How does a beachfront weekend in South Beach for only $50 a night sound to you? Not into surf and sand? What about a five-star hotel in Coconut Grove, surrounded by parks and lush mangroves, for $40 a night?
Oh, and by the way, these vacation spots aren't for you. They're for your dog.
Dog Vacay is a dogsitting service set to launch May 23 in Miami, providing bed and breakfast listings for the city's canine companions. Now, instead of feeling guilty as sin going on a cruise and leaving Fido in some crate at the vet, you can sail away knowing your furry friend's hanging out in a real home away from home.
But it's not just a bonus for the pups; dog-lovers can earn cash on the side by signing up to care for the dogs through the site, too.
Dog Vacay owners Aaron
and Karine Hirschhorn founded the company after leaving their dogs
Rocky and Rambo at a kennel while they traipsed around on their honeymoon.
The new family was apparently so traumatized after the experience that they decided to open their homes to friends' pets in return for the same
favor. After a year, the business grew as fast as the fur on a Maltese,
and Dog Vacay was born. The site is already up and running in Los
Angeles and New York.
the official Miami launch isn't for another two weeks, it already boasts 200 hosts waiting to share their home and chew toys with your
pup. According to the company, each host fills out a questionnaire with
the company and undergoes a short vetting (pun intended) process.
"We call references
and check their online status," says a PR rep for the company. Dog Vacay
will allow the diligent doggie mom or dad to conduct their own
interviews via email or phone. You can even schedule a "home visit"
before dropping your pup off.
The best part is searching the
site, which reads like an Airbnb for dogs. A search for vacay hosts in
Miami reads like a hybrid of a dating service and Hotels.com.
One listing promises "Fun Puppy Times" with their dog Taquito in a "small and cozy" home for $25 a night. Another attracts granola-loving hounds with an organic homestay for $30 per night, including a bath should Digger get dirty. Some are a little creepy, like Jessica F's "Dog Lover Seeking Dogs :)" post luring unsuspecting little pups in with promises of dog toys and "tons of attention."
Creepy or not, all Dog Vacay stays include emergency vet insurance, daily photos of your
dog enjoying the sun and chasing lizards, and, the site claims, 100 percent human and dog
Seems like the only thing you have to worry about
the next time you go out of town is that Fido likes his host home better than the studio
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rental he lives in with you. Maybe it's time to upgrade the cable to
include Animal Planet, after all.