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Book a Homestay for Your Pet with Canine Couch-Surfing Site Dog Vacay

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Cordey

A new Web site, Dog Vacay, allows you to arrange a home away from home for your dog while you’re on vacation, rather than boarding her in a kennel.

Just like a couch-surfing (or dating) site, you can read potential doggy hosts’ profiles and look at their photos, and e-mail them or even meet in person beforehand. Hosts go through a screening process and submit applications that are reviewed by Dog Vacay, but to make sure a host is really up to snuff, you can choose one that has been interviewed by phone by Dog Vacay, has premium dog insurance, has completed an online instructional course and has positive user reviews.

The site also provides emergency veterinary care and pet insurance and sends you photo updates of your dog while he’s on his “vacay”.

Only two months in, the site doesn’t yet have many reviews of hosts and its hosts in Canada outside of Toronto and Vancouver are next to zero. But it’ll likely be popular with pet owners. You could even potentially use this while on vacation in the city you’re visiting, if you just want a day away from pooch or a night out.

Fees start at $15 per night, though hosts with more experience or who specialize in animals with special needs might charge more. In comparison, dog boarding at a kennel or with a home-stay service in Toronto averages around $40 for basic boarding, often with extra fees for walks and individual play time.

The Associated Press reports that the site has been popular thus far and its founders may launch similar services for other types of pets, including cats, hamsters and snakes.

 

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