Becoming a Dog Vacay Host
We're trucking along with DogWeek right here on this blog, so I wanted to tell you about how I became a DogVacay host!
If you're not familiar with DogVacay, it is a great alternative to boarding your dog in a kennel. You can search their listings for awesome sitters, see their credentials, and learn about their dogs. I like that if I have to go out of town, I can see who could be watching my dog, what type of dog(s) they have, their credentials (more on this later), and any reviews. I know that my dog will get personal service, won't be in a crate all day, and can have playtime with other dogs. And sometimes it's cheaper!
Now that I'm working from home, I've noticed more than ever how much Nico sleeps. And sleeps. And sleeps. So he doesn't move very much. When it came time to figure out how to make a little extra money, prevent Nico from fusing with the couch, and giving him buddies to play with, the answer was clear. I will bring the dogs to me.
I decided to see what it takes to be a DogVacay host. The great thing is that you have to jump through a few hoops to get there. It sounds tedious, but that's how you know that each sitter is legit. I filled out a profile, and when it wasn't approved, I worked with the DogVacay team to get it up to par. I got references, I took the DogVacay 101 courses, and I did a phone interview. The DogVacay team takes extra care to make sure that their hosts are the real deal, so you can feel comfortable knowing that your host has gone through a vetting process.
Almost as soon as my profile was approved and full of badges, I got my first reservation request!
Nugget's owners needed to go out of town last minute, so his owner requested we set up a meet and greet. Meet and greets are a great way of making sure the dogs get along and a good opportunity to talk to the owner(s) about the guest dog. We met outside of a dog park to get the two acquainted, and when they were comfortable, they played at the dog park. It was great! The owner and I got along really well and it was clear that Nico and Nugget would be buddies.
Once the meet and greet went well, I accepted the request and prepared for Nugget's arrival in a few days.
Within a few more days, I got another request for Murphy, a mixed lab puppy. I couldn't believe I got another request so quickly, but I made sure to check with Nugget's owners that it was fine to have another guest dog. She trusted my judgement, and thankfully Murphy would get to meet both Nugget and Nico during our meet and greet. Once again, I accepted the booking.
So I spent the weekend with three dogs. I'm not gonna lie - at times it was crazy and I didn't get much sleep. But most times I loved having other dogs around and giving Nico some buddies to play with. I think this whole experience so far has been great. The DogVacay team is really there for you, so far the dog owners I've met and their dogs have been great, and Nico is just hamming it up. We've gone on long walks, they ran around my parents' big yard, and I've gotten lots of dog kisses and cuddles.
I'm looking forward to hosting more dogs. The only thing I wish I had was a big yard for them to play in!
So are you thinking about sending your pet on a DogVacay? I'm a packleader now, so if you use my link, you can save $10 off your first booking. There is no obligation to book through me to get the credit, so you can use this to book your dog's visit no matter where you live. I do get a nice bonus out of it, so I'd appreciate the help. :)
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Where do you normally send your dog when you go away? Have you used DogVacay before? Would you consider becoming a host?
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