Barking Mad Franchise celebrates 20 years of overcoming doglessness and social isolation

06 January 2020

The Barking Mad Dog Care franchise, founded in 2000 to provide home from home dog care instead of kennelling, is celebrating 20 years of enabling people to experience health and well-being benefits by offering an alternative to dog ownership. 

Jennifer Davies, from Colchester, has been a ‘host’ dog sitter for Barking Mad for nearly fourteen years and believes that her hobby has changed her life. She said, 

“The best thing about hosting is – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! I always get a lovely good morning greeting with lots of tail wagging and I am much fitter. I have lost five stone in weight. Having a dog is much the same as having a baby – people talk to you and make a fuss of the dogs. I have met so many new people with dogs and without. 

My first doggy visitors were Todd and Jazz, two salukis. In the evenings, Jazz would curl up by my feet and Todd would be beside me with his head on my shoulder, gazing into my eyes. I was totally hooked – who wouldn’t be? 

I have a son who lives in Guernsey who I visit regularly and I like going on holidays with my friends. If I had my own dog, this would make things more complicated. With Barking Mad, I always say I have all of the pleasure and none of the expense or worry about what would happen if I became unwell.” 

It has been scientifically proven that patting and walking dogs can help people to feel more relaxed and less anxious. This makes a huge difference to emotional and physical well-being. Those caring for a dog are also less likely to be socially isolated, research suggests. 

‘The Pet Factor – Companion Animals as a Conduit for Getting to Know People, Friendship Formation and Social Support‘, states that,  

‘Companion animals can be a catalyst for several dimensions of human social relationships in neighbourhood settings, ranging from incidental social interaction and getting to know people, through to formation of friendships.’ 

Barking Mad Managing Director, Rachel Stewart, said: 

“As Barking Mad celebrates its 20th anniversary, our proudest achievement is the happiness which holidaying dogs have brought to the lives of our host families and our franchise business owners, as well as providing peace of mind for our customers. We are looking to expand into new areas of the UK and Ireland and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in a unique, multi award-winning, dog care franchise opportunity. We can offer a lifestyle with flexibility, the joy of being your own boss and the rewards of making a really positive difference to the lives of fellow dog lovers and their four-legged best friends, all backed up with our unrivalled dog care sector know-how, systems and brand name."

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