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Dog Boarding, Dog Sitting and Dog Walkers

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Services & Businesses > Dog Boarding, Dog Sitting and Dog Walkers


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Recommendations for individuals are not archived to the website for privacy reasons. If you are looking for an individual to pet-sit at your house, post to the Marketplace newsletter under "Housing".

2010 - 2012 Reviews


Looking for a petsitter in Orinda

Nov 2012

We are looking for recommendations for a house/ dog sitter (and chicken caretaker) for our house in Orinda over the December holidays. Looking for someone who loves dogs (we have four beagles!) and is willing to sleep over at the house the whole time. In addition to feeding the beagles twice a day, the person would have to let the chickens in and out of the coop, feed the outdoor cat on occasion, and that's about it. We have dog doors so they can go outside on their own, so you won't need to walk them. The main issue is that it's over the holiday break through mid-January. Might be a great job for a college student home for the holidays! Beagle home


Call Allison Mobley at Housepetality Petsitting (888) 498-PETS. We used her for many years, until our beloved dog passed away. He was a special needs dog with behavioral issues who required expert handling and patience and Allison was our savior. She maintained all of his routines at home and stayed overnight with him. Allison truly understands and loves dogs and we never would have been able to travel had we not found her. She took excellent care of our home, communicated with us about our dog's behavior, and even had to take him to the emergency vet once. She handled everything with professionalism. Because she is so wonderful, she tends to be booked far in advance, and might not be available for the upcoming holidays. But call her anyway so you and your dogs can get to know her and reserve a spot for future travels. Could never have gone on vacation without Allison

Looking for a dog sitter

April 2012

Im hoping to find a recommendation for a dog sitter. We'll l be going out of town for a week in July and we've never left them with anyone besides family. I hate inconveniencing the family and i'd rather leave them at a local spot but ive always assumed it was pretty expensive. Have you used a local place before or know of someone who would take the dogs in? Thanks!


I used Piedmont Pet for a couple of years. Karen is extremely loving towards dogs and takes caring for them very seriously. She watched my dog and I was very pleased. http://www.piedmontpet.com/reviews-piedmont.html
I've recommended Doggy Lama on here before in a more specific context (topic: difficult dog boarding) but Doggy Lama is amazing in all contexts so I'll recommend them again:) We've used Doggy Lama for dog sitting a handful of times over the past few years and, like you, we had never left our baby with anyone outside of the family. Our dog stays with Molly, the owner of Doggy Lama, now when we are away. The cost isn't bargain basement (you can save $5 a night if you pay cash) but you can enjoy your vacation knowing that your dog is having one too. Dogs who stay with Molly (or any members of her team I think) go on hikes every day and they post pictures of their adventures on flikr so you can see how much fun they're having. For us, it's worth every penny for peace of mind. www.doggylamapetcare.com, (510) 434-1974 Have a great vacation! Lauren
I saw your request in Berkeley Parents Network, and I highly recommend Pawderosa. When we go away we leave our dog with them and they are very caring. They make sure they know your vet, they sent us photos when we were away and even taught our little guy a new trick! I'm cc'ing them so you will have their email address, and maybe they will send you info. Contact Lori Falkal philandlori@pawderosa.com 510-595-7328 stu

Dog sitter needed in Berkeley

Feb 2012

I'd like to find a pet sitter who works in Berkeley. I have a 10 year old dog and she's just not into boarding anymore plus it would be nice to have someone bring in the mail and generally give the place a lived-in look when we're out of town. If you could give me a sense of the daily rate that would be great, too. Thanks! Lauri


One of the best services in the East Bay is Safe Hands Pet Care. Their standards are very high and they truly do their jobs for the love of the pets. They book up often and have dog walkers/sitters in a wide variety of neighborhoods in Oakland, El Cerrito, Kensington, Berkeley & Albany so check with them to see if they are accepting new clients in your area. Their website is http://www.safehandspetcare.com Debbie L.

Difficult Dog Boarding?

Feb 2012

I'm looking for a place to board our two dogs in March for a week. Dog #1 is simply old, needs meds 2x/day, occasionally needs hand feeding to get him to eat, gentle walk, and a warm place to sleep (like a heated dog bed, in a warm enclosed place). Dog #2 is...ahem...a bit more problematic. She's totally attached (overattached?) to our family and our home, which is why I'm not looking for someone to sleep at our house with the dogs while we're gone. I honestly don't know how they'd get in the door without being terrified. She's quite fearful with strangers, especially men, and could nip if she feels cornered. She doesn't like to be approached...she prefers to approach people herself, which she will do pretty easily, and then if people continue to ignore her, she will actually start to seek attention a bit (but only a bit). A trainer thought she might actually just be less stressed in a boarding place where she was mostly left to her own, cared for in the material ways but not really wanting attention beyond that. She would probably be comforted to be with the older dog, but I'd want them somewhat separated (right next to each other in a run?) since she can be territorial with him over her bedspace. Gawd. We're in Berkeley, happy to travel up to 1.5 hours for the right place. Love my messed up mutt


We use an AMAZING dog boarding and dog walking service, Doggy Lama. Molly (owner) helped us turn our anxious, anti-social (non-aggressive) dog into one of the most well adjusted social dogs around (yes we are overly proud parents;). She boards dogs at her house and also has a team of amazing walkers, house-vistors and boarders and would most likely be able to work with you. She also does a 'trial night' while you are still in town, that way when you're on your trip you already feel comfortable and know that your little ones are safe and happy. She's also very good at doggie assessments and will tell you up front if she doesn't think it would be a good fit and recommend someone else. Good luck! www.doggylamapetcare.com, (510) 434-1974 lauren

Puppy sitter for 11 days

Dec 2011

I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a reasonable up to date puppy sitter while we go on vacation for 11 days in february. Thanks, Deborah


We have used Pawderosa for a couple of years. They run their pet sitting business from their home near Childrens Hospital. They are very professional and are careful which animals they allow to be together. They walk the dogs, have a backyard for them to play in, and they even send you pix of your pet while you are on vacation. 510.595.7328 email: philandlori@pawderosa.com stu

Boarding for difficult dog

Dec 2011

We have a difficult dog (ok with people, uncomfortable with other dogs) that needs boarding or day care, occasionally. We have a wonderful place (MetroDog) that can take care of him, but get's booked really fast, so we would like to have an other option. If you know of a dog walker, or boarding place that would be able to handle our not-so-social dog, please let us know! Thanks.


We too have a dog who is great with people and not so great with other dogs and we are always paranoid about boarding her. We typically board her at a vet boarding as we feel they should know how to handle all dogs. Typically the boarding is not fancy but she has always done fine the costs are reasonable. We use Woodminster Vet nowadays but have also used Animal Care in El Sobrante. Nikko

Dog Boarding and Day Care

Oct 2011

I'm looking for a good place to board my dogs when I'm away, as well as a good doggy day care spot. I don't like the idea of kennels, and am hoping to find someone who boards and does day care in their home. Any suggestions? Jill


My neighbors a few doors down have a doggy day care business. The business is called Pawderosa, run by Lori and Phil. They are very nice people, and just great with dogs and cats. Lori has watched my dog a few times, and he loves loves loves her. I would highly recommend their services. http://www.pawderosa.com 510.595.7328 Lisette
I highly recommend Bonnie Blair at the Bow Wow Inn. She does both boarding and day care from her home, and focuses mostly on small dogs. My dogs love going there! Bonnie is a complete sweetheart, her place is super clean (no dog smells, either), and her yard is full of dog friendly toys. Prior to finding Bonnie, I tried a few of places that had been recommended on BPN and none of them came close to the Bow Wow Inn. She's located in El Sobrante, just a few minutes from the Appian Way Exit off HWY 80. It only takes me about 15 minutes to get there from North Berkeley, and it is so worth it. I (and my dogs) adore Bonnie. You can reach her at home: 510-222-2844 or cell: 925-528-9889 Jayne
Teressa and Raul at Lobo Dog walks, do both off leash walks and boarding. Our dog, now too slow for off leash pack walks, is boarded with them when we can't take him with us. They are great! Our hound comes back happy, tired, less neurotic after hangning with them and their pack. 510.258.2521 Dog Love

Looking for dog walker dog sitter in El Cerrito

April 2011

We have a new puppy - about 4 months old - and would like recommendations for dog-walkers, dog-sitters, and preferred places for boarding if we need it. The puppy needs lots of attention and exercise, and there are occasions when we are not able to be here all day to provide it. There are also times when we will be out of town and may want someone to both house-sit and dog-sit. If you have someone to recommend, please let me know your experience with them and how often you have used them.


Wendyann Cardwell is a terrific dog walker/dog sitter and isn't far from you. She is a vet tech as well, so that is helpful if your pets have any health issues. She has been very reliable over the past 3 years, has a key to our house, and will drop by at the last minute if we leave town. 510/223-2609. good luck, Julie
Doggie Lama has been walking my dog 2x a week for more than a year, and I LOVE them (and so does my dog). They're totally reliable and always wear him out. They go hiking all over the East Bay. http://www.doggylamapetcare.com/ Also, avoid Red Rover, although they're cheaper than everyone else. They used to walk my dog, and I fired them the second time they forgot to pick up my dog. They also lost their license to walk dogs in the East Bay Regional Parks. Heather
I've recommended her before and am happy to do so again. My friend Merrie Sennett is a reliable and conscientious house and pet sitter. She loves animals, has lots of experience, and is very good at solving problems. And animals love her, too! I don't have pets myself, but she has dog and cat-sat for my next door neighbors as well as many mutual friends and she has had many repeat 'gigs.' You can reach her at merries@att.net or by phone at 541-729-3997. (She lives locally despite the cell phone area code.) Sharyn

Looking for a good dog boarding place

Feb 2011

Hello. I'm looking for a good place to board our dog. Preferable one that gets the dog out on walks. Thanks benjamin


We have been using Pawderosa for the year we have had our dog. Lori and Phil operate out of their home near Children's Hospital and they have chickens, gecko and other dogs. They take daily walks and they offer training if you wish. He loves it there. When we were on vacation, they even sent a photo of our little guy to our iPhone! website http://www.pawderosa.com/ email philandlori@pawderosa.com Phone 510.595.7328 stu
Judith, owner of Dogs of Berkeley is wonderful with dogs. We leave our two with her when out of town and feel completely relaxed about it. As a nice feature, we love the photos she emails nearly daily to update us on the dogs' activities and relaxed sleeping. She is also great about special needs, which is why we use her instead of any kind of kennel, as one of our dogs has some medical issues, which makes anxiety hard on him. Staying with Judith, he almost feels like he's at home. Perfect.

The dogs love the daily long, strenuous walks in Tilden. She also watches their health and behavior carefully. For example, on one visit, she noticed a behavior change that turned out to signal a serious bacterial infection that was developing in our older dog. She took the dog to our vet, and with antibiotics, the dog quickly recovered. What a relief. - Dogs and kids in Berkeley


Boarder or sitter for incredibly social dog

Jan 2011

Hi, Can anyone recommend a good occasional boarder/sitter (and dog walker) for our one year old terrier mix? He's incredibly social and friendly and adores other dogs and children, and we would prefer to board him with someone who has other dogs and takes him into their home. We don't want to put him in a kennel type setting. Thanks much for any recommendations.


Try Dogs of Berkeley. Dogs are well loved there. Guest dogs or the owner's two, have free reign of her house, and get long, scenic walks every day in Tilden, a stone's throw to where she lives. -friend who knows she's a true dog lover
Penelope Fetsch is my chiropractor, who practices in her home office in the El Cerrito hills, surrounded by her own two dogs, Niles and Sophie, a regular day-boarder named Casey, and often another boarder or two. The chiropractic treatment room itself has a dog door, and the dogs come and go freely. Penelope is also a fantastic chiropractor, but needless to say, her patients need to like dogs! While Penelope is adjusting one part of me, one of the dogs is typically licking another part. Because she works at home, Penelope is nearly always there for the dogs. The dogs also have the option of a dog door to the back yard lawn, where there are squirrels to chase, and where Penelope can and does watch their every move through the picture window from her office, as she works. When Penelope does go out, it is almost always with the dogs, and there are plenty of walks, including at least one major expedition a day, usually to the Point Isabel dog park or to Wildcat Regional Park. Penelope is very serious about health- her own, her patients' and her dogs',- and even does dog chiropractic. Her house is dog heaven. Peter G.
We would like to share our positive experience with Pawderosa (http://www.pawderosa.com), which is a dog walking/ training, daycare, and overnight boarding business in Oakland. We adopted our dog from the NorSled rescue organization. He had been through a lot in just the last few months, having been found in an animal shelter in Yuba County, fostered in the East Bay, adopted out to a family in Fresno, then returned to the foster family in the East Bay when Fresno did not work out. We mention his roundabout journey because, like many dogs that have been through shelters and multiple households, he was lacking training in a few areas.

Lori assured us that he was a good dog who was capable of overcoming this problem and told us not to worry. Lori was very calm, and she first took him on solo walks, then group walks with her dogs, then later brought him to the outskirts of the dog park. With positive reinforcement (treats/ rewards), she worked methodically, doing a little bit at a time, and gave us daily updates on his progress. After about 2 weeks, Lori was able to take our dog *into* the dog park as well as to busy public areas like Jack London Square. What she did Mon-Fri during the day, we practiced at night and on the weekends.

Before we knew it, our crazy dog had calmed down significantly, and we were able to take him to the popular neighborhoods and dog parks. This transformation took only 4 weeks, and it is like the best Christmas gift ever.

Based on this experience, we wholeheartedly recommend Pawderosa. No matter what your needs, whether you only need a place for overnight boarding for your dog, or whether you have training issues similar to ours, Lori knows how to accommodate you. She runs Pawderosa with great integrity and a commitment to her clients' needs. Lori is just simply the best.


Reasonably priced and quality dog boarding

Nov 2010

We are considering boarding our 2 year old mix puppy for a week over the Christmas holiday. We are looking for any recommendations for dog boarding services between Oakland and El Cerrito. Rates, accommodations, services and any ideas of the care for the dogs while there would be helpful. Thanks


We have used Aunt Julie's Dog Care. This is better than boarding; it's like having your pooch stay at a friend's house! Contact Julie at auntiejuliesdogcare@gmail.com. I don't think she has a web site. She is in Albany and is quite reasonably priced. She is a dog lover and has one friendly small dog to keep yours company. We went out of the country for almost 2 wks and left our dog there and he apparently had a great time! michael
I board dogs on my own, as well as for two different petcare companies. One is called Doggy Lama and the other is called Fetch!Petcare. In most cases they match your dog with a boarder and your dog stays at the boarder's house while you are gone. There is also Metro Dog in Richmond which is a boarding facility. You can google all of them for their specific information but if you want additional info feel free to email me. gretchen
We've been sending our dog to Metro Dog in the Richmond Annex for a couple of years and have been really happy with them - see http://metrodog.com/ for rates/services etc. They really take care to provide individualized attention to the dogs, with tons of exercise/play time (as appropriate for their energy level). Our dog is kind of a manic handful but they've done a great job handling her and she's always excited when she realizes she's going back to stay there again. I haven't done a lot of comparison shopping but think their rates are totally reasonable for what they offer. Good luck! Doggie mama
I HIGHLY recommend Metro Dog in El Cerrito. My dog has been going to day care and been boarding there for 3 years now. She always enters happy and leaves happy. The staff all address my dog by name when she enters and treat her with love and kindness. Also, they have AWESOME additional services.. Like park walks, nail trimming and baths (which I always get when I pick her up). If the dog can handle it, they co-board them with other dogs, so they are not alone. They stay outside most of the day... and the staff is cordial and knowledgeable.

Dog boarding in Oakland

March 2010

I was hoping to get current reviews/recommendations for dog boarding facilities in the Oakland Area. There seem to be several ''doggy day care'' companies with overnight options. Just curious what experiences people have had, good or bad. Thanks M


Dogs of Berkeley http://dogsofberkeley.com/ Judith Maguire has an awesome service. See web site or contact her at 510-525-5298 Friend of Dogs
Feb 2010

Can anyone recommend a good Alameda or Oakland kennel for boarding a small dog? More specifically... our first baby is due at the beginning of April, and we are trying to figure out what to do with our dog during labor/delivery/recovery... we recently moved to Alameda and don't know anyone near home who we can ask to watch our dog for a few days... We used to use a wonderful boarding place in Sonoma, called Happy Pets Inn... but they don't do pick- ups in the East Bay, and we don't have much interest in driving to Sonoma and back once labor starts... Eddie is an aging, somewhat needy lhasa apso. We're looking for a place that keeps him relatively comfortable, with a good amount of outdoor time and some human interaction. But it need not be otherwise fancy or ''pamper''-oriented... Pick up / drop off is convenient, but not a must, assuming the location is not too far away. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Elaina


For Elaina, looking for a kennel for Eddie - try Citizen Canine! They are on Hegenberger Road near the Oakland airport - 10 min or less from Alameda! They did a great job caring for my older dog with health issues, with lots of TLC and attention to his special needs and meds. The play groups are small and size- specific, so no little dogs in with big dogs and no rowdy dogs in with the seniors (you can also choose ''staff play''). They have a great outdoor yard with turf grass. The staff are really wonderful and I highly recommend! Lisa S
We love All About the DOGue in Emeryville. Our dog not only gets loving and humane boarding, but we can choose various ''spa'' services for him while we are away. Our mutt, Deckard, comes home smelling fresh and feeling happy. See www.allabouthedog.com for the complete ''menu.'' Convenient location, too. Sarah
Try Metrodog in El Cerrito. We bring our dog there for day care services and would be very comfortable leaving him there if we need to board him. It's the only cage-free boarding in the area and they can probably make your dog as comfortable as needed. The staff is incredible and their hours are very flexible, especially for families nearing delivery of a baby. Their website is http://www.metrodog.com/ Lisa
Feb 2010

We are looking for a good dog-boarding situation for 10 days in April for our Jack Russell (calm for his breed). We had two lovely dog boarding situations - in home, no crates, experienced dog-handlers. One ceased business the other has temporarily stopped. We are looking for the same sort of situation. The recommendations on the site bit dated - anyone have some good leads for us? Thanks Pam


We use Elaine Connolly who has a wonderful dog walking and boarding business called Fine Time Cainine (www.finetimek9.com). Our dog loves staying with Elaine and I completely trust her keep him happy and healthy while we are away. The dogs she boards live with her family in their home, go for daily walks and you will get daily email updates on how your pup is doing while you are away. No more kennels for us, both my dog and I love Elaine! Elaine Connolly ec@finetimek9.com 510-882-8175
Hi, I have the most amazing dog walker / sitter. She runs the service out of her home in Oakland and she is wonderful. We have been using her for years and she is totally reliable. My only complaint is that my dog Lucy enjoys her stays so much she never wants to come home. Her name is Alesia and the company is Doggy Style. (510)601-7753 - Doggy-style.us. Enjoy! Dog Boarding

2008 - 2009 Reviews


House/Pet sitter NEEDED

March 2009

HELP!! We desparately need a housesitter in March, to stay at our home, in Albany, over a long 4-day weekend, and supervise our 50 pound friendly dog and 2 elderly kitties. If ANYONE knows someone they've used in the past, or a responsible someone who might be interested in making a few extra bucks, please have them email me immediately. FYI, we had someone booked already, but, with housesitting not being her primary career, she just told us that she has something else planned. Ugh!


Hello! I read your post this morning on the BPN and want to recommend Sharon Treece. she's sat for our house & doggies several times. we have two pit bulls, big babies really. they adore her--run past me to get to her to give a zillion kisses! she takes them to Point Isabel & is very clean & quiet in the house, I barely know she's been here. Quite reasonable too. you can email her at s.treece@yahoo.com I hope it works out! julie

On-call Pet Sitter

Feb 2009

I am currently pregnant and plan on boarding my dog a week prior to my due date. However, if I were to go into labor a little earlier, and if it happens to be the middle of night (since you have no control over the timing), I worry about who is going to watch my dog since I would not be able to return home from the hospital until 24 hours later. I am new to the area and don't really have close friends here whom I can call in the middle of night. Does anyone know a pet-sitter that can be reached on-call (i.e. 24/7) to come to your house? Avi's Mom Avi's Mom


We use RufRuf Pet care and love them. Ask for Bettina. lara
We enjoy having Wendyann Cardwell take care of our pets. She is great with last minute plans, and I've never had her say she was unavailable. We often go away at the last minute and she has always jumped in. I don't know her willingness to be on call in the middle of the night, but you could check with her! 223-2609 Good luck, Julie
Depends on where you live! Why not just post an ad on BPN or Craigslist for someone in your area? A high school age neighbor was perfect for us. You seem pretty confident in your due date to schedule a kennel for the week before - why not the week after?! My kids were 10 and 7 days late and I was happy to go for walks to get them out!
Sept 2008

Hello, We have a rescue dog who is the most lovable dog around the house and with people she knows. With most strangers, she can be aggressive although she has stayed in kennels in other states before with no problems. She also can wear a muzzle. We are looking for a kennel that will take dogs with bhavioral issues in the East Bay. Any recommendaitons? Melanie


We use Bretons school for Dogs and Cats: 1455 Lawrence Rd. Danville, CA 94506 Phone: 925-736-6231 Fax: 925-736-6795 http://www.familykennel.com/

They have individual runs for the dogs and the price is good. It's a little out there in Danville but our dog is dog aggressive and none of the kennels closer in would take her. I've been very happy with this place.


I highly recommend Metrodog. We have had great success frequently boarding our dogs there overnight while we were on vacation, and also for occasional daytime care, since the facility opened. We have two dogs, and one is a little bit high strung and crazy, with fear-aggression issues towards any dogs that are bigger than he. The staff at Metrodog have been fantastic in figuring out which other dogs to group him with during outdoor play time and how to handle him during park walks. No incidents and he is very happy to go there each time. I believe they may also have segregated areas for dogs that just can't be around any other dogs. Anyway, it is an extremely dog friendly place with caring and sensitive staff - I wouldn't board my dogs anywhere else. Robbi
August 2008

I am expecting our first baby in 2 months and I am looking for a reliable and trustworthy dogsitter (house-sitter), local kennel or in-home care recommendation for our dog. Since I don't know exactly when I am going to go into labor I can't make too many firm arrangements ahead of time- but I definitely need someone to look after this friendly and energetic labrador retriever! A Dog-walking service really isn't enough care as she is not used to being alone at home for more than about 6-7 hours a day and we have no nearby family to take her for the 2-3 days I will be in the hospital. I am open to a weekly paid dogwalk in the weeks ahead or a trial overnight boarding to find the right person or situation- plus I could use a break from walking the dog at this point!! Recommendations appreciated!!


I would like to recommend our favor dog care in Oakland. Doggy Lama Oakland, CA 94619 (510) 434-1974Pet Care--Dog Walks & In-Home Boarding I truly believe she is, by far the best dog walker/dog care in the East Bay. Check out yelp site for all the comments. Julie
I know a fabulous dog/house sitter. Her name is Rebecca Jordan. If you e-mail me I'll give you her e-mail and phone number. She house sat for us for 10 days. My dogs ADORE her. She's got an amazing way with animals. She'll stay at your house or come and walk as many times as you want. She's totally reliable and trustworthy and her prices are reasonable. June
we love MetroDog, just off 80 at Central. our dog gets excited when we go to drop her off (makes me feel better about leaving her). they are flexible on drop-off/pick-up hours. you do need to visit with your dog to make sure it's a good fit. you can get extras like on/off leash walks, training etc. we usually don't, they have dog runs that they rotate them through and it seems to be enough for our pooch.
Try Hot Diggity Dog Premium Pet Pampering. When our dog was alive, we used them regularly for middle of the day walks after our child was born and we always used them when we traveled. We had an older dog who did not deal well with changes in her environment and they offer overnight service, where one of the dog walkers will stay in your home with the dog. They never let our dog go longer than a few hours without a visit, and although it was more expensive than a kennel we felt it was much better for the dog than a kennel would have been. And they were on call until I went into labor. They are based on Oakland; you didn't say where you were located. anon
Our dog caregiver is the best. His name is Kelley Rabun, and his phone number is 510-526-1891. We have left our dog in his care many times, and she loves her time there. Kelly lives in N. Berkeley, near Indian Rock. Cathy
May 2008

We are going away for two weeks this summer and just found out our usual dog-sitter will also be gone during the same time. We are looking for a recommendation of someone who takes care of dogs in their own home rather than coming to mine or boarding in a kennel. Our dog is small and relatively easy, gets along well with other animals. Looking for someone who would make my dog a part of the sitter's home while we are on vacation. anonymous


We have found a great place for boarding our dog (a Fox Terrier-Corgi mix). It is a drive from the Bay Area, but the care is, in our view, well worth the trouble. The place is called the American Canine Institute and Kennels and is located outside of Dixon, California, at 8424 Wild Rose Lane. The phone number is 800-559-PETS. The place is owned and operated by Robert J. Vance and his wife, who have been doing this (as well as training of dogs) for years, and you have the option of having your dog live in their home, or out in the separate kennel area (there is a small extra charge for living in the home). The Vances love animals and our Bella has enjoyed her stays (up to 2 weeks) at ACI. Give them a call and feel free to mention our name. Robert
I highly recommend our dog walker/sitter. His name is Kelley Rabun and we have left our young golden retriever in his care for several weeks, plus he walks her each week. Kelley is honest, trust worthy and my dog loves him. He can be reached at 510-526-1891 in North Berkeley. Cathy
Based on a BPN recommendation, I boarded my dogs for two weeks with Leslie Hollis, owner of Animal Works in Oakland. While driving home after picking them up, I noticed that my small, 12 year old, 13 pound dog's eye was caked with a greenish substance, as though she had an eye infection. Once home, I looked more closely. The area was very tender, and I notice well-healed scabs both above and below her eye, as if she'd been bitten. The area was also very swollen.

I gave both my dogs a bath, during which I noticed that my other dog's back side was covered in dried feces--and I mean covered, as though he'd had diarrhea for a few days. This is a young healthy dog who has never before had diarrhea.

I called Leslie and asked her what had happened. She stated that she kept a very close eye on all the dogs in her care and wasn't aware that anything had happened.

I took my 12 year old to the vet the next morning. The vet agreed she had been bitten by another dog. He put her on antibiotics and told me to return if it didn't improve. Unfortunately, it only got worse. She developed a huge abscess, her entire face swelled up with fluid, and she was in terrible pain. I returned to the vet, and he drained the wound by pulling off the scab and then rinsing it out. With the scabs removed, it was clear just how serious a bite this had been, and the vet couldn't believe it went unnoticed for so long.

I feel horrible that I left my dogs there for two weeks. Needless to say, I do not recommend Animal Works. jdh


Feb 2008

I am going out of town for a wedding and must leave my older dog who requires a high level of care (including medicine) behind. Due to circumstance, a house sitter is not an option, but I am not familiar with any East Bay boarding facilities. Can anyone give recommendations for a kennel with attentive, round-the-clock care? Doggiemama


My senior dog was wonderfully cared for at Citizen Canine for many years. It is a small, high end boarding place near the Oakland airport, and it is staffed 24-7. By his last few stays with them, he was deaf, partly blind and very wobbly. He was also taking a ton of meds and food supplements, and needed to take extra potty walks, none of which was an extra charge. He did well with all the attention he got from the staff, and he "played" in the "senior sniffing" group (I still have the report card). I felt very comfortable leaving him there, although I always called every day to check up on him! We had to bring both our dogs in for "interviews" before they could stay -- they will ask about all your dog's health issues then. Good luck! Lisa
Citizen Canine is the boarding facility our vet. originally recommended to us (3 years ago), and now I can't recommend them highly enough. We wouldn't leave our 15 year old dog with anyone else! Todd
Hi, I HIGHLY recommend Metro Dog in Richmond. My dog was recently very sick and I was on vacation. They took great care of her with special attention and love. Additionally, they were responsive to my phone calls and concerns. Great place, friendly people. Keri
Happy Hound, in Emeryville/Oakland is great. Although they specialize in doggy day care, they can keep your dog in a comfy more one on one situation. I'd also recommend private care, as in doggylama -- do a google search. Doggylama is WONDERFUL in-home care (Molly, the owner, is just such a wonderful doggie person!). Anon
For boarding your older dog - I would try Citizen Canine on Hegenberger in Oakland. It's expensive, but a very nice facility with indoor rooms and sleeping cots. The play areas are nice, and you can leave a dog that needs medicines administered on a regular basis. You can even arrange for extra ''cuddle'' sessions (for a fee). My dogs are always happy to go there, which isn't their usual response to kennels. Call them at (510) 562-1750 and explain your situation. 3-dog mom
www.homedogboarding.com France Kozlik MA LCSW 510-350-8443 She's nice! She didn't get a new pet when her's passed away, she just started taking care of friend's pets and now, it's her business. She was a therapist...anyway, she has them in her home or, I know her because she comes & cares for my neighbor's dog & she wrestles the green can up & down the steps for them as well as everything else. She's very nice.

2006 - 2007 Reviews


Berkeley dog walker/pet sitter

Oct 2007

We are looking for a responsible dog sitter for our energetic vizsla. Does anyone know of a good dog walker in Berkeley? Christine


I use MetroDog in Richmond when I go out of town. They are GREAT! It is also a doggy-daycare, so they let the dogs play during the day as well as pamper my dog, love her and they even offer walks in the afternoon. When I pick her up from being away, they will even give her a bath! They co-sleep dogs and are a very very GREEN business! I highly recommend them! http://www.metrodog.com/ 510. 524. 3647 ultraviolet
Oh do I have the best dog sitter EVER! Doggy Llama, run by Molly, one of the warmest, dog lovin'-est people I've ever met. Go to www.doggylamapetcare.com or call Molly at 510 530-3099. I can't recommend Doggy Lama highly enough. Check the Yelp.com reviews (mine is there, as are others), call her, have your dog do a few of their daily 5 mile marathons, you'll be convinced this is the BEST place for dog sitting/dog walking. heather
A friend has a very energetic viszla and she recommends her dog walker: http://www.hotdiggitydogpetcare.com/ Sounds like they communicate well about how things went and take them on or off-leash for some good romps. Good luck. rebecca
May 2007

We will be traveling for a few weeks this summer. We cannot take our dog to her usual wonderful kennel because she is sick and on immunosuppressants (we cannot vaccinate her and any standard kennel requires this). And all of our backup family and friends that often watch her are unavailable. Are there any special care kennels in the Bay area? Even though she cannot mingle with other dogs we want her to have some free roaming space during the day. Also, we are highly reluctant to have someone we don't know stay with her at home. Any good leads greatly appreciated. Thank you! -Kylie


I don't know of a special care kennel but the folks we use for off leash excursions and boarding seem very knowlegable and resourceful. If they don't know, they might know someone who does. Try contacting Stacy at woofwalks.com. Loving the dog!
March 2006

We are going away for 2 weeks in April, looking for a good, inexpensive place to board our 15 pound dog. Just moved from LA and don't know where to go. Thanks Alice Alice


I have taken my dog to Maranda Ranch Kennels in Sonoma for longer vacations. It takes 45 min-1 hour to get there from Berkeley but it is much cheaper ($25/day) than the kennels I've found closer in. Maranda Ranch is a family business (they live on the property) and the owners clearly love animals (they keep horses as well as a few goats and chickens). The dogs get their own ''rooms'' that include outdoor runs and they have group playtime 3 times per day. Our high-energy dog Greta comes back completely tuckered out. The drive is an inconvenience but well worth it if we'll be gone more than a few days -- I know Greta is safe and having fun while we're away. Eve
I don't know what your price range is, but when we leave for longer vacations, we send our black lab to Anderson Acres up in Santa Rosa. They charge around $30/day last time we used them. Anderson Acres is a big farm where the dogs can play, play, and play all they want. The owners and their staff are very friendly and take pains to find good playmates for your dog among the other dogs staying there. Before you pick-up your dog, they will bathe your dog and write up a ''report card'' for you. If you don't mind driving an hour out to Santa Rose, I highly recommend Anderson Acres (www.andersonacres.org). Carolyn
We have not had great experiences with dog boarding, so now we have someone come to the house. If you go to local vets they usually have cards for people who can be trusted to dog sit for a modest fee. We like to have someone actually stay n the house as our dog is used to company. Right now our house cleaner stays with the dog. Think about people like this that you already know who might like to move in for the time you are away. It is so much easier on the dog and often less money. Claudine

Kennel or caregiver for disabled dog

Feb 2006

I am looking for a dog sitter and/or kennel for my 12-year-old German Shepherd. She has paralysis in her back legs, so she does not need walking. However, she needs someone who can assist her in standing to eat, pee, etc. Does anyone know of a pet caregiver who works with disabled pets? Thanks.


Hi! Denise Christopher of Pawsitively Pet Sitting is the best person to contact. she is licensed and bonded, specializes in problem such as this. She takes the dog into her home and it becomes a member of her family while you are away. She can administer medications and is lovely with the animals. Her number is (925) 202-7422, and I believe she is in Alamo. Julie, Wisdom's Gate Norfolk Terriers
My friend Janice boards her elderly mostly blind and totally deaf cocker spaniel with the same in-home boarder I use, Molly Kenefick, at Doggy Lama Pet Care (www.doggylamapetcare.com). Janice has told me that Molly especially enjoys working with elderly and special needs dogs. My dog isn't special needs but he is an older guy and I can tell you that she's very loving, responsible, and our dog has a great time with her. Molly can also be reached at (510)530-3099. Andrea

Dog Walkers

June 2006

I wanted to share that we have found a great dog walker -- we got his name off of a very old posting to the Berkeley Parent's Network. He takes our dog on walks on the trails of the various Berkeley area parks while we are at work/school. He has also stayed overnight with our dog while we have been away on vacation. He has been very dependable and flexible -- he clearly loves the dogs that he cares for. His name is Dan Kuklo and he can be reached through his website at http://www.bdwps.com/ or at (510) 866-6194. Our boxer loves him and we really recommend his service. Good luck. Alex


June 2005

Doggy Detail
This message if for the individuals in Richmond/Pleasent Hill looking for a pet sitter/walker. We used Doggy Detail Pet Care who are located in the Vallejo area. We used them over Christmas, and they were great! I am not sure how far they will travel but their phone # is 707-297-1020. I found them on the internet, and was also pleased with their affordable rates vs. kenneling our two labs. Lab Lover


March 2005

Pet-sitting/Dog-walking Extraordinaire
Are you in a quandry about what to do with your pet when you go out of town? Or would you like your dog to have more exercise but don't have the time to take her/him for walks yourself. If so, please check out Safe Hands Pet Care as an option: http://www.safehandspetcare.com/index.html
Safe Hands is an East Bay pet care company which covers the areas from El Cerrito through Oakland as well as Alameda. I have been working for them for a while now. There are approximately 15 pet-sitters and dog-walkers employed by Safe Hands at the moment. The owners, a wonderful animal-loving couple, are dedicated to providing exceptional care and expect the same level of quality care from their employees. All of their employees have extensive animal experience. There are even folks very experienced with reptiles and birds. Please have a look at their website and then feel free to call them with any questions. You can tell them Joan sent you through the BPN. Joan


June 2005

Great Pet sitter/walker recommendation
I use a terrific dog walker/pet sitter. His name is Dan Kuklo and he is the sole owner and proprietor of Berkeley Dog Walk and Pet Sitting. He walks and cares for all pet on his own. He does not have anyone else working for him. He is a sensative, attentive and caring person who clearly loves animals and loves what he does. He takes our dog on LONG walks in Tilden and other great parks, but I know he does neighborhood walks for older or less mobile animals. His rates are reasonable and he is completely reliable. Here is his information:

(510) 849-2642  home
(510) 866-6194  cell
snowbird7 AT operamail.com
http://www.bdwps.com
Best of luck! Molly
March 2005

Dog Walkers
We have had great luck with our dogwalkers, Phil and Laurie, also known as "Pawderosa." Www.pawderosa.com They offer trail walks, neighborhood walks, dog boarding, pet taxi services and more. They're great with our dogs, and have worked on their training a bit as well. They're bonded and insured. Jeff


Oct 2004


We have been very happy with Brian Sullivan of Pied Piper Dog Training. He takes our dogs on really long off-leash walks up in the hills and on the trails, and because he is also a dog trainer, really works with them on their (sometimes) aggressive behavior. His email is brian AT piedpiperdogtraining.com and his phone # is 430-8726 Gigi
In response to the posting requesting a reccomendation for a dog walker. We work with a fabulous, kind, concientious and flexible dog walker named Brian Pierce. He takes our 16 month old, very lively, puppy out two afternoons a week. I met him at Ohlone dog park when I was 9+ months pregnant and loved his sense of humor and the attention and care he gave the dogs in his charge. He was on call, and came to walk our dog every day when I went into labor. After my son was born, we started the 2x a week schedule and continued it after I returned to work. I was home with the baby for the first 6 weeks he worked with us and saw how excited Shayda (our dog) was to see him and how happy AND TIRED she was when she returned. He would have her out for 2 hours, including travel time and with at least one other dog, which was fabulous for her socialization. Also, her recall improved to the point that we were able to safely take her to Izzy and let her run off leash! We had taken her to Puppy training and worked with her, but it was the consistency of training and being with Brian that I feel really got her to her present level. Brian is also felexible around schedule changes and just an all-around nice guy.
BriCoPie Pet Care
(510) 684-7335
brian AT bricopiepetcare.com
Good luck! Beth
I'd like to recommend Carol Anderson of Oakland Hills Pet Care. 510-220-2463. She does pet sitting for cats & dogs, drop-in visits, and on-leash dog walking. She's a member of the East Bay Pet Sitters Assoc. and insured. She loves animals and is really easy to work with. Carol
Dec 2004

When my pet sitter cancelled at the last minute, I called Lucky Dog Pet Store, and they gave me the name of Camille the Holistic Petsitter! Camille turned out to be wonderful. A former social worker, she took notes re my pets when she came to get the key, was friendly and responsible, took the dogs to Pt. Isabel almost every day, kept the house clean, and left fun notes re the week. At $50/day, it wasn't cheap, but I feel it was worth it and I highly recommend her. She also does dog walking and holistic pet care. Camille can be reached at (h) 525-3828, (cell) 860-7272. Stefanie


Oct 2003

I'm trying to find either a quality boarding facility or good pet sitter for the christmas holiday. marin's camp k9 is full, citizen canine in oakland requires a full 7 days, anderson acres is taking recommendations for 2005, and i can't get ahold of anyone at camp 4 paws. anything else out there i should look at? i refuse to leave my dog at the vet - he is not a cage oriented dog. as for pet sitters, we're looking for someone who will basically be with the dog full time, not just someone who comes for the night. I'm willing to pay up to $45/night for the right person. any leads are much appreciated!! Jen


Try Pet Camp in San Francisco, off of Cesar Chavez Dr. on the way to SFO. They were terrific with our shepherd. Ann
My pet sitter is Lynda Hodgskiss of Fur Sure! Pet Care. She's a veterinary technician, a huge pet lover and great with my hard- to-get-along-with dog. She lives is Concord. While I'm not sure how far she's willing to travel, I know that she will consider keeping your pet at her home. Her phone number is 925- 689-5490. Renne
We use Happy Pets Inn in Sonoma and have been very happy. They let the dogs out (small dogs and big dogs separately) for 2-3 play sessions a day. I think they're about 25-35 a night and will pick up and drop off in San Francisco/Marin for a small extra fee. Often, our dog doesn't want to leave when we pick her up. Chris
July 2003

Looking for a clean, reasonably priced kennel with nice personnel to take our two adorable labs while we're out of town in Aug for a week. We typically use Dublin Creek Kennels in Dublin and love them but they are full. bob


We have used Citizen Canine near the Oakland Airport. They were clean and the staff was very sweet. When we went to pick up our dog the entire staff came out to say good bye. They were clearly a bunch of dog lovers. It wasn't cheap though. But we knew he was well cared for. anon
March 2003

For daily dogwalks or cat visits at your home, Mother's Love for your Pet is run by an extremely caring woman named Wendy Burch. She has a website at www.ourpetsitter.com and a voicemail at 531- 1954. She's become like family to us over the past seven years - - extremely reliable, trustworthy, and committed.

You can find other sitters (perhaps one geographically closer to you) through the East Bay Pet Sitters Association website; visit www.ebpsa.com. Note there is a difference listed there between sitting and boarding (sitters come to your house whereas boarders take in dogs). Noreen


March 2003

Can anyone recommend a great place to board a friendly dog while we are on vacation? I am hoping to find a place that allows the dog in the house and does not kennel him. He is friendly with other dogs and cats. Thank you. Florence


You can find sitters (perhaps one geographically closer to you) through the East Bay Pet Sitters Association website; visit www.ebpsa.com. Note there is a difference listed there between sitting and boarding (sitters come to your house whereas boarders take in dogs). Noreen
Nov 2002

I am looking for a dog walker to walk my dog 3 times a week. I live in Albany so someone who walks other dogs nearby would be ideal. Melissa


Our Dog walker is John, of John and Mary Beth's Pet services, 526-7029. John is absolutely, hands down, the best dog walker ever. He has been walking both our dogs in Albany for 3 years. Although we have two dogs, they both have special needs as our shepard limps and our labx is very active--so he walks our shepard first and then takes our labx to the leash-free park. John always leaves reports if the dogs look sick or are acting funny. He also leaves cute pictures from time to time that he takes of them on their walks. He has also come through for us in a pinch since he has a key when we needed something desperately in our home while on vacation. He loves our dogs and our dogs just adore him and wait eagerly for him everyday. When I was on maternity leave and often breastfeeding he would discreetly knock before coming in to get the dogs. John is almost a member of our family and he makes our life and our dogs lives so much better. You could not get a better dog walker, I guarantee you that. You can contact me further for even more glowing stories about him. Jo
I use Chris Matthews at Pawalkers to walk my dog. She comes to the house and picks up the dog and takes her to Point Isabel for a couple of hours. She always makes sure that my dog is washed off and dry (if she played in the bay) before putting her back in the house. Chris can be reached at 701-1824. We highly recommend her. Pam
We LOVE our dogwalker, Larissa Martin. Her number is 652- 6435. We were her first client about a year ago, and she really loves and takes care of our dog. Debbie
Our neighbor and friend has a dog walking, pet care business. I cannot recommend her too highly. She has a wonderful way with pets (our reclusive cat responds to her as well as our rambuncious ones). She is scrupulously honest and conscientious. Her email is:info AT safehandspetcare.com and tel is (510) 710-6700. Kathryn
July 2002

Any recommendations for kennels in the East bay? We have a small dog (a corgi) but prefer places where the dogs have their own runs and get outside once a day. I've checked the past recommendations, but they aren't very current. Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you! Molly


We have a two year old Border Terrier and recently had a great experience with Happy Pets Inn in Sonoma((707) 939-1919). Its a farm in Sonoma and kind of a far to drive, but Happy Pets Inn does a daily pick up in San Francisco. Small dogs are allowed out 3-4 times a day to socialize with other small dogs (which is unusual for a kennel). I believe we paid about $25 per day to board our dog over the weekend. The owners are a very friendly French couple. Tiffanie
What about a dogsitter....somebody with a big backyard, lots of love, and other dogs? m
We use the expensive but amazing Citizen Canine on Hegenberger Rd in Oakland right near the airport. We started taking our dogs there after they started shaking at the old kennel when we took them there because they hated it so much.

At CC, they are greeted by name (Everyone knows and loves our dogs), somepeople even recognized them at pt. Isabel 1 month later because they really play with and love the dogs there. They have a nice room and get out 4-5 x/day. 2 for playgroups and the other times just for ''relieving'' themselves. Whenever we drop our dogs off there they eagerly run to the front door because they have so much fun there. We have no guilt about leaving them because of this.

It is VERY expensive though and my husband always jokes that it is the same price as our hotel rooms. (about 35-40/night). But we can't say enough good things about it. You must interview first though adn they always fill up so book early! ilfeld


A great kennel and well worth the drive out to Danville.
Ann Breton 
Breton's School for Dogs and Cats 
1455 Lawrence Road 
Danville, CA 94526

925.736.6231 
925.736.6795 FAX
They offer play time, yard time and training. They are nice people and we've been going there for two dogs over 20 years. Lynn
We began using Leslie Elliot (Animal Works) about a year ago from a post on this listserve. She is great and boards dogs in her home - up to 2 at a time. She does dogsitting, dog daycare and training. Her number is 653-7765. Terry
Feb 2002

I'd like to recommend Citizen Canine as a great place to board a dog. Our dog is very skittish around other dogs, so we were hesitant to place her in any kennel. The staff sets up an interview ahead of your first visit, where they can observe your dog and talk to you. They take careful notes, which they seem to adhere to. Lilah was allowed into a group play situation, but only with dogs that were very mellow. It worked out great. We came back from our two-week vacation to an untraumatized dog. She is happy and excited when we go back -- what better recommendation is there? The prices are steep, but I can't say enough nice things about them. Their website is: http://www.citizencanine.net/ Merrilee


Nov 1999

We use Happy Pets Inn in Sonoma. They pick-up and deliver (at least in SF). The couple that owns it are the most animal-loving kennel owners I've ever met. They smother our dog with love and plenty of play time. Our dog used to come home from kennels looking haggard and very unhappy. From Happy Pets Inn, he comes home looking happy and pampered. Their full name is Happy Pets Inn - Bed and Breakfast for Dogs. James


March 1999

I have researched this issue a bit and have found two kennels that are tolerable. I am currently using Danlos Kennel in Crockett, 925 228-6582 (on Highway 4, about 20 minutes from Albany). They charge around $14 per day for a Golden Retriever and are slightly lower or higher for dogs of other sizes. I guess it is based on the amount of food they estimate the dog will eat. They charge extra if they have to give the dog any medicine. I don't know anything about their policy on keeping 2 dogs in one kennel. Their runs are partly inside and partly outside, and are about 12' x 4'. The dogs get moved individually to an exercise pen for about 15-20 minutes a day. Nancy

I used to use a kennel in Lafayette called Waiterock Kennels( I don't have their number any longer). It was approximately the same cost for basic service, but they offered a personal exercise session in which one of their staff would take your dog out of the run and play with it for I think about half an hour. I believe this was an extra $5 per session. Waiterock also had a terrific groomer. I have found that after about a week in a kennel, it's nice to get the dog groomed on the day you pick it up.


March 1999

I once boarded my dog at a place called K-9 down near the Dumbarton bridge in Hayward. What's special about the place is that the dogs are not isolated in cages but are grouped together in small groups. So if your dogs like to be social, it might be a good option. I liked the place very much, and thought it seemed well run. I must add, though, that my dog didn't happen to like it at all, and we never returned him there. I think it reminded him too much of the pound from which he had recently been rescued. The place where had been "vacationing" since then recently went out of the dog-keeping business, but I think I recently saw an ad in the Berkeley yellow pages for a similar place--just someone's house where they take in a few dogs at a time. I liked the idea of a homey atmosphere and lots of people contact.


regarding a kennel: we've had almost 10 years experience with waiterock kennels in lafayette, and have always been pleased. the women there have clearly become attached to my 2 dogs and are caring toward them while also accomodating toward us. they even have a policy where they will take your dog when you go into labor, not requiring advance notice. sweet Meg
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