As featured on
Chris Evans, Working Lunch,
Welcome to Barking Mad, the number one dog sitting company in Tunbridge Wells. Our five-star service is available throughout your local area and across the wider region, offering dog owners the chance to find a perfect ‘dog holiday’ while they need to be away from home.
Too often, dog owners have found themselves with the prospect of having to leave their dog in a kennel environment that was far from ideal. Many times, these facilities may place many different dogs together for exercise and feeding times, a situation that is often stressful for dogs. This is because it ignores a major factor at play; each dog is a sensitive animal with its own needs and behaviours. We’re happy to say that here at Barking Mad, we understand these specific needs and have designed a better alternative; a personalised holiday home suitable for your dog.
The sensitivity of many dogs leads them to form bonds with their favourite people and objects, things that form big parts of their daily lives. Spending even a short time apart can be hard for a dog, as they are highly perceptive animals, which many dog owners will have clearly seen. Just think about your dog’s behaviour when you pick up your keys to leave the house, or their reaction when you last began to pack for holiday. Dogs are pack animals, a quality that brings great loyalty and connection to your family unit, but also means that when the arrangements of life dictate that you’re apart, it can be difficult for all involved.
Fortunately, the team at Barking Mad understand these factors and have created a service that clearly takes them into account. We’re able to link your dog to a dog-loving host who will be given all the information we’ve assessed on your dog’s preferences and needs. To further minimise levels of anxiety, we invite you to send a few familiar items with them; a bowl, blanket or toy, a box of their weekly treats. Having some of those favourite items with them can truly help with comforting them in their new environment, providing familiar sounds and tastes to engage their senses and help them feel more at home.
We also have a team of expert carers who regularly carry out vetting of our database of hosts, which means that we can have great confidence in the care your dog will receive. We include details on all aspects of your dog’s routine; preferred feeding and exercise times, as well as any additional daily nutritional or medical needs.
We make sure that every dog owner in Tunbridge Wells has access to a top-level dog care service, and it’s not just us claiming that. If you take a glance over our testimonial section you’ll be able to see all of our independently checked reviews. Many of the owners who’ve used our company have provided feedback about how our service worked for them, and most rate us at five stars; it’s so satisfying to know that dog lovers are also Barking Mad lovers!
Another key aspect of our service is our commitment to providing you with regular updates while you’re away, with our staff available by phone. As well as making sure we’re available to contact, we also send you a set of pictures and a ‘dog holiday’ postcard to show you a little of your dog’s stay. We understand the additional peace of mind that comes from knowing your dog is receiving great care in your absence, so as well as a dog-loving host, our canine experts are also available for round the clock emergency support.
We know that Barking Mad provides the best level of dog care in Tunbridge Wells and its surrounding areas, but we also have a much wider reach with over 70 branches all over the country. Each branch set the same standards for excellent care, and can also deal with stays of different lengths, whether it needs to be a day, right up to several weeks.
When we started Barking Mad in 2000, we put a lot of thought into what we wanted to achieve. We decided that we wanted to offer each dog owner five-star personalised care at competitive prices. We aim higher than the minimal care offered by some other companies; we don’t believe that a few trips to your house to feed and walk your dog is enough. Your dog deserves loving care and affection throughout their time with us, which is why we designed our service to place them with loving hosts.
So why not call us today? All that’s required is to give us a call on 01524 220202, or send us an email at email@example.com, where our friendly and knowledgeable staff would love to be in touch. We can arrange to meet you and your dog and begin to plan the ideal holiday stay for them.
|One off initial registration meeting||£48*|
|Daily boarding rate||£26.40*|
|Daily boarding rate for additional dogs||£21.60*|
|Collection and delivery||£42*|
Bailey – All ready for his holiday complete with paddling pool!
At the registration meeting you’ll receive one of our exclusive ‘Holiday Doggie Bags’ which you can pack with food, bowls, toys, treats and anything else to help your dog settle in more easily.
We even offer an unlimited luggage allowance at no extra charge!
Host families are given a Pet Schedule detailing all of the information we gathered at the initial registration meeting and we’re on hand 24 hours a day 7 days a week to support them.
We’ll send a photograph of your dog to you as soon as he’s been safely delivered to the host. The very next day we give you a ‘rest easy’ update, so you can then sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your time away in the knowledge we’ve got everything covered.
On the day of return you’ll receive a fun postcard from the host and we’ll stamp your loyalty card so you can gain points which will entitle you to a free night away.
The best bit for us is seeing dogs happily settled-in and comfortable with their host. We will, wherever possible, be sure to use the same family each time you book a holiday. There are no minimum or maximum time limits we’re here whenever you need us.
Ask for your loyalty card. When your card is full you receive a FREE stay on us! (1 full card = 28 paw stamps).
If you love dogs but can’t commit to the full time financial and emotional responsibility of having a dog of your own, or if you have a very sociable dog who would benefit from visiting guests coming to stay, then you’ve come to the right place!
Our very own host families are extremely special people indeed. They have been selected carefully and interviewed in depth at home to ensure they meet our criteria. We get to know them really well and have worked with many of them for a great number of years.
Who are our hosts
It goes without saying, all of our hosts, without exception, are absolutely dotty about dogs. Some are actively retired people who’ve had dogs all of their lives but now enjoy the freedom and flexibility of caring for dogs on holiday. Others are younger, often with a family at home, where the addition of a visiting dog is great fun for all.
How it works
We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to. We think it’s important that our hosts concentrate on looking after visiting dogs and that they are not exposed to, or distracted by a constant flow of potential customers and dogs coming and going. Our hosts are also protected from the awkwardness of dealing with money, insurance and paperwork, so that the enjoyment of looking after visiting dogs remains their focus.
Support 24 Hours a Day – 7 Days a Week
Looking after someone else’s dog is great fun, however from time to time you may need a little local, on the ground support and it’s great to know we’re on hand 24/7 to provide just that.
If you’re interested in joining our fun, dog loving host community to become a pet sitter we’d love to hear from you.
CLICK HERE to make an enquiry
A small selection of our lovely host families:
Celia - 23rd Mar, 2017
"Lulu has just been to me on her fourth visit. We've both had a lovely time and it seems strange today without her. She is well known and well loved by my friends and neighbours now as well as the local dogs. We all look forward to seeing her again soon."
Jackie - 6th Jan, 2017
"We had the pleasure of looking after Pip for 2 weeks over Christmas this year! We all loved having him for his 2nd visit with us. We enjoyed the walks (even in the cold and sometimes wet) and my children loved his company too!
I would love to have a dog of my own sometime soon, but looking after dogs with Barking Mad gives me the opportunity to see how a dog would fit into our lives, what challenges it might bring and what delights too! I can test out different breeds and ages too in case I go down the rescue dog route!
Definitely a win win option."
Brenda - 6th Jan, 2017
"We recently had Molly come to stay we all fell in love with her. My dog Wiggles loved her too
She was so good and had us laughing when she showed attention to the Tv.
We enjoyed her company and will look forward to her coming to see us again.
Carol - 3rd Nov, 2016
"We thought the service we got from Emily at Barking Mad was very professional - the information we received on Inca prior to our having her was very precise and made our experience all the better. It was good to know she was at the end of the phone especially as this was our first time. Inca was a pleasure to have and as advised needed lots of love and attention which we certainly gave her. We look forward to the next time to host again. Many thanks."
Brenda - 26th Oct, 2016
"We recently had Scout come to stay with us what a lovely time we had scout and my dog wiggles became great friends it was really nice. Its nice that the dogs get to visit carers whilst the owners go on holday as it gives peace of mind for all concerned and the dogs are happy too We look forward to scout coming again"
Brenda - 26th Oct, 2016
"Scout came to stay a beautiful little dog we had a great time look forward to seeing her again.
Barking Mad is a lovely idea it is very important that the dogs are happy and we love it"
Celia - 4th Oct, 2016
"Lulu has just gone home after seventeen nights with me. This is the longest stay I've had but it wasn't too long. She is a delightful, easy dog to look after who quickly makes herself at home.
This is the third time she's been to me and I look forward to her next visit."
Brenda - 4th Oct, 2016
"I think Barking Mad is such a lovely idea as the dogs can visit families a bit of a holiday whilst their owners have a holiday too.
We recently enjoyed a visit from a beautiful dog Fozzie he settled into our home quite happily and we enjoyed him too.
Animals need to feel secure with no worries and fitting into a family environment makes for a happy doggie I think Barking Mad is a very good idea
I will look forward to the next vistor on four legs."
Jackie - 12th Sep, 2016
"I have recently looked after Pip for just over a week and really enjoyed it. I am looking to have a dog myself but want to be 100% sure I am doing the right thing before I take the plunge.
I love that with barking mad you get lots of help and support while looking after someone else's precious dog. If you have a problem or the dog becomes unwell you also know that help is at hand. I found the experience rewarding and it was lovely having Pip stay with us. The problem is we missed him when he was gone...
I would like to continue looking after dogs with barking mad.
Celia - 19th Jul, 2016
"Hugo has just had two weeks holiday with me. As a lively two-year-old Springer he was more of a challenge than I've had before but I loved it, and him. We walked many miles and I managed to loose some weight. An added bonus for me!
I think Hugo enjoyed having my undivided attention and he certainly made the most of it. I always think about how I would like my own dog to feel - happy, secure, content, and loved."
Linda - 29th Jun, 2016
"Hello I love having the dogs it gets me out and about too..I am fairly new to the neighbourhood. And I have met people that I would not have met if I was not hosting. All the dogs I have had since I've been hosting have been very good I love them all. I wish I could have some of the small dogs back I had last year!. Posted by Linda"
LindaS - 29th Jun, 2016
"I love being a host we find it encourages us to go out more and explore dog friendly places so we get loads of fresh air and exercise. We have the peace of mind that Barking Mad are on the end of a phone if we need them for any reason and its a great way of having a dog without the costs involved. Also if your lifestyle means you cannot have a dog then this is a great alternative. I would definitely recommend it as all the dogs we have had have been easy to care for and friendly, the hardest part is saying goodbye but because you know they will probably have another holiday before too long you don't get upset you just look forward to their next stay."
Anne and David - 28th Jun, 2016
"Hosting a dog gives us a lot of pleasure and is very rewarding. We have only been hosting dogs for 3 months but we're really enjoying it. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that each dog has had a lot of love and a good home from home holiday. We treat every dog as if it was ours, taking note of the pet profile guidelines. It is a great help knowing that you have the back-up of Barking Mad should anything untoward happen, which gives us peace of mind. John has been excellent matching us with the dogs we've hosted so far."
Brian and Carole - 8th Apr, 2016
"We have been hosting for 18 months now and have come to know the regular dogs we have. The owners have requested many times that they like them to go back to the same host. We find it rewarding that they make these requests.
Nicola is always very careful to match the host and dog and this shows in the requests she gets.
Keep up the good work. A perfect match makes a happy owner, dog and host.
Barking mad prides itself on this and Nicola and her team work very hard to make this happen.
We have just got another first time little doggy today and we hope that he will want to come back again.
A big thankyou to all the team."
Celia - 6th Apr, 2016
"Archie has just gone home after his second visit. He's the most affectionate little dog I've met. Really loving, kind, and gentle. He can be a bit naughty sometimes but we suit one another well and both thoroughly enjoyed our week."
Gwen - 31st Mar, 2016
"We have just had a second visit from a lovely dog that we first met over last Xmas. Having become very fond of her the first time, it was lovely to see her again. She settled more quickly this visit, and was very relaxed. We really enjoyed our time with her, and look forward to her next visit."
Gwen - 24th Mar, 2016
"We have just had a beautiful golden labrador to share our lives with for the past nine days. He was delightful, really good around other dogs and children, and a joy to be with. I'm looking forward to having him to stay again."
Pam - 18th Mar, 2016
"We have just said goodbye to our latest doggy client and thoroughly enjoyed having him here.
He settled in straight away, was friendly and playful. We never imagined choosing this breed ourselves but he's now a very firm favourite and today the house seems empty without him. Hope to look after him again sometime."
Gwen - 14th Mar, 2016
"I enjoy doing the best I can to make sure that my doggy guest feels relaxed, cared for and loved whilst they're away from home. This is what I would want for my own dog, when I have to go away on holiday, so I find it very rewarding to provide this for other people and their dogs."
Jenny - 8th Feb, 2016
"For me, the best part of being a Barking Mad host is getting to know all the different doggie personalities and making friendships with them, particularly when my new houseguest could be feeling a little bit homesick."
Margaret & Stan - 26th Jan, 2016
"We have thoroughly enjoyed hosting a lot of Barking Mad dogs over the last seven years. We have always had terrific support from Brad and team and prior to that from Chris and Alex. In all that time we have only needed help once during a visit, for minor veterinary attention, and that was dealt with very quickly and efficiently. I think this is because the dogs are well matched to their hosts (and the hosts own dogs!) in the first place. We also use Barking Mad for our own dogs holidays."
Adam - 22nd Jan, 2016
"When we moved to Dundee we both missed not having a dog in our lives. Being a host for Barking Mad gave us the opportunity to have that again, even though giving them back at the end is always hard.
It allowed us to see how well having a dog would fit into our lives in a full time situation, and directly influenced our decision to get our own. Now we look forward to hosting other dogs for Angus to play with.
As hosts, the support you receive from Brad is amazing and the detail he goes into to facilitate yours and the dogs well being is incredible.
I would thoroughly recommend anyone who wants to have a visitor now and again, someone who misses the company of the dog but has commitments and everybody who wants a dog but is not sure if it will work to become a host with Barking Mad, you won't regret it!"
Lorna - 22nd Jan, 2016
"I have been a host for several years, I started with Barking Mad as I wanted to have a dog but visiting family in the south made it impractical, so when I am home I have a dog, I have had a great variety of dogs from a little Jack Russell to a huge mountain dog. Barking mad is great because they match dogs with their hosts in all the years of hosting I have never had a dog that I would not have again. Hosting dogs means I go out everyday, I talk to many people and share doggie stories."
Ed and Barbara - 22nd Jan, 2016
"Having a four-legged lodger for a few days is always a pleasure. Still getting over the loss of our own dog but nothing cheers you up more than another wagging tail around the house. Great support from Brad and his team. If only he could do something about this awful Scottish weather."
Kate & Graham - 20th Jan, 2016
"We live in Shirley and have local parks, woods and fields nearby. Whatever the weather we love taking the dogs out and about. They have joined us for barbecues, street parties and made visits to a local elderly care home. Our grandchildren have learned to overcome their fear of dogs by meeting our 'guests'.Having a dog keeps us fit and healthy too. Our garden is large and well fenced so the dogs can enjoy chasing squirrels!
We would love to have a dog of our own but with working full-time until recently and travelling it never seemed the right time. Having dogs for Barking Mad has 'filled the need'. We have had so many dogs to stay (and everyone a pleasure) and one in particular has come twice a year since 2008.
Tina organises things so well - she 'matches' the right dog to the right host - so everyone is happy ( most of all the dog!)"
Susan - 20th Jan, 2016
"I love being a host for dogs with Barking Mad, and enjoy meeting the different visiting dogs, and getting to know each ones individual personality."
Sandra & Terry - 19th Jan, 2016
"We love being hosts to barking mad, Terry is around most of the day, and I work 4 days a week, so we can have doggies almost all the time other than we are on our hols !!, we already have our fav’s Bruno, Bentley, Darcy , Biscuit, Ben the boxer & Gunner, and Tina will try her up most so we can have them on repeat hols, it means a lot to us as we love looking after all the little & big ones, and they all have there own little characters, we have photos of all the dogs we have had since July last year, and look forward to seeing them all again this year, and miss them when they go home, It’s a pleasure to look after doggies on there hols, & and its filled a gap since loosing a couple of our own pets last year,"
Jenny, John and Jean - 15th Jan, 2016
"Being an animal lover - I love working with Barking Mad and being a host for them. I especially like having their beautiful doggies to stay. The doggies all have their own very different characters and we have some good times filled with really good fun and laughs with the doggies that stay with us.
We all really enjoy having the pets and get out and about and sometimes on the odd occasion we take them out to other parks and places close to home. Its just like having your own pet!
I do like the events and walks that Tina at Barking Mad arranges. Its a chance to get out with other hosts and meet them and hear their tales as a host.
I recall a fete we went to lovely sunny day with lots of dogs and we all had such a great time, I recall feeling quite sorry when the fete ended."
Tracey - 15th Jan, 2016
"We have been hosting since last summer and really enjoy the experience and getting to know the personalities of the dogs, even the cheeky ones !
I particularly like walking in the fields and woods nearby with my host dogs as company, and its great exercise too.
Rosina - 15th Jan, 2016
"I first looked after dogs in 2005 & have kept photos of all my visitors. After a break, came back to it a couple of years ago. I have had Millie two years running & cannot wait to greet her again in July, it feels like a special friend spending her holiday with me :)"
Gwen - 8th Jan, 2016
"Sheba, a beautiful Belgian Shepherd dog, was my first experience with 'Barking Mad'. She was adorable, very gentle, and well behaved. She seemed to fall in love with my partner - maybe she saw him as her temporary pack leader - and we both really enjoyed her company over the Christmas period. Having lost my own much loved collie of over 15 years, in October, I had felt lost without a dog to love and care for - so being a 'Barking Mad' host was ideal for me. We're so looking forward to our next doggie guest, and also hope to see Sheba again at some time in the future."
Celia - 8th Jan, 2016
"My last visitor, Pip, was an absolute sweetie. A breed I've not had experience of before and a real delight. She came to me for just a few days before going on to her regular family.
She loved her bed - well actually my bed - and when she was ready to go up at night she would stand at the bottom of the stairs, with one paw on the bottom step, and stare at me until I gave in."
Elaine - 9th Nov, 2015
"We really love our holiday dogs, we like to spoil them, love them, lots of cuddles and make sure they are really happy with us, it's lovely to get the same dog(s) over and over again, they just make themselves at home, and all our dogs know where the 'treat' cupboard is.. We get such a lot of love from them and look forward to them returning."
Sarah and Stan - 9th Nov, 2015
"We adore having new Barking Mad dogs come to stay and love it even more when they return for second and third visits. Its such a pleasure to spend time with these much loved dogs and take them for walks on the beach and around the countryside. We know that when our 'crazy' Collie goes to stay with a Barking Mad host, she will be safe, happy, and much loved."
Liz - 4th Nov, 2015
"We have really enjoyed hosting our last two dogs, Nelson and Finn. As a family we enjoy meeting the new dogs and letting them be a part of our family, albeit only for a while. It is good to know if we have any issues we can just call Emily. We hope to keep hosting even when we get our own dog, (something my husband would never have agreed to until he realized how complete a dog makes a home)."
Debra - 4th Nov, 2015
"We have had a full calendar for October starting with a surprise arrival as another host was sadly taken poorly. Ruby arrived within 40 minutes of the phone call but soon settled in and became a family favorite. Then came Azi, she takes over our lives but ooh how we love her. Lastly we had Jess, an old lurcher who turned into a puppy again when it was walkies time. Each very different but all very lovable."
Diana - 15th Oct, 2015
"I have always had dogs since I was born,having lived on a farm. I cannot remember ever being without dogs. Now I am on my own it is great to have more than one dog.
I am a dog lover, plus Kali my lab just love to go on walks and have company at home.
So we are both very happy bunnies"
Nicky - 13th Oct, 2015
"I started pet sitting nine years ago for Barking Mad.
It is very enjoyable and I love the country and Beach Walks. I have to make an effort to get out with the dogs here.
I have many regulars that come year after year. Each dog has its separate character. With the pairs I love watching the integration between the two dogs.
I work for Ian Carney who pays a lot of attention to detail, doesn't mind going over things with me if I am not sure and always makes sure the dog is familiar with my bungalow before he leaves. He always promptly answers the phone and I feel that I am not alone with the responsibility of someone else's dog.
My life would be empty without Barking Mad.
Nicky, Dorset Host. Posted by Nicky"
Clive - 23rd Sep, 2015
"Having just said goodbye to our 2nd holiday dog whom we've enjoyed entertaining and looking after. We look forward to our next dog!"
Carole - 21st Sep, 2015
"Nicola and her team always go the extra mile to ensure they are acting in the dogs best interest. If there is any doubt about a dogs health she will always act accordingly so that the owners can rest assured that there dog will get the best possible attention and the owner can relax and enjoy their holiday. We have always welcomed all our lovely dogs for holidays and they enjoy their stay.
Keep up the good work and keep sending these lovely dogs for their holidays that they can enjoy.
A first class team who cares unreservably for the dogs in their care. Posted by Carole"
Debra - 17th Sep, 2015
"We have just enjoyed a lovely long weekend with Roxy the staffy. She is so well behaved we hardly knew she was there but now she has gone our home is a quieter sadder place. This is why we love Barking Mad as each dog gives us a smile!"
Sarah and Stan - 9th Sep, 2015
"We love taking our four legged holiday friends for walks through the fields and to the beach, Its a privilege to get to know the new dogs and become friends and really special when they come back to us for a repeat holiday full of cuddles and fun."
Angela - 21st Aug, 2015
"I have just become a host for Barking Mad and recently cared for my first dog, a lovely old Labrador. He fitted in so well with my own two dogs and I thoroughly enjoyed giving him a special holiday for a few days and am really looking forward to helping out again. It is something very dear to my heart and feel I am being of use to others in providing a safe and welcoming home from home for someone's beloved pet. Plus my own pets also enjoy the company."
Elaine - 21st Aug, 2015
"We love looking after our holiday dogs, they are all really lovely, friendly and usually make themselves at home straight away. We especially like to have the same dog back time after time and they always look really pleased to see us again."
Brian and Carole - 19th Aug, 2015
"Monty is always a pleasure to have in our home.. Just gone back to his home after another great holiday.
Nicola and her team are as always very efficient and friendly. Thank you to all of you.
Brian and Carole Posted by Brian and Carole"
Diana - 19th Aug, 2015
"I love having dogs I was brought up with my father's GunDogs we always had 2 or 3 at a time. A friend saw you advertising for people to look after them while a way on holiday or just for a week- end. So I did just that. I loved having Maisie also Kali loved it as well."
Cynthia - 10th Aug, 2015
"My Barking Mad dogs, many of whom come back again and again, light up my life. They are all different, with different hopes and needs, and getting to know them and earn their trust and affection is pure joy. They go everywhere with me, visiting friends, shopping, and of course on lots of nice healthy walks, good for me as well as them. Total strangers have become friends, stopping me in the street with "What's this one's name, then?" - or even, on between days, with a disappointed "No dog today?"
God bless BM, my area manager Ian, my owners, and first and foremost, all my dogs."
Celia - 4th Aug, 2015
"Rolo has just gone home after his weekend trial. He passed with flying colours. 10/10 I would say and I'm looking forward to his return towards the end of the week.
Well done Emily - you worked out straight away what sort of dogs are best suited to my situation. Quicker than I did."
Pam & Ray - 21st Jul, 2015
"After a year of being without a dog it was great to have not one but two dogs in the house. To see two little faces greeting us from their crate when we returned home was lovely. They settled in well and Emily made sure we were happy with them. Our grandchildren who live opposite were constantly here playing with them, which they adored. If only we had heard about Barking Mad when we were dog owners and didn't want to use kennels!!!!!!!!"
Filomena - 9th Jul, 2015
"Having Pebbles for a few days was delightful and Finley enjoyed the company. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of dealing with a dog other than my own and understanding her needs.
She seemed extremely happy and made herself at home immediately. All doggie friends on park enjoyed meeting her and she was in her element.
Great fun all round."
Mary - 8th Jul, 2015
"I've often asked myself why on earth anyone would want to be a host for Barking Mad. Belly rubs, staffie, Henry's smelly farts, being first out in pristine snow, pickle's snoring (how the walls vibrate), watching Starsky grow from a gangling four month pup into a well behaved teenager. I can go on and on but my favourite is sleeping on the settee on a hot afternoon having a 'nana nap' with a happy, contented pooch sleeping on my stomach dreaming of rabbits.
In 2014 I looked after 24 different dogs, most of whom returned numerous times. So far this year I've had 18 from little to large to very large (ah yes - Dudley). If I put my foot down and ask for time out to have a holiday myself then I get those puppy dog eyes from Ian (the boss) suggesting that I would love to take a dog with me. I generally succumb and thoroughly enjoy our time together.
Would I recommend being a Barking Mad host to anyone else? Having a boss like Ian who is very keen and hands on makes being a host easier. Should anything crop up he will be straight round to deal with it. I love hosting and would urge those people who are thinking about it to have a go. Where else can you wake up to a pair of soulful eyes, a lolling tongue and a wet nose in your immediate field of vision - that's enough about the old man!
Hi you folks at head office. I have spoken to Ian and he says that if you use this can you put it on both his Bath and Dorset sites please. Many thanks. Mary xx"
Celia - 30th Jun, 2015
"Having lost my beloved 15-year-old Westie last July I decided to sign up as a Host with Barking Mad towards the end of the year.
To be honest the first dog that came to me didn't really suit me and I wasn't sure I would do it again. But Emily persuaded me to have another try and I've had several dogs since which have all been delightful. My favourite, Lulu, has just gone home after her third visit.
I know she loves coming to me and I love having her."
Shannon - 27th May, 2015
"I love looking after all the different types of dogs that come for there holiday with me. I love caring for them as if they where my own. It gets me out and about meeting new people and their dogs too. All the dogs I've had come everywhere with me and even though each dog had a different personality they where all great to have. I look forward to caring for more dogs as well as caring for the same dogs that i have had."
Brian and Carole - 27th May, 2015
"Just coming to the end of another period of hosting a Barking Mad dog on holiday. We really appreciate what Nicola and her team do to connect the right dog to the right family. After having dogs all our lives the time came for us not to be selfish and home another dog in later life. Barking Mad filled that gap and we adore giving a home from home holiday to these special dogs. It's just what we wanted for our dogs rather than kennels.
We feel privileged to be a host for Barking Mad and look forward to giving the next dog with a good home, a good holiday.
Nicola and her team are very professional and give the owners and host families a very professional approach which makes a good holiday for the dogs and a lot of fun and satisfaction for the hosts.
Keep up the good work and can't wait for the next dog to come on holiday. Thank you to you all. Brian and Carole"
Brian and Carole - 29th Apr, 2015
"Beau just gone back home after having another fun holiday with us. She so appreciates the TLC we give her and look forward to having her again.."
Sue - 17th Mar, 2015
"I have loved having the pugs, a breed I've been thinking about getting. Was so nice to have a dog in the house again. All very well behaved and was nice to know Emily was always on call should the need arise. Looking forwards to my next house guest. Sue"
Celia - 10th Mar, 2015
"Lulu, a delightful little Coton de Tulear, was collected from me yesterday after a nine-day stay. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I was sorry to see her go. - Can't wait for her to come back again."
Elaine & Tony - 26th Feb, 2015
"Love looking after our holiday dogs. It's a brilliant, well run company, with people who really do care about the dogs, I would highly recommend to would be hosts or dog owners who can rest assured their babies will be well looked after."
Liz - 25th Feb, 2015
"Really enjoyed having Hamish. Appreciated the support, from Emily, with the walking issue and the fact I could call if any issues.
Next dog please.
Hayley - 25th Feb, 2015
"Me and my family love being a part of the Barking mad team! It makes me feel happy knowing the dog isnt in kennels and instead having a fun time in the our home. Its also great for my own two dogs, it gives them the chance to make new friends and socialise with other dogs all shapes and sizes!"
VLG - 8th Jan, 2015
"I recently hosted my first little visitors from Barking Mad. I was slightly nervous having 3 at once, but I need not have been concerned, Emily was very good with lots of info about what I needed to do.
They very quickly settled in and I really enjoyed having their companionship. I loved taking them out each day and watching them play with their toys."
Shirley - 1st Dec, 2014
"It's now twelve years since I first asked Barking Mad to look after our lovely Boxer Amber.Later,we became hosts and since Amber died,Barking Mad has helped to fulfill our enjoyment of canine companionship with dogs of many different breeds and temperament.
It is lovely when we have repeat visitors,to know that their owners are just as pleased with the Barking Mad service and care of their cherished dogs as I was with Amber."
Carole and Brian - 19th Nov, 2014
"Had a wonderful three weeks with Molly she really enjoyed her holiday. Thanks Nicola you were very supportive and explained every thing needed for Molly to enjoy her stay.
Looking forward to our next visitor.
Posted by: Carole and Brian Lee on 18th Nov, 2014"
Geoff and Ruth - 29th Oct, 2014
"We love the opportunity of hosting dogs as we no longer have of our own. This is a great way of having a dog around the house without the commitment of owning a dog."
Liz - 30th Sep, 2014
"My family and I love being hosts as it gives us the chance to meet lots of different dogs and get to know them.
The house feels empty once the dog has gone but we really enjoy giving the dogs a holiday and the owners piece of mind that this member of their family is being cared for safely and for a few days is a part of our family.
It is always good to know that Emily is on the end of the phone for support and the clear guidelines from the owners let us know what the dog enjoys and what their routines are."
Bruan and Carole - 22nd Sep, 2014
"We have just had our first dog on holiday and jess was a pleasure to have. We have always had dogs but lost our last one a year ago. It was a hard decision not to have another, but our age is against commiting to owning another. We saw a local advert for hosts and Nicola from barking mad made the whole process so easy.
Its the best decision we could have made and cant wait for our next doggy to come for a holiday. They make the house a home again. We love it. Thanks Nicola."
Monica - 28th Aug, 2014
"I lost my dog after 15 yrs together , so Barking Mad is ideal for me, I so enjoy having my doggy visitors, every one of them have their own characteristics, which is so nice to discover, whether they like playing ball, or tug of war with one of their toys, and I enjoy our walks as much as they do as well. Posted by Monica Bennett"
Ruth - 12th Aug, 2014
"How does one sum up being a Barking Mad host? Fun, good loving company, enjoyable healthy exercise and sociable walks when holiday dogs are here. When they are not, then time alone to relax, visit friends, have days out, holidays etc, but soon something is missing. You can't beat doggy company! So I look forward to my next 4 legged holiday guest.
When they arrive I read their notes (what to feed, when to walk, favourite games) all the information I need to make them feel at home. Together we enjoy their holiday and I help them write a holiday post card at the end of their stay!
Life couldn't be better, especially when they come again and their body language, eyes and tail all say 'great to be back, let's have more fun.' Penny the Patterdale, Ellie the Collie, Riley and Alfie thank you for coming into my life. I'm sure you are the first of many more holiday makers who I'll enjoy welcoming into this holiday home for dogs.
When my 16 year old Bonnie went to doggie heaven recently I couldn't decide whether or not to get another dog. There were advantages on both sides, so I got in touch with Barking Mad and with help from Nicola I became a holiday home for dogs. It's great fun, varied, flexible and rewarding; The benefits of having a dog whenever you want, without being tied all the time.
Thank you Barking Mad for enhancing my life.
Posted by: Ruth Middlebrough on 9th Aug, 2014"
Mandy - 11th Jul, 2014
"I have always owned animals but current circumstances don't allow me to commit full time to the care of a pet. I missed so much not having one around, saw the advert for Barking Mad and Barking Mad took me on. It is the perfect solution! I have had the privilege of looking after some wonderful dogs, enjoying walks and cuddles with my little friends. Now I always have a doggie to look forward to, some of them stay with me regularly, which is especially fun. Any drawbacks? - having to return my little friends at the end of their holiday!
Becoming a Barking Mad Host is one of the best decisions I have ever made!!"
Mavis - 30th Jun, 2014
"I have been hosting for Barking Mad for almost six years now, and have so much enjoyed the company of some beautiful dogs of many breeds. I didn't want to get another dog of my own, so this was a perfect solution to have the opportunity of having a lovely dog for company, walks and fun, and yet be free to go away whenever I chose. As time goes by, certain dogs return for repeated holidays, which proves that a happy dog means a happy owner who entrusts their much loved pet to you. Barking Mad is a well structured company, and it is always good to know that 24hr support is on hand if ever needed."
Bernie & Susie - 24th Jun, 2014
"Although new to Barking Mad its been one of the best things we have done living on a small farm we have space and plenty of local walks to offer our wonderful friends who have stayed with us. each one is missed and we long for their return.
We have set up a gallery of our new friends and find great pleasure looking at the moments they have shared with us."
Niccola - 4th Jun, 2014
"I can honestly say that being a host for barking mad has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has helped me physically, emotionally and financially. After losing my own dearly loved Jack Russell I decided I couldn't have another dog to go through the pain of losing it again. Then along came Barking Mad, it must be nearly 7 years ago now and I've never looked back. All the dogs are such a pleasure and a joy to care for. You love them like they are your own and yes, you miss them when they go home but you know there will be another little one on its way to fill the space very soon . The best thing is that they do all come back regularly so your home really does become a home from home, it is wonderful when they come in and you know they are as happy to see you again as you are to see them. It really is the best thing, everything is in place to ensure you have 24hr help and support if necessary. You can specify what type or size of dog you prefer and also specify when you are available. Basically if you're happy the dog is happy and vice versa."
Karen - 27th May, 2014
"This has been my first week as a host of Barking Mad and I/we are loving
it! My first dog guest was Maisie a bearded collie cross. She stayed with us
for the weekend and was such a pleasure to look after. We had lots of fun at
the beaches and parks. We then had lovely little Malcolm a jack Russell cross.
He was very excitable but settled very quickly. He loved playing in the back garden and on
our walks where he came across rabbits, horses and even hens. We are looking
forward to getting gorgeous Bertie very soon. The house seems strange when we
don't have a doggy guest now.
Thanks again, Brad.
Karen, Brian, Nico and Dylan."
Barbara & Peter - 23rd May, 2014
"Our "visitors" have become part of our family over the years. They are as different as our children, and, just like our kids, we love them to bits. Nicola has proved to be a good friend as well as a wonderful "boss". Of course, we do spoil our dogs but they are on their holiday!"
Bev & Ellie - 15th May, 2014
"We love the flexibilty of having different dogs to look after, and we have a few regulars now, especially over half term and school holidays, they bring such fun into the house, with their own individual personalities, we shower them with love and affection (as would their owners) and get very attached - but we know they have to go home, till the next time..."
Cid - 15th May, 2014
"There are so many reasons to love having dogs come to stay with us..... we love having a variety of sizes and breeds and personalities, there's always something to delight us! My boys love having dogs around to play with, and they don't get bored with walking them or feeding them because there's always something different. We get such fantastic characters come and stay with us, they get us out and about, they fill the house with wonderful dogginess. If there's a downside, it's the sadness when they go back home..... until our next doggy friend comes to stay, that is!"
maxine - 22nd Apr, 2014
"I enquired about being a host following my friends' dog being on a 'Barking Mad' holiday. As soon as I met Tina I decided that I would like to become a host, because I was impressed by her friendly professionalism and her genuine love of meeting the needs of dogs and their owners. I have been very well matched with some delightful canine companions! I look forward to the regulars and to meeting new dogs. I have not had any problems as such, but appreciate the speed of response and action from Tina, Colin and Carol-Ann when I have needed information or help with something. I might also add that that Tina, Colin and Carol-Ann are as lovely as the dogs they bring!"
Mick and Shirley - 22nd Apr, 2014
"When we retired, we considered getting a dog of our own. We'd had lots of dogs whilst the children were young but it had been a few years since our last one had died. However, we planned to travel so thought perhaps it wasn't a sensible idea. Then one day, Shirley overheard a conversation about Barking Mad.....and the rest is history! Tina was brilliant - her passion and love for the animals was obvious and we warmed to her straight away. Very soon after, Charlotte, a chocolate Labrador, came to stay with us for 2 weeks. Charlotte adopted us and gave us all her love, attention and affection. The walks, the fresh air, the laughter we had with her were excellent. We said "goodbye" and looked forward to our next dog. Since 2011, when we became hosts, we've had lots of different dogs and return visits from a number of them. It's great getting to know their personalities and learning about them. Tina is always available to consult if there are any difficulties. If anyone is considering becoming a host, we would strongly recommend it. We've never regretted it for one moment! We've just returned from 9 weeks travelling and are desperate to meet our next four legged house guest!"
Karen and Paul - 17th Apr, 2014
"A house isn't a home without a dog in it. Our labrador, Hero loves to have a friend for a couple weeks - they have lots of fun running and playing together, then Hero gets a rest before the next doggy visitor arrives. There's something very special about a wagging tail, and a doggy greeting! We're very pleased we found Barking Mad and treat all our visitors as we would expect Hero to be treated - with love and respect."
Helen - 17th Apr, 2014
"My family used Barking Mad initially for our own dog Sally. She was an old labrador and I never wanted her to be put in kennels when we went on holiday. Tina at Barking Mad came out and totally put our minds at ease. We were shown various hosts, their gardens and all Sally's needs were taken care of. This made us feel so relaxed going on holiday knowing Sally was in the best hands, literally home from home care. She was, most of the time, homed with the same family which was even more reassuring! Sally did take poorly when we were on holiday once and we were up-dated daily by Tina and Barking Mad took extremely good care of her, I will never forget them for that. When Sally passed away a few years ago we knew we didn't want to get another dog and decided on being a host family. It really is the best of both worlds. My 12 year old son particularly loves dogs coming to stay and the love we get from them. We've had all sorts of different dogs and characters. However, as we are busy during school holidays etc, we can select when we would like to take dogs. We have the freedom now and it's so much fun. The great thing is we know we have the back up and support from Tina which is fantastic. If things sometimes don't work out Tina is there to help and even take a dog should we be unable to look after it (which is a very rare occurrence as Tina is excellent at selecting the right dog for the right host). We take lots of photographs for the owners which Tina emails to them, should they wish, on holiday. We also write a little postcard for the families so they know what their pet has been up to while they have been away. It really is a fantastic company and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. If you are wanting company from a dog but without the full time commitment then look no further than Barking Mad. Go on, give it a try.......!"
Sue and Paul - 17th Apr, 2014
"We became hosts for Barking Mad, thinking it would be good to have a dog occasionally and the exercise would be good for us, being retired we need to keep going!!
Tina impressed us immediately..she really works hard at matching the dogs to the people. We love dogs that are good fun on their walks, but behave in the house (who doesn't?) and we have had a range of young and old, big and small and lots and lots of Labradors. If there has been a problem e.g. The dog needs the vet to check something, Tina, Colin or Carol Ann arrive and take the animal to the vet. We had one dog who obviously wasn't happy, and frankly was making us unhappy, perhaps pining for its owner, and Tina took it and looked after it herself. So we never have to worry that we are stuck with an animal that we don't get on with.
Tina has become a good friend, and her team of Colin and Carol Ann are so professional and caring with the animals it is a pleasure to 'do business' with them.
If you are thinking of being a host, do try it...you have a lot of fun, I enjoy the caring for some of the older ones as well as running round with the young ones, without the responsibility of having your own animal. Posted by Sue and Paul Allcroft"
Audrey - 16th Apr, 2014
"Due to health issues I am unable to have a dog of my own. Being a host for barking mad means I can have the company and pleasure of a dog, for a period of time with out the resposibility and cost of owning a dog myself.It is nice to know that as a host I can enable owners to have a break safe in the knowledge that their dog is being cared for by someone whose aim it is to give the dog a holiday in a friendly loving enviorment."
erika - 16th Apr, 2014
"I have been a host for nearly 9 years with my husband and now I am on my own. It is an absolute absolute pleasure to have my little dogs come to stay! I have regular ones and find it a privilege to be trusted with someones pet. They are my friends and it gives me something to focus on meet other dog lovers as well.
Posted by: Erika Cockerill on 15th Apr, 2014"
Dorothy - 16th Apr, 2014
"My husband and I thoroughly enjoy being hosts for dogs. Faye is great and runs a valuable service. Every dog we have has it's own wee personality and we grow to love them more and more every day. They are like little rays of sunshine in our home. We are so happy we decided to be hosts. We love it."
Ian - 16th Apr, 2014
"It is a real pleasure for us to look after so many varied dogs and hopefully give them a great time in a caring way close to their home life.Have done this now for over 3 years with nothing but positive experiences and would fully recommend being a host."
Jaclyn - 15th Apr, 2014
"We are the lucky ones that get to look after your lovely dogs my family and i enjoy it because we get to meet so many different characters and they are all individual and whilst they are with us they are treated as part of our family. We love dogs but because of work commitments we can only host during the school holidays so we are always looking forward to our new guest arriving and we hope to be part of Barking Mad for a very long time."
Hi all my name is Alix and I manage the Sevenoaks branch of Barking Mad.
I live in Orpington with my partner of 5 years. I have always had a passion for animals; I was brought up on a farm and would rescue and care for any animal I could. Due to working long unsociable hours over the last 10 years I have not been able to have a dog but have managed to keep animals in my life with a horse and a cat. I heard of Barking Mad through a friend and called up immediately to enquire about running a franchise, there was no looking back and I am thrilled to now be doing what I love and providing care to the furry ones in our lives.
You are probably reading this as you are interested in the best care around for your dog whilst you are away from home and that is what Barking Mad offers.
This service works by hand selecting host families, these hosts can vary from families who cannot commit to having a dog all year round to those retired who are missing having a pooch in their lives but all have one thing in common a love for dogs and a passion to have them in their lives. Your dog is then specifically matched to one of our wonderful host families to have the ‘pawfect’ holiday.
It can be hard to leave our four legged friends when we go on holiday and the decision of what to do with them whilst we are away can be tough. Please give me a call and I will happily come over to meet you and explain how the service works and reassure you that your dog will enjoy their holiday as much as you do yours, you will even receive a post card to let you know what your dog has been getting up to.
Alternatively, if you have read this and are thinking that you would make the perfect host and would love to have the companionship of a dog staying for its holidays I’d love to hear from you.
Looking forward meeting you and your furry friends!
• Badgers Mount
• Borough Green
• East Malling
• Ide Hill
• Kings Hill
• West Kingsdown
• West Malling
• West Peckham
A belated thank you for ensuring Boycie had a good time with your hosts, he was knackered so he must have had a nice busy time!
Stan was so pleased to have met you both and felt so reassured when Wayne delivered Boycie back. He warmed to him right away, possibly because he's similar in preferring animals to people! You guys have a great balance which I reckon is the secret to your success, and long may it continue.
Hi Andy and Wayne
Just a quick note to thank you for fixing up Holly's stay with her lovely host family. As you know, it is the first time we have left her, other than for a few hours at a time, in all her 4.5 years.
She has returned home really very happy indeed, and with a lovely note about her stay from her host family. Her food bowls etc also came back far cleaner than they have ever been - so thoughtful!. We couldn't be more pleased about how the weekend has gone, and will definitely be in touch soon to sort out another stay.
Unfortunately a person we knew had been rushed into hospital. he owns a rather large old dog, who weighs about 8 stone and is nearly ten. He also had a displaced hip bone. We had known buster since a puppy and Rottweilers do get a bad name for themselves.
We tried all ways to find a temporary home for him, whether it was his breed or being so old ? Eventually we found barking mad and we rang to see if they could help. At first they didn't think they could but then rang us back, they found a lovely couple who would take him in. We knew he was a good boy but they soon fell in love with the poor old boy,
All's well that ends well - Buster had a lovely two week holiday and if his owner was poorly again we understand they would have him back.
I cannot praise Andy enough he has been brilliant and very caring and we cant thank him enough.
I just wanted to thank you both and of course the wonderful host family who looked after Buster and Petal at the weekend. They came back happy and tired and somehow cleaner looking than they went! We know they had a great time and it meant we could have a worry free weekend with family!
Well done all of you!
Just a note to thank you for arranging what was clearly first class care for Reg and Delilah. They are both on top form, happy, relaxed and much cleaner and better groomed than when you picked them up from me! Please thank Nicky and her family on my behalf for being such brilliant hosts.
Aside from the fact that we have a house full of terriers, 20-something sons, and now a toddler - I don't have a great set of excuses to explain why it has taken me so long to write...
Anyway - PLEASE - pass our thanks to Coco and Casper's Christmas hosts. We absolutely LOVED the pictures of how the dogs had been cared for. Obviously they were never previously allowed to sit in the furniture at home, and Casper never used to lick the plates in the dishwasher either, but it seems a waste of effort to try to turn them back into the super-obedient Barbara Woodhouse dogs we had before they went away on holiday!!
Seriously, we were thrilled to bits with how well loved and cared for by their sympathetic and patient hosts. And, as long as Coco and Casper did not drive them around the bend with their eccentric antics, I do hope that the same hosts would like to have them again. It is so reassuring to know that dear ones are looked after by people that seem to love them just as much.
We're very happy to hand over our beloved family dog to Barking Mad. He is happy to go and happy and healthy on return. Thank you, Andy for a super, trustworthy service!
We have used Barking Mad for the past couple of months for our two border collies. The dogs took to Andy and Wayne straight away and are always excited when they arrive to collect them.
Its great to receive a text to let us know the pups are settled and eating well. They clearly love staying with their dog-carers and they always return happy and tired!
Very happy with the service, its professional, personable and easy. Thanks again!
Our two large dogs have just got back from their first barking mad weekend and they had a lovely time by all accounts!Andy and Wayne collected and returned them and all their stuff in their "tardis" and we were all very happy!Hopefully the first of many happy doggy holidays for them.
We've used Barking Mad for a couple of years now for our two year old Lab Jaffa. As soon as his holiday bag comes out he knows he's off and gives Andy and Wayne a boisterous welcome. He is obviously spoilt and loved by Denise and family and comes home a happy and contented boy.
It enables us to go away and not worry about him and he certainly enjoys his time away.
Andy sends through updates to let us know he is behaving and has settled. Jaffa can be upset by loud thunder (and window cleaners) but he's been so well looked after - sitting on laps when it thunders, which is no mean feat and shows true dedication to looking after him.
We have several trips booked for next year and the first thing we do is book Jaffa in for his holiday as soon as we book ours. Thanks to Andy and Wayne and Denise for looking after him so well.
Posted by: Kate on 14th Oct, 2014
I was a worried parent(!) about leaving my 6 year old labradoodle with strangers for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that my dog settled well and I had regular updates from Andy reassuring me that the mini break was going well! Many thanks to the Barking mad team and the dog carers.
As you know, we got back from Spain yesterday and Pepa was delivered to us at 6pm. She clearly enjoyed herself while away and seems fit as a flea.
I know it is early days in our relationship with Barking Mad, but this is just to say how very much we appreciate your and Wayne's services. It is everything we hoped for. From the feedback from the owners on how the stay went to the 'phone calls warning us you may be late and the fact that I even get back to empty plastic yoghurt pots that I use for Pep's food - we had despaired of ever finding this level of customer service again. You really make us feel our custom is appreciated as well as looking after the needs of our dog. So thank you very much.
We have two rescue collie X dogs and both have issues. Andy and Wayne took all our concerns on board and we were delighted to find the care and attention to detail we received both before during and after our dogs went on holiday.
It really was a real comfort to know that whilst we were away enjoying ourselves so too were our dogs.
Many thanks BarkingMad
Another fabulous 'holiday' for Dexter and Ralph, our busy and energetic springer spaniels. Thank you so much Andy for arranging everything, and to the lovely couple who had them. They had a great time as always, and it is so lovely to know they are really happy while we are all away. They come home to us relaxed and unstressed, not like other kennel experiences we have had. ...
As usual we asked Andy to arrange holiday cover for Rosie, our Cocker spaniel, during our week in Cornwall. Unfortunately Rosie did not settle - bad tempered and grumpy.Andy tried to contact us but where we were staying there was no mobile reception.Andy arranged alternative carers where she settled for the rest of our holiday. This confirms that Barking Mad and Andy in particular always has the welfare of our pets as their priority.Nothing is too much trouble - service with a big beamimg smile!!!
We have an old and stressy lurcher who we love to bits. Andy brought him back this morning from a week with Jackie and her husband and he couldn't have been happier. This is the ideal solution for us to be able to have a stress free holiday for both ourselves and our dog. Andy's care and great level of communication totally put our mind at rest and as my daughter said, 'What could be better than him staying with someone else who dotes on him!?' He gets spoiled by lovely food and a lap to cuddle on all the time. Thank you to Andy and his carers!
We are thoroughly delighted with Barking Mad. We have received great service, Our dogs are both rescues, one had been badly treated in the past and therefore we were worried about leaving them. They are delighted to see Andy and come back very happy from their "holiday" homes. We will continue to use Barking Mad for peace of mind and happy dogs. Allison and Jim
Fantastic service. From the first meeting with Andy, I knew we had made the right choice. The time Andy spent finding out all about Lola instantly put me at ease that the right host family would be found for her and I couldn't have been happier with her "trial sleepover". I received such wonderful feedback from Janet and Darrel, who clearly seem to love Lola as much as we do! Who could ask for more! I have recommended Barking Mad to every dog owner I know and am sure Lola can not wait for her next stay when we go away. Such a professional service, thank you x
Our dog caring plans broke down last minute and Andy stepped in and helped us out. Andy really cares and puts clients first. He is professional, proactive and offers a top class service. Dealing with Andy you know your pet will be cared for at the highest level. He keeps in touch with updates and makes you feel assured and comfortable. Can't recommend Andy highly enough 10\10. Wonderful service. Andy, thank you.
My two Retrievers had a total blast with their host family and I relaxed on my holiday in the knowledge that they were safe and loved. I can't wait to book another holiday so that they can both go off and have fun with their new friends. Thank YOU Andy for sourcing and securing the perfect host family for my dogs!
We are really pleased with the service from Barking Mad. Barley is picked up from home, which is really convenient when getting ready to go on holiday, and then we have no worries about her while we are away, knowing she is in a safe and comfortable home instead of a kennels. We are really pleased we have found this service.
Our first time using Baking Mad and I can't recommend this company enough! The service from beginning to end was first class and took all the worry and stress out of making sure our dog Chester was cared for in a lovely home environment while we were away. He had a wonderful time with Jan and Paul, I never worried about him once and the peace of mind was priceless. Thank you Andy for your attention to detail in every respect and we wish you every success with the business.
This was the first time we used Barking Mad. We were impressed by the comprehensive fact-finding session and the care taken to match Dusty, our Greyhound, to suitable hosts and we felt very confident that he would enjoy a good "holiday" while we were away. Everything went exactly as promised by Barking Mad and Dusty had clearly been carefully looked after by his hosts and returned to us looking very fit, well and behaving like his normal self. This is an excellent service which we will definitely use again and recommend to anyone looking for a "home from home" for their dog while on holiday.
Harvey lost his lifelong buddy Lucy a few months before we were due to go away and had changed from being full of bounce to an old dog. We were recommended to get in touch with "Barking Mad" by a neighbour who waxed lyrical about how well her two old dogs were cared for. So pleased that we did - Harvey has his sparkle back! Thank you Philippa for recommending Sheila who cared for him so well. We will certainly be in touch again because we know Harvey will be happy.
Posted by: Pauline Kilbey on 22nd Oct, 2013
I was so pleased to have found Barking Mad and have the peace of mind that my dog would be part of a family whilst I was away and not cooped up in a kennel 23 hours a day. Holly came back happy and relaxed, having had a lovely holiday herself with her carers for the week. The process is made so simple by Philippa and her team - I really felt we were looked after. Holly is looking forward to going away again soon!
Our little fellow had his first weekend away from us and was placed with lovely Anne. He had a thoroughly brilliant time and was treated like one of the family. We were delighted to get an email on his first night away, telling us the he was snuggled up on the sofa between Anne and Gordon, which we know he will have completely loved! We hope to get another weekend away soon and will go with the sure knowledge that our lovely little boy is well looked after in a caring, loving home from home.
We had had Patch from the age of 2 and because of this we weren't sure whether he would take kindly to being put in kennels. We looked around to see what the alternatives were and Barking Mad seemed to have a good reputation. We were very impressed with the service they provided:a trial with the host so that we knew he would be happy; a text the day after we went away to say that he was enjoying himself (and probably not missing us at all!) and lovely people who obviously care about dogs to pick him up and collect him. All of this meant that we had a relaxing holiday and when we came back Patch had obviously been looked after brilliantly and his obedience hadn't slipped in any way so a big thank you to the hosts for taking our wishes into consideration and for being a second home for him. We will definitely recommend Barking Mad to others.
Our dog Scooby who is 9 years old had always come on holiday with us in England or to France. This year we decided to fly to our destination and could not bare for him to go into kennels. Barking Mad was recommended to me by a friend and we have not been disappointed. The host family Christine and Nigel left photographs of his stay with them, and a Wish You Were Here post card giving us lots of information about his stay such as his woodland walks, where he slept, and his chasing of the vacuum cleaner! Philippa sent us a text message on the second day of our holiday to say that Scooby had settled which was a great source of relief. Such a brilliant service.....Thank you all. Posted by Janet Follins
This is a brilliant service! We had never left Paddy since rescuing him five years ago and knew that as a mature gentleman kennels would be far too stressful for him. Philippa and her team took time to really get to know him and all his little quirks - including his essential cup of morning tea - and found a great couple who were able to make him really comfortable and happy. He was so chilled when he came home that we know he was looked after and we would recommend this service to anyone who wants the best for their pet.
Thank you for such a professional and caring service, the dogs were evidently very happy and well loved, and you made the whole process very comfortable and easy - many thanks!
I was so nervous when Rupert went for his first night away with his host family - I was so worried he wouldn't settle and would miss us. I got a text saying he was happy as anything and when he came back he seemed completely unfazed by the experience, even though he is only 17 weeks old. He clearly had an amazing time and I am so pleased that I have an alternative to kennels and that we can go away on holiday relaxed knowing that he is as happy as he is at home. Thanks Philippa for such a wonderful service.
In 20 years of dog ownership we had only kennelled our dogs once. But we'd recently run out of options (and relatives). A good friend said we should try Barking Mad and we're happy to say that it does exactly what it claims: homing your dogs with people who know what they are doing and, most importantly, who look after your little preciousnesses with the care and love we all heap on them ourselves. At the outset Philippa was very hands on, visiting to meet and "understand" the dogs, and the task in hand. Then she came to pick the dogs up to take them to their carers - Tony and Marylyn. While the dogs were with them we received "comfort" texts explaining how the pair were getting on - eating, sleeping, walking etc. Then Philippa brought them back so they were already at home when we returned. What's not to like about this service? We are absolutely happy to vouch for its trustworthiness and value - peace of mind is priceless. This statement is genuine, as is our appreciation to Philippa, Tony and Marylyn, and Barking Mad.
Paul & Stacey Hogan, Cowden
Bella is so happy to go on 'holiday', that she gets exited the moment I start packing her stuff. I wished she could be more excited about seeing us after the holiday, but she clearly has such a good time that she's never overly excited when coming back. Philippa is always very professional and friendly. Thank you Barking Mad for letting us have our holidays without worrying about our little Bella, because we know she's so well looked after.
Tia seemed to have a great time with her host family. Thank you so much for taking such good care of her. We really appreciated the pictures they took of Tia. Will definately use Barking Mad again.
Once again I have returned to a happy dog, who has obviously been treated like a princess as she is now sooo demanding. Whilst away Jess needed to visit the vets and we felt completely stress free and that everything had been taken care of without fuss. Thanks Barking Mad. Probably the most relaxed I have been on holiday since we owned a dog.
I enjoyed my holiday more knowing Harvey was safe and as happy as he could be – I really appreciated the photos the host family took.
Thank you for your professional, friendly service, It was so reassuring to know that we had you looking after our dogs and that they had been placed with such a lovely family. Knowing that they were so happy, we have no excuse not to go away without them again!
Helen went beyond the call of duty with Chilli and I can't believe she had to deal with her first season! But at no point did anyone make me feel it was an inconvenience. Thank you so much!
Bianca had a great time on her vacation with the host family. The pictures that Barking Mad gave me were very nice to see how well she settled in. Normally when she comes back from kennels she goes crazy at home because she was bored. From the host family she came home and slept, she had way too much fun with her long walks and such. I will definitely be using Barking Mad again
A fantastic service which offers complete peace of mind when away, very friendly and would not use anyone else now! Our puppy has returned as happy as ever - Thank you!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Firstly thanks to all the hosts that came to the hello/goodbye party at the end of last year with Andy and Wayne at the lovely Weathered and Worn Café in Hadlow, it was great to see and meet you all.
It’s my first official month with Barking Mad, so far so good, what a great start, I have fantastic hosts remaining with me and already some new ones joining and as you can see by the picture I have met the most charismatic dogs, I can’t wait to meet more.
I have already taken a lot of bookings for 2017 especially in the school breaks, so if you have dates in mind for your holiday breaks get your pooches booked in to secure your host.
NEWS FLASH – NEW LOGO ALERT!!
As I’m sure you can see on the website the Barking Mad logo has been updated, look out for the new branding on all Barking Mad products and correspondence. I hope you like it.
Hope to see you all soon.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We hope you had lots of Festive fun and the cold grey, windy, wet days of January aren’t too depressing for you. We have decided to fly off to Spain to escape the weather and so I’m writing this in warm sunshine.
Jealous??? Well then get on the internet and start arranging your own holidays for the year – you know you want to! Many of my customers are already on it as I am getting lots of bookings in. Half term and Easter are already looking busy so don’t dilly dally!
DOG OF THE MONTH
Bumble the Newfoundland puppy (8m old but already bigger than a Retriever!) out for Xmas.
MERRY XMAS HO HO HO!
This years Host Xmas Party had another fab turnout with 40 people attending. We held it at a brilliant venue called Weathered and Worn in Hadlow (www.weatheredandworn.me) and they looked after us all really really well. This year we had Afternoon Tea with mulled wine and mince pies to boot. Everyone loved getting together and there was lots of ‘doggie talk’ – comparing notes and exchanging funny stories.
It went down so well that this year we have decided to have more regular get togethers for our lovely host community, including dog walks, pub lunches and maybe even a quiz night!
The Team – Andy, Phil, Mariam, and Wayne
DOG OF THE MONTH
This month we are mentioning our very own dog Bobby (I know – totally biased!). Some of you will know that a brand spanking new Pet Shop called Barkers opened in Sevenoaks recently – part of the Pets At Home family (http://www.barkersfordogs.com) and they had a competition to find the cutest dog to come and open their store. Well Bob didn’t win but we are proud that out of over 400 entries he was runner up, and he received his very own Xmas bauble with his photo on it to hang on our tree. Well done Bobby!
Quick getaway before Xmas?
Don’t mind if I do sir!
We’re always quiet at this time of year – everyone’s preparing for Santa aren’t they? The month just seems to slip by – grey and cold.
So I’m offering THREE DAYS FOR THE PRICE OF TWO on all bookings made for November, just in case it may entice you to go on a Xmas buying trip to Marbella say for a long weekend – beats Oxford Street any day of the week surely!
Seen flights for £50……..just sayin! :)
Dog of The Month
Jaffa the Labrador taking it easy on Denise’s best chair after a long walk– naughty boy lol!
The C Word!
I can’t say it here – I don’t want to upset anyone………….but we all know it’s coming don’t we when John Lewis opens up its tinsel department! Even though it’s still sunny outside. It doesn’t seem quite right does it?
It’s a difficult time of year for us really. Some of our host families will have their own family festive fun planned which doesn’t include dogs, and at the same time of course demand for doggie care peaks from new and existing customers. Even by the end of September we were already half full and bookings are brisk so please don’t leave it too long to send your requests in.
Whilst as you know we always try our best to place your doggie with his/her same host family when they come out, when it comes to peak times like this please understand that unless you book well in advance, chances are that your usual family will already be booked out or of course away themselves too.
But please don’t worry if this is the case – all our host families are absolutely brilliant and you can rest assured that your beloved pooch will be showered with love and affection and always have as great a holiday as you do.
Lastly I just wanted to remind you all that much as we love you, even Wayne and I like to have our own Xmas fun (see I still didn’t use the C word!) and won’t be doing any collections or deliveries of dogs on 25th or 26th December, or on New Years Day.
As usual, these same three dates attract a premium of double the daily rate for any dogs out with us, but this year we are running a special offer where we will give away DOUBLE POINTS on your Loyalty Card for any holidays you book with us over the festive period, to help mitigate this additional cost. Just present your Loyalty Card to us when we collect your doggie and we will return it duly stamped and stamped again.
Dog of The Month!
Mila the Boxer relaxing after ‘flying’ around the fields around Tonbridge with Helen!
Back To School!
So summer holidays are a thing of the past and thoughts turn to school uniforms and new pencil cases instead. For Wayne and I though it’s a blessed relief knowing that the organised mayhem of the last few weeks turns swiftly back to normal. We will even have our own ‘summer break’ now just to make you jealous lol!
I don’t know about you, but the moment life returns to normal after a holiday, all I can think about is booking the next so we have something else to look forward to. I’m sure everyone thinks the same way as bookings have soon come rushing in again for half term in October. In fact we even received a couple of bookings for August next year – wow!! How’s that for organised!
Dog of The Month!
Meg the Working Cockerpoo enjoying the daisies with Dave & Char in East Peckham
Welcome to warm long sunny evenings – perfect for taking the dog for a lazy ‘after work’ walk with a sneaky can of Pimms in the backpack for a halfway break!
We are sooo busy now until the end of August and hunkering down for back to back dog deliveries and collections. OK so the work/life balance has tipped over now, but we try our hardest to even the scales with a glass (or two ;) of wine after a hard day.
Whilst I would say we are fully booked, always check with us as we have a few days here and there and may just be able to squeeze your dog in for a last minute break. Certainly the bank holiday week has a little space.
Of course we could have more availability if we had more host families so if you know of anybody who would be interested in looking after dogs then please ask them to call me on 01622 817518 to find out more.
Dog of The Month
Little Gaius the Cairn Terrier packs his bags for the last time with us as he’s moving house – but don’t worry his local Barking Mad rep will still be looking after him!
Jolly Holly – Days!
So school holidays are at last (some would say..) upon us. Bags are being packed, SPF is the word du jour, and warm sunny climes are awaiting. Now who among you have forgotten your best friend in all the excitement?? Come on I know you’re out there – you’ll be phoning three days before you fly off to Guadeloupe pleading with us to take little Fifi, saying “I knew there was something I had to do!” (believe me it’s been said!)
Well as my existing customers will testify, we pride ourselves on trying our best to sort your last minute requests. In fact we have taken around 2000 bookings since taking over the business and only have only turned down maybe 3 requests. Not bad eh!?
What does this say to you? If you aren’t already our customer then get on the blower (01622 817518) or click that mouse on firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get Rover and Fifi registered – we’ll need a three day trial sleepover, but then you’re good to go and can have precious thing we seek - peace of mind!
Dog of The Month
Westley the unstoppable Hungarian Vizsla out with Dave and Pat in Tudeley.
Well Summer is officially here!
It is now one year since my partner Wayne gave up his daily commute into London and started working with me in the business. Time has flown by and I’m delighted to say we haven’t killed each other (so far!) and if I’m being totally honest it’s been absolutely brilliant having him with me – someone to bounce ideas off and get advice from. His role in the business is to look after all the collections and deliveries of dogs all around the territory – he’s done about 30,000 miles in the last year doing this.
And for some reason all dogs just love him – I’m sure he smears Chum behind his ears each morning!
Dog of The Month
The gorgeous old Myrtle in Pat’s back garden
We love working with and recommending local business, here are a list of fantastic people we think you might like to hear about:
Just Dog Photography – Barbara Yeo takes the most beautiful photos of dogs being dogs – not stuck in a studio but out and about being themselves. Take a look at her wonderful work www.lifestyledogphotography.co.uk
Culverden Veterinary Group - great vets in the heart of Tunbridge Wells with lots of biscuits and treats for visiting friends www.culverden.co.uk
Kent Greyhound Rescue – volunteers doing amazing work to rehome these gorgeous dogs