How to Make Sure Your Dog Has a Safe & Enjoyable Time While You’re Away
There are few things we can count on to remain consistent, but devotion from man’s best friend has always been one of them. In exchange for a warm place to sleep, good food, and a little exercise, they provide unconditional love, loyalty, and companionship.
It only seems right then that when we take a vacation or business trip, we made sure our furry friends are taken care of. And, to many dog owners this is no small matter. Just as you would never leave your children with just any babysitter, you would never leave your pets with someone that was less than extremely nurturing and trustworthy.
Until recently though, there weren’t a lot of options for long-term pet sitting. You either had a neighbor or another friend check in on them, or you boarded them in a kennel. Neither choice is ideal—one is a burden to your neighbor and to your pet, who is left alone for long stretches; the other is expensive for you and can be traumatic for your caged up dog.
Now though, one Santa Monica, Calif. couple, Aaron and Karine Hirschhorn, have developed a clever way to solve the dilemma. They realized that there is a huge untapped source of safe places for people to board their dogs; namely, the thousands of dog lovers across America looking to earn a little extra cash. Some of these people have their own dogs, others don’t, but none-the-less, love animals.
The Hirschhorn’s have now introduced the concept of dog vacations, by creating a online network that puts dog owners in touch with hosts.
Here’s how it works
Go to DogVacay.com and create a free account. Enter some brief information about your dog(s) and you’ll have access to browse hundreds of potential hosts in your area. Read about their home, dog experience, what they charge per night, and cancellation policies. You can also browse photos, testimonials, reviews, and correspond with them over phone or email.
If you really want to cover all your bases you can set up a “Meet-n-Greet.” This is an in-person meeting where you bring your dog to meet your host and introduce them to their temporary living space so everyone is familiar with each other before the big day. Many hosts are also “Dog Vacay Certified” meaning they’ve been interviewed in person and their references have been checked. (You’ll find this icon in the host profiles).
The benefits to using Dog Vacay instead of a kennel or drop-by pet sitter are endless.
First and foremost—your dog is living in a home environment, able to roam free instead of being locked for hours in a crate. They get personalized attention from an individual with extensive experience in caring for dogs. If socialized, they’ll be in good company with a few other dogs “on vacation.” If not, they’ll receive one-on-one time only with their host family.
All hosts are covered under VCA-Antech insurance. In the rare event anything goes wrong, your dog’s medical needs are covered in your absence. They’ll send you photo updates of your dog via email or text message throughout your trip, or you can call in for updates.
Hosts set their own prices, and most charge an affordable $15 a night. They also set their own cancellation policies which entail what your refund will be in the event you have to cancel last minute. You can schedule and book your dog’s vacation with just a few clicks. Payment is made by credit card through the Dog Vacay site, and you aren’t charged until a host accepts your reservation request.
Best of all, your satisfaction is guaranteed or the company will refund your money. Because when it comes to your furry friend, nothing but the best will do.
Click here to set up your free account, or watch their online video to learn more.