When the Radisch family heads off for a holiday this summer, they will have a big problem: their metre-tall, huge-pawed, Great Dane-Greyhound mix, Jackson.
“Every time we go away, it’s a concern,” Michael Radisch said.
Traditional kennels are expensive — some charge as much as $80 a day over the holidays.
But Mr Radisch is conscious Jackson may be wearing out his welcome with his extended family.
“Do we ask our friends and family? Maybe, they’ve looked after him many times. If we’re going away for a week or so, we don’t want to burden them for that long,” he said.
This year, the solution for Jackson was close at hand.
His owners have selected a local host through the website PetHomeStay, a site matching owners with those willing to look after pets for a daily fee.
“It’s such a win-win for everyone,” said Tom LeGrice, the site’s founder.
He has spent the last 18 months working flat out to get PetHomeStay off the ground.
“It’s better for the pet owner, because it’s cheaper and convenient. It’s better for the pet, because they get great care.”
It is early days for the concept in Australia.
PetHomeStay has about 650 hosts registered across the country. But the idea has already taken off in the US, with big operators such as Rover.com and Dogvacay.com.
Jackson has been matched with a host just around the corner in the Melbourne suburb of Newport.