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DogVacay lets owners and sitters indulge their puppy love, worry-free

I learned growing up with a pet beagle that some dogs are easier to care for than others. My beloved Cody was not very social, required lots of exercise, and regularly defied forces of nature to steal snacks. For dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds, and proclivities and their owners, DogVacay is here to help.

DogVacay is a marketplace where pet owners can find qualified local caregivers. The company has raised $6 million to expand its vibrant community and roster of services nationwide. 

DogVacay eliminates the need to put pets in kennels by supplying individuals that can watch the dogs instead. Experienced and qualified hosts create profiles with information about their home and pet owners can browse, book and pay online. The rates are cheaper than that of the typical kennel, and pets benefit from staying in a comfortable environment.

There is significant interest on both ends of the platform, both for owners who need help caring for their pet, and for suppliers who can feed their bank account (and their soul) by indulging their passion for dogs. Along with supervision, DogVacay offers complimentary insurance, 24/7 emergency veterinary care, customer service, and daily photo and video updates.

The business was founded by husband and wife duo Aaron and Karine Hirschorn after seeking kennel alternatives for their own dogs, Rocky and Rambo. Before starting DogVacay, they watched over 100 dogs in their home and saw there was high demand for this type of service. The company has since acquired thousands of hosts and users across the country, paid over $1 million to pet-sitters, and logged 50,000 doggie nights.

This first institutional round of financing came from Benchmark Capital and will be put towards expansing the community and roster of services nationwide. Other investors include First Round Capital, Science, Quest Venture Partners, Baroda Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and angels.

DogVacay is based in Santa Monica, CA and has 20 employees. The other dog on the block is Rover.com, which also helps owners find dog sitters.