Money Saving Mondays: Dog Sitting’s home-based dog watchers – fellow pet owners – can save 50% off kennel rates

If you’re a dog owner, you know that one of the big, hidden costs of a summer vacation far away can be finding a place for your dog to stay while you travel.

But a new service can cut the price of dog lodging in half -- and maybe find your pup some new friends. It’s called, and it enables you to find fellow dog owners in your area who’ve signed up to be dog sitters and passed background checks and will typically charge $25 to $40 a day to take care of your dog.

Katie Moss of Arlington and her partner, Chris Paganelli, signed up to become DogVacay hosts after being very satisfied DogVacay customers for their dog, Charlie, a six-year-old who appears to be a whippet-Jack Russell terrier mix.

“I did a search online and came across DogVacay, which allows dogs to stay in other people's homes, and that sounded a lot better to me than having him stay in a cage for a week that we're on vacation,’’ Moss said. “Charlie is a rescue, and he does not like being in a kennel at all. He gets a little crazy.’’ And at a typical daily fee of $25 or $30, she said, “It was also actually cheaper than having him stay in a kennel.’’

Moss and Paganelli ask $36 a day to sit dogs, in part because she works from home and has lots of time to spend watching a visiting dog. “It's not really obviously for the money. We just like having dogs around, and I think it's great for Charlie to have other dogs since he's here by himself most of the time.’’

DogVacay takes a 15 percent cut of the sitters’ daily fee and guarantees owner to host payments. It’s available now in most of Massachusetts and parts of Maine and Connecticut, but not all of New England. Part of what you’re paying for is a $25,000 life-insurance policy on your dog, in case something horrible happens. But sitters like Moss will assure you, what you’re buying is a lot of careful love. “Instead of taking them to a kennel, and there might be 50 dogs there, we have two. So they definitely get special attention.’’

With video editor Lauren Kleciak and videographer Daniel J. Ferrigan

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