Pet-Sitting Websites and Apps – What You Need to Know

pet-sitting websites

Pet owners understand the importance of finding a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter. Whether for a quick weekend getaway or a long-term vacation, leaving your pet in the care of someone else can be nerve-wracking. Fortunately, with the advent of pet-sitting websites and apps, finding a reliable pet sitter has become much easier. In this blog post, we’ll look at the benefits of using pet-sitting websites and apps and provide tips on finding the right sitter for your furry friend.

What are Pet Sitting Websites and Apps?

Pet sitting websites and apps are online platforms that connect pet owners with pet sitters. These platforms allow pet owners to search for pet sitters in their local area, view their profiles, and read reviews from previous clients. They also provide a secure platform for pet owners to communicate with potential sitters and make arrangements for their pets’ care. Think about these platforms as AirBnB for pets. 

The most common services offered on these platforms include:

  • Boarding. Your pet stays overnight at a sitter’s home and enjoys personalised care.
  • Daycare. A sitter provides daytime care for your pet in your home.
  • Home visits. A pet sitter visits your home to spend one-on-one time with your pet.
  • Dog walking. A dog walker picks up your dog from your home for a walk.
  • House sitting. A house sitter stays at your home while you are away to care for your pets and keep an eye on your home.

In our case, we started our journey with Pawshake just by chance while I was doing research for university (read more in our About). On my advice, my partner joined the platform as a pet sitter first, but soon after, we started using it regularly to find sitters for our pets. Since then, we have discovered other websites, but not all have a presence in New Zealand. So, we can recommend other very popular pet-sitting websites such as RoverWag! and Trusted House Sitters.  

Keep reading along to understand more from a pet owner’s perspective. For tips on how to start a pet business, check our post:

Benefits of Using Pet Sitting Websites and Apps


One of the main benefits of using pet-sitting websites and apps is convenience. With just a few clicks, you can search for and book a pet sitter for your furry friend. This means you no longer rely on friends or family to care for your pets while away. But probably the best part is that these platforms are a great option when you must make last-minute arrangements due to an unexpected change in circumstances, such as a friend cancelling on you (we’ve all been there).

Increased Options

Pet sitting websites and apps allow you to choose from a broader range of pet sitters. This is particularly beneficial for pet owners living where pet-sitting services are scarce. In addition, with pet-sitting websites and apps, you can access a network of sitters worldwide. For example, the latter can be handy if you are moving countries and need someone to take care of your pets while settling in.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that your furry friend is in good hands while you’re away can give you peace of mind. In addition, pet-sitting websites and apps provide you access to reviews and ratings from previous clients, which can help you make informed decisions. Because of the personalised nature of the service, you can arrange with the sitter to send you pictures and videos or even have a quick video call to check on your pet. However, you shouldn’t need to ask for the latter; it is an unwritten rule for pet sitters to provide daily updates.

Personalised Care

Many pet sitters on these platforms offer personalised care for pets. This can include specific feeding routines, exercise regimens, and even special requests such as administering medication. You can communicate your pet’s particular needs with potential sitters to ensure your pet receives the appropriate care. For your peace of mind, leave with the pet sitter all the food and medicine your pet needs rather than expect the sitter to procure it (even if they charge for it).


Pet sitting websites and apps provide a secure platform for pet owners to communicate with potential sitters and make arrangements for their pets’ care. They also offer various safety features, such as background checks and verification processes, to ensure pet owners work with reliable and trustworthy sitters. For example, Pawshake accepts only 15% of pet sitter applications. They have a strict vetting process and work closely with local providers to complete police checks for sitters.

Tips for Finding the Right Pet Sitter

Once you’ve chosen a pet-sitting website or app, you can search for pet sitters in your area. Pet sitting sites and apps can be a great way to find a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter for your furry friend, but you need to do your research and have a clear idea of what your pet needs. These are some tips to keep in mind:

Compare Prices

Pet sitting services can range in price, so it’s important to compare prices before you make a decision. Some websites and apps charge a monthly fee, while others take a percentage of the booking fee. In addition, depending on the platform, rates vary between pet sitters based on their experience or the demand in your location. So, shop around, don’t jump into the first option.

Read Reviews and Ratings. 

Reading reviews and ratings from previous clients is essential when searching for a pet sitter on a website or app. This will give you an idea of the sitter’s reliability, professionalism, and quality of care. Pay special attention to the comments, not just the rating. You will often find gems of information hidden between the comments. For example, someone may describe how well a sitter took care of an accident their pet had while in care.

Look for Experience

Choosing a pet sitter with experience caring for pets is essential. Look for sitters who have worked with pets similar to yours and understand their needs well. If you don’t have many options close to you, and the pet sitters available have few or no past bookings in the system, check their profile for an experience such as working as a foster, vet nurse or with rescue organisations like SPCA.

Consider the Services Offered

Not all pet-sitting websites and apps offer the same services. For example, some only offer dog walking, while others offer various services, such as dog walking, pet sitting, and boarding. So it’s important to consider what your pet needs. For example, if your pet requires medication or has special dietary needs, you’ll want to find a sitter who can accommodate those needs.  

Meet the Sitter

Meeting them in person before booking a pet sitter is a good idea. This will allow you to ask questions and understand their personality and communication style. This is particularly important if you plan to use boarding services. You want to ensure the pet sitter house is safe for your pet. In addition, pet sitters often have their own pets, so you want to make sure your pet will get along with the sitter’s pets.

Check for Certifications

Some pet sitters may have certifications, such as Pet First Aid or Pet CPR, which can be beneficial in an emergency. Be sure to check if the pet sitter has any relevant certifications or training that could be helpful for your pet’s care. You may even get lucky and find a veterinary student making a few bucks by offering pet-caring services.

Ask for References

If, after reading the reviews, you’re still unsure about a potential pet sitter, ask for references from previous clients. Contact these references and ask about their experience with the sitter and the quality of care their pets received. If you were recommended a sitter by someone you know, you could quickly check if the sitter has a profile on a pet-sitting website before calling the sitter. That way, you can have an informed conversation with them. You may also decide to engage via the platform because benefits like insurance are often offered.

Check for insurance

Some pet-sitting websites and apps offer security features like background checks and insurance. Choosing a website or app with these features to protect your pet is essential. For example, in our region (New Zealand), Pawshake offers veterinary coverage up to $2,500 for an injury occurring during a booking. Rover has a much more comprehensive coverage ($25,000), but it is because it operates in bigger markets such as the US and Europe. So, the type of cover you get will vary depending on where you live.

Discuss Logistics

Before finalising arrangements with a pet sitter, discussing logistics such as scheduling, payment, and emergency contacts is important. Make sure you have a clear understanding of these details to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. Be respectful to your sitter too. If you agree on a pickup or drop-off time, stick to it. We had people drastically changing their plans (additional days, not a few hours) for pickup at the last minute. On another occasion, we took care of a pet that had to be in quarantine while its owners were settling-in in a new country, they didn’t arrange any of the paperwork with immigration, and they expected us to do it. So, please be clear about your needs and instructions.


Pet sitting websites and apps have made finding a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter much easier. These platforms provide a convenient and safe way for you to connect with pet sitters and ensure your pets receive the care they need while away. By following the tips above, you can find the right pet sitter for your pet and enjoy peace of mind knowing that they’re in good hands.

Pablo Matamoros

I love animals and technology. I've developed software and led technology teams for 25 years, and I've owned pets since I was a toddler. This blog allowed me to combine both passions and, in the process, help my partner promote her art and pet-sitting business. For more about me, visit:

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