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Dog Sitting in South & West Oxfordshire

Barking Mad - TrustPilot Best in Category

Local News

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October 2017  
The days are shorter, the leaves are changing colour and the recent storms tell us that Autumn is well and truly here. It won't be long before Halloween so don't forget to put your pumpkin out if you want a visit from the 'Trick or Treaters'. Our Barking Mad pumpkin is already done!


Barking Mad Wins a National 'Dog Friendly' Award!

The UK public recently voted for the most dog friendly businesses and locations ........ and Barking Mad won the title of the most dog friendly dog sitter!  We are delighted as you can probably imagine.  We try our hardest to provide loving, home-from-home care for our customer's dogs and this award tells us we're doing just that. A big THANK YOU to our wonderful hosts who are the real winners. Click here to see the other dog friendly winners.

Here are some more recent holidaymakers enjoying their dog friendly holidays!

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Canine First Aid
We recently attended a Canine First Aid course at Abingdon and Witney College and would highly recommend it.  It's an open course so there will always be a mix of delegates. When we attended, there were dog walkers, groomers, private dog boarders but also, diligent dog owners who simply wanted more confidence to help their dog if they needed it.

The next one is 24 Feb 2018. Click here if you're interested in booking yourself on.

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Dogs in Transit

If your pet is unrestrained in your car, you could end up with a fine of up to £2,500 and penalty points on your licence.

Insurance companies are now warning clients that their car insurance may be invalid if they are involved in an accident in which there is an unrestrained pet in the car. If pets are loose, drivers could be pulled over by police for driving without due care and attention. This carries a maximum fine of £2,500 and nine penalty points.

It is advised that cat carriers should be placed on the back seat of the vehicle secured with the seat belt or on the floor behind the passenger seat. Dogs can either travel on the backseat and secured with a dog harness attached to the seat belt or alternatively they can travel in the boot of a car if your parcel shelf has been removed. A dog cage secured in the boot is also a safe way for your dog to travel.

Lungworm Alert
Vets across the UK have reported hundreds of cases of the potentially fatal lungworm parasite in dogs since February.

The parasite is currently active throughout much of the UK and sadly, there have been at least nine deaths reported so far in 2017. Slugs and snails can carry the hidden killer lungworm parasite which can cause serious health problems in dogs and be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.

Lungworm can also be carried by foxes, so they have helped increase the geographic distribution of the parasite. Not all worming treatments prevent dogs from carrying, and potentially spreading, the parasite. Local cases include Abingdon, Oxford, Chipping Norton, Wheatley and Faringdon.

Click here to check the reported cases in your area.
All dogs are at risk of contracting lungworm, so it's important that every owner is aware. Click here to go to the lungworm website for more information.


Firework Season
It won't be long until firework season is upon us. For many pets, it can be an extremely stressful time. Click here to see the RSPCA guidance on how to keep your pets safe and calm.

Anxiety wraps help some dogs during fireworks and there are lots on the market. You can also make your own wrap using elastic bandages. See the image below for instructions.



September 2017

All You Need is Love!

One of the best parts of our job is being able to deliver home dogs that have enjoyed themselves on their Barking Mad holidays. Take a look at the photos below and you will probably be able to work out why they all have such a good time.
Our hosts only look after one dog at a time so every holidaymaker is made to feel special. They have plenty of time for love and fuss and also, plenty of time for interesting walks in new places.
If it wasn't for our wonderful hosts, we wouldn't have this great service to offer. After a very busy Summer, we just want to say a big thank you to each and every one of you. You are all truly pawsome!

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3000+ Dog Owners Create Trust

Trustpilot is one of the world's largest online review communities and allows prospective customers to see what our current customers really think about our service. We are delighted that 96% of reviewers (nationwide) award us the full 5* rating, allowing us to reach the premier position in the animals and pets category.

We celebrated reaching our 3000th Trustpilot review by surprising Gwen Reid with flowers and a Pets at Home voucher to treat her pooches. Gwen's dogs Bella and Layla are regular Barking Mad holidaymakers and puppy, Beau (pictured) will soon be joining them.We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave a review for us on Trustpilot. We really understand the importance of listening to feedback and love hearing what our customers have to say.

Drone Search and Rescue on Facebook

There is a fantastic new group on Facebook called 'Drone SAR for Lost Dogs'. Volunteer drone pilots register with the group to offer their services in the search for lost dogs. The fantastic news is that they seem to be having a lot of success.
Shown right here is Brodie who was recently found by drone pilot, James McMinn. Brodie was missing overnight and his owners were desperate. James carried out a few flights in the area and lucky little Brodie was spotted and rescued.
Lets hope their success continues and that they manage to reunite many more owners with lost dogs. If you're on Facebook, click here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/DroneSARForLostDogsUK/ to see more about the group.


Doggy Blood Donors - now in Abingdon too

Further to last month’s item on doggy blood donations, we can now tell you that the Boundary Veterinary Centre in Abingdon are also offering canine blood donation sessions. To qualify, your dog will need to be:

• Fit and healthy
• 1-8 years old
• Weigh more than 25kg
• Have a good temperament
• Has never travelled abroad
• Vaccinated

Call them on 01235 538721 to find out more.




July/August 2017

The Barking Mad Team


We recently had a few team photos taken with us all in our new branding. It's a shame it was a bit cloudy but at least it wasn't raining! From left to right, Jeannie with Coco the Welsh Terrier, Kayleigh with Luna the Chihuahua/Yorkie cross and Maddie the Golden Cocker Spaniel, Fiona with Mac the Labrador and Amanda with Rory the Poodle.
If you're thinking about a late Summer break, do get in touch as there is still some availability left.


More Fabulous Holiday-makers
More lucky doggies on their recent holidays…..

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Help Needed to Understand Dog Vocabulary!


Is your dog an intellectual with a large lexicon or a pooch of few words? Barking Mad Oxfordshire is involved in the launch of an online survey to discover just how well educated the canines of Oxfordshire really are and how they match up against their national counterparts.
We have teamed up with Venture Studios, the UK's leading family portrait photographer, to offer a fantastic free prize draw entry for survey participants. To be in with a chance of winning a Studio Experience voucher plus a 10 x 8 framed portrait of your pet, just complete the short survey all about your dog's word skills.
At the end of the survey, Google the following address to enter the draw: www.barkingmad.uk.com/competition
Good Luck!
Please click here to enter the survey.


Beware of Mouldy Food


There was an horrific story on Facebook recently about Gary, an Oxfordshire sheepdog who reacted very badly to eating mouldy food. Luckily, his local vet was able to treat him quickly and it was a happy ending for him. If you want to see Gary's story in more detail, click here 
Ingestion of mouldy food from the recycling bin or a compost heap can put your dog, cat or wildlife at risk. There are dangerous toxins in mouldy bread, pasta, cheese, nuts, or other decaying matter like compost. Clinical signs include vomiting, agitation, appearing to be 'drunk', tremors and seizures.

Doggy Blood Donors


The Canine Donor Programme helps to save thousands of lives every year. It is very similar to the human blood service. Owners register their dog and then attend a local donation session. It's all completely painless and apparently, dogs don't even realise they're giving blood half the time! If you think you might like to register your dog, s/he will need to fit the following criteria:
• Fit and healthy
• Between 1 and 8 years old
• Weigh more than 25kg
• Have a good temperament
• Have never travelled abroad
• Vaccinated
• Not on any medication
Donation sessions in Oxfordshire take place at the Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, The Hawthorne Veterinary Practice in Banbury and the Boundary Veterinary Practice in Abingdon. If you'd like to find out more, click here  to visit the Pet Blood Bank Frequently Asked Questions


Dog Friendly Awards 2017 Nomination for Barking Mad


We would be thrilled if you could vote for Barking Mad! Dog lovers are being offered the opportunity to recognise and reward businesses that go the extra mile for the benefit of the UK’s 9.4 million dogs and their owners.
For Barking Mad to stand a chance, please vote for Barking Mad Kirkby Lonsdale (our Head Office) and not any the local branches, as this gives us the best chance of winning.
Thank you!
Click here to vote 

 June 2017  

Happy Dog, Happy Holiday, Happy You!
Here are some of the lucky boys and girls who have been out on their holidays recently. If you're thinking about your own holidays, do get in touch to check availability with us. Obviously, this is the busiest time of year but we want to help our existing customers if we possibly can.
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More Good News!
We are very proud to announce that Barking Mad has just been awarded the ISO 9001 quality standard! Achieving this award shows that we rigorously follow standards and procedures to deliver a high-quality service for our customers and hosts. We are the only UK pet care company (local or national) to have done this. Another first for Barking Mad!
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Review us on Google and Facebook and get a £10 Gift Voucher of your choice!

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These days, many people look on review sites before making purchases. We have received loads of amazing reviews on Trustpilot but would really welcome a few more reviews on Google and Facebook. If you would like a £10 gift voucher (from a store of your choice) all you need to do, is review us on Google and Facebook! To review on Google, just click here and for Facebook please click here 

Once you've completed your reviews, please send us a quick e-mail or text to let us know which voucher you would like. (oxon@barkingmad.uk.com and 07985 766868)
Thanks in advance!

Heatstroke in dogs
Most of us know about it takes just minutes for dogs to perish in hot cars, but not everyone is aware that dogs can also die from heatstroke.

If dogs are too hot and are unable to reduce their body temperature by panting, they will develop heatstroke which can kill. If you'd like to know how to identify the signs of heatstroke and, what to do if you suspect your dog is suffering click here

Barking Mad Price Increase
This is just a reminder that from 1 July, our daily rate will be increasing from £26.40 to £28.00.

March 2017  

2017 Holiday Makers

At last, the days are getting longer and we can start to look forward to the warmer Spring and Summer days ahead. Some lucky Oxfordshire doggies have already had holidays this year (see photos below).
The diary is getting busy so if you'd like to book holiday care for your dog, please let us know as soon as you're able.

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The Labrador Rescue SE and Central

It's been a whole year since Fiona joined us at Barking Mad. If you've met her, you'll know instantly that Fiona loves all dogs. Ask her which is her favourite and she will admit that it's Labradors she has a soft spot for!
Such is her love for this breed, that she spends a lot of her spare time as a volunteer with the Labrador Rescue SE and Central. She started with the charity back in 1996, assessing Labs that were being given up for adoption and matching them up with suitable new homes. Eleven years on, Fiona is an Area Co-ordinator for Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. She now finds herself more involved in fundraising and raising awareness of the charity's work.

She acquired her own dog, Mac, through the charity. His owner was taken into a home and the family didn't want him. He was 8 years old, had deformed feet, bad ears and was also blind. The family gave a local kennels a month's fee and asked them to rehome him or get him put to sleep. By the time the Charity found out about him, he had just 3 days left. After Fiona adopted him, he was soon settled and happy. Due to this great charity, Mac is just one happy ending of many.

Now when Fiona takes any holidays, Mac has Barking Mad holidays himself - and loves it!
If you would like to find out more about the Charity, please click here http://www.loveyourlabrador.co.uk/



The Link Between Diet and Behaviour

Quite often, hyperactive behaviour in dogs is caused by the dog's diet. Some dog foods contain additives and preservatives to make them colourful and appetising. Not all dogs can tolerate the high sugar levels and some will act as if they have eaten a bowl of smarties! A great independent dog food comparison website used by lots of dog trainers and behaviourists is www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk This site gives rankings from 1-5 Stars and can guide owners on what to feed their dogs. All you have to do is key in what type, size and age of dog and it will suggest the most suitable foods for them. Click here https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/ for more info 


The Yellow Dog UK Scheme


If you see a dog with a yellow lead, or with a yellow coat on, it could mean it needs space. If you're not familiar with Yellow Dog UK, it basically means 'please do not approach this dog', especially if you have your own dog with you. They are indicating that their dog cannot be close to other dogs and they are asking for you to give them time to move out of your way. The reasons why dogs might need space may vary but it could be one of the following:

* health issues
* a rescue dog being rehabilitated
* a previous bad experience with another dog
* may find bouncy, friendly dogs overwhelming
* a bitch in heat
* currently in training
* old and arthritic
* nervous or shy

If your dog needs space, please click here http://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk/ to find out more about the scheme. The Yellow Dog UK shop has accessories such as yellow leads, yellow dog coats, bandanas etc.


February 2017 News

Our New Branding!
Barking Mad has undergone a national re-branding and here is our new logo! It'll take a while to change the logos on the uniforms, cars and stationery etc. but you can be sure of one thing, you'll certainly notice once it's done!
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The Hunt for Hosts!
We're always keen to hear from anyone who might like to find out about hosting for us. We have put together this little video to circulate to those who may be interested. If you know anyone who might be suitable, please Click here and share the video with them.

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Hosts Lizanne and Cyril

At our host Christmas party, Lizanne and Cyril said that they had just had the best Summer ever! We were delighted when we realised they were referring to their time looking after Barking Mad dogs. They joined us as hosts in Spring 2016 and by the end of the Summer, had looked after a variety of dogs from Cavachons to Cockers!
Lizanne and Cyril came to the UK seven years ago after making the difficult decision to leave their native South Africa. Lizanne and Cyril’s children, most of whom had already moved to the UK, were worried about them becoming isolated as they got older. They left their beautiful homestead, a place which had been home to them for many years and moved all the way to the market town of Witney.
After a period of adjustment, they settled in nicely. They had their beloved cat Millie, who had also made the long journey all the way from South Africa, but really missed having a dog in their new home. They decided they couldn't have one of their own as the costs were prohibitive and also, it would restrict their ability to take holidays and make regular visits to see their children.
When Lizanne spotted Barking Mad on Streetlife, she got in touch and it has turned out to be the perfect solution for them. They now enjoy all the benefits of having all these little 'characters' around without the expense or the long-term tie. As well as the increased exercise, they like the fact that other people are more friendly and will stop for a chat when they see they have a dog with them. We're thrilled that Barking Mad is such a great solution for Lizanne and Cyril and really appreciate the love and care they give to all their visitors. We look forward to arranging more doggy holidays at their mini-homestead in Witney!

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Looking for a Great Groomer?

Our customers often ask us to recommend good groomers but we will only refer them to people who are suitably qualified and as passionate about dogs as we are at Barking Mad.
The Cotswold Grooming Company in Chipping Norton is owned and run by Ruth Warrior and Jo Travis. They relocated to Chipping Norton in October 2016 after running a very successful grooming studio in Northamptonshire. Their philosophy is that a good groomer should be link between the owner and the vet. While grooming a dog (or cat), they can detect any new lump or bump, any change in temperament and can raise any health issues before they escalate. They are meticulous in their attention to detail and have built their reputation on giving great service and guiding customers in good pet coat care.
They would be pleased to welcome you to their stylish studio to discuss your dog's needs. A complimentary coffee is always on offer! Click here to link to their Facebook page. Call 01608 644164 or e-mail info@thecotswoldgroomingco.com for more info.

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CPR for dogs

It's one of those things you hope you never need but just in case, click here to link to a video which explains basic CPR for dogs. A lot of us are used to being miles from anywhere when we're out on our dog walks. When help is not immediately on hand, it's worth knowing the basics so we can do our best until help arrives.

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January 2017 News
Happy New Year
We hope you've had a great start to 2017. We are looking forward to seeing you all when collect and deliver our fabulous holiday makers throughout the year. Our diary is filling quickly so please let us know about your plans as soon as possible, especially if you want us to check the availability of a preferred host.

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Review us on Google or Facebook and we'll Send You a Fabulous Barking Mad Calendar or Bag!
Google works in mysterious ways but apparently, the more reviews we get, the easier it is for people to find us on the internet. If you're a customer or host with a Google account, please click here to review us and we'll send you a Barking Mad calendar or bag - whichever you prefer (see photos below).
Facebook is also a great way of us generating interest in our service. All you need to do, is click here to go to our Facebook Page. Leave us a review and again, we'll send you either a calendar or bag.


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Public Liability Insurance for Dogs
You may have seen the item on the recent Martin Lewis financial programme about Public Liability Insurance for dogs. In case you're not aware, dogs aren't covered for public liability without insurance, so if your dog causes a car accident, and the drivers sue, you'll be liable for the cost. This may be covered on your home insurance but you should check this before taking the risk. Cats are considered 'free spirits' by law courts and so, as an owner, you're not legally responsible for their actions.
Just to reassure our hosts, we (Barking Mad) have public liability insurance for dogs you look after while the owners are away.
The Dogs Trust offers annual membership for £25 and this includes public liability insurance. It is £12.50 if you're over 60. Click here 

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Ever Come Across an Injured Deer?
Although not dog related, this item will appeal to all the animal lovers. If you ever come across an injured deer, or worse, run over one, your first thought might be to call the Police and the RSPCA. With so many emergencies to deal with, response times for both organisations can be very slow. It's worth knowing that St Tiggywinkles, the well known animal hospital, will attend an injured deer almost immediately. As an organisation, they will help with any sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. They cover Oxfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire. Hopefully, you will never need their contact details but just in case, it might be worth adding their number to your phone contacts: 01844 292292.

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The Good Vet and Pet Guide
The Good Vet and Pet Guide is a really useful site for dog owners. We are listed on there as a home boarding option. The blog (under News and Offers) offers lots of helpful advice and guidance about a range of dog and pet related issues. Click here to take a look.

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  December 2016

Thank You!
We're delighted to have completed another great year and would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers and hosts for being part of our Barking Mad family.

Au Revoir to Cate and Russ
Cate and Russ, who set up Barking Mad in Oxfordshire, will soon be heading off to their new home in Staffordshire. They will be greatly missed, not least by all the doggy visitors they have cared for so lovingly as hosts themselves.

Cate and Russ took on the Barking Mad franchise in 2006 and in the 8 years they ran it, managed to build up a really successful alternative to kenneling in Oxfordshire. When we took over, they kindly shared all their valuable knowledge and experience and also introduced us to as many customers and hosts as possible. Although there wasn't time to meet everyone, there is no doubt that this contributed to a really smooth handover.

We will be very sad to wave them goodbye but know that they will enjoy their fabulous new home further up the country. Their beloved Spaniels Bill and Dan will get even more country walks and will enjoy spending even more time with Mum and Dad.
We wish them all the very best.         

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'#Dogselfie' Competition
Congratulations to Emma Hoskisson who won our recent #dogselfie competition. Emma was up against stiff competition as we had some fabulous entries - including some of our own customers! The photos were brilliant! If you'd like to see the rest of the entries, please click here to go to our Barking Mad Facebook Page. If you like what you see, Like our page!

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Happy Holidays, Happy You!
If you were lucky enough to get a new tablet, laptop or phone for Christmas, the chances are you’ll be using it to select your next Spring or Summer holiday. We are already taking bookings for next year, especially the school holidays, so if you have any dates in mind, please do let us know. We can't guarantee host availability but if you have a preferred host, the sooner you can let us know the better.

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November 2016

Lest We Forget
In honour of the fallen, including all the animals, Rosie proudly wore her hand-knitted poppy collar when she stayed with Host Carole on Remembrance Sunday.

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Why Do Hosts Become Hosts?
We now have over 50 amazing host families who look after Barking Mad doggies while their owners are away. Although they all have a love of dogs in common, it's clear that the reasons for becoming hosts in the first place are many and varied.
Paul and Audrey, shown below, are very popular hosts and have many, many regular visitors. A while ago, after they lost their beloved Labrador Paddy and then their Cocker Spaniel Jo, they couldn't face the heartbreak of losing another dog. Hosting seemed a great solution and it has worked out beautifully for them.
They both get different things from hosting. Audrey is now retired and enjoys the company of her four legged visitors when Paul is at work. She especially loves all our 'cuddly' dogs and is brilliant at taking care of any that suffer with separation anxiety. Paul works locally and happily takes care of all the exercising. For him, it's simply a matter of enjoying having dogs around, regardless of their shape or size!
Some of our hosts work from home and love having an excuse to get away from their desk for a healthy walk. Some spend part of the time out of the country and therefore, can't have a dog of their own. A few of our hosts live alone and just really enjoy having the company and fun that furry visitors can bring.
All our hosts are special but it's hard to convey just how special they are and just how much we appreciate them. They are the reason that Barking Mad exists and they are also the reason our customers can have happy holidays, safe in the knowledge that their dogs are having happy holidays too.

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Self-Healing in Dogs
There is a ‘Botanical Self-Healing in Dogs’ talk being given in support of Medical Detection Dogs. It takes place on 22nd February at Asthall Manor, Oxfordshire and costs £12.00.
The talk offers suggestions for helping your dog to live as long, happy and healthy a life as possible and, ways for you to develop your understanding of your dog.
If you want to find out more, look on www.myanimalmatters.co.uk

The Good Dog Guide
Barking Mad Oxfordshire has been listed on The Good Dog Guide for some time now. We get regular enquiries from people looking for high quality home-from-home care for their doggies.
If you're not familiar with The Good Dog Guide, it's worth a look www.thegooddogguide.com
The site is set up to bring together useful information for dog owners e.g. pet products, pet friendly accommodation, dog friendly places to visit, walks & beaches UK wide etc. There is also a very useful section on pet health.
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October 2016

Robin and Janine

After many years hosting for Barking Mad, Robin and Janine have decided to 'hang up their leads'. We're really sad we won't be seeing them any more and so are lots of their regular four legged visitors. They have really enjoyed their time as hosts and have captured some of their experience below.

'We first heard about Barking Mad through a friend who had been a host for a number of years and had really enjoyed it. When we lost our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, we thought long and hard but decided that we were not going to have another dog. That said, we missed having a dog in our life and so Barking Mad seemed the obvious solution. We duly applied and after a careful assessment and interview, we were accepted as hosts.

Our first visitor soon arrived and we found ourselves back in the world of wagging tails and dog walking! It felt good to have a dog in our home again and any nervousness we felt soon disappeared. Since then we have looked after lots of different dogs of different shapes and sizes. Some dogs bound in quite confidently and take possession of your home and the best chair! Some dogs are more reserved and like to make their mind up about things more slowly. We have learned to let the dog set the pace, knowing that they all make themselves at home when they are ready. When a dog returns for a second or third time it doesn’t take long for the old routines to be re- established and we simply carry on where we left off.

It has been a real privilege to meet so many different dogs and share their lives for a little while. Each dog is an individual and getting to know their personalities and their likes and dislikes is simply fascinating. We had been asked what sort of dogs we would prefer to look after and that was always respected. We found ourselves with quite a variety of different breeds – small terriers of various kinds, spaniels, small cross breeds, and a number of Shih Tzus, a breed we had not previously encountered but one which has become a firm favourite.

Now, for a variety of reasons we find that we are no longer able to continue as a hosts, which makes us feel quite sad and we know we will miss our canine visitors. However, we shall always remember our time as part of Barking Mad. It has been an interesting, enjoyable and very rewarding experience with many highs, the occasional challenge and lots of fun moments – and we wouldn’t have missed any of it.'

More Recent Holidaymakers
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Firework Advice from the Blue Cross


Fireworks can be terrifying for pets. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and happy during firework season:

  •  Always keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off
  •  Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start
  •  Close all windows and doors, and block off catflaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.
  •  Ensure dogs are wearing some form of easily readable identification 0 – even in the house. They should have at least a collar and tag.
  •  Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where it can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. They may like to hide there when the fireworks start.
  •  Let your pet pace around, whine, miaow and hide in a corner if they want to. Do not try to coax them out – it’s just trying to find safety, and should not be disturbed.
  •  Stay calm, act normally and give lots of praise for calm behaviour. It’s OK to cuddle and stroke your pet if it helps them relax, but if they prefer to hide under your bed, then let them do this instead.
  •  Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you find they have been destructive or toileted after being left on its own. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.

Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if they doesn’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean they are happy. Excessive panting and yawning can indicate that your dog is stressed.

Barking Mad Bags
Barking Mad bags are great for packing all your dogs holiday accessories. They're also great for the supermarket as you can fit so much in! If you're a customer or host and you would like a bag (or another bag), please let us know. We've usually got some spare ones in the cars


Louise's Half Marathon Success
In our last newsletter, we mentioned customer Louise who was running the Oxford Half Marathon on behalf of the Oxford Animal Sanctuary. She completed the run and raised a grand total of £763.00! Well done Louise! You can still donate, so if you'd like to support Oxford Animal Sanctuary, just click on Louise's photo.



Dog Days of Summer

We didn't have many sunny days here in Oxfordshire this Summer but the cooler weather was much better for our furry fun seekers. They were able to spend lots of time outside enjoying our beautiful countryside and playing in the rivers and streams. They all had holidays to remember, as did our hosts, and we look forward to seeing them all again soon.

 1 Chelsea and Barney with host Carole.jpg    2 Ellie with host Chloe.jpg   3 Ember on her evening walk.jpg 

               6 Toby with hosts Jenny and Bryan.jpg  4 Maisie with host Rob.jpg

                                                        5 Rudi the Cocker Spaniel with host dog Ovie.jpg


 Barking Mad for Business and Pleasure

                                                           7 Louise with Meg.jpg

Louise has been using Barking Mad for over 5 years now. She felt that kennels just wasn't the right setting for her dog Meg so she looked online for some alternative care options. She uses Barking Mad because she needs consistency and reliability. Louise always books well in advance and uses the service regularly for both holidays and for work. Her career in personnel includes some trips away from home but that's not a problem as she says that Barking Mad gives her total peace of mind. Meg is always very relaxed when she's collected and always very happy when she's delivered home again. She is a very popular dog with the Barking Mad hosts and she knows a lot of them really well. It's fair to say that her holidays really are home-from-home!

If you're working away at any point, we'd be pleased to arrange care for your dog while you're away.

                                                               8 OAS.png

Louise is a volunteer at the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary (OAS) and is one of 25 runners taking part in this years Oxford Half Marathon on their behalf. OAS desperately need new equipment to look after the rescues during their stay. Louise and her team are hoping to raise as much cash as possible so if you would like to donate a few 'pennies for paws' please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Louise-Griffin3 . To find out more about the Oxford Animal Sanctuary, please visit www.oascharity.org.uk.

Good Luck with the run Louise!


Happy Holiday Makers!

It's the busiest time of the year and the Barking Mad cars are zipping about Oxfordshire collecting and delivering furry holiday makers. We have been delighted to
welcome so many new customers this season and have been particularly grateful to
receive so many of them as referrals from our existing customers.
We would not be able to provide our service without such fantastic hosts, who care
for their doggy visitors as if they were their own. Every dog is made to feel special
and loved and it's great for us to deliver home happy dogs that have had as good a
holiday as their owner. Below are just a few of our happy holiday makers. 

              Photo 1 - Janine with Oscar.JPG Photo 2 - Elaine with Belle.JPG Photo 3 - Elaine with Barney.JPG

              Photo 4 - Chris with Mitzi.JPG Photo 5 - Rob with Jarvis.JPG Photo 6 - Paul and Audrey with Bella.JPG

Jo and Max

Jo and her family have hosted for Barking Mad for many years. They are all dog mad and love having doggy visitors come to stay. They live right near fantastic countryside and treat all their guests to great county walks. When they joined, they had their own, beloved Labrador Bracken. When Bracken sadly passed away, their home felt empty and about a year or so later, they started to think about getting another Labrador. They found Max (seen here with Jo) through the South East Labrador Rescue, a charity that finds new homes for Labradors in need.

Max had a sad life before he was rehomed. He was massively overweight and was never exercised or socialised. Since joining Jo and the family, he has lost all his excess weight and is now a happy and healthy dog. We're delighted that Max now has an amazingly happy life and that he and Jo provide such a loving, fun holiday destination for Barking Mad guests.

Photo 7 - Jo and Max.jpg

Finstock Show

Well done to customer Jennifer on her success at the Finstock Dog show recently. Both her dogs Mozzy (shown here) and Buster were placed in their classes. We are delighted that Jennifer has recently become a host for us. She was so impressed with our service that she wanted to offer the same loving care to other friendly dogs. Welcome to the Barking Mad
host family Jennifer!

Photo 8 - Jennifer and Mozzy.JPG

Medical Detection Dogs

We are pleased to include an update on Medical Detection Dogs from the Oxon & Cotswold volunteer support group. They are looking for people to help with various fundraising events to support MDD. The next fundraiser is a street collection in Witney on Friday August 12th. Could you help?

They will be having charity photo shoot by Chris Jones of www.pet-ography.co.uk on Sunday September 18th from 9.30 at Beaconsfield Hall, Shipton under Wychwood. You can book a 20 minute slot for a professional portrait of your dog (£10 for the sitting); coffee and cake and dogs' lucky dip for an extra £3. Why not treat yourself?

To get involved with this fundraising group, please contact Heather 01993 831909 or oxon.supportgrp@medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk

Photo 9 - Firby the Medical Detection Puppy.JPG

Tips for Dogs in Hot Weather

• Dogs are susceptible to sunburn, especially light coloured dogs. Be aware of
paws, noses, ears and anywhere that their fur is less dense.
• The temperature inside a parked car can soar in just minutes. It is best not to
leave any dog in the car for any length of time.
• Overheating - if a dog shows any symptoms, get him or her out of the heat.
• Walk your dog when it's cooler in the evening
• Stay on the grass. Remember, if you can’t put your hand on the pavement for 5
seconds, it’s too hot for your dog
• Wash and check your dog’s paws carefully - moisturise if parched or dry
• Create shade in your garden
• Spray the dog with a garden hose or immerse him or her in a tub of cool water
• Place the dog in front of an electric fan.
• Applying cool, wet towels to the groin area, stomach, chest, and paws
• Manage your dog’s activity by putting it on a lead.
• Carry a water bottle on longer walks

Photo 10 - Cool Dog.jpg

June 2016

Oxford Times Feature

We were very pleased to feature in the most recent Oxford Times 'In Business' Magazine. When being interviewed, we were asked why Barking Mad was so successful. It was easy to respond. Our service works because we can give owners complete peace of mind while they're away. It's great that we're able to deliver home happy, relaxed dogs. We know our hosts are often sad when their four-legged visitors leave but they know that they can always look forward to seeing them again for another holiday.


We are still recruiting new hosts. If you know any dog lovers who would enjoy looking after friendly dogs, please put them in touch.

Finstock Festival, School Fete and Fun Dog Show - Saturday 2nd July 2016

We will be at the Finstock Festival on on Saturday 2nd July and would love to see you there. Finstock's village festival and school fete join forces this year to make one super family-friendly event on the school playing field. There will be 'wang a welly', a fun dog show, live music and the Finstock Bake Off! Other attractions will include tombolas, raffle, human fruit machine, football scoring game, teddies, ice cream, bouncy castle, balloon modelling, refreshments, Daisy Roots Ceramics, tug-o-war, BBQ & of course...BAR!


If you want a great afternoon out, please come along.

Ramsden Show

The grey weather at Ramsden Show didn't put off crowds of people who came along to enjoy all the attractions. We enjoyed meeting so many dog lovers and dog owners and they were very interested to hear all about the 5* Barking Mad service.

show for barking mad.jpg
Here is the first 'team photo' we have taken nsince Kayleigh and Fiona joined us. They have both settled in brilliantly and have already collected and delivered numerous doggy holiday- makers. If you've not yet met them, hopefully you will soon.

May 2016

Introducing Our New Team!

We are delighted to welcome Kayleigh Cook-Smith and Fiona Miller to the Barking Mad team. They are looking forward to meeting all the hosts and customers as they travel around collecting and delivering our fabulous, furry holiday makers.

Kayleigh Host Oxford Barking Mad May 2016.jpg

Kayleigh loves dogs and is thrilled to be back working with them again after a career break to have a family. In her most recent role, she trained sniffer dogs and was responsible for deploying them to airports etc. to detect explosives. Prior to that, she managed two local dog kennels, so she brings with her a good working knowledge of all sorts of dogs. Kayleigh is pleased to be back doing what she loves and we're very pleased that she has joined us. She has dogs of her own - shown here with Maddie, the Golden Cocker Spaniel and Luna a Yorkshire Terrier/Chihuahua cross.

Fiona Oxford Barking Mad May 2016.jpg


As a volunteer co-ordinator for the South East & Central Labrador Rescue Charity, it'll be no surprise to hear that Fiona is dog mad! She loves all dogs but grew up with Labradors, so they have a special place in her heart. She devotes a lot of her spare time fundraising for the charity and liaises with families who are looking to adopt rescued Labradors. She is very experienced in assessing adoptive homes so understands exactly what we look for when we recruit new host families. Until recently, she was a Communications Assistant at Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Kidlington. Her desire to work with dogs prompted her to apply to us and we're very pleased she did. Fiona is shown here with Mac, her own blind, rescue Labrador.

The Most Hosts!

We were delighted to win the Barking Mad National Award for recruiting the most hosts in one year. There are nearly 70 Barking Mad franchises but more people in Oxfordshire became hosts for Barking Mad than anywhere else in the UK! Hosting is a fantastic way to keep fit, socialise and get out and about. If you know anyone who might like to find out more about becoming a host, please put them in touch.

highest hosts recruited Barking Mad Oxford 2016.jpg

Ramsden Fete and Dog Show 11 June and Finstock Festival and Dog Show 2 July

We are at both of the above dog shows this year so please come along if you fancy a great afternoon out. Both shows have a range of attractions, so there should be something for everyone.

Barking Mad Facebook Business Page

If you want to see photos of our happy holiday-makers, please click on the Facebook icon and take a look at our Facebook Business Page. If you like what you see, please like our page!


We just want to say a big THANK YOU to our wonderful hosts for all the photos they pass on to us. You are truly 'pawsome'!

Win a Virgin Balloon Flight

Would you like to win a Virgin Balloon Flight with champagne and chocolates? All you need to do is click on the image to enter!

balloon web1.jpg

March 2016

Carole missed the company of dogs but could not commit to getting another of her own. She discovered Barking Mad 4 years ago and says it's the best thing she's done for a long time. Carole particularly likes the fact that she is only offered the size and age of dogs she can manage and also, really likes the fact that Jeannie and Amanda are always on hand if she has any concerns.

If you'd like to find out about caring for friendly dogs for short holidays, please get in touch: 01865 922004 or oxon@barkingmad.uk.com

You can see Carole's story here 


October 2015

Peter and Eleanor.jpg

What a county of dog lovers we are? We have been thrilled to welcome even more new hosts to the Barking Mad Host network. All of them excited about the idea of welcoming doggy guests into their homes.

Peter and Eleanor recently joined us and have already enjoyed looking after two of our friendly dogs. They have always had dogs of their own but would now prefer to be without the commitment. We are delighted that they have decided to become hosts for Barking Mad and besides a wonderful loving home, they offer walks in the beautiful countryside nearby. As Peter was a Cotswold Warden for 17 years and had often organised the work parties which repaired the gateways and stiles, he is completely familiar with the surrounding footpaths and bridleways.

If you know anyone who might like to become a host for us, please kindly pass on our contact details: 01865 922004 or oxon@barkingmad.uk.com




Freddieandgeorge- Xmas sausages - CC.jpg

Christmas Holidays

Christmas is just around the corner so it is worth thinking about your dog care needs.

If you think you might need us, do get in touch so we can check availability for you.






September 2015

It’s been a hectic but enjoyable Summer, with lots of lovely dogs enjoying holidays all over Oxfordshire. Our hosts have been busy welcoming dogs of all shapes and sizes into their homes and have ensured that owners have been able to take Summer holidays safe in the knowledge that their cherished pets are happy and loved, just as they would be at home.

We’ve been delighted to welcome many new customers and have been pleased to be able to help almost every request. We’ve noticed that a lot of new customers are being recommended by existing customers and feel this is a fantastic reflection on the service that we provide.

We are looking forward to the school October holiday and the Christmas celebrations. If you think you might need care for your dog at these times, please let us know as soon as possible as we are getting booked up already.

Summer Update 2015

It’s been a really busy but enjoyable few months since we took over Barking Mad in April. We’ve been overwhelmed with the warmth and kindness shown to us by all the customers and hosts, old and new. We have already collected and delivered an army of happy dogs and we very much look forward to arranging all their holidays in the future. What a county of dog lovers we are!


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: