What’s the Woof – Dog Sitting Platform Review

Holidays – we all need them, and as dog lovers and owners, we all want to take our best friends with us. After all, your dog is an extension of your family – furry, fun and four-legged, they’re always happy to see you when you get home and always up for a cuddle (well, more than your average cat at least). Back in the day it seemed the only option you had was to utilise a local kennel or perhaps leave them at home with a friendly neighbour, friend or family member popping in daily to do the rounds. But these days there are a multitude of different websites, platforms and apps which link Dog Owners to available Dog Sitters in an area, giving you a home based alternative which more often than not is a more comfortable and relaxed environment for your K9 companion.

But what’s the best for your woof? Well, TheDogApp Team is here to help and we’ve done a Dog Sitting platform review so you can compare and contrast to find your pawfect match. So let’s take a further look at the options on offer when you have to leave your pooch behind as you travel into the summer sunset….

BorrowMyDoggy https://www.borrowmydoggy.com/

In a paw print….

With half a million users across both UK and Ireland, BorrowMyDoggy has been around since October 2012 and is built on the concept of sharing in the love and care of dogs. Dog sitting, dog walking, dog meet-ups; the list goes on with the services offered on this platform and with a strong focus on local communities and building long lasting relationships, BorrowMyDoggy connects dog owners with local dog lovers to share the care of a dog - it’s a win-win (or woof-woof) for all involved!

How it works:

  1. Create a profile.

  2. Choose a membership plan.

  3. Search and find Owners/Borrowers in your area.

  4. Find suitable matches and start the conversation. Organise your “Welcome Woof” – your first Owner/Borrower meet up so you can get to know one another and see if the relationship is a good match. Then, away you go!

Membership

There are no money transactions which take place in exchange for services on BorrowMyDoggy, instead users pay an annual membership fee which grants them access to the database of members which are searchable by location and availability.

BorrowMyDoggy has two membership levels for both Owners and Borrowers:

  1. Basic – allows you to create a profile and search for local members. Free for both Owners and Borrowers.

  2. Premium – Owner £44.99 per year, Borrower £12.99 per year (no monthly membership options at this stage).

Safety, Security and Insurances

Your dog is part of your family; you wouldn’t trust a random person with your child and so the same goes for your beloved four-legged friend. BorrowMyDoggy puts a strong emphasis on the building of a long term relationship between Owner and Borrower and although anyone can sign up, all members are verified as part of the subscription process; phone numbers and home addresses of all Premium members are carried out before they’re allowed to chat and meet.

With the Premium membership options you’re further covered with Accident and Third Party Liability Insurance as well as having access to a 24/7 vet line.

What’s the woof? Platform Pros and Cons….

The BorrowMyDoggy App is currently only available on iPhones but their website is fully mobile responsive for ease of use.

Paws Up: “I'm so pleased to have found this! It is such a generous idea. Matching up dog lovers in your area to share these wonderful dogs and give them the love and care they so deserve.”

Paws Down: “Liked the idea at first but when I got my first email, I could not even read the message in my app unless I subscribe to the annual membership fee of £44.”

Pawing into the future…

Because with this platform you can’t be guaranteed a match, the BorrowMyDoggy team is continually working towards improving the Owner/Borrower experience. They’re also focused on increasing members numbers so that there are more matches in terms of locations and Borrowers profiles for all the doggies out there.

When TheDogApp asked BorrowMyDoggy what kind of dog they would be… “A brown lab called Aston – the cute pooch who inspired the BorrowMyDoggy platform.”

Dogiz https://www.dogiz.com/

In a paw print….

Dogiz is a mobile app that connects Owners with professional pet-carers.

Dogiz is positioned as a professional marketplace for the best, pet services for your four-legged friend. Working only with licensed companies, by using the Dogiz app, Dog Owners can connect with a range of services including dog boarding, doggie daycare, dog walking and dog training companies.

Currently available in London (New York and Tel Aviv too, if anyone is thinking of relocating), Dogiz was founded just over a year ago and is steadily seeing great growth every month, with thousands of users and dozens of professional companies utilising the platform. As an Owner using Dogiz, you’re able to receive updates all the way along your pooch’s journey – from when they’re picked up to noting their whereabouts in real time.

How it works

  1. Sign up to Dogiz via a Facebook account or email

  2. As the app is location based, allow Dogiz to use your location and then browse through the list of available professional services in your area.

  3. Make your booking by selecting your service and confirming availability and price. Enter your payment details and away you go!

Membership

There are no membership fees with Dogiz and Owners only pay professional companies for the services the use booked through the platform.

Safety, Security and Insurances

Dogiz vett and screen every single company before they are listed on the platform and as a user you are able to check out reviews, ratings and statistics that others have left. Because Dogiz doesn’t work with your friendly neighbours Bob or Barbara, who just occasionally look after a dog, all the companies listed already have existing clients and are independently insured so you can be assured your doggie is in good hands.

What’s the woof? Platform Pros and Cons….

Free download available on iPhones and Andriod.

Paws Up: “Super useful and convenient! Such an awesome app, reliable and professional dog walkers. My dog is delighted :-) “

Paws Down: “Just need to improve the UX in part of the screens and fix some bugs.”

Pawing into the future….

Dogiz are looking to expand to other markets within the pet sector as well as doing all they can to increasing their coverage in the UK - keep your paws peeled with new releases and added services within the app!

When TheDogApp asked Dogiz what kind of dog they would be…. “A mix of all the best breeds out there!”

Tailster https://www.tailster.com/

In a paw print….

Not exclusively just for the Dog lovers out there, Tailster has over 160,000 users, and 14,000+ approved carers. Operating across the whole of the UK, Tailster was founded in 2014 and are the largest dog walking company in the UK that also conveniently offers dog sitting, doggy daycare and dog boarding services as well.

With Tailster you don’t need to lift a finger - just tell them what you need and let the platform get on with finding you the perfect carer - they cater for your needs on demand (they’ve even helped someone panicking in the hotel lobby of a dog-unfriendly hotel). Tailster pride themselves on providing the ultimate pet care experience with the safety, the smarts and convenience of today's technology.

How it works

  1. Join for free and create your profile.

  2. Specify your dog care requirement by creating an advert that includes your location, dates, the age and breed of your dog, and any other information you wish.

  3. Tailster then sends you relevant matches that are available and in your area. If interested, these carers then send you a quote for their services.

  4. Organise a meet and greet and see if you all get along. Then confirm your booking through the Tailster website or on the phone.

Membership

Membership is free for both Owners and Carers.

Safety and Security

All pet carers have to be manually approved by the Tailster team; and they have high standards! Currently only around 1 in 6 applicants are approved and to become approved, a carer must complete the Tailster assessment and send in proof of address and ID. They also need to get past the formidable Sophie, who gets the final say on approvals…. and the word on the street is sometimes she’s a meanie.

Tailster provides insurance cover which includes emergency vet care and public liability insurance all at no extra cost – however, this is only available when you make your booking online or by calling the Tailster HQ.

What’s the woof? Platform Pros and Cons….

With separate apps for both Owners and Carers, the Tailster apps are available to download on both iPhone and Android for all approved users of the platform.

Paws Up: “Tailster provides a secure and trusted environment to find the right person to look after your precious pet, utilising lovely local people that I couldn't find directly, but providing a "big company" sense of assurance.”

Paws Down: “A bit too many emails, texts etc and messages won't always go through.”

Pawing into the future….

The Tailster are working on lots of new features to make for a smoother experience for users.

When TheDogApp asked Tailster what kind of dog they would be…. “A Border Collie. Motivated, a hard worker, smart and pretty to look at!”

Trusted Housesitters https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/

In a paw print….

TrustedHousesitters currently have over 300,000 members on their site across 140 countries. With a split between Owners and Sitters of about 50/50, they have thousands of live listings on the site and new members joining the community every day. First established in 2010 with a simple mission: to keep pets happy and safe in their own home, the TrustedHousesitters platform has helped thousands of pet owners connect with trusted and verified Sitters who pet sit for free in exchange for a place to stay.

Many Dog Sitters will take the dog out of their home and into a new environment whilst their owners are away; with TrustedHousesitters, the Dog Sitter stays in the owner’s home, allowing the dog to stay in its own environment.

How it works

  1. Join TrustedHousesitters by creating a profile and getting verified.

  2. List your house or dog needs and then browse through Dog Sitters profiles, reading reviews and selecting your Sitter.

  3. Make arrangements directly with the Sitter of your choice and away you go!

Membership

Membership is done on a yearly basis with a one year membership costing £89.00.

Safety and Security

Recently awarded the coveted TrustSeal from Sharing Economy UK, TrustedHousesitters has three levels of verification - basic, standard and enhanced. Basic and standard are free services provided where the Sitter is verified by checking a form of ID and verifying their email address and telephone number. Sitters can also pay an extra £30 to have a police background check and if passed, a small badge appears on their profile to confirm that they have passed the police background check.

TrustedHousesitters currently do not provide any insurance products, but because no money exchanges hands between home owners and house sitters, many home owners are covered by their own contents insurance policies.

What’s the woof? Platform Pros and Cons….

TrustedHousesitters currently does not have an app, but who knows what the future will hold!

Paws Up: “We've had two excellent housesitters through Trusted Housitters.com and it's a great value resource when you have pets, and especially if you have a home in a desirable location because you can get people at short notice.”

Paws Down: “I have had two last minute cancellations because there is nothing to tie people to an agreement so you have to trust they'll turn up.”

Pawing into the future….

We can’t say much but we do know that they are working on an exciting project that will be launching in Summer 2017, so sit and stay tuned!

When TheDogApp asked TrustedHousesitters what kind of dog they would be…. “A Labrador Retriever - We are a friendly bunch who love’s the company of others. We are hardworking, inquisitive and have high energy levels which make us very passionate about what we do.”

DogBuddy https://uk.dogbuddy.com/

In a paw print….

With over 250,000 dog loving users across 6 countries, DogBuddy has 20,000 approved Dog Sitters across Europe and is one of the largest dog sitting and home boarding communities online. Spanning UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Sweden, the platform was founded in 2013 and offers, in their words, “one of the first AirBnB style services for dogs in the UK.”.

How it works

  1. Create your profile by online or via the App with your Facebook account or email address.

  2. Using your location, search for a Dog Sitter in your area specifying any special requirements you may have.

  3. Browse profiles you like, communicate via messages and clarify anything you need.

Confirm your booking by paying through the platform.

Membership

As an Owner, you are charged a one-time membership fee of £9 when your first booking is confirmed.

Sitters are able to sign up for free and are in full control of advertising their services and providing quotes to Owners as requested.

Safety, Security and Insurances

DogBuddy only approves around 10-20% of all Dog Sitter applications and all Sitters are rated and reviewed by other Dog Owners and vetted by DogBuddy.

All bookings made through the site are covered by Veterinary and Third Party Liability Insurance as well as giving members access to a 24/7 vet line.

What’s the woof? Platform Pros and Cons….

Available for free download on both iPhone and Android.

Paws Up: “Really easy to use, allowing me to communicate with the owners and send them pictures of their pooches!”

Paws Down: “Sometimes the walkies tracker goes mental and adds on a few miles, and I wish the tops of my doggies heads wouldn't be cut off in photos.”


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