Say good-bye to that scary, pee-covered kennel and go on vacation with peace of mind, knowing that your pet is safe and enjoying their own vacation in a loving home.
Online dog-sitting communities have been popping up all over the US. One such community, DogVacay, has been so popular that it just raised $25 million, bringing its total venture funding to $47 million, Fortune reports.
DogVacay, founded in 2012, is known as the “Airbnb for dogs” because it lets dog owners avoid kennels the way the Airbnb lets tourists skip hotels.
Pet owners can hire sitters that will either care for animals at the owner’s home or at the sitter’s. Hosts can also offer dog walking, cat sitting, grooming and other services through the website.
The company has over 20,000 registered pet sitters and last month, the site surpassed 1 million bookings. DogVacay keeps 15% of hosts’ charges, which range from $20 to $70 per night for boarding.
Some hosts have created full-time jobs out of this site. Pet-sitter Michael Lam told CNBC he started working with DogVacay when he was a programmer for Goldman Sachs. He’s now a full-time dog host and certified dog trainer.
“DogVacay has paid out millions of dollars to its 11,000 hosts across more than 2,500 cities in the U.S. and Canada,” DogVacay spokeswoman Corinna Pieloch told Business Insider.
“The U.S. pet services market is $11 billion annually and surprisingly there are 78 million dogs in the U.S. more dogs than there are kids (73 million).”
The kennel alternative industry is fetching a lot of interest these days. Rover.com, a DogVacay rival founded in 2011, has raised more than $25 million so far.