My husband and I rescued a pup, Theo, from the SPCA last year, not totally thinking through the fact that we like to travel and would have another pre-vacay to-do to now worry about: finding somewhere for the pup. We've done the kennel thing a few times and Theo always comes back exhausted with no voice. We've also had family members pet-sit him but that's quite the ordeal as well. And bringing Fido isn't always an option – have you ever stayed in a pet-friendly hotel room that has housed possibly hundreds of dogs? It can be like staying in a kennel yourself… 'nuff said.
Then I was reading a few articles online the other day and came across one on CNN about these two new websites where dog owners can be matched up with other dog owners who can watch your pet for you while you're away. One site was started by a dog-loving couple who decided to host dogs with traveling owners in their home – there was an incredible demand for their services, which culminated in the launch of DogVacay.com last month. The other site is Rover.com, which originated in Seattle and was launched last month, and currently has more than 10,000 people who have signed up for the service. Customers can pay through the sites and even try out pre-stay visits with potential pet-sitters.
It's such a fantastic idea! I know I would feel a whole lot better (and a whole lot less guilty) if I was leaving Theo with fellow "dog people" while going away on vacation. They get the love and attention they need, regular exercise, and surroundings that are a lot more like home, making it less of a traumatic transition.