during a booking, the Rover Guarantee provides coverage to rectify the situation. After a deductible of $250, Rover will reimburse you for veterinary bills up to $25,000 per claim and compensate for damage to personal property caused by the sitter or any third-party injuries, up to $1,000,000 per claim. Rover also provides round-the-clock phone and online support for its valued customers.

Top-rated service overall

In terms of customer satisfaction, Rover has a stellar reputation overall. With full accreditation and an "A+" rating with the BBB. Additionally, there are over 16,000 individual reviews on Trustpilot for Rover and the average star rating is a high 4.6 out of 5 stars. The reviews cover topics like how effective sitters were and that Rover regularly delivers exactly what they promise. Customers loved using the mobile app, and almost all of the comments for individual sitters are overwhelmingly positive.

Great choice for traditional pets

As a service designed to help pet owners find affordable and trustworthy care providers in their vicinity, Rover consistently delivers on its promises and comes highly recommended by customers and the BBB. With Rover, you can rest assured that your beloved companion will receive exceptional care while you attend to your commitments. While we wish they had more care styles for pets other than dogs or cats, their easy-to-use platform and stellar reputation make it one of the top options in our review.

Pet Sitters International Review 4.5 Star Rating

Pet Sitters International

4.5 Star Rating
  • Free to use
  • Offers courses and specializations
  • Offers insurance to pet businesses
  • For pros only
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

With a unique approach of supporting pet sitters first, Pet Sitters International offers a place where pet sitters can come together to build their pet-focused businesses. For customers looking for a pet sitter, you're also in luck. Pet Sitters International's approach to pet sitting is centered around the concept of home sitting as opposed to opting for boarding services or doggy daycare.

Focus on in-home care

While Pet Sitters International sitters may occasionally offer additional services such as boarding, the organization primarily focuses on providing in-home care. For customers looking for pet care, the site is free to use until you hire a particular pet sitter for their services. Pet Sitters International emphasizes sending sitters to the pets' own homes, allowing the animals to maintain their regular routines and minimizing their exposure to potential illnesses. Furthermore, upon request, many Pet Sitters International sitters go the extra mile by watering plants, collecting mail, and ensuring a "lived-in" appearance for the home.

Clients can use the site at no cost

Despite being a highly-rated and reputable service, Pet Sitters International does not require any subscription fees to access its directory of licensed pet-care providers. Instead, the only fee involved is the agreed-upon rate between the pet owner and their chosen Pet Sitters International sitter. To find a suitable pet sitter in your local area, simply visit the Pet Sitters International website and navigate to the "Find a Local Pet Sitters International Sitter" tab. There, you can enter your ZIP code and specify the type of pet you need care for, be it dogs, cats, reptiles, horses, farm animals, or even exotic or special needs pets. After clicking the "Discover" button, you can explore the profiles of Pet Sitters International-certified pet sitters near you, complete with contact information.

Sitters gain insurance

One of the benefits of using a pet sitter from Pet Sitters International is that member sitters at this site are insured. Pet Sitters International offers coverage to its sitters to ensure protection for customers' homes and pets, as well as the providers themselves. Additionally, Pet Sitters International helps guide sitters toward getting benefits like official education and pet-related licenses. Some of these features that you can find with Pet Sitters International professionals include pet sitter certification, proof of background check, a certificate in disaster planning, as well as "specialist" courses offered on Pet Sitters International for dogs, cats, and birds.

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Low number of listings overall

The only main drawback for Pet Sitters International is that there aren't as many pet sitters available compared to other sites. Since pet sitters need to pay for a membership, some pet sitters available in your area won't be listed here: there were only 5 sitters in our area, which was much lower than many competitors in this review. On the other hand, there is the added benefit of knowing that these pet sitters are insured and working to be professionals in their field.

Top rated with the BBB

Pet Sitters International has garnered widespread acclaim for its commitment to excellence and ethical practices. As a recipient of the Better Business Bureau 2016 Torch Award for Ethics and boasting an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, Pet Sitters International has earned a stellar reputation in the industry. Unfortunately, the site doesn't have any reviews online from third-party sites. We'd love to see more information out there to corroborate the BBB rating. But with insurance and certifications available on the Pet Sitters International site, it remains a great option to check out.

Top option for finding pros only

Pet Sitters International stands out as a leading association, especially considering its phenomenal reputation with the BBB. With a focus on in-home pet care, Pet Sitters International prioritizes the well-being and comfort of animals by maintaining their regular routines and minimizing stress. The absence of subscription fees and the emphasis on direct communication and negotiation between pet owners and sitters add convenience and transparency to the process. While the limited availability of sitters in certain areas is a drawback, Pet Sitters International's certifications and focus on providing an environment for pro-sitters only make them stand out as a top-rated service for finding your next pet sitter.

House Sitters America Review 4 Star Rating

House Sitters America

4 Star Rating
  • Free to use
  • Browse or wait for leads
  • All pet types offered
  • In-home sitting
  • ID verification
  • Tips and tricks for customers

House Sitters America has been connecting house sitters and homeowners since 2007, with a strong commitment to innovation and improvement. Their user-friendly website is designed to make finding house or pet sitters, as well as house or pet sitting jobs, as easy as possible.

Free to use

They promise to offer exceptional support to their members and are readily available to assist with any house-sitting queries. For independent reviews, interested individuals can explore House Sitters America reviews on the globally recognized platform, Feefo, to get insights from current members. The main difference between this option and others in this review is that House Sitters America focuses on connecting pet owners with sitters who will stay in the pet owner's home for the duration of the sit, and the site is completely free to use.

Browse on your own or wait for a lead

When you look for house and pet sitting with House Sitters America, they offer a range of sitting styles, allowing you to select either a paid or free house sitter based on your specific requirements. Additionally, you have the opportunity to establish a connection with a "local" sitter, fostering a relationship with someone from your community. To find the right fit, simply browse through their list of registered house sitters and utilize their secure on-site messaging system to communicate with potential candidates. Alternatively, you can post a complimentary house-sitting job advertisement and let available house-sitters reach out to you directly. This may be helpful for customers as the option to browse or wait for someone to reach out covers the needs of planned pet sitting as well as last-minute pet sitting needs.

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Full range of pet care

In terms of filters for pet sitters, House Sitters America offers a wide variety of pets on their integrated filters which include dogs, cats, fish, birds, rabbits, livestock, reptiles, and even horses. Additionally, users can limit their search parameters by limiting the search to free or paid sitters, whether the sitter has been ID-verified, or sitters who have a 100% response rating. There are also options for sitting length between 1 day to 2 months. And, you can save your searches, so if you want to start looking for a pet sitter and come back later, you won't lose your place.

Security-focused

Another bonus of working with House Sitters America is that the platform offers various security features, including in-site messaging, ID verification, and a two-way peer review and rating system. The individual sitters display the number of reviews they have on their user profile, which makes it easy to see which pet sitters are the best for your needs. With over a decade of experience in helping people navigate the world of house sitting, House Sitters America provides a secure and user-friendly platform backed by prompt and friendly customer service.

Thoughtful FAQs for pricing and tips

One thing we loved about House Sitters America is how they keep their customers informed about the process. Even before you reach out to sitters, they offer comprehensive FAQs and blogs to help potential customers connect with a safe and reliable pet sitter that meets the customer's needs. This includes discussing low-cost options like house sits where the sitter cares for the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation, eliminating the need for monetary transactions.

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Ballpark pricing available

While House Sitters America can't determine the cost of individual care providers, they do offer a ballpark to help customers know what a fair price should be when hiring a pet sitter. House Sitters America notes professionals can charge anywhere from $10 to $100+ per day, depending on the specific circumstances. By offering this range of information, House Sitters America ensures that customers have a clear understanding of the financial aspect and can make informed decisions based on their individual needs and preferences.

Top rated with reviewers, but not BBB

In terms of customer feedback, House Sitters America has tons of 5-star user reviews on its website. However, there is almost no review presence for House Sitters America outside of their website. There are only 2 total reviews on Sitejabber, and the Better Business Bureau shows zero reviews for the pet sitting service. House Sitters America does have a "C+" rating from the BBB, which isn't as high as we'd like it to be overall. On the bright side, the reviews on the House Sitters America site are run by Feefo, so there is a certain amount of third-party buffer between the site and their ability to delete low reviews, so the comments are worth looking through. Overall, users praise House Sitters America for being timely and say that the professionals on the site are easy to communicate with, frequently mentioning the reasonable pricing. Many clients have returned to House Sitters America multiple times for their pet sitting services, which makes this a top competing option for pet sitting needs.

Solid choice for in-home pet sitters

Overall, House Sitters America is a well-rounded site. The platform offers both house and pet sitting options as well as flexibility for customers to find a pet sitter that would do the work for free in exchange for being allowed to stay in the customer's home. User feedback shows that despite a "C+" rating, House Sitters America provides a reliable set of trustworthy pet sitters, and their security is one of the best benefits. With these things in mind, this is one of the top services in our review. The low ratings from the BBB and a lack of feedback from sites other than Feefo put this site below our top rankings, but it is highly competitive and worth checking out especially if you're interested in having a sitter stay in your home.

Trusted Housesitters Review 4 Star Rating

Trusted Housesitters

4 Star Rating
  • Membership from $129 to $259 per year
  • Local and international home sits
  • Insurance guarantee
  • ID verification
  • Two-way reviews
  • Ideal for vacation trips

Trusted Housesitters is a slightly different pet sitting option than others in our review. They are a prominent international house-sitting website that caters to the needs of both house-sitters and homeowners worldwide.

Largest platform

Trusted Housesitters stands out as the largest platform in terms of the available house sits and sitters across 130 countries for pet sitting. However, instead of just allowing online browsing of available sitters, Trusted Housesitters is designed as a membership program. The plan is an annual cost that offers pet owners access to pet sitters any time they want to travel.

Three membership tiers

To get started with Trusted Housesitters, users need to choose one of the annual payment plans available. There are three tiers at Trusted Housesitters which are the Basic plan, the Standard plan, and the Premium plan.

  • Basic: $129 per year
    • Unlimited access to sitters at no extra cost
  • Standard: $199 per year
    • Home and Content Protection
    • Money-back guarantee
    • Free video calls with vets
    • Dedicated member support
    • Boost your listing in search results
    • See who saves your listing
  • Premium: $259 per year
    • Boost your listing in search results
    • Money-back guarantee
    • Free video calls with vets
    • Dedicated member support
    • Boost your listing in search results
    • See who saves your listing
    • 2 global airport lounge passes
    • Sit cancellation insurance
    • Premium badge

Full filters

Trusted Housesitters offers a range of features and services to its members. Instead of pet owners browsing sitter listings, Trusted Housesitters has pet owners post their request for a sitter, and the sitters themselves browse the listings. The platform offers various filters for location, dates, duration, pets, and more, facilitating the search for suitable house sits. Detailed listings provide information about the home, responsibilities, pets, and feedback from previous sitters.

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Features for vacation-friendly sits

Trusted Housesitters offers numerous advantages and security features. For example, the site provides modern and user-friendly styling, and a wide selection of house sits including international ones. For this reason, many users of Trusted Housesitters use the service for vacations where they house or pet-sit for someone in a location they want to visit. Additionally, Trusted Housesitters offers trust-building features such as ID verification, two-way reviews, secure messaging, and independent reviews via Trustpilot. Additionally, Trusted Housesitters offers support around the clock, access to veterinary professionals, and an insurance-backed guarantee for homeowners.

Insurance-backed services

Insurance is a huge bonus for working with Trusted Housesitters. The insurance-backed guarantee automatically covers homeowners for property damage, theft, and public liability up to $1 million USD and is included in the standard and premium memberships. The guarantee is underwritten by the insurer GUARDHOG and is active as long as the membership is active. This provides added security and peace of mind for both homeowners and sitters.

Competition is steep for sitters in high-traffic locations

However, being a large platform also means facing increased competition, especially for popular house-sitting locations. To overcome this, users need to devise clever strategies to stand out. For example, if you're looking for a last-minute sitter, it can be harder to find one on Trusted Housesitters than on other sites. Another drawback is the higher membership fee compared to other sites, which could keep customers from committing to this site over others.

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Top-rated by reviewers

In terms of company reputation, Trusted Housesitters has fantastic reviews from third-party sites. For example, the site has a 4.4-star average on Sitejabber and a 4.6-star average across thousands of individual reviews on Trustpilot. Sitters love this site and use it as a way to get away from it all or travel to new locations. Homeowners and pet owners noted they loved the security features and many reviews noted that the owners didn't have problems with sitters found through Trusted Housesitters.

Vacation-style service

Trusted Housesitters is a highly recommended choice for house sitters looking for long-term sits and international house-sitting assignments. Despite some limitations, its extensive selection of house sits, user-friendly website, trust-building features, and insurance-backed guarantee make it a valuable platform for those seeking house sitting opportunities. Overall, Trusted Housesitters is a top option if you're looking for a safe place to find a sitter and if your home is located somewhere where sitters will want to stay. On the flip side, this site may not be ideal for pet owners who need a sitter on short notice, who don't want to compete with "vacation" spots when they need help with pets, or who simply don't like the idea of having a pet sitter stay in their home.

Wag Review 3.5 Star Rating

Wag

3.5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Cat and dog specialization
  • Dog walking app
  • Options for in-home sits or check ins
  • GPS tracking for dog walks
  • "A" rating from the BBB

Wag has been open since 2014 and offers a variety of pet care services for dogs and cats specifically. When it comes to dog walking, Wag is a particularly popular choice. It offers a convenient solution for busy pet owners who cannot always provide the necessary attention and exercise for their dogs. If you have a kitty baby instead, Wag allows users to choose from a variety of professional check-ins or in-home pet sitters in their area. The service includes features like training for sitters and personalized report cards after each interaction, which makes Wag stand out as a free-to-browse option.

5 types of sitting services

To get started with Wag, you can choose from the 5 sitting options: walking, drop-ins, sitting, boarding, and training. Or, you can scroll down on the landing page to enter your local zip code to begin browsing. This will take you to a variety of listings that tell you when a sitter last provided services through Wag, whether or not the individual has completed a background check, and how highly-rated the sitter is in terms of their pet sitting experience. Further, you can read a short blurb about the sitter and their specialties while you browse. The first page of listings is available whether or not you have an account, but if you want to keep browsing, you will be asked to create one with Wag.

Top service for dog walking

One of the highlighted services on this website is the Wag dog walking and pet sitting app. It's designed to provide convenience for busy dog owners who may not always be available to give their dogs the exercise they need. Wag allows users to choose from a pool of professional dog walkers and pet sitters in their area. The service also offers insurance coverage, live GPS tracking during walks, and background checks on walkers. The app also provides personalized report cards after each interaction with a caregiver, including details as the distance walked, time spent, and whether the dog relieved itself.

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Security checks in place

To ensure safety, Wag requires every new hire to undergo a criminal background check and a pet care knowledge test. However, site users may not always have the option to choose who takes care of their pets when looking for short-notice pet sitters. Also, the availability of the service may also be limited in rural areas where fewer local pet sitters are available to begin with.

Middle-ground ratings from users

In terms of user experience and customer satisfaction, Wag is a great middle-ground option. The site has an average star rating of 3 out of 5 stars and a great "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau. The reviews in general were mixed with some complaints about customers regarding the boarding services for pets or that they struggled with extra charges for services they didn't want. On the other hand, many reviewers loved their pet sitters from Wag. Though, these are primarily reviews for the dog-walking service, and not many mentioned the services for cats.

A competitive option, but not best in class

Overall, Wag is a decent middle-ground service. Although users may not have complete control over their service provider, and the app may not be suitable for those in small towns, the reviews note that someone looking for a trustworthy dog walker can definitely trust Wag for this service. While we'd love to see more options for exotic pets or even a bird or bunny, Wag is worth looking into for your dog or cat family members.

Care Review 3 Star Rating

Care

3 Star Rating
  • Free to start
  • $37 per month fee for upgraded membership
  • One-stop shop for many care needs
  • Care for animals and humans
  • Highlights dogs and cats
  • "B" rating from the BBB

Care is an online platform dedicated to connecting families with caregivers for various needs, including children, seniors, individuals with special needs, and pets. It is a well-known service in the caregiver industry.

Find your pet sitter

To hire a pet sitter, users are prompted to sign up and provide their name, contact information, pet type (dog, cat, or other), desired care services (sitting, boarding, walking, grooming, or training), and zip code. This information is then used to post a pet sitting request on the site. Like a few other options in this review, Care works on a query-lead format. You put in your request for a pet sitter as well as enter your email and location. Then, sitters in your area will reach out with quotes for the cost of pet care.

Recently dropped their fee requirements

While there used to be a membership fee for Care, there is no longer any fee to get started. You only pay when you decide to hire a particular pet sitter based on the leads that you get from your initial query. For those looking for a higher-quality experience, you can upgrade to a membership that costs $37/month or $147/year. This just gives you additional information about individual businesses as well as the option for purchasing background checks; we're not sure that's really worth the money, but that's up to you.

Could use more pet filters

In terms of options, Care offers care for dogs and cats for sure. Beyond that, they offer a selection for "other" which doesn't allow you to describe the type of pet that might fall under the "other" category. On the other hand, they make up for this lack of animal filters with competitive styles of care including:

  • Sitting at the customer's house
  • Boarding at the caregiver's house
  • Walking
  • Grooming
  • Training

One-stop shop for care needs

Another one-stop-shop option, Care stands out as a site that specializes in care specifically rather than just generalized professional services like some other sites in our review. However, the pet section of Care isn't as comprehensive as others, which can be disappointing to those with exotic pets, or perhaps pets that need medical care. While you can talk about the details of your pet care needs during the leads you get via email, it would be nice if Care had more filters to help you find someone who already knows they may need to administer medication or take care of a snake.

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Mixed reviews for Care

While many customer ratings with Care are low, the site does have a decent customer service rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company has a "B" rating for responding to customer concerns and complaints and resolving them. While this isn't a perfect score, it is better than many options in our review. However, this decent rating is contrasted by the very low star ratings from other third-party review sites. Across reviews, Care has been a frequent source of disappointment for clients. Care has only earned a 2.5-star rating out of 5 on average. In cases where something goes wrong with a hired pet sitter, such as evidence of neglect or noncompliance with agreed-upon tasks, customers have reported difficulties in receiving adequate assistance from Care's representatives. Another common complaint revolves around the challenges faced when attempting to close a Care account.

Good option for comparing prices

Care provides users with a large database of pet sitters to choose from. However, the lack of thorough filters for pet types, coupled with customer service challenges, leaves much to be desired. While the free service is a nice update, there are still some features like background checks that are only available to members, which isn't ideal. Overall, this is a decent one-stop shop for care-specific needs, but there are better pet-specific sites out there with more comprehensive pet filters.

Sittercity Review 2.5 Star Rating

Sittercity

2.5 Star Rating
  • Free to use
  • Full range of pet types
  • "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB

Sittercity presents itself as an online care service that aims to address the challenges faced by parents in balancing child care responsibilities with their desire for adult leisure time. The company offers adult care as well as care for children with special needs. And, of course, they have a section of the site just for pet care. While Sittercity's primary focus is on childcare, the pet section offers care for a full variety of pets and is completely free to use and browse.

Frustrating user experience

Despite the well-designed and seemingly legitimate website, the experience of searching for a pet sitter on Sittercity may lead to a different perception. To get started on the site you either have to choose a specific city, which is a limited list, or start searching by state. Instead of limiting the options with filters, the state search just shows you an alphabetical list of every single pet sitter available in that state. This is an extremely frustrating process as there's no way to determine the location of these pet sitters from this particular list. It makes it almost impossible to easily search for a pet sitter.

Only see listings when searching by city

If you search by city, this is a little easier and it does navigate to a list of sitters with some filters. However, the only city near our test location was over three hours away, which didn't show us sitters close enough to the target city to get a good result. While there is a field to fill in your zip code, you can only get this after clicking on one of the other cities available in the main list, which could be confusing for users looking for their local city.

Full range of pets

For the pet types, Sittercity has an impressive range of options. There are over 20 pages of individual sitters to browse through. And, on top of the expected dog and cat care, you can select options for:

  • Birds
  • Horses
  • Farm animals
  • Reptiles/amphibians
  • Exotic pets
  • Small mammals
  • Other

Additionally, you can limit the listed options by whether or not sitters have had a full background check, by hourly rate, or by how many years of experience a sitter has. This does make the service stand out over other options that only offer dogs and cats. However, it's not quite enough to rank this site higher than 2.5 stars.

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High BBB rating, but low customer reviews

Unfortunately, while we appreciate the different types of animals that can be cared for through Sittercity, the user ratings aren't positive overall. On third-party review sites like the BBB and Sitejabber, Sittercity only has an average rating of 1.3 stars out of 5. Customers complain about low levels of interaction from sitters that they query for services. Further, customers complained that trying to get Sittercity customer service to help them resolve problems was almost impossible. Overall, customers are frustrated and dissatisfied with the level of customer service provided. The only bright spot in the company's reputation is that they are rated "A+" by the BBB with accreditation. However, with a high volume of poor reviews, Sittercity isn't a top pick by any means.

Not worth the hassle

Given Sittercity's business practices, the disappointing customer service approach, and the clunky site navigation, it is advisable to explore alternative websites, particularly those with higher ratings and a more customer-centric approach. While the company does offer a full range of pet-related services as well as other in-home care services, these benefits aren't enough to counter the poor reviews and difficulty finding pet sitters on the website itself. Look at some of the higher-rated options in our review before exploring Sittercity.

Pet Sitters Associates Review 2 Star Rating

Pet Sitters Associates

2 Star Rating
  • Free to use
  • Database of providers
  • Caters to dogs and cats
  • $10 annual membership for business owners
  • Offers insurance options
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

Standing out from other sites in this review, Pet Sitters Associates isn't just a pet sitting service. Rather, this site primarily provides customers access to pet insurance. Open since 1998, Pet Sitters Associates is one of the top options to find insurance for pet businesses. However, for customers specifically looking for pet sitters, Pet Sitters Associates has that too along with trainers, home-sitters, and pet transportation. Thankfully, using and browsing the site is completely free. There is no cost until you work out the details with a particular provider.

Navigation is unclear

To get started at Pet Sitter Associates and find a pet sitter for your needs, you just need to scroll down to the "Find a Provider" search bar. As the site bills itself as insurance for pet businesses, this can be a little confusing at the outset. Here you can begin limiting the types of pet care you need with clickable buttons. Just select pet sitters and add your zip and city or state location. Here you will be offered a selection of local pet care professionals who can provide you with pet sitting services. However, in our area, these services were primarily focused on care for dogs and cats and did not offer any care providers for exotic or unique animals. Furthermore, the listings on this website are more limited than other sites, and many of the photos for providers come up blank, which doesn't make us feel very confident about the security of those options.

Query-based process for hiring

Once you've selected a provider that you want to try, you have to fill out a message query with your name, phone, email, and a brief note describing the care you need for your pet. Then, all you can do is wait for the provider to reply. Some providers also offer a phone number directly on their listing on Pet Sitters Associates, which makes it easier for you to reach out to them directly if you need something on short notice. However, this process is a little slow and could cause problems for customers who need replies right away.

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Service is for businesses first

Outside of pet sitting services for individuals, Pet Sitters Associates is primarily a site that helps connect providers with insurance options. Additionally, Pet Sitters Associates offers pet-related businesses the opportunity to be listed for an affordable annual fee of just $10. While they promise this directory is one of the largest, there aren't as many businesses on the site as we expected from such a claim. Upon registration, businesses gain access to an online platform where they can conveniently manage all their information. On the other hand, if you're not a pet sitter who is looking for insurance, this site may be more confusing to use than other sites in our review.

Good BBB rating but no review presence

On a positive note, Pet Sitters Associates has a great customer service rating with the BBB. With an "A+" rating, it's clear that this site provides high-quality service in responding to customer concerns. On the flip side, there aren't a lot of reviews for this service. So, it's impossible to see if the rating is corroborated by customers who had positive experiences with Pet Sitters Associates. For a company that has been open for over two decades, it's surprising it doesn't have more of a review presence, so this could be a red flag.

Better for business owners than pet owners

Overall, this site has a decent offering, but it doesn't stand out compared to other pet sitting services that have a broader list of animals for pet sitting. Plus, as this site is meant primarily for pet-care providers and not customers who are looking for sitters, the platform is a little confusing to use. If you want a more comprehensive list of providers or more options for exotic or unusual pets, you will likely need to look at other pet sitting services.

Pet Sitter Review 1.5 Star Rating

Pet Sitter

1.5 Star Rating
  • Free to use
  • Directory accessible to members only
  • Focus on cats and dogs
  • "A" rating for parent site

Pet Sitter operates as the pet sitting subsidiary of CareGuide, a company overseeing 28 other caregiving service provider websites. Pet Sitter offers three subscription plans for users to choose from. According to the Pet Sitter FAQ page, you can initiate contact with a pet sitter by sending the first message and can choose from a list based on your needs. However, one of the downsides of this site is that Pet Sitter appears to only offer services for dogs and cats. At least, those are the only pets mentioned on their website and FAQ.

Pet Sitter helps you narrow the options

As a prospective user, you need to create an account before you can freely access Pet Sitter's directory of available pet sitters in your area through their website. Further, you have to submit your personal information before you can get access to the list of pet sitters. Once you've signed up and put your location and information about the pets you need to be looked after into the system, Pet Sitter will determine the top options in your area. You can browse these listings and then hire your favorite directly. The pricing will vary depending on which sitter you choose, the length of time you need the sitter for, and what type of pet you need looked after.

Only cats and dogs

The options available mostly focus on dogs and cats, but they do include a variety of sitting styles. This way, if you need more flexible care styles like boarding a dog or having someone visit your home, Pet Sitter does offer these alternative services. The list includes:

  • Sitting
  • Boarding
  • Grooming
  • Walking
  • Training

However, if you're looking for someone to watch a more exotic pet, you may not be in luck with Pet Sitters.

No background checks and low security

In terms of security, it is important to note that Pet Sitter does not require caregivers to possess prior experience before creating a profile and joining the site as a professional. Also, there is no verification process for any skills or certifications claimed by the caregivers. The platform does not conduct background checks and does not incentivize caregivers to undergo such checks either.

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New site but questionable

While this site does have a sleek design, the fact that you can't browse unless you make an account and add your email is frustrating and may not appeal to some customers. It makes it feel like this site is hiding its directory. With some sites rating Pet Sitter as a potential place where scams might take place, creating a membership wall between users and the listings seems like it might be a red flag.

Low-rated or no reviews

While customer reviews are scarce, the ones that are out there aren't stellar. Pet Sitter only has a 1-star average rating from Sitejabber. Additionally, there is a significant number of dissatisfied reviews from pet sitters themselves. These pet sitters express frustration at the fact that they were unaware they couldn't respond to potential clients' messages and other difficulties finding leads. While the parent company CareGuide has an "A" rating from the BBB, this doesn't make up for the general lack of reviews and the high volume of negative reviews for Pet Sitter.

Keep searching for your next pet sitter elsewhere

Considering the limitations for pet types as well as security issues and complaints from users and professionals at Pet Sitter, we recommend exploring alternative options for a more reliable and user-centric pet sitting service. There aren't a lot of things about Pet Sitter that make it stand out, and while it has some decent filters for pet sitting styles, there are other better-rated sites in our review that offer similar benefits with better service. It's probably better to avoid Pet Sitter in favor of a higher-performing pet sitting service.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

One of the primary benefits of using an online pet sitting service is security. According to a survey conducted by Pet Sitters International (PSI), approximately 40% of pet owners preferred using online pet sitting services or apps to find pet sitters. One of the main reasons for this is that users found a higher level of trust in online pet sitting services.

The same survey by PSI mentioned above showed that over 70% of pet owners felt confident in the professionalism and reliability of online pet sitters. This is partially due to the qualifications and details about the individual pet sitters provided on pet sitting sites.

Furthermore, pet sitting websites and apps offer a wide selection of pet sitters with various backgrounds, experience levels, and availability. This allows owners to find the perfect match for their specific needs and requirements, even on short notice.

So, how do you find the best place to hire a pet sitter? There are so many choices out there today, it can seem overwhelming when you start browsing. With your furry family members involved, we understand why you want to take extra care in finding the perfect match.

If you're not sure where to start, we've got your back. Here's a list of things to help you narrow down your search for the best pet sitter.

  • Price: Many pet sitting sites are free to use. Although some do charge for memberships, this could be worth it depending on the features you're looking for. Keep in mind what you're willing to pay for and compare those features to the free services.
  • Pet Types: While lots of pet moms and dads have puppies or kitty cats, some pet parents have more exotic animals like birds, reptiles, or fish. It's important to make sure that the sitting service you're looking at offers options for the type of pet you have.
  • User Interface: Shopping online is popular everywhere nowadays. For that reason, there's almost no excuse for a poor user interface. Keep away from sites that frustrate you, and make it easier on yourself to find that next pet sitter.
  • Security: For a lot of pet sitting situations, you're letting a stranger into your home. To that end, you want to make sure a pet sitting service does the background security checks for you before you hire. Look for things like ID verification or background checks before you hand over your house key.

To help you feel completely confident about leaving your pet in the care of someone else, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the most popular places to hire a pet sitter out there today. We hope this will make choosing where to find someone to take care of your furry friends a stress-free process so you can enjoy your vacation and know your family is in great hands.

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Pet Sitter Service FAQ

This will differ greatly based on a number of factors. How many dogs you have, how long you need them watched, and if they need to spend the night are just a few of the price considerations. Sitters generally set their own prices, so you can work out the specifics with them.
You can! Almost all of the services offer a background check for the sitters. You can then find the ones who have done this, and hire them with a clear conscience. Still, with the internet, you should always be wary of profiles with little information offered.
Using a service to find a petsitter can be a great choice. You can find people with exactly what you want in a sitter. It also works great if you don't know many people where you live who can watch your pet for you.
You do get to choose the sitter. Usually you pick preferences of what you are looking for and the site will recommend options. Ultimately you will pick the person who takes care of your pet, just make sure to look at different options.
This is an unfortunate possibility when using an online service. Most services recommend meeting with a potential sitter before you hire them, to avoid this. Always listen to your gut feeling, especially when it comes to your pet's care.
There is a lot of variety! Tons of people are eager to pet sit, so all you need to do is find the right match for you. There are lots of options for choosing your sitter, from the person to the level of care they will give your pet.
This depends on you. Some people prefer having their pets stay at home for the animal's comfort, while others don't want strangers in their house. There are plenty of options to choose from, and you can look at several options before deciding the right fit for you.
You absolutely can! A lot of people are more comfortable having an informal "interview' first to meet each other. It's important to make sure you are comfortable with any caregiver before deciding to hire them.

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