Talking tech since 2003

If you’re a dog owner like me, your furry family members mean the world to you but they can also make life a bit complicated — for example, when you need to travel. I don’t like to hassle family or friends to watch my dog, Lily, so I often leave her at a kennel owned by family friends because I trust she’ll be taken care of there. Unfortunately, that kennel is a 30 minute drive into an adjacent county. Not very local.

dog-vacayMy problem is one that a service called DogVacay is looking to solve. But can it?

DogVacay has existed on the Web since March 2012, but recently launched a mobile app for iOS that helps dog owners find willing and able dog sitters in their local area. Users of the app can sift through the list of available dog sitters, check out profiles and read reviews to get an idea of who they might be leaving their dog with. And, on the flip side, those who are interested in making some extra money watching dogs can sign up and list themselves on DogVacay.

There’s a 90-second video clip that explains the service in greater detail below.

Not only is the level of care important to those who place their dogs in boarding facilities while on a trip, but price plays a factor, as well. On DogVacay, rates start at $25 per night, which is actually $8 more per day than I pay to leave Lily at Country Lane Kennels in New Bloomfield.

The convenience of finding someone local might make that extra money worthwhile, but that $25 rate is just a starting point. Dog boarders are free to charge more and there’s no guarantee that your dog will have other dogs to hang out with and play with. That rate does include pet insurance, 24/7 support and daily photo updates from the person watching your dog.

I tried to give the site a run-through on my own — I’m hoping to take a trip sometime in late November / early December — but I experienced some issues. Downloading the DogVacay app asked me to login with my current account and gave me no option to create one from the app. When I went to the DogVacay website to create an account, I was unable to access the account creation page. Basically, my attempt to vet the service (+1 Shawn) hit a brick wall.

You’re more than welcome to try and register on DogVacay yourself and then try out the service’s new iOS app, which is now available in the App Store. If you’re able to sign up and try things out, let us know what you think.

Update:

dog-vacay-appNever underestimate technology’s ability to make you feel foolish. After hitting publish on this post, I opened the App Store on my iPhone and noticed that an update was available for, you guessed it, DogVacay. For some reason, the App Store allowed me to download an older version of the app, which was updated yesterday. The updated version does let you create an account right from the app and I was able to do so.

I was also able to browse through the listings of nearby dog sitters. I’ve included a screenshot to the right.


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