Most people love pets – some so much so that they strive to earn money by taking care of someone else’s. That’s where sites like PetBacker come into the picture.
And if you’re looking to earn extra income while enjoying furry friends, then you might be wondering if it’s a legit way to earn money?
Petbacker is an app that primarily connects pet owners with pet sitters, groomers, or walkers. Pet sitters earn an average of $20-$40 per day (one or two 30-minute visits), and PetBacker takes a 15-25% fee. It’s a legit way to make extra cash on the side, and overall they have good reviews.
Read on to learn more about what services PetBacker offers, how they compare to their competitors, how much you can make, and more!
What’s PetBacker About?
PetBacker was launched in October of 2016 by a guy named Vernon Tee, and since then it’s garnered over 100,000 active phone/online users.
This company they offers all sorts of services, such as:
- Pet Boarding
- Pet Taxi
- Dog Walking
- Pet Grooming
- Pet Sitting
- Pet Daycare
- Pet Training
The variety of options for pet-lovers to do is one of the aspects that sets this company apart from its competitors.
PetBacker’s primary focus is on providing pet boarding services, targeting people who want their pet to be well cared for without being put in the small confines offered by kennels or pet hotels.
They encourage cage-free care, instead of the typical three foot cage at commercial kennels. It also makes it so pet owners can find other pet-loving people to take care of their furry friends that they’re comfortable with.
How Does PetBacker Work?
If you want to start offering your services on PetBacker, there’s not a ton to it.
In order to be eligible, you need to be 18 years old, pass a background check (and they’ll verify your ID), and submit a selfie of yourself. They’ll also verify your contact details, since potential clients will need to get in contact with you directly.
PetBacker also states that, while they do not require you to be bonded and insured to care for pets, you should check your local and state regulations to see if there is anything you need to follow to ensure you’re legally operating and offering your services.
If you’re eligible, you just have to download the app and set up your profile to get started. And once your profile is set up and your background check is all done, you’ll be able to list your services by going to your profile and tapping on “add pet service.”
From there, you pick what kind of service you would like to provide out of the available options on the app.
Next, you need to name your service and provide details, which includes your rate for hire and the locations you cover.
Then, you have to upload some photos that either relate to your service or show you actually performing it with other people’s pets in the past.
Finally, you wait for people to come to your profile and hire you.
When someone is interested, you’ll receive a notification on the app and your email. That notification will tell you what type of pet the person has.
If you want to take on the job, you’ll be able to communicate with the pet owner through the messaging system on PetBacker. And if, after speaking with you, the pet owner decides to hire you, then you’ll get a notification of hire.
If they decide to go with someone else, all your communication with the pet owner will be closed out, which is how you’ll know that they were no longer interested.
Is PetBacker a Scam?
PetBacker is not a scam because people do provide pet sitting services and they actually do get paid. But just because it isn’t a scam doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a worthwhile company to get involved with.
Generally, the best way to figure that out is by looking at reviews from both pet owners (who have used the service) and former (or current) pet sitters.
As with anything, PetBacker has some people on both sides of the spectrum – there are both good and bad reviews.
Some pet owners had very good experiences with the PetBacker system, while others complained that some of the sitters and pet groomers were “dishonest and irresponsible.”
The reason it’s important to look at the experiences of pet owners who used the company is because, if they have a bad experience (even if it’s the fault of PetBacker and not you), there’s the potential for some repercussions to fall back on your shoulders.
So, if there was a common theme of negative reviews (or alternatively, if there were lawsuits) that relate to negligence on the part of the company, then that would be a red flag that you should be wary of.
But thankfully, PetBacker has mostly good reviews from pet owners, so that furthers their credibility.
And as for the reviews from sitters, some people love working with the app, stating that they like the ability to accept jobs that fit their needs, and likewise can reject ones that don’t.
However, some former pet sitters deleted the app and unsubscribed from their emails, yet still manage to get emails from people requesting their services.
Obviously you’ll have those with good experiences and bad experiences with an app like this, but one huge positive that PetBacker has is that pets are pretty safe with their sitters.
Whether that’s because they have a superior vetting process or stricter guidelines, I’m not sure. But that once again adds credibility to the company’s overall standing.
And with other, competing apps like Wag!, there’s been a lot of pushback and they’re involved in some pretty big lawsuits due to abuse and deaths of pets while in service provider’s care.
Thankfully, PetBacker isn’t in that same category, and currently there aren’t any lawsuits against them. This means that if you choose to work with PetBacker and provide pet services, you can generally feel more assured about the future and stability of the company.
Can You Really Make Money With PetBacker?
With PetBacker, you get to set your own rates for the services you provide.
As with anything where you get to make your own rates, even though you can make them as high as you want, you want to make sure that the rate you’re charging is competitively priced.
Yes, even if you offer a good service, you don’t want to charge, say, $100 for a night of pet sitting when someone who has just as good of reviews as you in your same area, is only charging $35 for a night.
You want to make money, but you want to get enough clients, too.
Another thing to consider when making your rates is that PetBacker does take a percentage off of what you charge. PetBacker takes anywhere from 15% to 25% off of your price, and the rates go down as you accept and complete more bookings.
However, the fee they take can also increase if you are found violating their rules of conduct as a service provider.
New PetBacker service providers start off with the 25% fee, meaning that if you charge $35 for a night of pet sitting, you’ll only get $26.25.
Your pay will be redeemable from your PetBacker account 2-7 days after completing a service through them and after confirming that there weren’t any disputes.
And you should never accept cash or checks directly from the pet owner, you should only accept payments from PetBacker via PayPal (or bank transfer in some countries).
And just as a general guideline, pet sitters generally charge $20-$40 per day on average (for one or two 30-minute visits), however overnight pet sitters can charge $75-$85 per night.
And of course, that price will change depending on:
- Special requests or accomodations
- Number of pets
- Time of year (holidays, weekends, etc.)
- If they need 24-hour, round-the-clock care
Of course, you most likely won’t be pet sitting every day, but you can reasonably expect to earn around $500 a month (or more) if you put in a lot of time and effort into getting lots of good reviews and getting enough clients.
All that being said, PetBacker is a legit way to earn some extra cash, especially with your love for pets.
Depending on how good your reviews are and how many bookings you get, you could walk away with a decent amount per month, even despite the PetBacker fee.
However, it would be hard to substantiate a full-time income just off of pet sitting alone. So it might be worth combining pet sitting with a side hustle like dog walking as a way to earn more.