What’s it like to be a We Love Pets host family?

Publish Date:

24/08/2021
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Kathryn Metts

If you’re looking for canine companionship without the full responsibility of owning a dog, home boarding might be right for you! Our We Love Pets host families offer a home away from home alternative to traditional boarding kennels, providing dogs with a loving home to enjoy while their full-time family are on holiday.

Host families come from all different backgrounds and lifestyles with one thing in common – a passion for animals! Wondering what it’s like to be a host family? Read about the experiences of some of our network boarders here:

 

Boarding in retirement

 

Peter & Irene are boarders for the Dursley branch, and live at home with their two rabbits and two goldfish!

Are you currently working, or retired?

We’re both recently retired, and really enjoying it!

Where did you see the home boarder role advertised?

I was just scrolling through an employment website, it might have been Indeed, and I found the listing for the host family position and thought “oh wow that’s fantastic!”

Why did you decide to become a host family?

Well, we always wanted a dog while we were working, but we didn’t have the time. And then when we retired, we thought we’d travel but that of course has been prevented by the pandemic. Since neither of us likes to be bored, we looked into ways to fill our days. Initially we were interested in dog walking, but then came across the opportunity to become a host family. We liked that you don’t have the responsibility of a full-time dog but still get to have the experience of canine companionship.

What do you love most about boarding?

I think the best bit is seeing the different personalities of the dogs and the pleasure of having happy dogs in our home. They’re all so different!

What is a typical boarding day like for you?

Well, we reflect on the responses we get during the meet & greet when we ask questions like, “What’s a happy day for your dog?” or “What would you like for us to do with them?” We always welcome detailed notes to help us structure a schedule and care plan for each dog. But regardless of the requests, the first thing we do once the owner has gone is to take the dog for a walk and break the ice!

What do you love about We Love Pets?

We’re very happy with the organisation and professionalism of it all, and Jo’s brilliant! She always asks us in advance before assigning a dog and ensures a meet and greet for both parties.

 

 

Host and work from home

 

Sue and her partner live in Salisbury, and enjoy the flexibility that boarding offers. While Sue’s mostly retired, she can still do bits from home.

Who do you live with?

Until recently, I had lived on my own, but now live with my partner and our two dogs – a Springer spaniel and Cocker spaniel, one who I inherited from my mum.

Are you currently working, or retired?

I would say that I’m basically retired, but I dabble in things that I can do at home!

Why did you decide to become a host family?

I had always wanted to be a host family for dogs, but the timing wasn’t quite right while I was caring for my mum. Where I live backs up onto Salisbury Plain, which is a massive open green space perfect for dog walking, and my house has an ideal layout for dogs, so when the situation was right, I came back around to the idea.

Where did you see the home boarder role advertised?

I actually looked online for boarding positions and came across multiple pet care franchises offering roles. After thoroughly researching the companies, We Love Pets stood out above the competition, as it met the criteria that I would want if I were to board my dog. From there, I wrote to Jackie and got started!

What do you love most about boarding?

I love how I can do all of my day-to-day tasks, and the dogs sit in with me. If I need to work from home, I have the flexibility to do so, and still enjoy their companionship. And I absolutely love getting a return dog that jumps for joy when they see me!

What is a typical boarding day like for you?

My days are varied, really. Generally, I take on board what the owner wants for their dog – such as feeding times, how long they like for them to be walked and when – and then make a plan from there. But overall, the dogs just kind of fit into my life and become a part of the family. My dogs are quite mature, and I tend to find that the dogs I board follow their lead.

What do you love about We Love Pets?

I love that they really care about the welfare of each animal, first and foremost. I also like that they take the headache out of a role like this. I had my own business for 20 odd years and knew I didn’t want to do boarding as a business for myself. I wanted someone to say, “here is a dog that needs looking after, is it suitable for you and would you like to care for it?” We Love Pets is so professional – they handle insurances, rules, regulations, and make it easy to be a host family!

What’s some advice you would give to someone thinking about home boarding?

I would say that if someone is passionate about animals and is interested in caring for pets, without the stress of ownership, this is a great way to do it. The We Love Pets principles are wonderful, and they really take the stress away from you. Plus, it’s very gratifying to welcome a return dog that is so happy to see you!

 

 

Fit to your lifestyle

 

Tracey and her husband, Stephen, live in Wigan. Boarding works with their lifestyle and fits around their opposite schedules.

Are you currently working, or retired?

I retired from my office job of 8 years this past February; after working through most of the lockdowns and pandemic, it became too stressful, so I decided to take a step back. But as well as home boarding, I do work part time as a school crossing patrol, which gets me out of the house in the morning and afternoon.

Where did you see the home boarder role advertised?

Indeed

Why did you decide to become a host family?

Well, when I retired in February, and wanted to find a new job, my husband wisely advised that I should do something I was passionate about. I love animals and knew I really wanted to work with dogs, so I initially looked into being a daycare or kennel provider but didn’t have enough experience. Then I came across a WLP dog walking position for the Chorley branch and applied. I wanted to get out with dogs in the fresh air! I didn’t realise, but I technically live in the Wigan area, so they redirected me to Lorna where I eventually found my way to becoming a home boarder.

What do you love most about boarding?

I love being with the dogs, and the love that they give back to you. My husband works nights, and as we’re on opposite schedules, it’s nice to wake up in the morning with the dogs so pleased to see me. They keep me company throughout the day.

What do you love about We Love Pets?

I really like the Meet & Greet policy that We Love Pets uses. It’s a good way to get a feel for the dogs and their owners and introduce the dogs to your house before you agree to keeping them. Also, Lorna is brilliant! She keeps in touch to check in on me and is always really helpful.

What’s some advice you would give to someone thinking about home boarding?

I would say that if someone is interested, and really feels a connection with animals, then go for it! And don’t be put off by the licensing hurdles – it’s worth it. I have also found that having a “Meet & Greet” pack is helpful, with information about you, your age, references and interests; it helps the customers get to know you!

 

 

One of the family

 

Julie and her family live with their labradoodle, Coco, in Reading. They love having a playmate for Coco and sharing their home with another furry friend.

Who do you live with?

I live with my husband and one of my two sons, as well as our 1-year-old Labradoodle, Coco.

Are you currently working, or retired?

I work four days a week, so I’m usually able to take bookings for long weekends, and sometimes longer depending on prior arrangement.

Where did you see the home boarder role advertised?

Facebook

Why did you decide to become a host family?

I had wanted to do home boarding for a while but was unable to as my last dog wasn’t very sociable with other animals. But luckily, Coco is super friendly and we’re able to take other dogs in now!

What do you love most about the role of home boarding?

We’re a family of animal lovers and have always had a variety of dogs, cats, and other pets – so it just feels natural to board! And it’s nice to have another dog for Coco to play with occasionally.

Why did you choose We Love Pets?

I saw an advertisement and thought it would be a good idea to try dog boarding through a company rather than by myself.

 

 

Our We Love Pets branches are continuously recruiting for host families and would be happy to answer any questions you have! Interested in learning more? Find your local branch here.

Want to apply? Fill out the boarding application form here.

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