Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dog Vacay: A Home Where Your Dog Can Stay While You're Away

Dog Vacay is a community marketplace where dog lovers come together to provide personalized care for their pets. The revolutionary service connects qualified local sitters with individual dogs’ needs – whether you want a one-bedroom apartment for your Chihuahua or a 10-acre ranch for your Greyhound, Dog Vacay provides the best host and environment for your dog. Users can book stays for their pets with confidence and peace of mind – The Dog Vacay Guarantee includes pet insurance, emergency veterinary care, 24/7 customer support, and photo updates. The service is currently available in most cities nationally and growing.

New marketplace eliminates anxiety of traditional dog boarding by matching qualified animal caregivers with the unique needs of each customer. Dog Vacay, the online marketplace that matches dog owners in need of pet-care services with amazing qualified animal caregivers, launches nationally and throughout Canada. With Dog Vacay's new service to find dogs local homes to stay when their owners are away, dog owners who travel are no longer forced to choose between a caged kennel or burdening a friend with the responsibility of pet-sitting.

Whether looking for a cozy one-bedroom for a Chihuahua or a 10-acre ranch for a Greyhound, Dog Vacay is the ideal solution for dog lovers searching for the right service at the right price. Home-based dog boarding can cost half the price of kennel boarding, and it’s a better experience for the dog. Dog Vacay’s comprehensive community of pre-qualified pet care providers on a user-friendly platform revolutionizes what was a typically cumbersome experience for dog owners.

Founded by a husband and wife team, Aaron Hirschhorn and Karine Nissim Hirschhorn, Dog Vacay was inspired by the desire to find a real home for dogs, so that their boarding experience is as much a vacation as their owner’s. The goal is fordog owners to feel good about dropping off their dogs for boarding, because they know they are leaving them in capable hands of fellow pet owners who will treat them with the same level of love and care as they give their own dogs.

Dog owners can sign up on DogVacay.com and book services with the peace of mind that comes with experienced hosts, photo updates, 24/7 support, and insurance coverage. In addition to boarding services, users can also find dog walkers, trainers, day-care, pet-sitting (in their own home), and other unique services like pet massage by calling the Dog Vacayconcierge.

Pet care providers can sign up for a free listing and enjoy the benefits of a nationwide marketing campaign to dog owners actively looking for boarding and care solutions. Hosts are a high-quality mix of professional pet-sitters with training, anddog lovers who have extensive experience caring for man’s best friend. The platform gives hosts complete control, from setting their own rates, deciding what dogs to host, and managing scheduling.

Hosts are vetted on multiple factors including user reviews, social network connections, online training, and interviews directly by Dog Vacay staff. For many hosts, such as retirees, professionals with flexible work-at-home schedules, or stay-at-home moms with dogs of their own, Dog Vacay presents the opportunity to make additional income doing what they already love, taking care of dogs.

“Dog Vacay inspires more than a dog-sitting placement service, it’s a community where the dedicated dog owner can find affordable, customizable and convenient ways to care for their best friend. Our company motto is ‘Why should humans have all the fun?’ because creating positive experiences for the dog is our mission,” said Aaron Hirschhorn, co-founder and CEO of Dog Vacay.

“Vacations were always overshadowed with the guilt of leaving our dogs, Rocky and Rambo, in a caged kennel where they may not get the attention they need. We believed there was a better way of caring for dogs, so we tested out the concept for Dog Vacay in our own home, and before we knew it, we had more clients than we could handle and decided to launch the Dog Vacay platform,” said Karine Nissim Hirschhorn, co-founder of Dog Vacay.

“Dog Vacay is a new way of solving an old problem that plagues every dog owner when they need to leave their pet for an extended period of time. Americans spend nearly $10 billion on pet boarding and other pet services, and yet it’s a process filled with anxiety because the majority of people’s only option is to cage their dog at a kennel. With the introduction of DogVacay, pet owners finally have a practical personalized solution to their pet care needs using the best of the social web – an engaged marketplace community layered over social network verifications and user reviews to pair dogs with caring qualified hosts. By establishing a trusted community of dog lovers, it’s inevitable the site will roll out other unique products and services,” said Michael Jones, CEO of Science, Inc., an investor and Board Member of Dog Vacay.

Additional highlights include:

* Host qualification verifications - Social media endorsements and user reviews; Dog Vacay interviews and background checks; professional certifications like pet first aid / CPR, and medical boarding. Facebook Connect allows you to see sitters with whom you have mutual friends.

* Insurance and medical care - Full insurance covering the dog (up to $25K) for a variety of emergencies. Hosts are offered additional insurance options at a reduced group rate if they don’t have an existing policy.
Partnership with VCA Animal Hospitals - Emergency pet care (if necessary) will be provided through a preferred partnership with VCA Animal Hospitals, the largest network of free standing veterinary hospitals in the country.

* Regular status updates - Pet-sitters send regular photo and video updates via email or MMS to the clients, which can then be shared with the Dog Vacay community and across social networks.
Peace of mind - Dog Vacay understands that sometimes pictures, testimonials, verifications, reviews, and recommendations are not enough -- sometimes you just want to meet someone the old fashioned way before leaving your dog. After users book their stay, they can arrange for an in-person “meet & greet” before committing.

* Affordable - With Dog Vacay’s hosts setting their own prices, you have the option of finding a large variety of rates that won’t add up to more than your actual vacation.

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  2. As a host person I had a really bad experience with this company. I never received notification emails from them when I had people ask for my service (and yes I checked my spam, inbox, and even trash.) I contacted them and they did respond promptly telling me emails had been sent but I still (after checking multiple times) never received any. However, I did receive the email informing me that they were suspending my account for being non-responsive. It was very upsetting to me that I ignored two people asking for my help. I missed out on the opportunity to make some extra money and also make connections in my community. My reputation was also marred by this company because I was unable to respond to people who I had no idea had contacted me. I think this is a great idea but there are obviously some kinks that need to be worked out on the companies side. I plan on canceling my account.