Insurance and Secure Payments for hosts and owners:
DogVacay is great since they offer insurance for both the hosts and the dog owners plus a ton of great resources to learn the best ways to be a good host and make your home safe and comfortable for your guest dogs. I got to choose which services I would offer and also set my own pricing. DogVacay handles all the payment processing and takes just a small fee from each transaction. The dog owner pays as soon as they book with me and I receive payment within a day after the end of their stay.
Online Booking and Meet 'n' Greets:
Another great feature they have is an easy to use booking calendar. Dog owners can view my profile and view my calendar to see my availability. I can easily update the calendar at any time so it's easy for owners to know when I am available and eliminate a lot of back and forth communication. The site will also only allow hosts to have a max of 3 dogs booked at one time which I think is a great rule. With my 3 senior kids at home, I have my own personal rule that I will only host 1-2 dogs from the same family at a time. When I have someone booked to stay with me, I mark those dates unavailable. I don't have a large home and having 3 separate dogs in addition to my own would likely be too stressful on everyone.
In order to make sure the dogs are comfortable in my home and with my other dogs, DogVacay offers "Meet and Greet" requests. The owners can request to stop by our home or meet at a nearby park to make sure they are comfortable with me and my dogs and I am also comfortable with them and their dog(s). If things don't seem like they are going to work out but that owner still tries to book with me, I still have full right to reject their booking and give a reason why.
I also have loved their mobile app and use that almost exclusively for communication with dog owners that are inquiring about my services. I get push notifications of any new inquiries or booking requests so that I am able to respond immediately. Before responding, I can also view profile information of the dogs that would be boarded with me so that I can ask any necessary questions about their needs and/or behavior.
I think the best feature of the mobile app is the Photo Updates. While a dog is at my house, I can use the app to take photos or videos and send them directly to the owner. I try to do this on a daily basis if not more. To me, this is a very important thing to do to keep in touch with the dog's owner and let them know their pup is doing OK and having fun!
They also have a great FAQ center for both hosts and dog owners along with a phone number to contact them directly with questions, concerns or issues that may come up during the vacay.
What a blast this guy was! I just had him for the day while his owner had a long day of studying to do for college. He was just a pup at 6 months old and wanted nothing more than to run around the yard and play tug of war with his leash. He tried all day to make our senior dog Ruger wrestle with him and definitely had him tuckered out by the end of the day!
She is as sweet as she looks in this picture. This was her first stay with a DogVacay host and she was with us for a week while her owner traveled home for the holidays. After the first day, she was just like another one of the pack. None of our dogs have ever played with toys so it was fun getting to play fetch in the backyard with her in the freshly fallen snow.