Barking Mad Wigan, St Helens, North Warrington Dog Sitting Local News

Wigan Dog Sitting Local News February 2019

Mollie Milo Borsdane Wood Barking Mad Dog Sitting Home Boarding Wigan Sam Evans

Mollie Milo Borsdane Wood


We have some wonderful areas for walking in Wigan, with or without a dog… but let’s be honest, it’s always better with a dog!

We recently asked our followers on our Barking Mad Wigan Facebook page where their favourte place is to walk around Wigan. We had a great response and we know there are many more places to go.

  • Fairy Glen in Appley Bridge makes top of the list for walks in Wigan.
  • Haigh Hall is another top choice. It boasts a great playground for kids and regularly hosts family events. Kitchen Courtyard has a tea room & café, AM Flowers (who we can personally recommend!), an art gallery plus much more.
  • Mesnes Park close to Wigan town centre is beautifully kept and makes for great picnics. You can also enjoy a Frederick’s Ice-cream from The Pavillion.
  • Worthington Lakes in Standish is worth a visit. It’s much quieter than other places, makes for a short, but lovely walk and has a few picnic benches.
  • Pennington Flash is a popular park on the border of Leigh and Lowton, home of Pennington Golf Course. You can experience an abundance of wildlife here and enjoy the many walkways and bridle paths.
  • Borsdane Wood in Hindley is where we enjoy taking Mollie & Milo. There’s nothing on site here but it’s a great walk and adventure for the pooches, who love to paddle in the brook.
  • Beacon Country Park in Up Holland is another popular choice for dog walkers. Make sure to take your camera as you will experience some stunning panoramic views. There’s a playground, café and toilet facilities on site.


Zac At Haigh Hall Barking Mad Dog Sitting Home Boarding Wigan Sam Evans

Zac At Haigh Hall


The Fox At Billinge Lump Barking Mad Dog Sitting Home Boarding Wigan Sam Evans

The Fox At Billinge Lump


Maddie At Byrom Wood Barking Mad Dog Sitting Home Boarding Wigan Sam Evans

Maddie At Byrom Wood


Low Hall Amberswood Hindley Barking Mad Dog Sitting Home Boarding Wigan Sam Evans

Low Hall Amberswood Hindley


If you would like to share your favourite place to walk in Wigan, please share with a picture on our Facebook page

Barking Mad Dog Home Boarding Local News January 2019

Retiree Beryl With Holidaying Dog, Belle Barking Mad Home Boarding

Retiree Beryl with holidaying dog, Belle.

Volunteer dog cuddling is being offered by Barking Mad Wigan & St Helens as an antidote to the problem of loneliness in modern society. For those who are retired or work from home and are spending large chunks of time alone, caring for a waggy-tailed companion on a temporary basis and meeting other like minded dog lovers could really help to overcome feelings of isolation.

For most of our hosts, who are retired or may be living alone, becoming a Barking Mad host made a huge difference to their daily lives. Sadly, people can go days, or even weeks, without a phone call or speaking to someone face-to-face. Working from home or being a stay-at-home parent, can also be very isolating. We’ve been told that our hosts look forward to our phone calls to look after a dog, and especially the day their furry guest arrives as it means special company for that person, as well as a conversation and a cup of tea between us and them. It really is special and us here at Barking Mad Wigan are humbled to be able to do that for someone.

Recently, the St Helens Star and the Wigan Post & Wigan Observer ran articles on Modern Day Loneliness featuring Barking Mad Wigan helping to solve this issue by promoting our Host Community in and around the Wigan area. Joining our Host Community is very rewarding also, knowing you are providing a safe, loving environment for someone’s beloved dog. We regularly meet for coffee and cake and dog walks with our holidaying guests, giving the opportunity to meet other like-minded dog lovers and make new friends. Having a dog to stay, temporarily whilst their owners are away is the perfect solution!

If you are interested in becoming a host for Barking Mad, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to call us on 01942 316942 or email

Barking Mad Wigan September news 2018

What a summer!

What an amazing and super busy Summer we’ve had here at Barking Mad Wigan! Our doggy summer holidays start as early as May, when our customers want to get away on holiday before the hustle and bustle starts of the school holidays and can run right through to the end of September.

During these months we’ve welcomed back dog guests who have stayed with our Barking Mad Wigan hosts before (and love them so much they have already booked for next year!) and we’ve also welcomed new members to our Barking Mad Wigan & St Helens family.

We love the summer holidays and spending time with a dog is the best kind of holiday, that’s what our hosts think, wouldn’t you agree? They have taken their furry guests on many adventures visiting Formby Beach, Mesnes Park in Wigan, Haigh Hall in Wigan, Walton Hall, Sherdley Park in St Helens, Bents Garden Centre in Warrington and many more exciting places.

Our hosts can’t wait to share with us what they’ve done that day or what they have planned for the weekend to keep their 4-legged friend occupied. We’ve been extremely lucky this year with the weather being so lovely too – our hosts bought paddling pools and made dog-friendly icepops to keep the dogs cool!

Barking Mad summers are the best!

Just a few of our summer doggy guests!

Just a few of our summer doggy guests!

If you’re thinking of booking your Summer 2019 holiday, don’t forget to book in your dogs Summer 2019 holiday too! We highly advise that you enquire with us as soon as possible as we were fully booked from May to the end of September months in advance and we hate to tell our customers that we don’t have any availability.

You can call Barking Mad Wigan on 01942 316942 or email us

Happy Dog. Happy Holiday. Happy You.

Meet Helen! – August Barking Mad Wigan News 2018

Meet Helen! Helen has joined Barking Mad Wigan’s team as General Manager & Driver and is so excited to be a part of our team and we’re so happy to have her on board.

We have personally known Helen for a number of years and had the pleasure of working with her also. We’ve done a number of local charity events together too and we couldn’t think of anyone better to join us. She is a HUGE dog lover, having her own rescue dog, Riddick, aka “Rid” or “Roo-Roo”. Helen has worked for herself for a number of years in sales and she has a background in admin, managerial and teaching.

Helen, sam and Lee's new general manager for Barking Mad Wigan

I’m totally Barking Mad!

Hi, I’m Helen, I live locally with my hubby, 2 sons and my gorgeous rescue dog, Riddick. I’ve had various jobs in my time from working in a local school to owning my own business. I wanted a new challenge and was offered the opportunity by Sam to come on board as manager for Barking Mad, and grabbed it with both hands. I’ve really enjoyed my time so far; meeting our lovely customers and our four-legged guests – You can’t beat telling people you arrange dog holidays and chauffeur them around! I completely love the service that we offer; home from home dog boarding with loving host families. I’m looking forward to meeting more customers and furry guests.

Barking Mad Wigan Home from Home Dog Boarders at Marus Bridge Primary – July 2018

come and see us and chat about becoming a host for Barking Mad Wigan St helens and North Warrington.

Find out about becoming a Dog Sitting Host

We had a great day at Marus Bridge Primary school recently for their Summer Fair. It was a lovely day with plenty of things to see and do, everyone had a great time helping to raise funds for their school.

We talked to lots of dog lovers about joining our Host Community and becoming a dog sitter, looking after family-friendly dogs whilst their owners are away on holiday.

Do you think you could be a Dog Sitting Barking Mad host? We’d love to hear from you! You can contact us on 01942 316942 or email us for a no-obligation, friendly chat.

Tombola Stall at Marus Bridge

Tombola Stall at Marus Bridge

Scholastic Books barking mad wigan

Scholastic Books

Pottery Painting in Wigan barking mad wigan

Pottery Painting in Wigan

If you would like to find out more about Barking Mad Wigan and the dog sitting services we offer click – HERE

Barking Mad Wigan & St Helens Dog Sitting Local News June – Who are our hosts?

our lovely barking mad wigan hosts.

Our Hosts.

Who are Barking Mad hosts?

They are super special people. Really! They are our super heroes but they don’t wear capes. In all honesty, they are people just like me and you and have a huge love for dogs.

Some of our hosts are retired, some work from home, some work part time. Some are hosts as they miss having a dog around and some are hosts as they want a playmate for their own, friendly dog.

Could you be a host?

Have a read at what our hosts have said about why they joined and why they love being a host:

Danielle, Wigan

“I am a huge dog lover, I grew up around dogs and I wanted to pass that onto my children. My middle daughter has mental health problems and learning difficulties, so having a dog around is a huge benefit to her. It also gets my 13 year old out of her bedroom to walk with us. My youngest daughter loves playing with them in the garden and taking them to the park.. It’s a great alternative for owners who are not comfortable about using kennels”

Jane, Wigan

“I used to have 2 dogs, but when my Border Collie sadly passed away, my remaining dog seemed lonely. I had used Barking Mad to look after my dogs when we went away, I thought it would be nice to take in holiday dogs and they would be company for my remaining dog. Sadly my second dog passed away and now we have a little rescue dog, Lucky, she loves them coming to stay and it’s great company”

Fran, Liverpool

“I became a host after my precious maizie died in January, I would love to own another dog but I’m not ready yet so thought I’d help out minding dogs in a safe loving home whilst its family are on holiday”

Janet & John, Warrington

“After recently losing our beloved Emily, who used to stay with Barking Mad for her holidays, we loved the idea of becoming hosts as we are currently enjoying retirement and love the idea of a temporary dog coming to stay, we’ve always had dogs and the house is far too quiet without one”

Derek & Tracy, Wigan

“We love holidaying dogs, big or small – slobber too!”

Pam, Wigan

“I love being a host because the dogs are like my family and give me so much pleasure knowing they are having a great holiday with me and going places they have probably never seen before, I always miss them when they go home but I know they are going back to a loving home”

Being a host is great and everyone hosts for different reasons – but they all have one thing in common; a love for dogs.

When you join our Host Community, you’re joining the Barking Mad family and you’ll receive 24/7 support, make new friends and have regular meet-ups with other fellow hosts.

Do you think you could be a host? We’d love to hear from you! You can contact us on 01942 316942 or email us for a no-obligation, friendly chat.

Yummy Home-made Doggy Biscuits

As I’m trained in Dog Nutrition and because both my dogs suffer with certain food allergies, I’m always on the look-out for healthy, free-from treats THAT DON’T COST THE EARTH!

home made doggy biscuits barking mand wigan and st helens.

All done!

I decided to make my own using 3 simple ingredients that most kitchen cupboards will have – Oats, Coconut oil and sweet potato. You can use whatever you want instead of or with the sweet potato, like butternut squash, bacon, cheese, peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain Xylitol as this is extremely toxic to dogs), fruit like blueberries, cranberries, banana or apple.


  • 200g Rolled Oats
  • 1 sweet potato (approx. 180g)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 tbsp water (if dough is too dry, I didn’t need any)


  • Pre-heat oven to Gas 4/350°
  • Peel and chop the sweet potato into chunks and cook until soft
  • Meanwhile, blitz the rolled oats until powdery and add them to a bowl with the coconut oil.
  • Blitz the cooked sweet potato and add to the bowl with the oats and coconut oil.
  • Mix together to form a dough
  • Roll out the dough, you can use a bit of plain flour for this (or better still, use free-from flour)
  • Using a cookie cutter, press out the shapes until all the dough has been used. Place on a baking tray and cook for about 25 minutes or until golden.
  • Allow to cool before serving.
biscuit dough all rolled out at barking mad wigan and st helens.

Rolled out

all of the biscuits in the oven coooking nicely.

In the oven.

Whilst all this is going on, Milo is keeping me company, who is patiently waiting on the finished product.

Milo out of his barking mad holiday waiting patiently for biscuits

Waiting patiently

In all, I got about 80 biscuits from those ingredients, which cost less than 50p! Want to see how the Taste Test went? Head on over to our Facebook Page to see Mollie & Milo’s reaction

Supporting our Local Community – May 2018

Supporting our local community around Wigan, St Helens & Warrington is very important to us and Wigan & Leigh Hospice is one close to our hearts.

All set up and ready to say hi!

All set up and ready to say hi!

On Sunday 29th April, we were at The Farmers Market, set up and organised by the Fundraising Team at Wigan & Leigh Hospice, Hindley. There were lots of great stalls to peruse and we were extremely happy to be beside two food stalls – no cake, unfortunately! Go check out William’s Butter  and also Chilli Traders on Facebook

We got to talk to our wonderful local community about Barking Mad’s Host Community and we even met a few waggy tails and got some slobbery kisses too!

Despite the wind, which at times was absolutely freezing, it was a good day! You’ll next see us at Marus Bridge Primary School at their Summer Fayre

Our Top Tips for a Stress Free Holiday  – April 2018

Milo enjoying his barking mad holiday stress free and well cared for with home from home boarding.

Milo is definitely stress free!

Starting your holiday off stress-free, is the best start to any holiday, here are some of our top tips to a stress-free holiday!

  • Try to book your dogs’ holiday as soon as you have booked yours, rather than leaving it until the last minute. This gives you the best opportunity to secure your favourite host, as here at Barking Mad Wigan, we get booked up very quickly!
  • When arranging your dogs’ holiday, take into consideration the time youneed to leave. If you have a flight or train to catch and time is of the essence, we highly advise that we collect the day before you leave. Dogs easily pick up on the stresses and the changes going on in the home whilst we are packing and making sure everything is in order, so it may be more helpful to let them start their holiday the day before. We do pride ourselves on our punctuality, but if there are any unforeseen delays or we are caught up in traffic, this would have an affect on your travel plans and cause you undue stress, so collecting your dog long before you leave is a good idea.
  • If it’s the first time using Barking Mad or your dog has never stayed away from home before, we will always suggest a “Meet & Greet Sleepover” first. This will consist of 2 days/1 night, staying with a host family prior to their main holiday, so that you and your dog are happy and you can rest assured all will be fine whilst you are away and you can rest easy. We want to ensure that we are all happy with how your dog settles away from home, before we arrange a longer holiday.
  • We collect and return dogs between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and between 9am and 12pm on Saturdays. Most of our customers prefer for their beloved best friend to be brought home the day after they return from holiday as this allows for any travel delays and it also gives you the chance to grab some groceries and make a start on that big pile of washing… or grab a few zzzz’s!
  • When it comes to collecting your dog to take them on their holidays, we will always suggest a collection time no later than 4pm, this is to ensure your dog has plenty of settling in time before it’s bedtime, or to get in that last walk before it goes dark.
  • We ask you to pack the essentials such as food, bed, bowls, lead & harness, car restraint, poo bags and favourite toys, but please also pack anything else that you feel is important to your dog. This could be a blanket that you share, a dressing gown, a pair of socks (or knickers!).
  • Don’t feel that it’s necessary to wash your dogs bedding or favourite toys prior to its holiday, as they will hold familiar scents and help your dog to settle and feel more at home.
  • If your dog is naturally anxious, there are products available to help ease any anxiety that may be triggered by being in a new environment. Thundershirts are particularly good and more commonly used around Bonfire Night, but can be used any time as the snug fit helps to make your dog feel more secure. Adaptil have a range of products such as collars, diffusers and sprays which work by releasing Dog Appeasing Pheromones which provide comfort and security to dogs. There are also supplements such as YuCALM which contains L-theanine; an amino acid which helps to promote relaxation and reduce stress & anxiety. Your local Pets at Home have trained and knowledgable staff who can help and advise on the best products for your dog. If you have a Pets at Home VIP card, pick up a VIP magazine for free which may have some money-off coupons for the products you’re purchasing.
  • Once your dog is settled in with the host, we will send you a message and a photo to let you know all is well. We will also send you a quick message the day after just to let you know how their first night went and then you can relax knowing your dog is happy on its holiday too!
  • On return home, you will receive a postcard written by the host to let you know how your dog has been and all the adventures its been on as well as verbal feedback by us.
  • Barking Mad Wigan aims to give your dog the best holiday experience with our experienced Dog Sitting hosts in a safe, loving environment so that you can rest assured and enjoy your holiday too!

Happy Dog. Happy Holiday. Happy You!

If you would like to find out more about Barking Mad Wigan and the dog sitting services we offer click – HERE

Why We Transport Your Dog  – March 2018

Is the thought of someone else taking your dog on its holiday terrifying you? Fear not! Barking Mad Wigan are your dog holiday experts and we have this covered, let us explain…

Since we started taking dogs on holidays, we haven’t yet come across a dog who DIDN’T like being chauffeur driven. Who doesn’t? We’ve had dogs who jump straight in, lie down and snooze all the way there, we’ve had them sit and watch the world go by through the windows (with the occasional bark at another dog or man in a high-vis jacket), we’ve had dogs try and chase the wiper clearing the rain away (this we think is hilarious!). As soon as we arrive at the hosts house, all that fun and excitement is forgotten as they greet with a waggy tail and sometimes slobbery kisses, have a good mooch to check out their new surroundings and they settle down on the couch with their hosts for another snooze, as that journey chasing the wiper was super tiring! Our host community do a fantastic job of welcoming your dogs into their home.

Why We Transport Your Dog

Your dogs travel in comfort

At Barking Mad, we have our very own dog behaviorist, Lisa. Her advice and our many years of doggy experience has taught us that transporting your dog works very well for your dog…. And even you! I have been that blubbering wreck many years ago when I left my dogs barking after me to come back – this service makes it so much easier and less emotional for you and your dogs. I wish it had been an option for us.

As we don’t have the same emotional attachment as you do, we can confidently and calmly introduce your dog to the host and as a result, are very accepting of their new environment. Your dog is our main priority, please don’t worry about us transporting your beloved best friend to their holiday home. As soon as we have settled your dog in with their host, we will call or text you to let you know how the introduction went. We will also contact you the following day to let you know that they have slept, eaten and have settled in well. We call this your “rest easy” message, as after this message from us, you can rest easy and enjoy your holiday.

Barking Mad have been organising holidays since 2000. We are proud to be the dog holiday experts, but we are never complacent, we continually assess our services and always want to be the best that we can be.

In the meantime, should you have any questions or queries about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Sam & the team – Barking Mad Wigan

Happy Dog. Happy Holiday. Happy You.

If you would like to find out more about Barking Mad Wigan and the dog sitting services we offer click – HERE

Barking Mad Wigan & St Helens Dog Sitting Local News February 2018

The year has started off super busy for us here at Barking Mad Wigan HQ, with lots of customers getting in touch to book their dogs holidays with us.  It’s always a good idea to be organised and book your dog’s holiday when you are arranging yours. We do get booked up very quickly especially at busy times, and we really don’t want to disappoint your dog. As we always say here at Barking Mad….Dogs deserve a holiday too!

Dogs Deserve a Holiday too!

Milo’s looking forward to his Barking Mad Holiday

We are meeting lots of new customers too! They are finding us through Google searches for Home Dog Boarding and Dog Sitting and also through word of mouth, which for us, is the best way! When our customers recommend Barking Mad Wigan to their friends and family, they get a special discount, as a way to say thank you for recommending us.

Have you booked your dog’s holiday yet? Get in touch with Barking Mad Wigan to check availability

Happy Dog. Happy Holiday. Happy You.

December News 2017 – Lets’s Get Festive!

Dog Sitting Barking Mad Wigan, St Helens & North Warrington Dog Sitting Service

Mollie & Milo ready for Santa

Barking Mad Wigan & St Helens are getting festive on their Facebook page this week! Look out for our post, showcasing our little Mollie & Milo all ready for Santa and upload your festive pet pics. On Friday, 10 favourites will be chosen to receive a 2018 Barking Mad Calendar! We know it will be so hard to choose just 10, so we will also feature some of the pictures as our Facebook page banner!
Entrants must reside in a WN or a WA postcode to receive one of our calendars.

October News – Barking Mad Wigan Show Stand

Wow – What a busy October we have had meeting the local dog lovers around Wigan!

Here we are at the #Barklife Barks & Broomsticks event which took place at Thompson House Equestrian Centre in Standish, Wigan. It was such a fun event – we’d never seen so many Frenchies under one roof!! We certainly gave lots of ear scratches and belly rubs that day! We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and introducing our Barking Mad Wigan dog home boarding service to our furry friends and their humans.

Sam and Lee at Barking Mad Barklife Barks and Broomsticks

Barking mad dog sitting show stand in Wigan

Our wonderful show stand set-up in Wigan


#Barklife events are set up to support an amazing French Bulldog Rescue; Phoenix French Bulldog Rescue UK. You can check out their website here. Their next event, Santa Paws, takes place Sunday 3rd December at Dean Valley Farm.

Barklife French Bulldog Rescue

You will next see Barking Mad Wigan at The Mount, Orrell, for their Christmas Market on Sunday 10th December.


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