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Dog Sitter

South Lakes / Cumbria

Call 0845 8623845
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Alison Quigley

About me About me

Alison Quigley
South Lakes / Cumbria

Stainton Hall
Tel: 01539 234044


Dog Sitting / Sitters South Lakes

Welcome to the Cumbria - South Lakes branch of Barking Mad! We offer a five-star rated dog care service in your area, with a network of carers throughout the region. Our aim is to offer fantastic ‘doggy holiday’ packages to all dog owners, providing a personalised dog care experience with our hosts.

For a lot of dedicated dog owners, the thought of having to leave your family dog in a kennel while you’re away is not a nice prospect. A lot of these facilities employ the type of dog care that involves grouping many animals for their exercise and meal times. A big issue with this is that it doesn’t pay proper attention to each dog having their own routine and preferences. This can make it a highly anxious time for any dog owner who will be spending time away on holiday, or who has to be away for a few days because of work or family situations. We believe it’ll come as great news to many dog owners to hear that we at Barking Mad are now providing the perfect alternative; offering individual care for your dog while you’re away from home.

The worry that can be caused during a time of separation can have a real effect on any dog that is away from the favourite people and familiar objects that become the constant features of their daily routine. Any dog lover will have noticed how sensitive their dog can be, just have a think about the response they gave you the last time you went to head out the front door without them, or got the suitcases out to pack for a forthcoming holiday. One great thing about dogs is their trait of being loyal pack animals, meaning that they come to see themselves as a part of your family pack. The sad thing is, the complications of life mean you may have to be apart at times, which can be difficult to deal with.

Thankfully, here at Barking Mad, the nation’s best dog-boarding company, we’ve developed a system that can really lower the anxiety that could be suffered by you and your dog for the periods of time where you need to be away. We make sure that your beloved pet gets matched up with an ideal host, one who loves dogs and understands our detailed pet care guidelines. We also make sure that your dog settles well into their new environment by asking you to send over a few familiar items with them. Maybe a favourite chew toy, some treats or their blanket. Even a couple of these objects help them feel more at home and can lower anxiety levels. Settling your dog’s moods and connecting their senses with recognisable sights and tastes lets your dog feel more at home while they’re away for a time.

Our team of dedicated staff make sure to regularly and personally vet all of the hosts on our network, so we can promise that our clients’ dogs get the level of care they deserve. Our process factors in all of the key elements of your dog’s daily routine. We make a note of each of their likes and dislikes to build a picture of their personality. We appreciate that keeping to regular walking and feeding times helps to bring stability in unfamiliar surroundings. We also stay aware of all their needs with regards to nutrition and medication. Each host is a dog lover who receives our guidance in providing the right care to your favourite animal.

We currently offer the best dog care service in Cumbria - South Lakes, but it’s not just us making that claim. Just take a look through a few of our review pages, all independently verified. Our clients provide a short review of how they found our services, with their testimonials listed higher up this page. Their reviews give a helpful insight into our five-star service. It’s great for us to read that people who really love their dogs also end up loving Barking Mad!

We’re well aware of the comfort of being updated on your dog’s wellbeing while you’re away, so we offer that in our service. We’ll send you a set of pictures, as well as a doggy postcard, giving you the peace of mind of knowing your dog is having as good a time as you are! We want to help you relax, so be assured that should your dog need additional support, our experts are available around the clock to provide care for any situation.

We’re proud that Barking Mad operates the best dog care service not only in Cumbria - South Lakes but also throughout the country. We have over 70 branches all over the nation; so if you ever need the same service in a different area, make sure to look us up. Our home from home boarding service can offer a variety of time scales, from one day through to several weeks.

When Barking Mad was formed in 2000, we did so to offer dog lovers the kind of five-star service we wanted for our own dogs. We developed a process that provided a uniquely personalised service, but did so at competitive prices. Some other companies settle for the bare minimum of a few visits to your house to walk and feed your dog. Not us. We understand your dog needs love and attention through the day. Starting our process is easy, just call us at 01524 220202, or email us on contact.centre@barkingmad.uk.com. Why not do it today? Our team would love to chat, meet your dog and arrange for them to get excellent care while you’re away.

Hello and welcome to
Barking Mad Dog Sitting Service

Local Professional Service

Individual Care

Peace of Mind

Alternative to Kennels

Organised Over 80,000 Doggie Holidays Since 2000

Over 70 Local Branches

Our award winning professional pet sitting service gives customers complete peace of mind. We receive fantastic customer feedback which is undoubtedly the result of our belief in developing a personal relationship with our customers – we are not an online agency - so you can be confident that once your holiday is booked, we’ll personally take care of everything.

How our dog sitting service works

It’s really important to get to know you and your dog, especially in the beginning. We’ll come to you for an initial registration meeting which takes an hour, to find out about feeding and exercising routines, likes and dislikes and any other individual needs, so that we can match your dog/s with exactly the right family. No two dogs are ever the same so please don’t worry, we love dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages, pedigree, Heinz 57 or rescue. They can sleep in the bedroom, pull on the lead, or even hide your favourite socks so long as they’re friendly we’d love to meet them.

Selecting the right home from home family is very important and your input into this process is invaluable. We understand you will want to know exactly where your dog is going, so during our time together you will see all of our dog-loving families, what experience they have and what their homes and gardens are like. All of our host families are carefully inspected by us each time we deliver or collect a dog, they are guaranteed to meet our extremely high pet sitting standards. Furthermore our hosts are at home during the day to ensure care is always provided especially where puppies, dogs on regular medication and senior citizens are concerned. If your dog is extremely sociable and you’d like him to have some company during his stay, then we can arrange a holiday with a family who have a resident dog of their own.

We provide a complete service including door to door chauffer driven transportation, a real bonus for busy customers preparing and returning from time away. The main benefit however is for your dog. Being collected from home is far less stressful and overcomes any anxiety which could be caused when left behind by you.

Our Prices

One off initial registration meeting £35
Daily boarding rate £23
Daily boarding rate for additional dogs £19
Collection and delivery from £35

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!

Complete peace of mind

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.

Earn a FREE day with every completed Loyalty Card
Loyalty card 2017 web.jpg

Ask for your loyalty card. When your card is full you receive a FREE stay on us! (1 full card = 28 paw stamps).

Do you...

Love dogs but can’t commit to your own full time?  blue-tick.png

Would you like to be part of a dog loving business?  blue-tick.png

Would having a dog make you feel less lonely?  blue-tick.png

Would having a dog help you to get fit?  blue-tick.png

Welcome to Barking Mad

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

Our fantastic host families are the heart of our business and we simply couldn’t do what we do without them. If you know someone who’d like to join us, please let them know.

Our Hosts

A small selection of our lovely host families:

SL HOST PROFILE - Mike & Ruth-1.jpgSL HOST PROFILE - Francesca-1.jpg

Host Comments

Brenda - 2nd May, 2017
"We recently had Fozzie for several days it was such a joy to have him my dog Wiggles loves him a lot.
My whole family love him as did our friends where we walk every day.
We look forward to his next visit.
Brenda Street"

Carol - 13th Apr, 2017
"We enjoy looking after peoples dogs as it gives us pleasure to think they have come from home to home. Sometimes our commitments are heavy but It fits in with our lifestyle as we can do it as and when we can. It gives us pleasure and hopefully the pets enjoy our company too. Barking Mad are efficiently run and if I had a dog of my own would gladly let them find a host for my."

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.
Beautiful Girl."

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."

Our HostsOur hosts

Alison Quigley

Hello my name is Alison and I am proud to be running Barking Mad South Lakes since October 2015 and it is fair to say no two days have been the same! It is a pleasure to offer a local, 1:1 dog holiday care service here in Cumbria. My area covers Endmoor, Stainton, Sedgwick, Old Hutton, Kendal, Staveley, Windermere, Ambleside, Coniston, Greenodd, Newby Bridge, Ulverston, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands, Levens and all surrounding villages with postcodes beginning with LA8, LA9, LA11, LA12, LA21, LA22 and LA23.

If you are reading this, it’s likely that you are looking for loving home from home care for your dog while you’re away. I understand that you need peace of mind and being a dog owner myself, I know how hard it is to leave your dog behind, even for a short while. If you are looking for an alternative to kennels or if you’re not lucky enough to have a family member or friend whom you can call on, Barking Mad can offer luxury dog home boarding where your other member of the family is cared for with a loving, attentive host family, person or couple. Host families are specially chosen, insured and licensed by me personally (my rule of thumb is if they are not good enough to be a pet sitter for my beloved pooch then they are not good enough for Barking Mad!) I then match each host to suit your dog’s daily needs, offering one to one care of your dog/s. In Barking Mad's experience, the professional care we provide has shown to give peace of mind (see our Trustpilot reviews) in the certainty that your dog keepsits routines, sleeps in a cosy home, plays, walks, and is given care, affection, tummy tickles, even medication if required.

I have lived in South Lakes for 20 years and live in a village south of Kendal with my husband, two children and our gorgeous Beardie called Yeshe along with two cats. My brilliant parents encouraged me to care for animals from an early age and I was lucky enough to have an array of animals over the years including a few rescue dogs. For those of you old enough to remember ‘Benji’ and ‘Freeway’, I always hoped to have a similar dog and Yeshe our Bearded Collie landed as a puppy some years ago. Having lots of energy, she requires much exercise and living in such a great area, we Iove exploring walks, fells and lakes! After a few years, Yeshe became very poorly and was diagnosed with a lifelong disease which thankfully is now managed with care, medication and the careful watch of our wonderful local vet practice.

People come to Barking Mad for an alternative to kennels or house sitting, they expect the best from our dog holidays and I make it my mission to provide it every time. If you are a dog owner wishing to find that special holiday dog sitter for your dog/s or you are interested in becoming one of our valued hosts, do contact me on: 01539 234044, email me: alison.quigley@barkingmad.uk.com or message me on twitter or if you prefer www.facebook.com/BarkingMadDogCareSouthLakes  

Best wishes and wags!

Places Covered

 All surrounding villages

  • Allithwaite
  • Ambleside
  • Burneside
  • Cartmel
  • Coniston
  • Crook
  • Crosthwaite
  • Endmoor
  • Grange-over-Sands
  • Grayrigg
  • Grasmere
  • Greenodd
  • Hawkshead
  • Kendal
  • Kentmere
  • Levens
  • Milnthorpe
  • Newby Bridge
  • Old Hutton
  • Oxenholme
  • Pennington
  • Sedgwick
  • Stainton
  • Staveley
  • Troutbeck
  • Ulverston
  • Underbarrow
  • Windermere
  • Winster
  • Witherslack

Customer Comments

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It's always hard to leave your dog when you go away. We have entrusted our dog to Barking Mad on several occasions and recommend it thoroughly.
Our dog has been walked, bathed, groomed, played with and treated with love as if he were at home. He always returns looking happy and well. What more could you ask for?
Alison matches your dog judiciously with its hosts; she takes the trouble to get to know both your dog and its carers which is good and reassuring. It is also reassuring to receive her texts and photos during your dogs stay.
I especially like the postcards written from my dogs point of view and have kept them all.
I have recommended Barking Mad to several friends and acquaintances and would recommend it wholeheartedly to others.

Posted by: Lesley Hughes (Windermere) on

"We are really pleased with the outstanding service we have received so far from Barking Mad, we had such a short time to organise our dogs stay and as a rescue dog and a big dog, he needed to be matched with the right host from the offset. Alison went out of her way to ensure that we were happy with the host choice and also that Sonic would be happy. Sonic has his issues he is nervous and pulls on the lead with every new walk but he also likes to stick to his routines and play. Sonic has had his sleepover (the test!) and by all accounts had a good time (not that he can tell us but..), I am still a bit nervous about letting him go for the 'real' holiday but that's down to me not the care after all he is part of our family and you want to know he is safe and happy. Barking Mad has helped me achieve that!.

Posted by: Sarah Williams on

Another fantastic venture for our Archie. Came bounding out of the Barking Mad car happy to see everyone. Thank you so much to the hosts Mel and Jan. Archie has had a wonderful time and has come home relaxed, happy and content. When Jean lifted him out of the boot of her car, his face and body language just told the whole story.

We cannot recommend this service enough to dog owners. From Alison's professionalism and the peace of mind you have that your dog is going to have constant attention is just worth it's weight in gold.

Thank you. Posted by Kirsty

Posted by: bmadadmin on

Thank you (once again!) to Alison for ensuring that Toby our flatcoat retriever had the holiday of his lifetime with lovely hosts Jean and Eddie. He has obviously really enjoyed his stay with them and been wonderfully cared for. Cannot begin to thank everyone enough.

Posted by: Jim & Clare Richardson on

Thanks to Jean, Eddie and Alison, some lovely photos show us what a great environment Billie had for her recent stay with you. We do appreciate the care you all take.

Posted by: Susanna on

Colin has stayed with several guests over the last 12 months, we have been delighted with the service, he is even excited when he sees the Barking Mad estate car when he is collected.
No problems with him settling in on his return home, the best option short of taking him with us on holiday!
Our little miniature schnauzer is a very happy boy, which makes us relaxed on our holidays.

Posted by: Anne & Robert Frost on

Tess absolutely loves her stays with the Barking Mad hosts who must live near Kendal castle.
She comes back very spoiled and tired because she's had so much fun!
Can't recommend highly enough and thanks for making our holidays less stressful! x

Posted by: Tess Hughes! on

Our dog has had another great holiday with Barking Mad. Great to know she is so well cared for while we are away, I think she enjoys her holidays just as much as we do!

Posted by: Cat James on

Yet again Baxter has arrived back from his "holiday" completely relaxed, and looking like he wants to go back to his foster family!!

Alison has been brilliant as always and we will be booking another holiday, just so that Baxter can go off on his too!!

Posted by: Rebecca, Andrew, Anna & Joe on

Herman seemed to have a great sleepover with his host family. It is piece of mind for us that he will be well cared for and have fun whilst we are away on our holiday
thank you

Posted by: Lynn Siddle on

Once again great service by Alison.

Really helped us out at short notice and the dogs had a lovely day.

Thank you.

David and Emma

Posted by: David Gannon on

Fantastic service yet again from Barking Mad. My Springer Molly has just spent two weeks on her holidays and has had an amazing time. It gives me complete peace of mind whilst I'm away that Molly is so well looked after. Alison does a brilliant job of finding just the right host to look after your dog and I would recommend Barking Mad to anyone who hasn't tried the service, you won't be disappointed.

Posted by: Sharron Lewis on

Lottie has had a great time on her 'sleepover' and is now looking forward to her holiday in the summer. It's so reassuring to know that your dog is being loved and enjoyed by her hosts and given care and attention (and hasn't blotted her copy book ... as if she would!). Thank you, Barking Mad, and your hosts!

Posted by: Allyson on

Kaya returned last week from another wonderful stay with Barking Mad. We can relax on our breaks knowing she is with a family and well looked after. Barking Mad always send us a picture and texts to let us know all is well and Kaya is always happy to go on her holidays !

Posted by: Jackie Larmour on

Another wonderful short holiday for Cassie! She eagerly helped me pack her bag, but equally eagerly rushed around on her return home – fit as a fiddle and happy.

Posted by: Lesley Williams on

As ever Pushka really enjoyed her stay with Barking Mad - and that makes our trips away worry free.

Posted by: Kelvyn James on

Cassie's second home! Her hosts are wonderful and caring, and Cassie has found a new best friend in 'Jet' the Labrador. Always happy and eager to go on her holidays.

Posted by: Lesley Williams on

What a service! Despite having a dog with certain "issues" a host was found with no problem and our "lively" cocker has come home a very happy and contented lady. I can only praise the service since Alison took over.

Posted by: Jim Hurren on

Pushka came home today with her stay via Barking Mad - as ever she looked super chilled & happy - which means we're super chilled & happy to keep using the wonderful service that Alison provides

Posted by: Kelvyn James on

Another fabulous holiday enjoyed by Tess, our Golden Retriever.
Great service from start to finish.
Couldn't recommend highly enough.

Posted by: Dave Hughes on

***** 5 Star Review
I cannot praise Alison and Barking Mad highly enough. We needed a placement for our Springer Spaniel just after Chirstmas at very short notice. Alison met us and our dog and put much thought and effort into finding the right hosts for him and they cared for him extremely well. Alison is attentive, reassuring and kind; our dog had never been away from us before. You can trust Barking Mad as Alison knows the host families and their suitability for your pet. She sends text messages and photos and it's lovely when your dog returns with another photo and postcard from his point of view, describing his stay! Our dog returned happy and very well cared for. I'd recommend Alison's Barking Mad most strongly, without hesitation and shall certainly be booking again.
January 2016

Posted by: Lesley Hughes (Windermere) on

Great to meet Alison, our new Barking mad representative in South Lakes. She was lovely – enthusiastic, and incredibly helpful. Cassie was as happy as ever to leap into the car to go on holiday, and both collection and return home were on time and convenient. We love Barking mad!

Posted by: Lesley Williams on

A big thank you to Alison for arranging Barclay's holiday while we were away. The family he stayed with took such great care of him - I'm not sure he wanted to come home! The updates we received and our postcard from Barclay really put our mind at ease and we have no hesitation in using Barking Mad again - highly recommend.

Posted by: Angela Smith on


September 2017

Phew! We have had a fun and busy summer and as we draw into the autumn, many doggies are still going on their holidays whilst the children are now back to school, college and university. Here are some dogs on holiday:

Otto in sand dune heaven.jpg                       Tally settling in just nicely!.jpg

                          Otto in sand dune heaven                                                         Tally settling in nicely

            Fell walker Murphy.jpg                      Lovely Bella.jpg

                           Fell walker Murphy                                                                    Lovely Bella

I would like to thank my wonderful hosts of accommodating all our lovely pouches young and old. Hosts and your dogs on holiday have enjoyed walks, swims, ball play, cuddles, grooms, bus journeys, train trips, fell walks, agility, more cuddles, ferry excitement, tourist pats, gentle jaunts and a loving home to sleep - if you know anyone who thinks they may like to occasionally host family friendly dogs, contact alison.quigley@barkingmad.uk.com or call 01539 234044.

We said a sad farewell to gorgeous Cassie the Labrador this September. Cassie was 10 years old and the first dog I took out on holiday when I started 2 years ago here in the South Lakes, she had been Barking Mad for many years. Although all our dogs are special, she held an extra bit of specialness to me! Her hosts and I were all devastated when she had to go to sleep forever and will miss her sooooo much (especially her leaping into the Barking Mad car with GUSTO!!!), she was a truly wonderful girl and our thoughts are with her lovely family, RIP Cassie x X x

                                           RIP Cassie.jpg

What a glorious and sunny day I had at the Westmorland County Show with my colleague Kathryn from Barking Mad Lancaster and hosts. It was touch and go with the weather and thankfully the sun shone down on us, we had a lovely day filled with meeting lots of gorgeous doggies and friends new and old. We really enjoyed chatting to people about what we do and the 5* dog holidays we can offer their pets. It was great to say hello to so many of you!

There was a very special visitor to the showground this year as HRH The Prince of Wales was in attendance and actually walked right by the Barking Mad stand! Can you spot him in the photo below, with Kathryn in the background? We offered his entourage homemade (human) biscuits – they went down a treat! We look forward to seeing friends and waggy tails at next year’s show on Thursday 13th September 2018.

        Barking Mad stand.jpg    HRH Prince of Wales.jpg

                          Barking Mad stand                                                         HRH Prince of Wales

                                                               Barking Mad!.jpg

                                                                     Barking Mad biscuits

We had an excellent day at Abbot Hall Park, Kendal supporting Animal Rescue Cumbria. This event is always well attended, raises lots of funds for the important work at the centre and great to watch the dogs wagging tails in the fun dog show. We loved meeting existing customers and their dogs and hope to run an in event with the centre early 2018 – Watch this space.

                                                      Animal rescue pup!.jpg                        

                                                                      Animal rescue pup

I had a great afternoon at Kendal College with the Animal Management Level 3, 2nd year students talking and exploring alternatives to kennels and dogs on holiday as part of their course. Here's some great tutor Feedback:
'Thank you so much for your excellent session this afternoon - it was a most enjoyable talk and sparked a great deal of interest within the student group.'

It was a super inquisitive group - future animal carers, scientists, vets and business owners. I even had a special car park space reserved!

                                              VIP parking.jpg                  

                                                                                VIP parking

August 2017

What an exciting, busy August we have had and what gorgeous, lovely and enthusiastic dogs we have had to home board here in the South Lakes! Here are a few pooches on their happy dog holidays – hope you enjoy these pictures!

                    Archie in the cornfield.jpg     Millie soaking up the summer rays!.jpg

                                 Archie in the cornfield                                Millie soaking up the summer rays!

Diesel on Holiday.pngDudley having his pre holiday cuddles 3.jpg  Capone in the summerhouse - ready to go home!.jpg     

               Diesel on holiday           Dudley having his pre holiday cuddles!  Capone in the summerhouse waiting                                                                                                                                         to go home!


                          Lottie - beautiful lab eyes! (002).jpg    Pushka relaxing on her hols (003).jpg

                                      Lottie - beautiful lab eyes!               Pushka relaxing on her holidays

                                                 Bob relaxing.jpg

                                                                      Bob relaxing

If you require dog care over the autumn months, we still have a small amount of last minute availability! Just give Alison a call on 01539 234044 or email: alison.quigley@barkingmad.uk.com where she will be happy to discuss dates and answer any questions you may have.

Our dog sitting service in South Lakes is blessed with the most fantastic doggy customers and our host families absolutely love having them to stay, whilst their owners are away! We really try our hardest to provide the very best dog home boarding experience that we possibly can and it is so rewarding when we receive feedback from our customers.

Here is one 5* Trustpilot review:
Perfect 5* - In all our dog owning years we have never left our dogs with anyone other than family/friend. Making the first enquiry to Barking Mad was a major step for us. We have two very different dogs with very different needs and personalities. I really did not think there was a host family out there who could cope!!
As soon as we met Alison from Barking Mad we were so impressed with the lengths she went to understand both dog's individual needs and personalities and to match them with the perfect host family for both of them.
Our dogs went on an overnight trial and we still worried it may not work.

But no, next morning they came back with glowing reports and even brought us a postcard telling us exactly what they had been up to!  They have now enjoyed their first week away with their amazing host family and it did seem that they were not 'that' excited to be home!!! they had obviously been very happy on their week away!!

We are over the moon to have found Barking Mad and have already booked their next 'holiday'.

Barking Mad partners with Trustpilot, Europe’s largest and fastest growing consumer review platform, to allow our customers to share their experience of our home from home dog care with other dog lovers.

We receive fantastic feedback and 5* ratings on a regular basis but this month has seen some particularly lovely comments and so we would like to say a HUGE ‘Thank you’ to anyone who has taken the time to leave a review.

If you would like to read our reviews they can be accessed at the bottom of our page here: https://www.barkingmad.uk.com/franchisees/south-lakes/

Do you know someone that would like to become a host? Many people know someone who have loved or lost a dog, hosting could be perfect for them to occasionally care for family friendly dogs. Please contact Alison about hosting Tel: 01539 243044 or email: alison.quigley@barkingmad.uk.com

July 2017

We are having a very busy July with lots of new customers coming on board. We have also welcomed a number of new hosts too!

Please keep spreading the word as I would love to hear from you if you would like to become an occasional host: Call Alison 01539 234044 or email: alison.quigley@barkingmad.uk.com

Here are a few dogs on holiday this summer:

Stanley  Baxter.jpg  Cassie enjoying the Lakeland fells with Jet.jpg  Merry settling in.jpg

          Stanley and Baxter            Cassie enjoying the Lakelands Fells with Jet               Merry settling in

                    Peek-a-boo Heidi.jpg                     David on his hols!.jpg

                                  Peek-a-boo Heidi                                                  David on his hols!


June 2017

 Dogs out on holiday:

     Bree relaxing on her hols!.jpg  Herman running through Meadow.jpg  Charlie snoozing with squirrel!.jpg

             Bree relaxing on her holiday             Herman running through the meadow          Charlie snoozing with Squirrel 

                                     Cassie and Jet.jpg       Poppy exploring the garden.jpg

                                                   Cassie and Jet                                 Poppy exploring the garden

We are very excited to reveal our new look Barking Mad car, with a gleaming, bright new livery, all geared up to providing the perfect chauffeured experience as part of our dog sitting service in Cumbria and the South Lakes! Your dog’s happiness, welfare and comfort are our top priorities and we will do our utmost to ensure that they enjoy the journey to their loving holiday home. Our sunny, new logo makes us really stand out, so if you see us out and about please do give us a wave, or come and say hello if we are parked up.


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Our new staff uniform completes our updated image, with bright practical clothing to keep us comfortable (and dry!) whilst we are out and about meeting customers and hosts and also providing dog holiday transport. We love that our average working day involves meeting and spending time with so many lovely dogs. Seeing them enjoying their holidays and returning home happy and relaxed, is just so rewarding.


                                                       Alison and Jean Barking Mad south lakes.jpg


We are proud to announce that Barking Mad Dog Care has achieved ISO 9001 certification. This is an international standard which specifies requirements for a quality management system and demonstrates a company’s ability to consistently provide products and services which meet customer and regulatory requirements. Barking Mad Cumbria - South Lakes is committed to providing exceptional local customer service and is very proud of the high quality service which we offer.

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We hope that everyone is enjoying the summer so far. If you decide to book a last minute break please give us a call, as we do still have some availability but don’t delay as we are filling up with bookings quickly.


May 2017

Well, what a gloriously sunny, actioned packed May we have had at Barking Mad South Lakes, Cumbria! Lots of doggies have enjoyed spending time with our lovely, caring host families this month, taking fabulous walks in beautiful surroundings as well as being treated to lots of rest, relaxation and cuddles, just like at home.

     Cassie on holiday.jpg  Skye on Holiday May 2017.jpg   Chilli on cuddles!.jpg

                                   Cassie and Sky on holiday and Chilli having host cuddles

At the beginning of May, we arranged a Pet First Aid course for our dedicated host community with a local veterinary surgery. Ensuring best practice in animal health and welfare is vital to providing our responsible, 5* rated dog home boarding service here in the South Lakes. The event was enjoyable, informative and invaluable for our hosts, customers really can have peace of mind when entrusting us with their dog. We would like to say a huge thank you to the fantastic Westmorland Veterinary Group


                                                        Toby Rebecca and Gayle.jpg

                                                            Toby, Rebecca and Gayle 

Everyone involved with our local Lake District dog sitting service was very excited this month due to the airing of the very first Barking Mad TV advert. The star of the advert is the gorgeous apricot Cockerpoo #celebritydogHobbes, whom everyone seems to have fallen in love with! We are so proud of our fantastic family of hosts, customers and of course their wonderful dogs, who have all helped to make this happen. If you haven’t seen Hobbes on your TV screen yet, you can visit: www.barkingmad.uk.com/video to see why we’re so excited.


                                                        Hobbes TV Star.jpg

                                                              Hobbes the TV Star!

This month we have also enjoyed attending the Barking Mad 14th national conference, held at the stunningly located Lakeside Hotel, on the shores of Lake Windermere. It was amazing to meet up with fellow, local business owners from throughout the UK and share our experiences. The aim, as always, was how we can continue improving the Barking Mad experience for our hosts and customers and their pooches! Pictured below are the North West team of dog sitting business owners, who provide happy dog holidays throughout our area – they are a fabulous pack!

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                                                             North West Franchisees


April 2017

April was another very busy and exciting month for Barking Mad South Lakes - Cumbria dog sitters! Lots of lovely dogs are enjoying holidays with our dog home boarding service this Spring. We took a little time out though to celebrate the sixth birthday of our very special girl, Bearded Collie Yeshe. She enjoyed a happy day with her family and her cat and chicken friends. She also really loved her homemade Tuna treats!

                        Yeshi 2011-136-1.jpg                Yeshe April 17 Aysgarth Falls.jpg


Followers of our Facebook page will have noticed the appearance of the mysterious hashtag #waitingforHobbes. So who or what is Hobbes and why are we waiting for him? Many theories are circulating but as yet nothing has been confirmed! We believe that Hobbes is rumoured to be some kind of furry superhero who will change lives but we are awaiting further instruction from our national HQ! In the meantime, Yeshe has decided to join in with the waiting and is searching everywhere for Hobbes. Why not follow our Facebook page for further updates?

                                                                  Yeseh waiting for Hobbes.jpg


This month also saw the fabulous Damson Day Fair in the Lyth Valley, where a regular dog sitting customer of ours participated in a competition. Congratulations to Dave and his lovely dog, Tess, who were awarded the ‘look alike’ prize!

                                                                  Tess and Dave - Winners!.jpg


As we progress further towards the Summer, bookings are starting to come in fast. To avoid disappointment, why not give us a call as soon as possible to discuss dog care dates? Alison Quigley is happy to chat to both current and new customers about availability on 01539 234044 and would love to hear from you!

     Juno on hols April 17.jpg    Piper on holiday (spot the cat).jpg    Peppa on holiday Apr 17.jpg


March 2017

We’re loving the start of Spring at Barking Mad Cumbria - South Lakes! This month the Lake District has seen warm sunshine, showers and even snow, which makes for very varied dog walking conditions for our fantastic host families. We have had a busy March and are currently taking lots of Summer bookings, so if you require dog sitting over the coming months why not give us a call to ensure availability?

                        Spring time!.jpg         Can you smell garlic.jpg

We are so proud of our wonderful hosts Jean and Eddie, who received recognition as national Barking Mad Hosts of the Month! This honour is awarded to host families who really go the extra mile in caring for dog holiday makers. Jean and Eddie most certainly meet this criteria and have cared for many dogs during their time as Barking Mad dog boarding hosts! Their doggy guests absolutely adore them. You can read the full story here.

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We are very proud to be involved with the launch of the very first Dog Remembrance Month on 3rd April. The idea is for dog lovers to come together and celebrate the lives of their cherished pets, whilst providing mutual support and understanding. If you’d like to get involved you can find out more here and join our Facebook group.


As the weather warms up and we all start to get out and about with our dogs a bit more, do keep in touch and let us know what you are up to! We love to feature any interesting local doggy stories or photographs on our Facebook page.



February 2017

A fairly mild February has seen the eagerly anticipated arrival of early Spring flowers in the Lake District. We have really enjoyed seeing the first snowdrops and daffodils as we travel this beautiful corner of the country, whilst providing our five star rated dog sitting service in Cumbria and the South Lakes. We have even managed to take several lovely pictures of our Bearded Collie, Yeshe, sitting amongst the flowers!

                                                                1. Yeshe in Spring.jpg

                                                                          Yeshe in Spring

If the first signs of Spring are filling you with wanderlust, we would love to chat to you about availability for booking a dog holiday for your canine best friend. We understand that your dog means everything to you but sometimes you have to fulfil your dreams of travel too! Barking Mad Cumbria - South Lakes are experts at making your dog feel at home and provide loving care, so that you don’t have to worry when you go away. You can call Alison Quigley on 01539 234044 for more information.

                        3. Archie looking gorgeous.jpg                                  2. Bob looking cute.jpg

                          Archie looking gorgeous                                                Bob looking cute

We are delighted to have a brighter, fresh look for the beginning of Spring with a brand new logo. Our new, colourful image is designed to represent our ‘Happy Dog. Happy Holiday. Happy You!’ ethos and represents the complete, home from home dog holiday service which we offer.

                                                                barking mad south lakes.jpg


January 2017

We have started 2017 with the resolution to get out and about more in the beautiful surroundings we are based in! With stunning Lake District scenery right on our doorstep and incredible dog walks around every corner, we are really putting our best paws forward and making the effort to just get out there! Dogs can be incredibly motivational by inspiring us to take more exercise and just generally get out of the house more. We have enjoyed some incredible fell walks and are looking forward to visiting customers and host families (both existing and new) throughout our area, as we offer our complete, local dog holiday service.


Our Bearded Collie Yeshe’s fame continues as the new year begins! After taking part in a photo shoot with Hayes Garden World in December, she is now featuring in the Barking Mad 2017 national calendar as Miss January. We might be a little bit biased but we think she makes a gorgeous calendar girl! Watch this space for more news as the year continues..

                                                          Yeshe Jan 216.jpg


We would like to announce that we now have our very own Instagram account! https://www.instagram.com/barkingmadslakes/  Follow barkingmadslakes to access the visual story of what we are up and see Yeshe’s latest Lakeland exploits. We would also like to remind everyone not to miss out on following our Facebook community page https://www.facebook.com/BarkingMadDogCareSouthLakes/?fref=ts, created by dog lovers for dog lovers. Catch up with allour latest news plus lots of heartwarming photos, videos and information all about our canine best friends!

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If after perusing the January holiday offers, you would like to learn more about our complete dog holiday service, or would like to find out more about caring for dogs who are on their holidays, don’t hesitate to call Alison on 01539 234044. We’d love to hear from you!



December 2016

Barking Mad Cumbria - South Lakes would like to wish all our customers, host families and friends, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


We have had a busy year organising lots of very happy holidays for dogs, in the beautiful South Lakes area and matching up lots of lovely dogs with our equally lovely host families. We have received many fantastic reviews and we would like to let you know that we really appreciate and value your feedback.

We have had a very exciting build up to the festive season! On Sunday 4th December we held a very enjoyable and successful Barking Mad community event at the National Trust Footprint Building in Windermere. What an amazing venue!


We had a super woodland walk, a talk from the very knowledgeable Gareth from Woodmatters and tucked into yummy mince pies, Christmas cake and pressed apple juice. It was great to see everyone getting together and chatting about the dogs we all adore so much!

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We are delighted to let our customers and host families know that we have teamed up with Hayes Garden World of Ambleside, to offer a 10% discount in their brilliant pet care department. Simply quote BARKING MAD at the checkout to receive your discount (limited offer). Our beloved Bearded Collie Yeshe, was the star of a very special photo shoot at Hayes and even got to meet Father Christmas!  Please click here to read more.

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We really hope that everyone has a fantastic Christmas and that Santa Paws brings everything you dream of. We’re looking forward to providing more five star rated dog holidays with home comforts in 2017!

Lakeland Radio

Barking Mad South Lakes loved being Lakeland Radio’s Workplace of the Week!


For a whole week we had the opportunity to chat with John Pye of Lakeland Radio. Some of our fantastic hosts came along to and talked about all things Barking Mad. We love what we do and pride ourselves in offering a fantastic holidays for dogs.

Pet Appeal.png  8..png

Lakeland Radio run a Christmas Pet Appeal every year asking for pet food, treats and toys for all those cutties who have to spend Christmas in rescue centres. It’s a great idea and when Yeshe and I dropped our bag of Christmas presents, there were huge amounts of goodies for lots of dogs and cats this year - Thanks you for all who donated, there will be a few purrs and wagging tails this Christmas!

Autumn News

Dogs on holiday
October and half term holidays saw lots of our customers off on their holidays, which meant we got to see many of our favorite regulars and lots of new doggies. Remember, remember we are the UK’s most trusted dog sitting company and offer 1:1 home comforts for your four legged family member.

        AQ1.jpg    AQ.jpg     AQ3.png


Kendal College

Barking Mad South Lakes was invited to give a presentation to the lovely Level 3 cohort of students studying Animal Management at Kendal College. The afternoon was a great interactive session with lots of fun, ideas and questions around home boarding and dogs.

                                AQ2.jpg                  AQ3.jpg

I also had the pleasure in meeting this tiny 1 ½ day old hedgehog that had been brought in for rescue - the college have an animal rescue centre on site. This Miss Tiggywinkle is in the best place for her to be cared for and pile on the pounds before hibernating this winter. Barking Mad wishes the students every success in their careers working with animals and I look forward to working with Kendal College in the future.

Dog Lovers Wanted

                         AQ4.jpg                                  AQ6.jpg

Hosts look after one dog at a time that suits you and your lifestyle, as long as you have time available we would love to hear from you. Our hosts are generally retired people, families, people working from home and anyone who is longing for companionship with a dog.

Would you enjoy a dog for company? If you love dogs but feel you cannot make the commitment to own one, why not become a host for us?

We are constantly seeking new host families to cope with the increasing business.
We've taken on lots of new fabulous hosts this year and they have loved every minute of it!

We would not be able to provide our Barking Mad service without such fantastic hosts, who care for their canine visitors as if they were their own. Hosts say their house feels empty when they don’t have a dog to care for and look forward to the next one arriving.
Every dog enjoys having a little holiday of their own!

My host families are always spreading the word about becoming a host family as I always need more hosts. If you are interested in becoming a host, or know someone who fits the bill perfectly, please tell them to give me a call on 01539 234044 or email me on alison.quigley@barkingmad.uk.com

Summer News

Happy dogs on holiday!
Whew! What a busy summer we have had and fantastic holidays for your four legged friends who have enjoyed our wonderful caring host families. We love all the beautiful photo’s we have seen, not to mention the great postcards your pooches have gone home with.
Our hosts are really special people who love providing your beloved pet with a safe and happy holiday home, often caring for the same dog’s time after time, it really does become a home from home holiday for your dog. Here are some of our regular guests who love to holiday and you can see how content and happy they look, giving their owners complete piece of mind when they go away. All have a 5 Star Trust Pilot reviews too – we must be doing something right!

                           R  C May 2016 (002).jpg                    Kaya June 2016 (002).jpg

                                  Lexie  Archie (002).jpg            dog 1.jpg

Our pet care service continues to grow steadily and with ever increasing demand we are always on the lookout for host families to join our community. So, if you or someone you know would love the fun of a four legged guest from time to time, please give Alison a call on 01539 234044 or email: alison.quigley@barkingmad.uk.com

Welcome Jean to the team!

Jean started working with us here in the South Lakes as the summer months became very busy with dogs on holiday. Jean is married to Eddie and they have two grown up daughters who have now both left home. As a family, they had three Springer Spaniels over the course of 17 years and when they lost their last one they joined Barking Mad (Dorset) as hosts. They had such a fabulous time hosting many different breeds and characters so that when they made a permanent move north it was a given that they would seek to become hosts here in Cumbria. When we asked Jean to help over the busy summer she was more than happy to do so. Jean is now looking forward to meeting you all.

                                                FullSizeRender (002).jpg     

Jean (right) enjoyed her day training at our head office in Kirby Lonsdale. She loves Barking Mad as she gets to meet lots of customers, hosts and more importantly a wide variety of dogs.

Events and shows

It’s been a great season for shows, in between taking dogs on holiday Barking Mad South Lakes has been to a few shows and events. The two to note were The Westmorland County Show and Animal Rescue Cumbria – Annual Open Day.    


Kathryn  – Barking Mad, Lancaster and Yeshe helping set up the stand at the County show – good job there were drinks and treats on hand!

                  show.jpg                mud.jpg                   
Hosts and customers joined in the fun meeting visitors and talking all things dogs! The rain and muddy conditions did not deter our spirits – even Lottie the Dalmatian helped out!.

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We were delighted to be involved in the Animal Rescue CumbriaThe Wainwright Shelter Fun day at the Grayrigg show field. The day raised a whopping £2239.80 for the charity which they are absolutely overwhelmed with. It was a perfect day, support and funds helps for the care and rehoming of so many dogs and cats – look out for their forthcoming events and support them if you can.

Celebrating Barking Mad South Lakes - 1st Birthday

Barking Mad South Lakes marked its 1st birthday by inviting its fabulous hosts to join them at the Westmorland County Show to celebrate and eat a specially designed novelty cake made by local farmer’s wife Jillian Maudsley of Milbridge Farm Cakes http://www.milbridgefarmcakes.co.uk/

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The cake was fantastic and yummy – Mary Berry would have been proud! We are all looking forward to the next year of our doggie visitors and maybe some more cake….



May News

Having met Clare Malley photographer at the Lakeland Business Women’s Network. I asked her if she could take some new pictures for Barking Mad South Lakes and Barking Mad Lancaster, the locations she works as a professional photographer.

In the spring, Clare arranged everything and met us with our dogs, TJ (Golden Retriever) and Yeshe (Bearded Collie). Clare likes her photo shoot to be in a local, familiar place where dogs are relaxed as that brings out their personality – it certainly did that, the results are super and special keepsakes for us and our families.
Clare was very professional and we at Barking Mad couldn’t have been happier with the beautiful albums she designed with us, they were gift wrapped and presented to both Kathryn and I – we will treasure them and share with all our customers too!

If you are looking to capture the real character of your pet/best friend, then Clare is the photographer for you. She can provide beautifully framed prints, various sized canvases and bespoke albums. You can see some of her amazing work on her website www.claremalleyphotography.com Twitter / Instagram: @ClareMPhoto or contact E: clare@claremalleyphotography.com M: 07899957130

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April News

Barking Mad South Lakes business is fully licensed to home board by South Lakeland District Council with the aim of maintaining good standards of animal welfare. The welfare of your pets is our priority whilst they are in our care – being a teacher previously, I believe we would be awarded ‘OUTSTANDING’ for standards of animal welfare if Ofsted where inspecting Barking Mad!

Barking Mad South Lakes is a member of the UK Trade Association, Pet Industry Federation - Pet Services Association. We agree to adhere to PIF’s Charters and provide a quality assurance within the pet care sector providing best practice. We are proud to be working in conjunction with the Local Authority and PIF.
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Complete peace of mind and happy dog holidays is what we are all about. So we have partnered with the well respected and independent and appropriate review site ‘Trustpilot’ (similar to Trip Advisor). We regularly receive 5 Star reviews – do have a look at our customer comments
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I was delighted to be awarded with 'Newcomer of the Year' with Barking Mad at a recent conference in Windermere. The business is as I expected and more! It's just a fantastic way of home from home boarding for dogs. I couldn't do it without my lovely customers, their amazing dogs and my brilliant host families - thanks and credit goes to all of them! Do have a look at the article in The Westmorland Gazette:
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February 2016

Woofs, wellies and very windy weather!
Woofs, wellies, wet and windy weather did not deter our host event. Barking Mad South Lakes had a great get together at the National Trust’s Sizergh Castle Café on Sunday 21st February. Following the cafes delicious cake, scones and coffee, a few holidaying dogs and their hosts all enjoyed a walk up Sizergh Fell and through the woods. We are planning another later in the year for existing hosts and anyone else who thinks they might like to host dogs with Barking Mad – Alison would love to hear from you if you would like to look after someone’s dog while they’re away. Let’s hope it dries up and the sun shines brightly on us all!

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February is proving to be a busy month with customers booking holidays early to make sure they get their dogs favorite host, so don't forget as soon as you book your holiday then please get in touch. We have some lovely Trust Pilot reviews on our website, do have a look: https://www.barkingmad.uk.com/franchisees/south-lakes/

Referral Scheme
Recommend a friend and your dog receives a free day on their next holiday. Also if you know someone who would be a perfect Barking Mad host please let me know and again you will receive a free day for your dog if they sign up.

The bulbs are already up, I have seen my first Daffodils in flower – Spring is on the way – Enjoy taking some photos of you dogs in this lovely season!


January 2016

Happy New Year to all - there were quite a few dogs spending the festive period with Barking Mad South Lakes so there were lots of collections and deliveries to be done over the festive period.
One dog who had a very special holiday was young, Cocker Spaniel - Skyla. Two days before she was due to go on holiday with Barking Mad, she ended up with stiches, staples and a ‘lampshade’ on her neck after running into some flood debris at her home. This did not faze our wonderful experienced hosts who made sure Skyla was the centre of attention the whole time. Skyla went home a very happy girl, she is now fully recovered and is looking forward to her booked holiday in the summer for one month - we must be doing something right!


Skyla - what a cuttie!

Flooding in Cumbria has been devastating to many families and communities and their dogs.

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It has been a challenge for Barking Mad planning alternative routes, avoiding floods and road closures, however we were delighted to be able to accommodate little Tulipe (on right) for a holiday with host and Westie friend Tess. She had great fun and went back to her temporary home with a few extra treats on this occasion!

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Tess and Tulipe sitting beautifully


November 2015

First Aid.jpgI attended a Pet First Aid course which was run by my local vet’s surgery.
We covered practical tips on the 3 P’s:
• Preserving life
• Preventing suffering of further injury
• Promote recovery

I found the course very informative and it included practical tips and advice on how to deal with a wide range of dog related ailments and accidents. Hopefully I will never need to use this training but I believe it is essential to know when looking after dogs.

Vets.jpgMy advice would be always be to have your vet’s number saved in your phone and in any case of emergency contact the vet immediately.

It was a great evening and thanks goes to staff at Westmorland Veterinary Group - Gail, Rebecca, Ben and Toby our fantastic patient!

I will certainly be passing on the knowledge I gained on this course to my lovely host families.





The nights are drawing in and the days are getting colder, what better way to end 2015 than as the winner of our fantastic competition. You could win £5000 to spend on the holiday of your choice in 2016. If you haven't entered yet then click here for your chance to win.


Closing date: 7th December 2015

September 2015

Phew! It’s been a busy few weeks, setting up a new venture in the South Lakes as Barking Mad. My job is to ensure that your dog is 100% cared for while you are away from home, allowing you to relax and enjoy yourself while your dog is doing the same in their perfectly matched host’s home. If you have not used Barking Mad before, please give me a call to find out more about our home from home service.

Look out for my new Barking Mad vehicle on the roads in South Lakes….

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You may even be lucky to meet my lovely Yeshe!

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Why not become a Barking Mad host? As I now begin to take bookings for some fantastic dogs, I need more and more host families so why not look after someone’s dog while they’re away? A typical host is retired or a stay at home parent. They have dog experience but have decided that they no longer want to have a dog full time. Some hosts find it so upsetting when their precious pet dies, that they decide not to go through the heart ache again. But they really miss having a furry friend around the home and then decide to become hosts for Barking Mad. Others enjoy their overseas holidays and therefore don’t want to commit to a dog full time as they are away for long spells. But when they are at home, they love to have a dog come to stay. For other hosts, there reason is financial. If they have a friendly dog of their own who loves other dogs, they would love to get a 2nd dog, but the cost of vet bills, food, holidays, insurance etc really mounts up, but being a host doesn’t cost you anything…in fact I pay you! I also offer full support and advise 24/7, match our dogs to your lifestyle, even trial stays to ensure compatibility in fact I make it simple for you!

Have you heard of Mutt-Mate? I have been networking with Sarah Edwards and her new website www.MuttMate.com which brings together dog owners providing a user-friendly and fun platform to communicate locally. There is a blog, community news feeds, group walks and a dog business directory where local businesses can ‘Bark out’ offering discounts, news and walking buddies. There are some great people out there happy to meet for a walk so do have a look on this brilliant website.

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:

Dog Grooming

Barking Mad Professional Mobile Dog Grooming - Fiona - 015242 20555.

Covering Postcodes LA6-20


Westmorland Veterinary Group, Kendal & Kirkby Lonsdale

Highgate Veterinary Clinic, Kendal

Oakhill Veterinary Group, Windermere

Archway Veterinary Practice, Grange-over-Sands

Church Walk Vets, Ulverston and Barrow-in Furness

South Lakes Vets, Ulverston

Dog trainers/walkers

Perfect K9

Pet Photography

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Clare has taken photographs of me and my dog, she is very professional and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result (a beautifully bound album). If you are looking to capture the real character of your best friend, then Clare is the lady for the job. You can see some of her amazing work on the website www.claremalleyphotography.com Twitter/ Instagram: @ClareMPhoto (hyper link this) or contact E: clare@claremalleyphotography.com M: 07899 95713

 Pet supplies

Skan Pet Care (previously Shambles pet shop), Kendal

Paws by the Lake, Ambleside

Lakeland Pet Supplies, Windermere
Phone: 015394 44458

Grange Pet Centre, Grange-over-Sands

Lamberts Pet Supplies, Grange-over-Sands

Dog Rescue/Rehoming

Animal Rescue Cumbria

RSPCA Westmorland Branch


Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs

Mill Bridge Farm Cakes

Trust Pilot

Dog friendly places in the Lakes







Lesley Hughes (Windermere) - 2nd Mar, 2017
"It's always hard to leave your dog when you go away. We have entrusted our dog to Barking Mad on several occasions and recommend it thoroughly.
Our dog has been walked, bathed, groomed, played with and treated with love as if he were at home. He always returns looking happy and well. What more could you ask for?
Alison matches your dog judiciously with its hosts; she takes the trouble to get to know both your dog and its carers which is good and reassuring. It is also reassuring to receive her texts and photos during your dogs stay.
I especially like the postcards written from my dogs point of view and have kept them all.
I have recommended Barking Mad to several friends and acquaintances and would recommend it wholeheartedly to others."

Sarah Williams - 6th Feb, 2017
""We are really pleased with the outstanding service we have received so far from Barking Mad, we had such a short time to organise our dogs stay and as a rescue dog and a big dog, he needed to be matched with the right host from the offset. Alison went out of her way to ensure that we were happy with the host choice and also that Sonic would be happy. Sonic has his issues he is nervous and pulls on the lead with every new walk but he also likes to stick to his routines and play. Sonic has had his sleepover (the test!) and by all accounts had a good time (not that he can tell us but..), I am still a bit nervous about letting him go for the 'real' holiday but that's down to me not the care after all he is part of our family and you want to know he is safe and happy. Barking Mad has helped me achieve that!."

Kirsty - 25th Jan, 2017
"Another fantastic venture for our Archie. Came bounding out of the Barking Mad car happy to see everyone. Thank you so much to the hosts Mel and Jan. Archie has had a wonderful time and has come home relaxed, happy and content. When Jean lifted him out of the boot of her car, his face and body language just told the whole story.

We cannot recommend this service enough to dog owners. From Alison's professionalism and the peace of mind you have that your dog is going to have constant attention is just worth it's weight in gold.

Thank you. Posted by Kirsty"

Jim & Clare Richardson - 15th Dec, 2016
"Thank you (once again!) to Alison for ensuring that Toby our flatcoat retriever had the holiday of his lifetime with lovely hosts Jean and Eddie. He has obviously really enjoyed his stay with them and been wonderfully cared for. Cannot begin to thank everyone enough."

Susanna - 7th Nov, 2016
"Thanks to Jean, Eddie and Alison, some lovely photos show us what a great environment Billie had for her recent stay with you. We do appreciate the care you all take."

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