"People May Think I'm Barking Mad," Says Woman Who Set Up Airbnb For Dogs

A woman who set up an Airbnb for dogs says that doing so has helped her depression tremendously. Elaine Warburton, a former policewoman from Scotlandwell in Scotland, credits the Airbnb for improving her mental health.

The 49-year-old took over Barking Mad, a dog boarding experience, in 2014, along with her childhood sweetheart, John. Her service now helps connect dogs whose owners are away on vacation with host families across the UK. Instead of traditional kennels, therefore, the pet dogs get to experience living in a new place with a new family.

“It’s a win for everyone involved,” explains Ms Warburton. “The dogs are thrilled to explore a brand new environment and the hosts, who are often retired, get to experience the joy of having a pet without the long-term commitment.”

For Ms Warburton, who has struggled with depression for more than 20 years, the experience of setting up an Airbnb service for dogs has been overwhelmingly positive and rewarding.

“The dogs keep me on an even keel and my anti-depressant medication is at the lowest it’s been in a long time – I’m in much better frame of mind these days,” she says.

“People may think I’m barking mad for doing this, but at least I’m no longer depressed!”

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