According to a recent survey by the American Automobile Association and Best Western International, 51% of Americans choose to take their pets on vacation with them whenever they can. Whether you fall into that category, or the category that believes that Fluffy would be happier at home, a host of new services have cropped up in the last two years to help you out.
If you want to leave Fluffy home:
Two new websites, DogVacay.com and Rover.com, have taken the AirBnB model and are applying it to dog-sitting. Banking on the concept that it is more affordable than a kennel AND more comfortable for the dogs, these companies aim to match dog-owners with pet hosts. Both screen hosts and then list them by profile. Pet owners can than browse the profiles and search based on criteria such as whether you want 24/7 supervision or a home with other dogs. DogVacay launched in March 2012 and has over 150 cities in its roster, including New York City and Los Angeles. Rover.com launched in November 2011 and currently operates in 52 cities including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Boston. Prices range depending on what hosts want to charge, but a quick search in New York City suggests that the prices on both sites are comparable—you're looking at from $30 to 50 per night on average.
If you can't envision a vacation without Fluffy:
Traveling with Fluffy? Check out Pet Hotels of America. The site, which launched in March 2011, is one of the first companies to let you search—and book—pet-friendly hotels directly from their website. They currently operate out of 17 cities and represent 25,000 pet-friendly hotels (in some cases they've worked with the hotels to secure special discounts for pet owners). The site is also a great resource for pet-owners, with pages that list airline policies for pet travel as well as location-specific info such as pet-friendly gardens, pet hospitals, and on-and-off-leash beaches.
Have you tried any of these services? If so, tell us what you think below.
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