New Yorkers scrambling to find a place to put their dogs before jet-setting now have the option to set their loved ones up with a local, pet-friendly paradise all their own.
California-based startup Dog Vacay, created by husband and wife team Aaron Hirschhorn and Karine Nissim Hirschhorn, opened shop in the city on Monday and are hoping to pair New York canines with "dog lovers, dog owners and pet-care providers" from a vetted marketplace for owners to choose from when traveling.
Nervous about leaving your dog at a strange residence?
Rather than stuffing your dog in overcrowded kennels or cashing in on IOU's from reluctant friends, Dog Vacay ensures a trusted alternative through a series of verification steps that include checking out your social media accounts, online training, interviews, and even personal meetups to quell the fears of hesitant owners.
In exchange, animal lovers who are too busy or afraid to own a pet get to play with your dog for a weekend! Win win.
The pet-care providers can either be professional sitters who do this already as their primary source of income and have certifications and training, as well as more casual dog lovers -- people who have grown up with dogs, want to watch a dog or two in their home and maybe make little extra money, or who don't have enough time to have a dog but on weekends can watch dogs...And we interview them, vet them -- there's a system of reviews and feedback. They set their own rates and decide what kind of dogs they want to watch at what time. Then customers browse, schedule and book online.
The company launched back in March and already has 400 hosts enlisted in New York, with 1,500 eager dog lovers waiting approval.
As for the business model, Hirschhorn says providers choose their own rates which tend to range from $15-$100 a night, and Dog Vacay takes a 3- to 10-percent cut. Owners are encouraged to rate the providers, and depending on the overall review, providers can receive lower transaction fees.
We sifted through potential vacations for your pooch in the NYC area. Check a few of our favorites below: