Care.com has become the standard of sitting for many parents — including those whose children are covered in fur! The site makes it easy to find a pet sitter online, and it’s a great company to use if you want to be a dog sitter, dog walker, cat sitter, or even all three. Our guide lays out all of the information you need to know to become a dog sitter using Care.com or find a new caregiver for your pet.
Is Care.com free?
Care.com is a free site both for people who are looking for sitters and those seeking care for their furry friends. However, those who plan to use the site regularly for its dog sitting/pet parenting matchmaking services should consider upgrading to the site’s premium account.
How much does it cost to use Care.com?
Upgrading to a paid subscription is a smart move for pet sitters and those looking for care. There are three ways to pay for a Care.com premium membership:
- Buy a 12-month membership for $156 (a cost of $13 per month)
- Buy a 3-month membership for $78 (a cost of $26 per month)
- Buy a single-month membership for $39
Dog parents will not only unlock features that make it easier to communicate with pet sitters — free memberships only allow you to see “preview” versions of emails, making it harder to book services through the site — they’ll also be able to learn more about their promising candidates. With upgraded subscriptions, care seekers can see a pet sitter’s full background check, formal resume, and entire library of user reviews. They’re also able to request a complete background check from anyone they’re interested in working with, but there will be an additional fee for this screening, and the price will depend on the type of information being requested.
Dog sitters should also consider a premium membership. Along with making communication through the site more efficient, they’ll also have their profile promoted in local searches, immediately boosting their odds of landing a great job. Sitters with upgraded accounts can also buy site credits, which are used when canine caregivers want to be considered for highly-competitive jobs. Considering that these credits guarantee yours will be only one of five profiles sent to a job poster, they’re a modest expense that can have a great return on investment in the form of repeat business:
- Buy 10 credits for $9
- Buy 25 credits for $19
- Buy 50 credits for $29
What are the hidden fees for Care.com?
One of the reasons Care.com is so highly rated by dog sitters and pet owners alike is because the site offers all of its services without any hidden fees. The only charge that some users forget about is auto-renewal, although it’s clearly stated in the terms of service agreement. In order to make sure members don’t lose any of their conversations or profile information, subscriptions automatically renew, so users need to be sure to cancel their accounts if they no longer plan to use the site to search or be hired for pet care.
Is Care.com a secure and safe site?
Another reason Care.com has so many satisfied customers — more than 35 million members in over 20 countries, as a matter of fact — is because the site has solid safety and security features in place. In addition to requiring all of its care providers to complete a background check, thorough background screenings can be performed to provide care seekers even more peace of mind. Plus, payments and messages sent through the site are always secure, and user information is only given with consent.
There are still measures members should take to protect their privacy and security when using and connecting with other people on the site, however. Make sure you read through the profiles and any other information provided by your contact carefully, and don’t be shy about asking for additional details in order to feel more confident about who you’ll be working with. Lastly, meet any potential employer or employee in person — preferably in a public place — to make sure you feel comfortable. Any red flag you see online or in person is a clear sign that this isn’t the right match.
What kind of background check does Care.com do?
Care.com requires all of its dog sitters and other care providers to undergo a background check that reviews:
- The pet sitter’s Social Security Number (SSN)
- The pet sitter’s status on the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW)
- The pet sitter’s criminal records in county, multi-jurisdictional, and federal databases
It’s important to note that this new background check policy was put into effect in July 2019. Any caregivers who joined Care.com after that point has had this screening performed, but the site may not yet have run one on a pet sitter you’re interested in who joined before that time. Job seekers have the option of running a background check on their own, so if you find a promising profile without a background screening, it doesn’t hurt to ask the candidate if they’ll get one on their own or if they’ll reach out to the company to move along the process of performing one on their behalf.
For sitters who want to make their profile stand out even more, using one of Care.com’s complete background check options is a smart move:
- A motor vehicle records check usually provides information on the “status of the operator’s driving privileges, restrictions, expiration date, license type and class, endorsements, suspensions, revocations, violations, accidents, and DUIs,” per the site.
- An investigative criminal check provides more thorough information regarding a sitter’s bankruptcy filings, arrest warrants, restraining orders, and prior names and aliases.
How do I find a dog sitting job on Care.com?
Before becoming a pet sitter on Care.com, you need to take the steps to become a dog sitter online. Doing so will help you earn work from the get-go. Once you’ve crossed that task off your must-do list, put these tips into practice so you can start getting booked for local dog sitting jobs:
- Be strategic with your profile photo. Pet parents want to work with someone who has experience with and loves animals, so use a photo that shows you with a furry friend.
- Update your profile regularly. It’s hard to get bookings if the information you’re using to draw in new clients is old. Make sure you continuously update your experience, hours of availability, and your rates — some people, especially those new to pet parenthood, have no idea how much a dog sitter makes, so include a definitive price whenever possible. Don’t forget to mention any other services you provide, such as other types of pet care or even light housework.
- Invest in a thorough background check. People consider their dogs members of their family, and they don’t want to leave them in the care of someone they aren’t sure they can trust. Providing an in-depth background report is a great way to give potential clients peace of mind and show how serious you are about the pet care you provide.
- Be flexible with your schedule. You don’t have to be available 24/7, but being willing to work some odd hours — including nights, weekends, and holidays — as well as take on last-minute bookings will pull in new customers and earn you glowing reviews.
- Embrace the art of self-promotion. Share your Care.com profile on social media, and invite your friends and family to share your link as well. Facebook is an easy way to create a formal online business presence outside of Care.com, and Instagram is perfect for showing off how much fun you and your canine clients have together.
- Request reviews. Dog dads and moms whose fur babies have great experiences during their pet sitting adventures will be delighted to review you online to help you build your business.
How do I find a dog sitter on Care.com?
Leaving your pooch behind may be difficult, but the good news is it’s easy to find experienced and loving dog sitters and dog walkers in your area who will take care of Fido while you’re away:
- On Care.com, click the option indicating you’re looking for care.
- On the next page, choose the “my pets” icon to begin the process of looking for a dog sitter.
- Next, add some personal information about your pet-sitting needs, where you live, and what you’re able to pay for services.
- Finish creating your account by following the prompts. You’ll be asked for basic information, including your name, phone number, and email address.
- After your account is set up, you’ll see some profiles of local dog sitters who are available during the time you’re requesting care, and you’ll be able to click on the profiles of your top picks. Be sure to review each candidate’s credentials closely so you know who you’d like to invite over for a meet-and-greet with your pup. This is also the time you should discuss any special care or expertise your four-legged friend might need, so be sure to let your sitter know if you have a puppy; a special needs dog, such as an aging, older pet; or a large dog, like a pitbull.
- Set up a time for your dog-sitter hopeful to come by to spend a little time with your dog, learn about his routine, and finalize the details of your visit. This appointment will be short, but you’ll verify if the sitter is a good match for your dog’s personality and unique needs.
Does Care.com have an app?
Care.com has a great app. It’s free to download and user-friendly, and it performs all of the functions of the website, so you can use it to chat with potential employers or employees as well as book and pay for service.
Should I be a dog sitter on Care.com?
Many animal lovers have created profitable businesses by signing up to be a dog sitter on Care.com. It’s a trusted site that brings pet parents searching for canine caregivers right to you. Of course, your success has a lot to do with how much heart you put into your pursuit, so take advantage of all of the features the site offers to help you become your community’s go-to dog sitter — and don’t forget to market yourself and your top-notch pet-care services!
Should I sign up for an account on Care.com?
Care.com provides great opportunities for people who want to build a business focused on dog sitting, dog walking, and other types of pet care, and it can be a lifesaver for pet parents who need to find someone to look after their furry little friend. Whether you’re a job seeker or searching for care, make sure you’re always clear about what you’re looking for with any of the professional connections you make, and always do the necessary research on anyone you’re considering working with.