Like Airbnb for pets, DogVacay is an online platform, connecting owners and pet sitters across the country.
No fret pet sitting
It's always a Catch 22. While you're looking forward to your vacation, it's dampened by anxiety about what to do with your pet while you're away. You don't want to leave your best furry friend with your irresponsible neighbor or cramped in a boarding kennel with 100 other dogs. But the nearest cageless kennel is over 50 miles away and it costs more than your hotel!
That's where DogVacay comes into the equation, letting you browse for animal lovers in your local area. Hire someone to come to your home while you're away or send pets on their own vacation. Either way, you can go on trips guilt-free, knowing your pet is being looked after with frequent walks, belly rubs and maybe even some friends to play with.
Sitters/hosts could be anything from a family with lots of pets of their own to a professional dog trainer, a young couple on a practice run, or an older couple who will treat them like their own grandkids. You can stay in touch with the sitter throughout your pet's stay to see what your precious is up to.
Prices start at $20 per night, with many options in the $25–40 range. This includes free pet insurance, 24/7 customer support, and daily photo updates. That's pretty cheap when you compare it to boarding houses that often charge twice as much for much less personalized care.
Get paid doing what comes naturally
If hanging out with dogs sounds less like a chore and more like a walk in the park, pet sitting or hosting may be just the job for you. While the majority of pets on the site are dogs, you can also offer services for cats, rabbits, ferrets, birds or whatever other furry friends you are willing to care for.
Hosting has many benefits, allowing you to earn a stress-free and flexible income doing just what you love. Not only do you get to hang out with cute doggies, but you also have the freedom to choose your own hours, set your pay rate, and work on your own terms. Many hosts also say the job helps them stay fit and spend more time with family.
To become a host, simply set up a free profile on DogVacay listing your services, experience and rate, and the site will start sending clients your way. You can choose which pets you accept, and if you get into trouble, the DogVacay Host Community Team is there to back you up.
Show me the money
How much you earn is completely up to you. You set your own rate between $15 and $100 per animal per night, with DogVacay allowing you to book up to three dogs at a time. This can add up to quite a sum of cash once you've built up your reputation, and many pet sitters and hosts run DogVacay as a full-time job.
Of course, how many requests you get will depend on the quality of your profile, where you live, your rate and your credibility based on badges and feedback. According to DogVacay, the best profiles include lots of photos of you, your home, and your yard and a full description of your experience, what a typical day with you entails, and your own pups.
DogVacay handles payments electronically, so you're guaranteed to get paid on time the first business day after the vacation ends via PayPal or check. So just set it up and watch the money flow in!
Other options for your pooch and pocket
In a similar vein, BorrowMyDoggy (UK) and City Dog Share (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland Seattle Metro and Humboldt County) are matchmaking services connecting dog owners who need a hand caring for dogs with people who want some tail wagging in their life but can't have a pet of their own.
This is a guest post by Katie from Villa de las Rosas, Argentina