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Our Story


Our Story

“I just couldn’t bear to think of my dalmatian Bronte missing out on her normal routine of walks, treats and cuddles”

Established in 2000, Barking Mad is a leading provider of one-to-one dog home boarding services (dog holidays) and has over 60 franchisees nationwide.

Barking Mad was launched in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria in May 2000 by Lee Dancy, as an alternative to kennels. After booking a trip to America and needing pet care, Lee had great difficulty in finding an alternative to traditional kennels. Dog boarding kennels was not an option for Lee’s nervous dog who needed care, affection and reassurance while she was away.

Research showed that there was a demand for something different and so she set about creating a whole new concept. Soon after the business launch in 2000, Barking Mad began to receive enquires from all over the UK, so in year 2, Barking Mad became a franchise business.

In 2016, Barking Mad became part of the Franchise Brands plc group joining existing franchisors ChipsAway, Ovenclean, Metro Rod, Metro Plumb and Willow Pumps.

Today, as pioneers of Dog Home Boarding, Barking Mad is the longest established and largest pet care franchise in the UK, with intentional presence in the Republic of Ireland. Local Barking Mad branches organise all aspects of the dog boarding service, including matching the dogs to the appropriate hosts, collection and delivery of the dogs, and customer communications. So, customers enjoy peace of mind with a professional service that focuses on the individual needs of every dog.

At Barking Mad we are passionate about dogs experiencing and enjoying a relaxing, fun and memorable holiday whilst away from home. Although our behind-the-scenes technology, support and systems have all moved with the times, the core principals of the business remain the same.

Today Barking Mad is a robust business which has continued to grow, even during the recession.

We’ve received some amazing PR including interviews with Chris Evans, News Night, BBC Working Lunch, The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Express, The Guardian as well as several glossy magazines.

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