Gunther, I could not agree more! Thank you and looking forward to using your services. Currently My Pet Holiday covers the Uk & Eire, however they are looking to expand in the near future. I would definitely recommend a wag and view…
I want to introduce you to Gunther, a wise old miniature schnauzer, and the inspiration behind My Pet Holiday. A dog entrepreneur who started a wonderful service where savvy dogs and their owners could find suitable accommodation, dog walkers, day pet care and other useful dog-centric services. It’s where dogs can find out from personal experience from others in the area who to try, who to avoid with dog wagging confidence.
My Pet Holiday is a resource for pet owners (currently dogs, cats and horses) wanting to find the best option for their beloved pet(s) when the staff go on holiday. For some that will be a home from home, such as a boarding kennels or home boarder. For others, it will be to stay home alone but with caring professionals visiting to walk and feed them. Or owners might not want to be separated from their pets at all and so we also have forums for recommended pet friendly places to stay, eat and visit. But the website is much more than a searchable directory. They encourage everyone to register and independently review and rate the places they have used so that other owners can decide whether the facilities are suitable for them and their pet. The more information pet owners give, the more use the information is to others. Now that’s dog gone common sense!
I first discovered My Pet Holiday via twitter, and I decided to contact Gunter directly and ask him about his business.
Well, I like to think I’m a modest pooch but, seeing as you’ve asked… I’m a wise, twelve-year-old miniature schnauzer and I live in the Cotswolds with my staff. We haven’t always lived here because I remember that, as a young pup, I used to explore the parks and pavements of north Essex.
I like sleeping (I am 84 in human years after all), eating (James Wellbeloved cereal free kibble and a pouch of lamb and vegetables for dinner) and keeping the staff in order, which is pretty much a full-time job.
I hate any form of water – baths, puddles, rivers (shivers) – and being left alone. I’ve pretty much grown out of toys now but I still keep my iBone, cow and squeaky bra (yes, you heard that right) on my bed.
What inspired you to start your business and website?
When the staff made me move in 2010, they took me a long way away from a kennel that I really enjoyed going to in Lindsell, near Thaxted. So, when they had the cheek to go on holiday for three weeks soon after moving and I had not yet found a suitable alternative (I’m very picky), I insisted on going back to my old kennel. It meant they had a lot of extra driving to do … but I’m worth it!
Then, after they got back, they said they couldn’t do that extra journey again and we would have to find a kennel that I approved of near Cheltenham. So I set to asking any pooches I met out and about but it was more difficult than we thought. Owners were quick to tell us about places to potentially avoid but no one came forward with a glowing recommendation. The staff then had a rare good idea and said that there should be a website where pet owners could search for things like boarding kennels, pet sitters, home boarders and dog walkers and then independently rate and leave reviews on the places they know so that other pet owners can use, or avoid, with confidence. I gave their idea the paws up and My Pet Holiday was born.
Speaking of staff, tell us about your staff and owners of My Pet Holiday
Well obviously I am the Chief Operating Paw but I do need help with the typing and telephone so my staff does that, mainly my human mum Barbara. She used to have a marketing communications business in London but she sold that when we moved to the Cotswolds and now runs a number of businesses, including helping me with this one.
Gunter, I would like to thank you for the interview, I know you’re busy and would like to get back to your schedule, however just a few quick paw related questions:
Favorite vacation spot? walk?
I’m a pretty adaptable chap so am happy as long as I get a walk at the allotted time in my diary, anywhere will do as there are plenty of things to sniff, but I prefer to keep to the same route so I know the staff won’t get lost. In the past I did bound over fields in Dunmow recreation ground as social secretary, meeting and greeting the newcomers, but that’s a bit energetic now. I did have a passport and went to France a number of times. There were lots of new smells there and different sausages.
Best advice on owning a dog?
You choose your dog, your dog does not choose you, so it is your responsibility to make the right decision re the size, temperament and needs of the dog you get. You have to accept that your dog will be another member of the family and deserves the amount of care and attention that involves.
What would you suggest in regards to traveling with pets?
- Whether you’re going down the road, or on a long journey, make sure your pet is micro chipped; better safe than sorry.
- Don’t be selfish and take your pet with you on long journeys when they are not good travellers and may be much more comfortable at home or boarding.
- But, if they don’t mind the travelling, make sure they are as safe and secure as you would any other passenger. Dogs might look cute on the front seat of the car looking out of the window, but what if you have to break sharply or, even worse, have an accident? You will be distraught if your dog goes through the windscreen because it is not restrained by a belt or in a travelling cage.
- If you take your dog abroad, research and book your return vet visit for tapeworm treatment before you arrive so that you know you can make the 1-5 day window prior to return to the UK.
- Wherever you travel with your pet, have plenty of fresh water and the food / treats they are used to so as not to upset their routine.
…Gunther, I could not agree more! Thank you and looking forward to using your services. Currently My Pet Holiday covers the Uk & Eire, however they are looking to expand in the near future. I would definitely recommend a wag and view.
Where to find
website: My Pet Holiday