Welcome, new customer

Dog Sitting in Durham

Barking Mad - TrustPilot Best in Category

Local News

Our latest Local News has moved! CLICK HERE

October 2017

Wow…what a summer we had, it was so much fun! Your local Barking Mad service is growing and growing so many more dogs are having wonderful holidays. Why use kennels when you can have home-from-home boarding? Every year we find that more and more people approach Barking Mad when they have been let down, usually last minute by their dog carer. Why not take the stress out of booking future doggy holidays by registering and having a taster holiday for your dog over the winter months…?

Here are just a few of the lovely doggies that came out this summer and had a great Barking Mad holiday...

                  Brody.png         Ted and Daisy.png


Vets across the UK have reported more than 150 cases of the potentially fatal lungworm parasite in dogs since February. Data from Act Against Lungworm campaign has shown that the parasite is currently active throughout much of the UK, with cases reported as far as Paisley in Scotland, across the North and Wales, the South East and in the far South West.


What is lungworm?

Slugs and snails can carry the hidden killer lungworm parasite which can cause serious health problems in dogs and be fatal if not diagnosed and treated. Not all worming treatments prevent dogs from carrying, and potentially spreading, the parasite.

Visit https://www.lungworm.co.uk for more information, you can also speak to your vet!


August 2017

Summer is here…!

July has been busy as usual arranging doggy holidays for our four-legged travel companions! Our wonderful holidays for dogs are made as special as they are because of our great hosts, and their true love of dogs and the joy that they get from having dog companions staying with them. We wanted to share some of those joyful
moments from some of our recent holiday-makers.

 August 2017 Lexi.jpg             August 2017 Wilson.jpg August 2017 Sparky.jpg

If you would like to find out more about becoming a host and providing those all-important fun holidays for dogs or you’re interested in finding out more about our 5* pet sitting service please just get in touch!

Do the UK’s Cleverest Canines Live in Durham…?

Walkies, sit and stay are words that make up most dogs' vocabularies but have you ever stopped to wonder just exactly how many words your pet understands? We are fascinated by how large and varied a word list the average pooch can recognise and have decided to carry out some research. Our Dictionary Dog Survey is now live and we’d love local dog owners to participate!

As part of our customer registration process, we compile lots of important information about your dog’s preferences, medical history and day to day routine, which allows us to expertly match each dog with the perfect holiday host. We always take the time to run through all the commands and words which a dog understands and carefully replicate them, to allow the dog to feel completely at home.
A public survey has been created to research just how well-educated dogs in the UK are today, by asking some simple questions, which only take around two minutes to complete. The survey is available now at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dogdictionary  and your participation would be greatly appreciated.

We have teamed up with Venture Studios, the UK's leading family portrait photographer, to offer a fantastic free prize draw entry for survey participants. To be in with a chance of winning a Studio Experience voucher plus a 10 x 8 framed portrait of your pet, just complete the survey all about your dog's word skills and follow the link above to enter the draw! Good luck!

August 2017 Lotti ABC.jpg

June 2017

Have you seen it!?
The wait is over and hopefully you will have seen the lovely Hobbes, star of the first ever Barking Mad TV ad! Everyone at Barking Mad Durham is so excited, what a star Hobbes is and all our hosts who have seen the advert have loved it, it really does show how they feel when they are waiting for a doggy friend to come and stay with them for a home from home holiday. If you haven’t seen the ad here is a link! Please let us know what you think…

Summer has arrived…how to keep your dog safe in the summer months!

Hasn’t the weather been fabulous recently! Myself and Bailey have enjoyed a lot of walking around some of the lovely parks in the Durham area meeting lots of other walkers and dogs! We have been to Herrington Park, Riverside Park in Chester le Street and we also took a trip up to Penshaw Monument!

                                                       Picture 1 - Bailey Enjoying the Sun.jpg
We have had to be careful to make sure Bailey didn’t get too hot in this weather so we walked in cooler periods, kept to grass areas and took water with us too. Here are some great hints and tips from the Blue Cross on how to keep your dog safe in the hot weather…

                                                 Picture 2 - Blue Cross Advice.jpg

Holiday of the Month
The lovely Monty has just returned from his dog holiday, staying with our lovely hosts Derek and Katherine in their home in Durham. They loved his company…they enjoyed getting out for lots of walks, playing tug of war…which Monty always won ???? and he ‘helped’ them in the garden too!

                                                Picture 3 - Monty's Holiday.jpg
If you are thinking of a summer holiday and need a home from home holiday for your dog please get in touch, we are filling up fast!



May 2017

You may have seen that there is speculation growing about the mystery which surrounds the launch of our #waitingforHobbes campaign…so what is going on and who or what is the enigma that is Hobbes?

Little is known about Hobbes but he is believed to be of a four legged, furry appearance. Various clues have appeared on social media on a daily basis, starting with a hastily abandoned water bowl and biscuits, suggesting that the undisclosed hero has enjoyed a meal before setting off on his quest! Dogs throughout the land also appear to be joining in the wait as they gaze longingly at television screens. So why are they so excited and why do they aspire to be like Hobbes?

Many theories have been raised but as yet there is no confirmation. Is Hobbes just a dog and if so, why is he so special? Here at Barking Mad we are known for providing the very highest standards of dog care and dog holidays as well as recognising the importance and benefit of dog companionship in a person’s life. Could the clue lie within this?

Our Managing Director, Lee Dancy, is staying tight lipped as to Hobbes’ identity but enthuses

“This is simply the most exciting development in the history of Barking Mad, since I began the business back in 2000. We just can’t contain our excitement and want to invite all our loyal hosts, customers and followers to join in the fun!”

I hope you are as excited as we all are here in Durham! Here is Bailey keeping an eye out and #waitingforHobbes

                                                            Bailey May 2017.jpg



April 2017 


Hasn’t the weather been lovely recently! The lovely sunny weather and later nights means longer walks with my dog, Bailey. We have been taking in some of the lovely parks around the Durham region. We’ve already been to the Riverside Park in Chester le Street, Elba Park in Houghton le Spring with a trip planned to Herrington Park in Penshaw soon. Look out for the Barking Mad car parked up and come to say hi fi you spot us! We’ve also been out and about to spread the word about our fantastic dog sitting service, most recently spending some time in Ouston and taking a well-earned coffee pit stop at Dobbie’s Garden Centre in Birtley. It was lovely and I can recommend the scones! Did you know that the Dobbie’s Garden Centre is now doggy friendly too! They have a water bowl available at the front entrance, always worth knowing as the weather heats up.

All this enjoyment in the sun has had us dreaming of summer holidays too! Here at Barking Mad Durham we are already getting busy with dog holidays for the spring and summer period. If you are contemplating a holiday over the coming months or indeed have booked your holiday, please do not forgot to get in touch to check availability for your dog:
Email me with your dates to karen.buckham@barkingmad.uk.com 
As Easter approached here is a reminder of some potential dangers to avoid giving to your lovely dogs over this Easter period:

Easter eggs
Chocolate contains a chemical called 'theobromine', which is toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of the stuff can cause convulsions, heart problems, hyperexcitability and fits. The darker the chocolate, the more potent the level of theobromine, and the more poisonous it is – and giving any type of chocolate to dogs should be avoided.

Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns contain dried fruit, such as currants, sultanas and raisins – and all of these are toxic to dogs. If your dog eats even a small quantity of these dried fruits (and grapes), they can suffer severe kidney failure which may be fatal.

Spring bulbs
Easter is the perfect time of year to give a gift of spring flowers and bulbs, but make sure you keep them well out of reach of your dog – particularly if they like to chew or dig in the garden. Daffodils are poisonous to dogs if they eat the bulbs or flowers, or drink water from a vase with daffodils in. They can give your dog an upset stomach, make them vomit, and make them very sleepy and wobbly. A dog that's been poisoned by daffodils might also have fits. Tulips can irritate your dog's mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Normally they will only experience drooling, being sick and diarrhoea, but heart problems and difficulty breathing are also signs of tulip poisoning.

Other plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables listed below are poisonous to dogs. Those in bold are potentially fatal, so please take care to avoid these:
Apples (pips), Apricots (kernel), Azalea, Bluebells, Buttercups, Cyclamen (root), Daffodils/narcissus (blubs), Elderberry, Foxglove (leaves and seeds), Hyacinth (bulbs), Ivy (whole plant), Lupin (leaves, seeds), Onion (causes anaemia), Peach (stones and leaves), Rhododendron, Rhubarb (leaves), Sweetpea (stem), Tulips, Wild cherry tree (twigs and foliage), Yew (berries and foliage)



March 2017

                                         Dog Rememberance Picture.jpg

Dog owners who have ever experienced the passing of their beloved best friend will know what a difficult and emotional roller coaster it can be. The UK’s very first Dog Remembrance Month launches this April 3rd and will create a focus for dog lovers to come together and celebrate the lives of their cherished pets, whilst providing mutual support and understanding.
What do you remember about your canine best friend? You can get in touch and find out more here: http://www.barkingmad.uk.com/dogremembrancemonth or join the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/DogBereavementRainbowBridgeRemembrance/


Easter Egg Competition

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Easter Egg was Linda and her Miniature Schnauzer, Chester. Linda’s mam, Sonia, accepted the egg on Linda’s behalf, accompanied by the lovely, Chester. We hope they enjoy it!

                                                           Easter Egg Winner.jpg


Myself and the lovely ladies from the neighbouring areas - Tracy, Barking Mad Cleveland, Teesside and Darlington and Sue - Washington, South and North Tyneside - had a fantastic day the St Cuthbert's Hospice Paws for a Cause event yesterday at Chester le Street Riverside Park.

The sun was shining and the rain stayed away for the whole day. There was a great attendance from across the Durham area and everyone had a lot of fun! And we got to meet lots of lovely doggies which made our day! Here are some pictures of the day and you can find a link to St Cuthberts Hospice is in my local links area.


February 2017

Did you know
Dog behaviour can be affected by what a dog eats. Bakers for example, has so many additives and preservatives that it is equivalent to feeding your dog a bowl full of smarties for dinner!

A good independent website for food comparison is www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk Have a look at your own dog food and see what score it comes up with. Scores are given up to 5 Stars; Bakers scores 0.1 star as an example.

The site also lists ingredients and tells you whether the food is high or low in protein/fats/ etc. and also lists costs and distributors, it may be worth a look!

Paws for a Cause Dog Walk - 5th March at Riverside Park

We are excited to be attending the St Cuthbert's Hospice Paws for a Cause event on Sunday 5th March at Riverside Park!

The day starts at 10am for registration, 11am there is a fun dog show with fur-tastic prizes to be won and this is followed by the sponsored dog walk at 12.30. There will also be plenty of stalls available to browse on the day, including our own! If you are coming along please come over to say hello.

For more information about the event you can visit the website here http://www.stcuthbertshospice.com/136/2/Paws-for-a-Cause and to register for the sponsored dog walk https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/st-cuthberts-hospice-paws-for-a-cause-2017-tickets-30886354919?utm_term=eventurl_text

We hope to see you and your four legged friends there!


St Cuthbert's Hospice Paws For A Cause 2017 Tickets, Sun, 5 Mar 2017 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Eventbrite - St Cuthbert's Hospice presents St Cuthbert's Hospice Paws For A Cause 2017 - Sunday, 5 March 2017 at Riverside Park, Chester le Street, England. Find event and ticket information.



New Year, New Look...

You may notice that Barking Mad has a new logo!
We are delighted to start using our brand new for 2017 and beyond. We have had some fantastic feedback and are proud to be part of such a fantastic family of all those involved; dogs, customers, hosts, business owners and employees. It's a fresh and bright new look representing our ethos 'Happy Dog, Happy Holiday, Happy You'. Onwards and upwards!

                                                               new logo Durham.jpg


January 2017

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

I’m pleased to say several lovely hosts families joined us last year but we constantly look for new host families to join us. Hosts are usually retired or stay at home mums and have experience of owning a dog. Dogs come with everything that they will need, we transport the dog to/from the host and we pay the host a daily fee. Hosts just need to provide lots and lots of love, affection and exercise.
If you know anyone that is “Barking Mad” and who would love to share their home with a dog on holiday, please get in touch on 0191 5805111.


                             Dogs deserve holidays too.jpg


Is Your Dog the Answer to the New You?

Perhaps you would like to get fitter or get out and meet new people but need that special someone to give you a hand! Why don’t you look to your canine best friend for that support! Dogs see us as pack leaders worthy of worship and live in the moment, without worrying about the past. To your dog, you are their whole world and they have total belief in your abilities.

By involving your dog in your plans for 2017, we believe that you will have far more chance of success than just by setting goals.  Dogs are now being widely recognised as motivational. The Kennel Club has launched a Bark and Read initiative, where children benefit from practising their reading to dogs!  

Similarly, the University of Stirling is so convinced by the benefits of ‘human – dog interaction’ that they have set up ‘Paws for Progress’ as part of their behaviour and evolution research. Young offenders are taught to improve rescue dogs’ behaviour to provide ‘positive and rewarding interactions’. Working together with the dogs meant that the young offenders gained, “increased self-achievement of targets and goals”.

If you want to improve your health and fitness levels, exercise can be far more enjoyable if you involve your dog! How about extending the length of dog walks or taking up a new activity, such as dog agility? Or if you feel like you would like to meet new people, how about brushing up your dog’s skills by joining a training class, or varying your dog walking route and chatting to other dog walkers?

We would love to see some photos of you enjoying your dog walks! Please send to karen.buckham@barkingmad.uk.com or post on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BarkingMadDogCareDurham

dog walking pic.png

December 2016


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

This year saw the establishment of a dedicated Barking Mad service for the Durham area. It has been a fun and busy first six months, lots of new doggy's have joined the Barking Mad family and enjoyed a holiday or two and we have been working hard to spread the word about Barking Mad. We hope to grow further in 2017; taking on more lovely hosts, building our host community and providing lots more home from home holidays for your beloved dogs!

 We just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope to see you in 2017!

                                                     Xmas Bailey and Lucy.jpg




Don't forget if you register with me before the end of December you get £10 off the normal lifetime registration fee! Get in touch today to find out more

Did you know...If you walk your dog on gritted roads/paths this winter it can be dangerous for them! Dogs will want to lick their paws and this can cause dehydration, liver failure and pancreatitis, while antifreeze contains the chemical ethylene glycol, which can be lethal when ingested.

Please be careful and make sure that their paws are washed either by walking them through a few puddles away from the gritted surfaces or by dipping their feet in fresh water once at home.

SID - Winter - HArtleys.JPG

November 2016

Pug Party!                                       

We’re attending the North-East Pug Dog Welfare and Rescue Association Christmas Party this year! It is taking place on Saturday, 26th November, at Bowburn Community Centre. It sounds like it’s going to be great fun…food, games as well as displays and competitions! Here is a link to register your place if you can make it.

                                                NE Pug Party.jpg


Local Dog Lovers Find Community ‘Pawpose’

Barking Mad Durham, a local service provider of five star rated dog care, is proud to fulfil a need for dog lovers who have sadly lost a beloved pet or who don’t want, or can’t commit, to the emotional and financial commitment of dog ownership. The dog holiday specialists offer the life-enhancing opportunity of becoming a ‘host’ by caring for other people’s pets whilst their owners are away. This arrangement is professionally arranged, fully supported and made easy to take part in, with the cost, administration and transport aspects all fully taken care of.

Having a dog to stay obviously provides a loving canine friendship but Barking Mad Durham’s hosts are just as importantly, able to tap into the social benefits of joining a community of like-minded people. There can also be the opportunity to get involved in local shows and events, coffee mornings and dog walks etc. is a wonderful extension of the need to have a dog back in your life.

There is a real feeling of belonging and of making a valuable contribution amongst the Barking Mad community. Whether you are on your own and would love the opportunity to get out more, or recently retired and needing something to productively fill your free time, the dog sitting company would love to hear from you. Maybe you have children and would enjoy getting involved in an activity where they can build their confidence around dogs? Barking Mad founder and MD, Lee Dancy, enthuses:

“It is such a wonderful feeling to see groups of like-minded people brought together, where the common thread is the love of dogs. Conversations and friendships are struck up easily over a shared interest and people love the sense of community.”

1st October marked the U. N’s International Day of Older Persons. This day was established to raise awareness of issues affecting the elderly and to appreciate the contribution which older people make to society. The World Health Organisation’s ‘Take a Stand Against Ageism’ campaign states that our senior citizens are “overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media.”

Barking Mad Durham is proud to join the campaign against ageism and isolation. The leading dog sitting company believes that this is the perfect time to highlight the fantastic opportunity which they can offer senior dog lovers and to show their appreciation of the contribution, which they make to the success of their company.

Surviving the Void of ‘Doglessness’

dog women.jpg Doglessness is defined as 'the state of being without a dog'.
 It’s the little things that you miss the most: the soft weight of a head on  your lap whilst watching TV, the wagging tail that only your presence  can generate, a wet nose as your early morning alarm call, those big  eyes, the colour of molten chocolate, that fixate on the passage of every  morsel of food, from your plate to your mouth. Then there’s the loss of  the almost telepathic understanding, that only a canine companion is  capable of and the complete, unconditional love that dogs bestow upon  us.

sky staircase.jpgWithout a dog, a thick cloak of silence envelopes your home, a quiet that is inescapable and emotionally empty. Whether you have previously owned a dog or have always yearned to do so, doglessness can be a miserable state to exist in and has been proven to even have a negative effect on your health.

Pet ownership has been shown to reduce stress and help a person become more physically and socially active. If your beloved dog has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, emotions or circumstances can prevent you from wanting the commitment of owning another dog. Perhaps you have never had your own dog and considerations such as your job and family commitments make dog ownership an impossible dream. Is doglessness unavoidable in these circumstances?

There is a solution that you may not have even considered. Barking Mad, the U.K’s leading dog sitting company, organises dog holidays as an alternative to kennels. They offer the opportunity of becoming a ‘host’ by providing a loving home environment for somebody else’s dog whilst they are away. Our hosts range from people who are retired and have plenty of free time, to families who love having a dog to stay just for the Summer holidays, as an exciting and educational experience for their school age children.

host family.jpg

 Everything is set up and organised by me, Karen, here at your local Barking  Mad branch in Durham. We take this often informal arrangement and make it  fully safe, insured and easy to take part in, without costing a penny. You  provide the regular exercise and companionship and the cost, administration  and transport is dealt with by me. It is up to you to tell us the type of dog you  would like to look after and when you are available.


July 2016

The new dedicated Barking Mad car for Durham is all up and running! I’ll be driving around the area meeting new people and their lovely dogs. Keep a look out for me and come and say hi…
Bailey has found a new friend in the window :)

barking mad car durham.jpg

 Bring Your Dog to Work Day – 24th June 2016

Barking Mad has jumped at the chance to spend more time with our dogs, whilst raising money for an inspirational dog rescue charity. Bring Your Dog to Work Day is an annual, nationwide event which has featured on ITV’s This Morning and received coverage in the Daily Mirror. It is dedicated to raising money for charities who make a real difference to the welfare of dogs.

bring dog to work day.PNG

The event’s organisers, HOWND, are keen to emphasise that there could also be positive   effects for employee productivity and well-being. After all, whose work day wouldn’t be brightened by the sight of a gorgeous furry friend, curled up by your feet whilst you tap away  on your computer? Whose lunch hour wouldn’t be enhanced by a brisk dog walk with an enthusiastic, canine personal trainer?

     druem labradoodle r.jpg   durem labradoodle r.jpg

Now that I have my office up and running Bailey, my mini Goldendoodle came to work with me this morning!


Local Links

We love working with and recommending local business, here are a list of fantastic people we think you might like to hear about:

http://www.stcuthbertshospice.com/ - St Cuthbert's Hospice provide specialist palliative and end of life care to all those affected by life-limiting illnesses to the community of Durham, at a time and a place that is right for them. They are a registered charity and hold an annual Paws for a Cause dog walk.

Stray Aid is a charity, based in Coxhoe, Durham. Their mission is to rescue, re-unite or rehome the lost, abused, abandoned or unwanted dogs found on the streets in the North East of England.

OSCAR Pet Foods is the UK's largest pet food home delivery service. Fleur Brown covers much of the Durham area.

http://www.pawsup.org.uk/ - Durham Police Dog Support Unit to support the force's retired police dogs

http://pugwelfare-rescue.org.uk/ - The Pug Dog Welfare and Rescue Association, they rescue and rehome Pugs throughout the UK

http://www.forgetmenotpetcrem.co.uk/ - Forget Me Not is a small family owned pet crematorium. They offer private and communal pet cremations, providing a friendly and compassionate cremation service befitting of your faithful companion.

http://www.biscuitandbaileys.co.uk/  -Biscuit & Bailey’s North East Hydrotherapy and Canine Grooming Centre is based in Chester-le-Street. They offer Canine Hydrotherapy, Grooming and Fun Swimming sessions.