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7 On Your Side: Last-minute dog sitting services

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Need someone to take your dog out at the last minute or have an urgent need for a dog sitter? There's no need to panic. (KGO-TV)

Need someone to take your dog out at the last minute or have an urgent need for a dog sitter? There's no need to panic. There's a service for about anything these days and dog sitting is no exception.

When San Francisco resident Caitlin Chee can't be there for her Shiba Inu, Hito, she relies on the dog-sitting service Wag.

"I have something that comes up last-minute, they can have a walker there within 30 minutes or less. And its super easy," she says.

Wag users are given a lock box so sitters and walkers can access your house key and take your dog for a 30-minute walk. Last-minute caretakers are also available for pet sitting or boarding.

"Friends and family and those things can fall through, whereas like Wag, you know somebody is going to be there with your dog," says Wag sitter Gayle Ketchie.

Alameda resident Ryan Meith says his dog-sitter usually requires one week notice, but will handle last-minute requests if she's available. "The person we have could do the same for us, but she's pretty unique in that respect. But that would be helpful," he says.

7 On Your Side found two other services available online. One is Rover, which can handle ongoing or occasional needs. The other is Thumbtack, where customers can put in requests for various services including pet sitters.

When picking someone to care for your dog, make sure that person is bonded and insured and that they have been thoroughly screened. Also, find someone you're comfortable with. "I think the first time it was a little bit nerve wracking. I definitely met the sitter in person, so that was really nice. I think the fact they let you do that ahead of time is really helpful," Chee says.

Chee uses an app to request her walkers and sitters through Wag. Wag charges a standard $20 for a 30-minute walk and $50 a night for sitting and boarding. Rates at Rover and Thumbtack vary depending on who you hire. The convenience of these services is their biggest attraction.
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