Going on vacation when you have pets always poses a dilemma. Unless you have family or friends who will take your dog in and treat them like their own, you are faced with the unappealing task of placing your beloved pet in a kennel.
Aaron and Karine Nissim Hirschhorn of Santa Monica set out to find a solution to that exact problem and in the process created a fabulous business where dogs can stay with a host family while owners are away. DogVacay is a website that sets up owners and host families for a fee, like a kennel. The big difference is that the host families will treat your dog as you do, no cages or kennels involved. And it has all the bases covered.
Owners can rent GPS-enabled dog collars if they want to track their pets constantly.
The website lists host bios, specifics on what types of dogs they will take in, location, home photos, prices, availability, and reviews. It also ”provides insurance (up to $25,000 per animal) for emergencies, the company has a partnership with VCA Animal Hospitals and owners can rent GPS-enabled dog collars if they want to track their pets constantly.”
Most owners do call and email their host families regularly to check up on their dog. About a third of the hosts are professional animal caretakers and the rest are people who love dogs and spend more time at home, such as retirees and stay at home moms. Ninety percent of the hosts have dogs of their own.
The Hirschhorns had no idea if they would make any money from this endeavor but they knew that a need was there. Through the website, they were able to pay for their wedding and quit their day jobs after launching the business. They say they plan to expand the hosting services beyond just dogs. Eventually, they will cater to cats, iguanas, birds, hamsters, rabbits and snakes.
Would you prefer to send your precious pup to a host family, rather than a kennel? Or do you think that a kennel is fine as long as dogs get regular walks and time outside of the cage each day?
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