Holidawgs, Take Me Wuff was created by Christine & Jacques, a couple that are passionate about their dogs, and animal welfare in general. Holidawgs, Take Me Wuff Pet-Safe(TM) Getaways is a website designed especially for those of us who, like Christine & Jacques, want to take our pets along on weekend breaks or holidays. On the Holidawgs website we can search for Pet-Safe(TM) getaways and accommodation, read a review and make a booking straightaway if we so wish.

Each of the Pet-Safe(TM) getaway listings on Holidawgs has been hand-picked by Christine & Jacques. When they review a getaway, they take photos and create videos so as a client of Holidawgs you know exactly what you’re in for at each getaway, and there are no hidden surprises. Christine & Jacques rate Pet-Safe(TM) getaways against strict criteria, providing honest and objective reviews so you always know what to expect. 

A while ago I chatted to Christine about how it all started, and what exactly does the Pet-Safe(TM) rating mean for you, as a dog parent. “We started Holidawgs and coined the phrase ‘Pet-Safe(TM)’ to describe the accommodation listed on the website. The ‘pet-friendly’ label (commonly used in accommodation listings) just didn’t give us any kind of guarantee as to what to expect when we arrived.

The weekend that was the deciding factor for us was a weekend away in a ‘pet-friendly’ cottage in McGregor. Being a particular dog-mom, I usually interrogate getaways quite spectacularly prior to booking. In this case it was no different. I asked the usual questions, such as: Is it enclosed? Will it be safe for me to bring my dogs? The answer was Yes, it’s enclosed – the front wall is low, but the backyard is fully enclosed.

We arrived late one Friday night after work, at around 8.30, to such disappointment that we almost turned around and drove back to Cape Town. The front wall was so low that even our medium sized dogs could scale that effortlessly. We drove around the back and parked. The backyard was not enclosed at all. It had a large gap where once possibly was a gate, and many other holes in the wall. We used garden furniture to pack and try and blockade most of the gaps and decided to keep a close eye on the dogs. It made for a super uncomfortable and exhausting weekend for all of us. Our dogs did end up escaping, with us in tow running down the road after them.” As a dog parent, I can absolutely relate to this.

Christine & Jacques’ favourite getaway is Mooiplaas. They have booked to stay there three times last year. As Christine says, “Mooiplaas has everything we look for: sturdy fencing, seclusion, space, activities, electricity and Wi-Fi. Our dogs love it there, and we never have to worry that they will get out or run into trouble of any kind. It’s a relaxing getaway for all of us. Shakti lies on the stoep looking over the river and keeps an eye on us, while Shiva can run for miles after his ball. We enjoy the stoep with a huge fireplace, and in summer, take a nice dip in the river. It’s completely secluded – the main manor house is about a kilometre away so we can even walk through the vineyards on short strolls around the cottage with the dogs.”

Shakti at Mooiplaas
Shakti at Mooiplaas

Holidawgs gives back to animal charities too. A portion of all the bookings made on their website goes to animal shelters (you can see the full list of beneficiaries here. So while you’re booking a weekend away you’re also giving back at the same time, and helping to make a difference in other doggies’ lives. You can also nominate an animal welfare organisation to be added here. And while you’re having a look around, be sure to sign-up for the Holidawgs newsletter to receive their latest reviewed listings, discounts and special offers (now who doesn’t like that?).

Holidawgs Pet-Safe(TM) getaways listings for now cost the same whether it’s just for humans, or you bring your furry friends along, that is , you don’t pay in addition for your dog(s) to stay although some listings might be an added in future where an additional, though minimal, cost would be required.

Taking your furry pals on holidays with you can be the cheaper alternative to pet-sitting or pet hotels. Pet-sitting (the stay over kind) can cost you up to R300 per night and kennelling, depending on where you kennel your pets, could be anything from R100 to R500 per night. Even though in each case you have to ensure your pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date, your doggies can easily pick up other illnesses due to close proximity to other dogs – not matter how nice the kennels are – which could end up costing you more in vet bills. So being able to take your furry companions with you on holiday is definitely a cost saver and gives you peace of mind, especially if staying at Holidawgs Pet-Safe(TM) getaways.

Disclaimer: financial, or other, compensation was not received for this post.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, please share it with others!

You can also find Frugal in SAon Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.