How to build an app like Rover?

Dileep Gupta July 17, 2023
build an app like Rover

On-demand pet care apps that give solutions for pet walking, boarding, or home visits are all in the rage right now. With a market share set to reach $5.14 billion by 2030, pet care app development space has been making it easy for pet owners to go on vacations or take a day off guilt free.

While there was a time when people used to pay their neighbors’ kids to take their dogs on walks, today the pet sitting model has upgraded to become a profitable, aggregator-driven business. One such application that is growing in popularity in the domain is the Rover walker app. Through the application, pet owners can book a range of services from –

  • Boarding
  • House sitting
  • Day Care
  • Dog Walking
  • Drop-in visits
  • Virtual dog training.

Considering the ease it provides and the market share that it has created for itself on the back of this on-demand driven comfort, building an app similar to Rover has become a profitable avenue for new entrepreneurs.

Now the first question entrepreneurs often ask when they come to the pre-development stage, is what would be the Rover app development cost. While the cost can range anywhere between $15,000 to $30,000, knowing the exact estimate would require you to understand the features, UI/UX design intricacies, and the developmental complexities. And that is exactly what we are going to cover in this article today.

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The primary element that goes both into defining the pet care app development cost and the app’s success is the functionalities it offers.

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Must-have features of app like Rover

The success of pet care app development space is dependent on feature sets that would make the process of booking a service hassle-free and trustworthy. When we talk specifically about Rover, the application has done everything to make the pet care process beneficial for both pet owners and service providers. Right from well curated services to the service guarantee it offers, the Rover mobile app has set huge standards for the pet industry to follow.

Pet owners

App features for pet owners

  • Registration and login

The first step when you develop an app like Rover is to have an easy sign-up and login option. With easy integrations through email and social media, you can make the process of entering the app hassle-free for the pet owners.
Another mode you can offer is having multi factor authentication through fingerprint or OTP mechanism.

  • My profile

This section of the application can be used to add and update contact information, addresses, pet details, etc. It is also helpful to add a dashboard in the profile section highlighting past and upcoming bookings and payment details.

  • Find services

There should be a smart search and filter option for pet owners to look for services. If you are looking to create an app like Rover in its exact replica, you can go with similar services around – Boarding, House sitting, Day care, Dog walking, Drop-in visits, and Virtual dog training. What would be an add-on is an intuitive set of filter options that is multilingual and consists of multiple options like geographical region, costs, and reviews.

  • View service providers details

The next critical feature that should be there in a dog walker app like Rover is the section where you can view service providers details like their bio, cost range, years of experience, and reviews.

  • Schedule service

This is the feature that makes the app an on-demand app similar to Rover. Through this module pet owners get the option to schedule the service as per their required time. Before the scheduled time, the app facilitates communication between owners and service providers to see if they would like to take the booking ahead. Once that is assured, the booking can be made through the application.

  • Online payments

Another critical element of Rover like pet care app development lies in making online payments. Typically, the choice of which payment option to keep comes after a thorough analysis of which medium your customers would prefer. However, on a high-end level it would help to keep all the leading options like – Debit, Credit cards, BNPL, COD, etc.

[Also Read: How to create a payment gateway? Cost, benefits, use cases, challenges, opportunities]

  • In-app communication

The next part of building a dog walker app like Rover lies in integrating an in-app chat or call service using which the owners will be able to collaborate with the service providers effortlessly over internet-based call service.

  • Ratings and review

The last part of MVP level Rover mobile app is having a rating and reviews mechanism that can be used as a deciding factor by other pet owners when choosing the service of a specific service provider.

Pet walkers/sitters

A good portion of the features like sign up, in-app communication, and managing profile are the same as the pet owners’ versions. There are, however, some features which are unique to pet walkers/sitters.

App features for Pet walkers/sitters

  • Dashboard

The sitter/walker version of pet care app development comes with a dashboard view of past, upcoming bookings, total revenue earned, ratings and reviews, etc. At Appinventiv we advise our clients to build a graphical interface for the dashboard or profile summary section.

  • Manage bookings

The service providers of the Rover walker app and other similar solutions are people looking for a side-income so it’s not necessary that they’ll be available in the time slot the pet owners select. Thus, when you build an app like Rover, a special focus has to be given to the ability to accept, decline booking requests.

  • Pet’s profile check

The pet walkers and sitters should be able to check the pet owner’s profile detailing their pet’s habits and specific requirements, if any.

  • Manage payments

The next part when you develop an app like Rover is to have an architecture where service providers can receive payments, view the revenue they have earned till date, and get clarity on the outstanding amount.

In addition to the pet owners and service providers modules, the cost to build an app like Rover also carries scope for the admin version of the application. Here, the focus is on making different architectures that would support management and task handling.

App admin

App features for administrators

  • Manage customers – The app should come with the functionality to manage customers profiles and solve queries they might have in semi real-time.
  • Manage pet sitters/walkers – This part of the Rover-like app features is designed to make managing service providers profiles and queries easier.
  • Manage bookings – The app admin should be able to keep track of bookings, their status, and managing any issue that arises during the service tenure.
  • Manage offers and discounts – Your version of Rover-like application will have offers and promotion materials which will need to be updated and removed on time.
  • Handle client support – Through this feature, the app admin or customer support team will be able to handle users queries and concerns in a real-time mode.
  • Manage the FAQ and Terms & Condition section – The FAQ and TnC pages have to be constantly updated with every changed business policy or new feature addition. Giving the control to the app admin makes the process easier.
  • Tech support – There can be instances where technical issues can emerge in the application, one that would need the admin to access the backend or frontend of the application. Having a scope for correction from within the app can be helpful.

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While these are the MVP level Rover app features, there are a number of other functionalities which upgrade the application, making it the first choice of pet owners. Let us look into those advanced level pet care app features before we get to other elements of the cost to build an app like Rover.

Advanced level Rover-like pet care app features

While the features mentioned above are good to get you started in the pet care space, there are some additions you can make to directly come at par with the Rover frenzy.

Let us look at what they are.

Virtual dog training

A key feature of Rover like custom pet care app development lies in providing virtual dog training through one-on-one video consultations with experts.

Rover guarantee

The feature specific to Rover offers insurance to pet owners in case of any harm to their pets. Every booking which is made on the app is backed by $25000 in vet care which can be claimed after submitting valid claims.

Extended care

In instances where the pet walker/sitter have to extend their stay or service beyond the specified time, Rover charges pet owners extra for the extended time.


Another useful feature to consider when you build an app like Rover can be verification of the service provider. The app runs a thorough background check on the pet sitters and walkers by verifying their documents and running virtual KYC. This feature, in turn, carries a massive impact on the cost to build an app like Rover.

Rover card

The application notifies pet owners of the tasks performed by the service providers through the mode of Rover cards. Using this functionality, the pet sitters and walkers can add in information like –

  • Bathroom breaks
  • Food and water activity
  • At least one photo and an optional short message
  • A map of walk with total distance

eCommerce store

Rover application comes with an eCommerce store through which users can buy products for their pets including toys and food. Building an on-demand marletplace app like Rover can help act as a trusted source of revenue for the users.

Now that we have looked into the features part to make an app like Rover, let us get down to other elements that define the pet care mobile app development cost.

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Design considerations for app like Rover mobile app

What separates a user favorite application from one that gets uninstalled over time is the experience that it gives to the end users. Besides the features, the presentation of the application also holds value in deciding its worth.

Rover mobile app

What works in the favor of Rover is the minimalist deisgn structure it follows. The app follows an intuitive model which makes the in-app user movements almost organic with minimal learning cycle. Moreover, it follows a media-based design structure which leaves enough white space for the users to work inside the application without feeling overwhelmed or crowded.

Designing an immersive experience like Rover requires building a wireframe that has a dedicated space for every event, while having elements that promote organic movements in-app.

Rover walker app development

After features and app design, the next element that shapes the Rover app development cost is the development process.

Typically, the development process is made of stages like –

Ideation of the application – it includes customer research, competitor study, finalization of features, etc. This sets the foundation of the application.

UI/UX design – here the design structure of the application is fixed along with brand specific design elements and user movements.

Technology finalization – at this stage the technology you aim to add – blockchain, AI, third-party APIs, etc are finalized and added in the application.

Features integration – here features are added in the application to make it immersive and intuitive.

Quality assurance – at this stage the app is made glitch and hack-proof through stringent quality assurance practices.

MVP launch – once the entire process is followed, the MVP version of the application is launched in the market.

Related Article: MVP in Software Development – Why is it essential and how can businesses approach it?

While the stages mentioned above depicts the process of how to make an app like Rover, the cost to build an app like Rover is also dependent on the development team structure.

Team structure for building app like Rover

The per hour development cost that comes with hiring this team structure immensely impacts the overall pet care app development cost. For example, this team structure and the features mentioned above will together cost $80-100 per hour when you partner with an India-based pet care app development services provider and the same will increase to $120-140 when working with a USA or UK based app development agency.

All of this together brings the Rover app development cost to $15k to $30k – a range that can increase or decrease depending on your individual requirements.

Get exact cost of developing an app like rover

While knowing the Rover app development cost is important for entrepreneurs, what is equally important is to know the mode of getting the invested money back. Here some of those monetization options.

  • In-app advertisement
  • Service charge for connecting pet owners with service providers
  • Surcharge during peak hours
  • Build an in-app eCommerce platform.

These are some high-level monetization models which can be applied in your version of Rover like application. There can be a number of other ways you can explore to make money off your application depending on the business model you choose.

With this we have looked into the particulars of how to build an app like Rover and make money from it. However, it is crucial to note that the success of your end app will depend entirely on the on-demand app development company you partner with.

How can Appinventiv help with pet care app development?

At Appinventiv we have a team of on-demand technology experts who specialize in the creation of instantaneous business models. We have worked with multiple startups and enterprises in the creation of apps that offer real-time services effortlessly.

What makes us a trusted name in the on-demand space is our capability to convert market research and customer study into a well-strategized application which is built for success. The result? An app which is ready for the competitive digital space. Partner with us and experience the Appinventiv difference yourself in your pet care app development project.

Dileep Gupta
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