Dog Vacay: Pet Care Alternative Launches

Dog Vacay, an online marketplace that matches dog owners in need of pet-care services with amazing qualified animal caregivers, launched yesterday in Los Angeles and San Francisco and expects to expand to other parts of the country rapidly. This new service finds local homes where dogs can stay while their owners are away, so 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 for dog 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 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 Vacay concierge.

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, and dog 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 and credit card payments.

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 Dog Vacay, 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.

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities


  1. Jacki says on  03/03/2012 at 12:59 am

    Please ask Dog Vacay to feel free to contact me when they are ready to open their East Coast/Atlanta chapter, and I’ll help spearhead & launch :-)

  2. Would love to run your Texas or Southern region. I will foward my resume or google me. I will look you up on Linkedin

  3. Cute Shar Pei

  4. Shirley says on  03/05/2012 at 5:18 am

    I wish I could find people I could trust to care for my doggy when we go away. We rely on friends and have 1 emergency carer…..but finding someone who you KNOW will care for and love your pet as much as you do is a nightmare. I worry so much about leaving her…..we end up just not going away as much as I would like to.

  5. Carol says on  03/05/2012 at 6:10 am

    Actually, boarding in a home setting costs more-not less-than a kennel due to the special attention and lower number of dogs. You get what you pay for.

  6. If you live near me we could always dogsit for you. Just one thing though you can’t tell our dogs that they are dogs!! They are our 4 legged kids!! Our sons say oh that’s nice what does that make us!!!!

  7. Janet says on  03/05/2012 at 7:10 am

    I use a kennel. Maybe not the best solution, but I would hate having my pet get out the door in a strange neighborhood and get lost. But!

  8. Janet says on  03/05/2012 at 7:11 am

    Sorry, I am sure the pets would prefer a home environment. But what if they marked? They are expected to mark at a kennel.

  9. Ann says on  03/05/2012 at 8:28 am

    I work at a kennel/doggie daycare and the dogs that come to us are treated like our own dogs. The owner is extremely careful about who she hires, being a dog person is an absolute job requirement. I know my niece, who owns a daycare/kennel is the same way. We work with dogs because of our love of dogs. Sadly though, I have seen other kennels who don’t operate the same way. To them a dog is nothing more than a payday. It’s always a good idea to do a pre-visit of any daycare/kennel you leave your dog at. Look for cleanliness, pet interaction, facilities willing to work with your dog on training, one to one interaction, exercise, frequency of out of kennel playtime, socialization with other dogs, quick help from nearby vet just to name a few. And don’t be afraid to ask for specific items or care. If you want your dog to have a nap and treat at noon…request that. A good facility wants to make your dogs stay as pleasant as possible.

  10. Good idea! Sadie

  11. Sounds like a great idea!

  12. Dori says on  07/09/2013 at 9:40 pm

    DogVacay is especially great for us stay at home moms/dog lovers to make a little extra money for our families, while doing something we love. I was so excited to create Dori’s Doggie Domain in FL. They have hosts all around the U.S & Canada. Forget the kennel, and see if there is a host near you. You can use my coupon code DORIDOGDOMAIN for $10 off your 1st booking, even if it’s not with me :) *No Expiration*

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