Any one used Barking Mad dog care? I have a query.

(36 Posts)
ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 14:29:22

I signed up to Barking Mad at the end of last year as i need care for my 6yo Lab for almost 2 weeks in the summer. My DP usually look after her for us but they are coming away with us. Barking Mad seems the best solution.

Dog is to go for her trial stay for 2 nights very soon. I understood this would be with the family she will be staying with in the summer so they could see how she gets on etc. I e mailed the BM co-ordinator yesterday asking when i might get details of where she is going. Here was the response:

"We only inform customers at the time of collection as we do not want any disappointment should things change. However, as it is DDog's first holiday with us, I will send you the intended hosts details tomorrow when I'm back in the office."

Is this suggesting that the family she has the trial with may not be the one she stays with for the longer period? I want her to go with people i have met and can trust. There is no way i will hand her over to strangers at the point of collection. I do understand they are strangers the first time but that is only 2 nights and my parents will be on hand should there be issues.

Am i being all a bit precious here? Anyone know how it works from first hand experience?

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BiteyShark Tue 19-Feb-19 15:31:59

I don't know anything about the company but I would want to know the address and meet them beforehand and not at the time of the collection. That response would send me running.

Personally I would be looking for another local boarder. Lots of dog walkers do home boarding near me so maybe have a google and see what other options may be available locally.

ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 15:49:46

Bitey Thanks for replying. I have paid for this trial and i will have the hosts details before she goes. If when she is collected i don't feel happy i won't send her and she will go to my DP's for the night away we have booked. I can then look for an alternative for the summer. I would like to give this a chance as the service gets great reviews. But i want to have met the hosts before she goes for a longer period. I don't want random strangers to turn up and take my dog away.

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daffydowndilys Tue 19-Feb-19 16:06:34

I think the whole Barking Mad thing is crazy. There is no way I would let my dog go off somewhere I don't know with people I don't know.

Find a better sitter.

missbattenburg Tue 19-Feb-19 16:12:54

There have been some dodgy reports of the service on here before, I seem to recall. Maybe someone will come along with first hand experience but there isn't any way in this world Battendog would be picked up by someone he and I didn't already know well.

There is just no way this business model can be operated with the dog's best interests at heart, imo.

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 19-Feb-19 16:20:18

I have never used Barking Mad, we have found terrific walkers and boarders through Tailster in the past which has always been great, you can meet up with as many people as you want, go and see where tje dogs will be staying a few times etc. The costs are really reasonable as well and the people are lovely.

ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 16:22:45

Oh please don't say that! Now i am getting worried.

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BiteyShark Tue 19-Feb-19 16:24:13

When you say they get collected do you not go to the boarders house?

ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 16:28:15

No they collect from your house and bring them back. This was one aspect i was a bit surprised by.

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ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 16:28:42

I have signed up for Tailster so will see how that goes.

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NoSquirrels Tue 19-Feb-19 16:35:59

I used them last year, OP, and my dog was absolutely A-OK.

Same situation as you pretty much - parents usually have her, but they were coming on holiday with us, booked at relatively short notice, and so we needed a solution.

We had a long chat with the chap who collects the dogs, returns them and is on call for queries whilst you are away for both you and the boarder.

He showed me lots of profiles of boarders on their lists, along with their dog experience - we explained we wanted her as an only dog, as that's what she's used to - and they matched us perfectly. They had a lot of retiree couples who don't want a dog fulltime anymore but have loads of experience.

When she went it was for just about 10 days and we got send a few photos by text, a diary from them when returned, and the Barking Mad guy contacted us with a tiny query about a mark on her underarm via the boarders on Day 2.

She's going back for a long weekend this March. Different couple, as the original boarders have recently got a puppy and we decided in consultation with Barking Mad that it probably wouldn't be a good idea. I have the details of who she'll be staying with - not the address, but a profile of them, whereabouts they live, photos of their house and garden.

I suspect it depends on your franchise. Ours I would recommend 100%.

My DC were particularly worried, and so they really did look after us by sending photos specifically for the DC to show her all tucked up with her teddy at bedtime!

Charges are a bit steeper than other options locally but I like the ability to specify she'll be a single dog which is often not the case with other boarders.

BiteyShark Tue 19-Feb-19 16:37:57

I wouldn't be comfortable with that at all. I want to be able to see exactly where they are going to be staying.

The problem for me is doing this through a third party. You can get a pretty good idea of the person and how comfortable you feel by talking to them directly ahead of time. If you are doubtful are you really going to pull out on collection or hand her over and worry the whole time.

ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 16:38:50

Thanks NoSquirrels That is helpful. We too have asked for no other dogs in the home. I will see how things pan out.

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NoSquirrels Tue 19-Feb-19 16:40:06

I think actually one of the things I felt reassured by was that if for some reason the placement didn't work out - unlikely, but you never know - that the Barking Mad chap would pick up and have her stay with them for the remainder of the stay. If you don't have anyone else you can trust for back-up in that situation it gave me peace of mind.

If she'd been at a different home boarder and didn't settle, and they needed her to leave (not getting on with other dogs, say) then our options for picking her up would have been really limited - I don't trust my ILs with her! And other friends either don't have/don't like dogs, or wouldn't be suitable for a variety of reasons.

Hoppinggreen Tue 19-Feb-19 16:41:39

I looked into it and couldn’t believe that people would happily send their dog off without having any idea where they were going.
Our dog home boarder sends me photos most days as well as posting them in her FB page. I have been to her house plenty of times and she’s been to ours. There is zero chance of me just handing him over and paying extra for collection and delivery that I don’t want
Plus they charge a hell of a lot more than any other dog boarder round here

Froggyface Tue 19-Feb-19 16:41:47

I enquired about this service and was absolutely flabbergasted that they insist on collecting your dog, which they charge you for and it’s sent to an unknown destination with people that you have never met before.
There is no way I would use them, no matter how desperate I was.

anniehm Tue 19-Feb-19 16:42:01

We found a local small kennels on a farm, we thought it was safer though normally he goes to my parents or dd watches him now. We haven't got on with dog walkers etc he doesn't do other dogs!

ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 16:42:40

My DP's will be around during the trial so not worried about that. My DB will probably be around during the holiday. His DW is a bit allergic to dogs so they can't have her for that period but in an emergency i think they would work something out.

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NoSquirrels Tue 19-Feb-19 16:45:29

I don't think I'd like the idea I didn't know ahead of time who she was staying with, though. We definitely had a confirmation that "She'll be having a lovely time with Jean and John who live in This Village in a house with a large secure garden. They've had dogs for years - Labradors particularly - and have been hosting for Barking Mad for 5 years" sort of thing.

I understood that if something came up with Jean and John then of course they might need to change the plans - as would anyone if there was an emergency - but it definitely felt very booked in on both sides that both Jean & John and I knew that was the plan, and I wouldn't like the idea it wasn't as definite as possible.

The way your organiser phrases it sounds like they might juggle more bookings than they have hosts for?

Froggyface Tue 19-Feb-19 16:45:36

P.S I wouldn’t do anything based on reviews, when FB I stalked my local one, it was him, his wife and lots of people on his friends list who had posted them.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Tue 19-Feb-19 16:46:01

There's no way in HELL I would send my dog off with strangers to fuck only knows where. NEVER EVER EVER. I honestly cannot believe any dog owner would be ok with this?! Are there no decent dog sitters or kennels in your area?

Froggyface Tue 19-Feb-19 16:48:45

Very different to trust pilot, not a very professional response from the Barking Mad social media team m.

ApolloandDaphne Tue 19-Feb-19 16:51:04

I have used some kennels a few years back but this time they didn't answer the phones, return messages or reply to e mails this time so not much else i could do. The other kennels i know of don't get a good name. I also think my dog would prefer to be in a home rather than kennels. I still have time to sort something if i am not happy with BM.

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NoSquirrels Tue 19-Feb-19 16:52:15

Thing is, Hodge, I couldn't put my dog in kennels - and we considered it, and visited a lovely one on recommendation - because she's a rescue and it would have been unbelievably stressful for her.

Local boarders all have multiple dogs at once - and because it's always school holidays of course they do, everyone wants to be away then. And my dog is fine with other dogs visiting etc but she is people-focused and finds sharing attention difficult after a while so I didn't think that was best for her.

Then we were left with housesitter in our home, but that was really expensive. Barking Mad were really reassuring and allayed my worries on experience of the people she'd be staying with.

So it worked for us. But I am sure it really depends on your local franchise and how they run it - much like anything else, it's all about the people in the end.

Froggyface Tue 19-Feb-19 16:52:54

What about asking on local FB groups in your area? I don’t use kennels either but found a couple of people who were recommended to me by this method.

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