Websites optimized for smartphones are gaining ground on phone-only apps these days, giving consumers two ways to play. Such is the case with DogVacay and Rover, a pair of websites and associated apps (free) that aim to match traveling dog owners with host families nationwide.
DogVacay, a 2012 Santa Monica startup, has received a lot of positive press and a lot of good reviews from users. It’s easy to use: hosts create profiles about themselves and their services, while pet owners share reviews online after they pick up their pets.
Rover, based in Seattle, likewise seeks to connect dog owners with dog sitters nationwide. It plans to add cats and horses to its repertoire soon.
Both services tout the benefits of home-stays over traditional boarding kennels, provide training and insurance for hosts, suggest pre-trip meet-and-greets and encourage daily photo and text exchanges between parties. Hosts set their own rates and pay a percentage to DogVacay or Rover.