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New alternative to kennels: Pet-sharing service

Posted at 1:58 PM, Oct 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-14 14:32:43-04

We're living in a new sharing society.

You have Airbnb if you need a place to stay for the night, and Uber and Lyft if you need a ride.

So now there's a new home sharing network for your pet, if you go on vacation. But is it safe? Is it worth checking out?

Worries about a week in a kennel

Cicely Knecht loves her dog Noosie so much, that she hates the thought of leaving her pup in a kennel when she goes on vacation.

"No, she'll do doggie day care once a week," Knecht said. "But that's just while I'm at work. Not for a weekend or anything while I'm away."

While there is nothing wrong with kenneling, many dog lovers hate the thought of leaving their beloved pet in a room filled with a dozen strange dogs.

Rover links pets with temporary homes

That's why the latest sharing service, Rover.com, is exploding across the country, from its start in Seattle a few years ago.

The Boston Globe calls it "Airbnb for dogs," after the home sharing program popping up in neighborhoods everywhere.

Dog sitter Scott Weddle said "the advantage of this is when you leave, you know your dog is constantly getting one-on-one attention, instead of being lost in the shuffle of other dogs."

Weddle is a Rover host who watches dogs for vacationing people inside his home.

For $25 to $40 a night, the price of a budget kennel, this work-at-home entrepreneur will play with, feed and walk someone else's pet, even letting them sleep on his bed.

For paying less," Weddle explained, "you're getting more one-on-one attention for your dog, which the dogs love."

Unlike a pet sitter, who stops by your home once or twice a day, your dog won't be alone most of the day.

What if there's an accident?

Is it safe?

Rover says it checks out all pet sitters. In addition, all dogs booked are covered by a $2 million liability policy for biting, and $25,000 in emergency vet insurance if your pet is injured while in a sitter's care.

Cicely says she's thinking of it for her next vacation.

"Yes, as long as the home or venue was safe and she felt comfortable, I would consider it," she said.

Other pets too

What if you're a cat lover? Rover does have some listings for cats, as well as birds, turtles and lizards.

And if you are a pet lover who would like another pet in your home once in a while, and a few extra dollars, you can apply to be a Rover sitter.

It might be worth checking out so you don't waste your money.

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