Dog holiday host Julie has some tails to tell

Barking Mad's leading dog host Julie Swift  with holidaying Labradors Jasper and Bailey.
Barking Mad's leading dog host Julie Swift with holidaying Labradors Jasper and Bailey.

A Morpeth mum is heading for a unique pet care milestone.

Julie Swift will soon clock up 150 hosted dog holidays for the Guyzance-based Barking Mad franchise.

Julie, who lives with daughters Felicity and Verity and husband Brenden at Hepscott, is among a growing band of Northumberland dog lovers who enjoy looking after other people’s pets.

She said: “ I have been a host for six years now. Being a host gives me my regular doggie fix, but I still have the freedom to pick and choose when I have the animals.”

Tina Young operates the north and east Northumberland branch of Barking Mad.

She said: “Julie has opened up her home to four-legged guests 147 times since she joined our team and is our leading host in terms of dog visitor numbers.”

Every dog Julie looks after comes with its own detailed CV prepared by Tina. All the animal’s habits, feeding, sleeping and exercise routines are listed. And all food, bedding and accessories that the dog has at home are delivered – along with the dog – to the host.

Julie added: “ I like the variety of breeds and characters that come to stay. I feel very secure and supported knowing that I can call on Barking Mad any time. The whole family is involved. They all get excited at the prospect of a new dog arriving.”

All types of dogs, whose holidaying owners opt for the individual home-from-home care that kennels cannot provide, are catered for. Dog holidays range from breaks of two or three days to longer stays of two or three weeks or more.

Tina launched Barking Mad, Northumberland in 2005 and as business has grown so has the need for more hosts.

“My patch includes Seahouses in the north to Monkseaton in the south so ideally I would like to attract hosts from that area.”

For details of becoming a host, contact Tina on 01665 575981, or email