Saturday 21 October 2017

Thinking about bringing the dog on holiday? Check out Woof Advisor first

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

If you've ever been racked with guilt over leaving your dog at home - or in kennels - while you jet off on your holidays, this site could be for you.

Woof Advisor is a platform designed to help pet lovers plan properly when travelling with their four (or two or six or eight) legged friends.

"At the moment there's a myriad of sites out there but there's nothing that really lets them check out policies or specific reviews or anything like that," CEO Gerry Molly told independent.ie.

"Many hotels don't even tell you if they're pet friendly or not so it's actually more difficult than you might think to get access to that relevant information."

Woof Advisor aims to both solve that information problem and also connect pet owners with the accommodation sector so they can talk directly to each other.

The platform currently hosts about 4000 listings for Ireland and the UK but Mooney plans to scale this up "as rapidly as possible" and is currently looking for investors and partners.

If travelling across national borders within the EU, pet owners need to secure a pet passport which involves first getting the pet microchipped and vaccinated for rabies by their local vet.

While this is not a role than Woof Advisor can fulfil, interest in the one stop shop for travelling pet lovers has been significant.

"We've had about 20,000 unique visitors and about 100,000 page views and the visitors spend about three or four minutes on the site," said Mooney.

"They go through a lot of information on the site and the engagement is great, especially on social media. The level of engagement we get on Facebook is extraordinary."

What might be devastating for site users to realise is that Gerry actually professes not to be a pet lover himself; he came up with the idea while have a pint with his sister.

"My brother and my sister are both serious dog lovers, regularly going on trips with them, and they're always coming back thinking they could have checked the room out a bit better," he said.

"In Ireland alone there's half a million households with dogs so it's a huge market and it's so important for people. When I started researching it, I knew I couldn't walk away."

Online Editors

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