Barking Mad’s North West Norfolk branch to join in 20th anniversary celebrations of the business

January 14, 2020

The North West Norfolk branch of home-from-home dog care business is joining in celebrations to mark the company’s 20th anniversary. Tania Stowe, of Hunstanton, set up her branch of Barking Mad in 2016 and has seen it go from strength to strength. Last year she received recognition from the business for achieving exceptional financial growth.

She was also recognised for her role in the community having set upTea with Tails in collaboration with Hunstanton Methodist Church and sponsoring Heacham Minors Under 9s Football Team.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

She plans to mark her franchise’s fourth birthday along with the parent company’s 20th with a celebration party later this year.

She said: “Our proudest achievement is the happiness which holidaying dogs have brought to the lives of our host families.

“We match friendly dogs to hosts’ preferences and lifestyle, for their holidays and short breaks. It’s ideal for retirees, home-based workers and teachers in school holidays.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We take care of everything, including chauffeuring dogs to our hosts’ homes with all their essentials and providing 24/7 support. Hosts experience all the benefits of dog companionship without any of the emotional or financial responsibilities of full-time pet ownership.”

She said it has been scientifically proven that patting and walking dogs can help people to feel more relaxed and less anxious. This makes a huge difference to emotional and physical well-being. Those caring for a dog are also less likely to be socially isolated.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

Barking Mad is named as the UK’s favourite dog holiday company, as verified by TrustPilot.

By Julie Graham, Business Editor

Source: Lynn News

Barking Mad is top dog

December 17, 2019

Barking Mad Dog Care has been ranked as the top pet sector franchise in Elite Franchise’s top 100 league table – and number 34 overall in the UK.

The Elite Franchise Top 100 ‘celebrates superlative businesses that are deserving of recognition’, with an expert judging panel ranking franchisors on everything from growth to the support they offer their franchisees. Criteria range from financial performance and heritage in the industry to contribution to the community and the way innovation is embraced.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The EF100 guide defines the best opportunities in the UK by ranking applicants from 100 to 1. The list features a diverse mix of franchises, emphasising that the brands that make it into the top 100 are ‘simply the best’, whether they’re a flourishing franchise at the top of their game or a budding business making its first inroads into the industry.


Barking Mad’s managing director, Rachel Stewart, said: “We are delighted to be recognised in the ‘Top 100’ and truly honoured to feature in this celebration of ‘the best and brightest franchises that Britain has to offer’. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved and congratulate all those who feature, as we see the British franchise industry go from strength to strength.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

“As part of our ambitious expansion programme, we are looking to work with more dog-loving entrepreneurs to bring our service to new areas. Barking Mad franchise owners benefit from a lifestyle with flexibility, a growing full-time income and the rewards of making a really positive difference to the lives of dog lovers and their four-legged best friends.”

By Karen Pickwick

Source: Pet Business World

Franchises expand into Ireland for first time

December 12, 2019

Metro Rod and Barking Mad – both of which are part of the Franchise Brands group – have entered Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the first time.

The former is a commercial drainage specialist which has opened a franchise in Dundonald, allowing it to directly provide its drain clearance and maintenance services across Northern Ireland.

Related: Home Improvement Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

It now has 43 depots across the UK.

Dog sitting services provider Barking Mad has launched its first international franchise in the Galway and Limerick area as part of its ambitious expansion plans.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Stephen Hemsley, executive chairman of Macclesfield-based Franchise Brands, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our presence in Ireland with new franchisees for Metro Rod and Barking Mad, which we believe bring differentiated services to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, respectively.

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

“This further move into Ireland demonstrates the continued momentum at Franchise Brands as we continue to invest in the infrastructure to support the development, growth and profitability of our franchisees.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

“I am certain that our new franchisees have a bright future and I look forward to seeing them grow successful businesses.”

Source: Insider Media

Franchise business based on successful doggy day care model goes into liquidation

November 14, 2019

Canine Creche – A spin-off of an award-winning dog care business has been put into liquidation after becoming embroiled in a legal row.

The Canine Creche Group Ltd (CCGL), which had sold franchise models to clients across East Anglia was ordered to be wound up in June following a petition by a creditor.

The business offered franchisees the chance to run a business based on the successful Suffolk Canine Creche, which was set up in Martlesham by businesswoman Candace Rose.

Although Suffolk Canine Creche has continued to prove popular with pet owners – picking up multiple awards – the franchise model has faced problems.

Three franchisees – for both the dog walking and doggy day care models on offer – said they left the agreements, claiming they had been sold an unrealistic vision of how their business would perform. They said the franchise model failed to deliver the profits they had been expecting. Other franchisees have left but not commented on their reasons.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

Suffolk Canine Creche said the decision to place CCGL into insolvency was to avoid security costs which it had to pay as part of court proceedings. A spokesman said it had instigated the proceedings to recover money from a former franchisee – but as the security costs were greater than the outstanding amount “it would be foolish to progress the case”.

The spokesman added that CCGL owed no other money and the company learnt from the experience, including introducing more robust selection processes for franchisees.

Under the original agreement, day care franchisees paid £42,500 to CCGL, which entitled them to use its business model, as well as access to help sourcing a site, planning permission and licenses.

And while most said the initial support was helpful, many have questioned advice given. One said they had been recommended a “massive site” which left them with rates that were “absolutely crippling us”.

Others criticised the franchise payments, which required £300 a month to be paid for a “business coach” plus extra towards a marketing budget and 5% of the takings each month.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Helen Whight, who paid £6,000 for a dog walking franchise, said she had been predicted to make £26,000 in the first year by charging £20p/h for walks, but by the time costs were taken into account, her profit was just £160 for the 12 months

The franchisees have now parted ways CCGL following the winding up order led by franchisee Dilan Davda.

Mr Davda had sought to buy a cluster of franchises, which would have seen him run five day care centres in towns including St Albans, Stevenage, Harpenden and Colchester – but after several months the relationship broke down. After opening the first franchise, Mr Davda, 43, wrote to Mrs Rose asking for a break of several months to resolve personal matters. But CCGL claimed he was looking to quit the agreement and sent him an early exit invoice, first for £46,500, then reduced to £20,000 plus VAT.

Emails show disputes about the contract and the obligations of both parties.

When Mr Davda, who had already paid £75,000, including deposits, for the franchises refused to pay the exit fee, CCGL took him to court.

But his solicitors issued a defence and counterclaim, arguing the agreement was written with terms that “created ambiguities”. They said there was no requirement for Mr Davda to open all the franchises within one year, nor was there any requirement to pay an exit fee.

The counterclaim said Canine Creche made a “wrongful demand” for an exit fee.

It added that CCGL wrongdoing “destroyed the relationship of trust” and sought damages of £78,000 plus interest.

The court had not made a decision on the damages but ordered CCGL pay Mr Davda £4,800 in costs in March 2019.

Having not received any payment, Mr Davda’s solicitors filed a winding up petition, claiming the company was “unable to pay its debts”.

Mr Davda said he took the action to “send a message”.

CCGL’s latest published accounts for September 2018 showed it had assets of £35,000 but owed creditors £47,000.

Meanwhile, CCGL tried to move its franchisees over to a new company called Canine World. While some agreed, others refused. Ms Whight said: “We all said ‘no, what’s going on here’.”

She said she had already been looking for a way out “and this was my get out clause”.

A CCGL spokesman said the legal dispute happened a year ago involving a franchisee who it said owed the company £25,000.

“As claimant we began court proceedings to recover the loss having exhausted other avenues the court system then required a security that was greater than the outstanding amount, which meant it would be foolish to progress the case – sadly the court system failed us,” the spokesman added.

“To conclude the matter an offer was made to the respondent to write off our debt and settle costs of £4,200 (which the court ordered us to pay) in return for an amicable parting. The respondent declined via our solicitor, so the strategic decision was to place the company into insolvency owing £4,200 costs. The company owed no monies to any other party and we severed relations with the respondent.”

The company said it had learned lessons for its new business, including adjusting its profiling for franchisees to match that of our current successful operators and made our selection process even more robust.

“We have declined 16 people in 2019 who do not reach the standards of our criteria,” the company added. “We are delighted with the new franchisees who are in the process of securing and opening their new sites and feel confident that they will make a positive contribution to the animal industry across the UK.”

By Andrew Hirst

Source: EADT

MyWaggyTails Chorley: Pro pet-care for the North West’s furry friends

November 4, 2019

In the UK, one in every four people owns a dog. As a nation, we love our four-legged friends, and so the announcement of a new pet care venture offering everything from dog-walking and doggy day-care to home visits and animal Reiki will be music to the ears of Chorley residents and their soon-to-be pampered pooches.

Turning her passion for pets into a full-time occupation, Chorley-born Chris Bell has launched a brand-new branch of the MyWaggyTails national franchise. A former supply English teacher who also enjoyed a long-standing career running school libraries, lifelong animal-lover Chris has traded in the books for barks having had pets all her life, including her two current dogs Sprocker Spaniel pup Monty and River the Cocker Spaniel.

A former animal sanctuary volunteer, Chris quit her full-time office job after losing her father to a sudden stroke and dedicated herself to canine first aid and behaviour training. Realising how rewarding a job working with animals would be, MyWaggyTails Chorley was born.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

“I’m so happy I’ve taken the plunge into a new work-life committed to delivering excellent dog-walking and pet-sitting services, offering the same level of care for other people’s pets as I give to my own beloved animals,” said Chris. “Being able to channel my love of animals for the benefit of other people’s pets is really rewarding and I look forward to giving pet owners peace of mind while they work or are busy doing other things.

“We offer a mixed blend of walks that includes training, play, and sensory experiences,” she added. “Your dog can be walked on or off leash, subject to your consent, the environment that day, your pet’s recall, and group dynamics, [and] we adhere to industry best practice for professional dog walkers as set out by the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and the Pet Industry Federation.”

Covering Adlington, Buckshaw Village, Charnock Richard, Chorley, Clayton-le-Woods, Coppull, Eccleston, Euxton, Rivington, and Standish, MyWaggyTails Chorley brings a fully-insured, first-aid trained, and DBE-checked service to local pets and owners. Offering everything from group, agility, and solo walks to adventure hikes and pet home-care services, there is something for every kind of pooch.

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And Chris also offers canine chill in the form of animal Reiki.

“My journey with Reiki began several years ago when I stumbled upon a Reiki practitioner at a Mind, Body and Spirit Fayre and was given a free ‘taster’ treatment,” Chris said. “I immediately felt the benefits and went on to receive the Level 1 and 2 attunements in order to practice Reiki, followed by the Master/Teacher certification.

“I use Reiki almost exclusively for animals and have always used it on my own pets for a variety of reasons, whether to aid my rescue pets in settling into their new home, dealing with past trauma, or to promote post-operative healing, for example,” she continued. “They love it and will often come and ‘ask’ for a short Reiki session to soothe and aid restful sleep.”

Personalised pet care is at the heart of the MyWaggyTails ethos. Founded by marketeer and business consultant Randle Stonier, the franchise launched this summer having been inspired by Randle’s sister Mitch, who – keen to have a job she could work around family life – set up MyWaggyTails Chinnor in March 2017. Knowing the business could do better, Mitch asked Randle for support, and he overhauled the brand, launching the franchise soon after.

Bottling up and sharing their pet business know-how to help others start or grow their own dog businesses with MyWaggyTails, the franchise system has made launching a new pet care business less daunting by dealing with everything from legal obligations, council licensing, and insurance to training, website design, and social media, MyWaggyTails allows franchises such as Chirs’ to flourish.

“We’re thrilled to have Chris join our group of passionate pet lovers, to now offer our first-class standard of pet care across this area of Lancashire,” said Randle. “Her love for animals shines through and we look forward to nurturing Chris as she builds up her pet care business.”


Source: Lancashire Post

Caring for your Pets on Bonfire Night

November 3, 2019

Beautiful night skies filled with dazzling colour, sparkling lights and exciting bangs are thrilling. But spare a thought for our cats and dogs.

A staggering 61% of our pets are scared of fireworks* and demonstrate visible signs of stress.

Every flash and bang can bring alarming surprise to them.

Fireworks often go on for several weeks. If you are concerned that your pet is stressed at this time of year, please follow our advice to help your pet feel more safe and secure.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

Top Ten Tips

  • Exercise your dog before it gets dark to reduce the risk of experiencing fireworks whilst you are out. Make sure your cat is safely indoors. Sunset is around 4:20pm in November.
  • Once home, close all windows, cat flaps, and doors and draw curtains to help drown out the sights and sounds of fireworks.
  • Put some background noise on, such as the TV or radio. Playing music with a strong beat can reduce your pet’s worry over loud or unpredictable bangs.
  • Put your pet’s bed in a safe place, or make a den to comfort them. A crate or simple cardboard box filled with soft bedding and a blanket over the top is an easy and quick solution. Remember that cats often feel more comfortable when they are up high.
  • Try to stay relaxed! Pets are very in-tune with our emotions, and if we appear anxious, this may make things worse for them.
  • If your pet does become distressed, do comfort and love them! Don’t worry, it’s not possible to reinforce the emotion of fear.
  • Distraction with a fun game or their favourite toy can help, or try offering treats or a chew.
  • Beaphar Calming Spot is designed to help alleviate stress and anxiety. It contains Valerian extract, a herbal supplement noted for its calming properties.
  • Stay at home with your pet on bonfire night. They will always feel more relaxed and secure with you around.
  • If you are concerned about the degree of anxiety your pet shows during bonfire season, speak to your vet about anxiety treatment.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

For further information on caring for your pets on bonfire night please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team.

Related: Oscar Pet Foods Franchise

Bury St Edmunds dog owners needed as Barking Mad launches in town

October 19, 2019

A dog-sitting service has launched in Bury St Edmunds, giving residents the chance to look after a pooch for free.

Barking Mad has set-up in the area this week, after the online pet-matching scheme proved a success in other towns. It sees owners pay the company to source a host, before going away. Barking Mad will then procure a small fee to the short-term owner to cover costs.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Steve Lake has bought into the franchise, which he hopes will allow dog lovers, who are unable to own a pet, to enjoy the experience.

“We hope hosts will see a boost to their own wellbeing,” said Mr Lake, who left a career in distribution to start-up.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

Mr Lake meets potential owners – who can state a preference for the kind of dog they wish to take.

By William Mata

Source: Bury Free Press

Kirkby Lonsdale company expands

October 15, 2019

A DOG care company which began in Kirkby Lonsdale less than 20 years ago, Barking Mad, has now gone international.

Barking Mad, which already has franchises across the UK, has announced the launch of a first ever franchise in the Republic of Ireland.

“Launching our first Irish franchise enables us to realise our ambitious expansion programme, working with local dog lovers to bring our multi award-winning dog sitting service to new areas, without forgetting our Cumbrian roots,” said managing director Rachel Stewart.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

The company started in the town in 2000 as a local ‘dog-sitting’ service.

It grew to offer bespoke dog holidays and recruit a community of carefully chosen, dog-loving host families to operate their franchises.

Continued expansion means it now has a nationwide network of more than 80 franchises, though the head office remains in Kirkby Lonsdale.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The idea to expand across the Irish Sea came from Jennifer Curtin from Lahinch, County Clare, whose new franchise will operate in the Galway and Limerick area.

“Brainstorming with a relative in Yorkshire, they asked if we had anything like Barking Mad in Ireland,” she said.

“After research, I concluded that we didn’t and went straight to the source to launch my own branch.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

“Coming from a large extended family, this is the only time I’ve ever been the first to do anything, so it means a lot.

“Animals have always been my passion. I have worked as a dog groomer for the last 13 years and adore my own two dogs, Kala, a Staffordshire bull terrier and Sky, a collie mix.”

By Tony Dawber

Source: The Westmorland Gazette

Barking Mad goes international

October 12, 2019

Barking Mad has launched its first international franchise in the Galway and Limerick area or Ireland.

Jennifer Curtin, from Lahinch, in County Care, said: “I am very proud to launch the Barking Mad alternative to kennels in Ireland.


“Coming from a large extended family, this is the only time I’ve ever been the first to do anything, so it means a lot. Animals have always been my passion; I have worked as a dog groomer for the last 13 years and adore my own two dogs.”

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

Brainstorming with a relative in Yorkshire, Jennifer was if there was anything like Barking Mad in Ireland. After research, she concluded that there wasn’t and went straight to the source to launch her own branch.


“I can’t fault the team at Barking Mad for their support. With their experience, all avenues have been tried and tested, so I’m confident that together we can make a success of Barking Mad in Ireland.”

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The pet care franchise business has established an extensive network throughout the UK, which, with the new Irish addition, now totals 88 franchises.

Managing director Rachel Stewart said: “Launching our first Irish franchise enables us to realise our ambitious expansion programme, working with local dog lovers to bring our multi award-winning dog sitting service to new areas.

“We are so excited to announce that Barking Mad has gone international and are looking for others to join us.

“Barking Mad franchise owners benefit from a lifestyle with flexibility, a growing full-time income and the rewards of making a really positive difference to the lives of dog lovers and their four-legged best friends.”

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

The Barking Mad dog sitting service has been running for 20 years and is rated 5* by the independent review platform Trustpilot. Franchise owners offer bespoke dog holidays and recruit dog-loving host families to care for pets while their owners are away.

It is part of the Franchise Brands group of companies, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

By Karen Pickwick

Petpals franchisees achieve Ofqual professional status

September 30, 2019

The mobile pet care franchise, Petpals, reports that its franchisees across the UK are successfully completing the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) Level 3 Professional Day Care and Boarding course.

Petpals says that this new qualification will enable its franchisees to achieve the ‘Higher Standard’ in the Animal Activity Licensing Regulations, updated by the UK government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs in 2018.

Licensing now requires that to meet the ‘Higher Standard’, a member of staff with a relevant Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day at the day care or boarding establishment.

Kevin Thackrah, managing director of Petpals, said: “As an industry we are overrun with people starting up dog walking and dog boarding businesses on a whim, with no previous experience or qualifications and we embrace and welcome any and all efforts to raise the standards in our industry.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

“Even before the new regulations, all of our franchises were, and always have been CRB checked, insured and have taken a Dog Handling Skills and Pet First Aid course.”

Petpals Buxton, Darlington West, Hendon, Leeds North and Sefton have successfully completed the course and a further 15 franchisees are currently on the course.

‘What a great course’
Sharren Redmond (pictured) who started her Petpals Sefton in November last year, said: “What a great course; I feel so much more confident and professional in running my Petpals business now. It was a huge amount of work requiring large amounts of research, reading and writing but I loved it.

“I am now qualified to the ‘Higher Standard’ for the benefit of my clients and their dogs. I will of course be sharing my new knowledge, passing on the relevant information to my team so we can all benefit from the course.

“Although I have been a dog owner myself for many years and thought I knew everything there was to know about caring for a dog, the course makes you look at things from a very different perspective.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“I had to learn about a wide variety of dog care subjects, from what different breeds of dog are like, how they play and interact with other dogs, to warning signs from a behavioural point of view. The course has really sparked my desire to know more and I wouldn’t rule out doing a dog behaviourist qualification in the future,” continued Redmond.

Thackrah added: “We are delighted that Sharren, Deborah, Lisa, Mike, Chrissy and Sallyann have completed their Ofqual qualification and we are pleased that Petpals Sefton, Buxton, Leeds North, Hendon and Darlington West will now be qualified to the ‘Higher Standard’ for boarding and dog care, with many others following on in the next few weeks.”

Petpals offers animal care ranging from dogs and cats to small pets, such as rabbits, gerbils, birds and exotics. Its services include pet sitting, dog walking, cat visits, pet taxi service and home boarding for dogs and small pets.

Source: Franchise World