I interviewed Karine of Dog Vacay–an alternative to leaving your dog at the kennel or with family when you travel. Karine and her husband founded Dog Vacay, now you have a whole family of dog lovers online ready to care for your beloved pooch.
Me: Briefly, what’s the idea behind Dog Vacay?
Karine: Dog Vacay is a community of dog lovers where you can find or provide personalized pet care. Mainly we focus on home dog boarding, so you can find a real home for your dog to stay while you’re away.
As founders, our dogs are like members of the family. We hated leaving them at an expensive kennel where they would be stuck in a cage all day. We felt there should be more options. We tested out the concept of home dog boarding in our own home by taking in over 100 dogs over the nine months leading up to our wedding.
Our clients were so passionate about the quality of care their dogs received that business was booming. We knew we had to make this solution available on a larger scale, and we are thrilled to have found hundreds of professional and amazing pet care providers who do the same thing. Now, Dog Vacay can connect dog lovers who want to find or provide home dog boarding and other pet care services.
Me: How do dog owners benefit from using Dog Vacay? What are they expected to provide?
Karine: By using Dog Vacay, you can find a much more affordable, convenient and personalized experience for your dog because our hosts don’t have overhead and provide consistent care rather than a revolving door of staff members for your dog to get used to.
Furthermore, it’s an easier transition from one home environment to another, and a safer environment because there are fewer dogs. If you are looking for a place for your dog to stay while you’re away, you simply browse through the hundreds of profiles of approved hosts, look at photos, read reviews, book and pay online – this easy process allows you to choose the perfect spot for Spot.
You can always schedule a meet and greet to check out the home and host in advance, and rest easy knowing that once you book through Dog Vacay you are also covered by emergency vet care, insurance, a money back guarantee, and customer support.
Plus, our hosts are reminded to send you photos and updates of your dog’s vacay. We stand behind creating positive experiences for dogs, and peace of mind for their parents.
Me: How do people who provide temporary homes for dogs benefit? What are their responsibilities to the dog owners?
Karine: People who board dogs in their homes have the benefit of making extra income while doing something they love. We want real dog lovers that have the best intentions for the animals in their lives whether it’s a guest dog or a dog they grew up with.
We only accept hosts who have experience caring for dogs, and allow them to set their own rates, choose which dogs to accept, and when so they can create the best experience for the individual dog’s needs. With thousands of hosts to choose from, you can find the right person at the right place in the right price range for your specific needs.
Me: What are dog owners expected to pay their dog sitters?
Karine: Our hosts set their own rates and have the freedom of offering clients introductory offers. Rates range from $10-60/night depending on how many dogs and the type, compared to $35 – 95/night for a typical kennel.
Me: How does DogVacay make money?
Karine: We take a percentage of the host’s fee (between 5 and 10 percent). The more business a host gets, the lower that percentage goes. We want this to be very different from finding a stranger on Craigslist. Other sites actually don’t vet the spaces/people, whereas we do.
Me: What platforms are compatible with Dog Vacay?
Karine: It’s on the web and accessible to everyone. We are integrated with facebook and other social media sites, so that our community can continue to connect with one another on all things dog related. We also have several relationships with other compatible sites and companies.
Me: How can dog owners make sure that they are leaving their dogs with an appropriate, loving household? What tips can you offer dog owners to find dog sitters that are right for their dog?
Karine: Ultimately by having the choice of hundreds of approved hosts, you can take into consideration you and your dog’s needs to find them the perfect vacay. We’ve implemented online training, interviews, reference checks, and social media verifications to ensure that our hosts are of a certain caliber.
Furthermore, we encourage dog owners to meet hosts in their own home in advance, and even see if they have friends in common on Facebook.
Reviews, testimonials, and Dog Vacay ranking allow you to find the perfect dog lover to watch your dog. We take trust and safety very seriously.
Our money back guarantee, insurance coverage, and emergency support are some of the ways we have gone above and beyond to ensure the process of finding and providing care is stress free and easy.
The most important thing a dog owner can do is be honest and upfront about their dog’s needs. If the dog is anxious around other dogs, perhaps finding a host that only takes one dog at a time is the best choice.
If the dog is an untrained puppy, a host who specializes in training and can accommodate a younger dog would be appropriate. The options are endless and tailored to the unique needs of each dog.
Me: Where does Dog Vacay currently operate? Where do you expect Dog Vacay to expand to one year from now?
Dog Vacay is national [United States] and we are growing by word of mouth and actively recruiting wonderful dog lovers nationwide. If we don’t have enough hosts in your area, we encourage you to sign up and spread the word to other dog lovers you know and join our facebook and social media communities.
And of course we welcome you to apply to become a host, as our providers range from professional pet sitters with veterinary training to the casual dog lover who has been taking care of dogs for years.