Airbnb Is Going to the Dogs

Holidog offers peer-to-peer pet services for kennel-wary owners

Holidog lets your pets take their cat naps in someone's home rather than a kennel.

Holidog lets your pet take his catnap in someone's home rather than a kennel.     Photo: darak77/ThinkStock

If the thought of leaving your four-legged friend in a kennel is enough to keep you from traveling, get ready to pack your bags. Holidog has set up shop in the United States.

First launched in France and Belgium in 2012 by Julien Muller, Holidog enables purrsonalized peer-to-peer pet care. As with home-rental service Airbnb, prospective pet owners can search by travel dates and location to find someone willing to look after dogs, cats, mice, and even horses—in their own homes or with the pet sitter's family. 

Letting a complete stranger get his or her claws on your beloved pet and credit card information is no simple task. Even before owners and sitters interview each other, they can determine if they're barking up the wrong tree. Sitters set up profiles specifying whether they already have pets, if they have kids, if they smoke, and even what type of property they own. 

Moreover, Holidog offers options that make it useful even when pet owners are in town. If you're busy with work, some hosts are willing to stop by and exercise a pet, feed it, or simply keep it company. 

To hold people responsible and ensure better care, pet parents and pet sitters alike publicly rate each other. Those ratings follow you, as owners can expand their search options to include a minimum number of reviews and average scores. More than that, the people watching your pet typically live close to you—they've got plenty of reasons to make sure Fang gets quality attention.

From our recent interaction with the Holidog website, it seems that the company's supply of stateside pet sitters is still relatively sparse, and those it does have are heavily concentrated in cities such as Chicago and New York City. However, Holidog already has a sizeable Facebook presence (largely French) and an active reviewing community.

Interested in meeting lovable pets in your neighborhood and earning cash at the same time? Sign up to become a pet sitter on the Holidog website.

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