·        Online pet sitting services surge 240 percent year-on-year
·        Average booking for in-home dog boarding is 4 nights
·        Bookings of 4 nights are the most common and typically driven by long weekends, followed by bookings of 14 nights for planned holiday
·        Owners of large dogs are the most frequent users of in-home dog sitters

Australian pet owners are flocking to online pet-sitting communities in the lead-up to Christmas this year, as they search for a better option than traditional boarding kennels and catteries.

Statistics released today by pethomestay.com show a 240 percent increase in Christmas and New Year holiday bookings during October, compared to last year.

CEO and founder of the PetHomeStay, Tom LeGrice, said the rise was driven by Australian pet owners’ growing confidence in the community trust of peer-to-peer, or collaborative consumption businesses, such as Uber and Airbnb.

“Pet owners’ greatest concern with any dog boarding service, is that a beloved family pet will receive the same high quality of care as it would at home,” said Mr LeGrice.

“Increasingly, as more Australians become familiar with collaborative communities, we’re seeing huge growth in repeat users of our service, with many of our members being familiar with similar networks of house sitters and professional drivers.

“Ultimately, once people get over the initial barrier of trialing these types of services, the human interaction is such a positive experience that most people wouldn't choose anything else because it’s just such a better option.

“One of the great advantages of the community model of pet-minding is that our members are able to find other members who are just like them.

“We see a lot of long-term relationships developing, for example among beagle owners who know just how mischievous their pets can be when left unsupervised, or amongst owners of large dogs who understand the needs bigger pets have,” said Mr LeGrice.