Membership History

Full Member
Joined 2002

Company Overview

Live the dog lover’s dream and be your own boss, running a multi award-winning pet care franchise, starting from just £10,000+VAT*

A lifestyle with flexibility, a growing full-time income and the rewards of making a really positive difference to the lives of pet lovers and their four-legged best friends – what’s not to like?

Why not escape the ordinary, leave the 9-5 office grind behind and become your own boss with Barking Mad? Sharing our pet care sector know how, systems and brand name has enabled our large network to start or grow their own successful businesses via the franchise route. Our 70+ franchise owners love what they do and reap the benefits of a successful, flexible, family-friendly career.

Who are Barking Mad?

As a multi award-winning pet care pioneer, Barking Mad is widely recognised across the sector and the franchise industry, delighting thousands of happy customers every year. Established in 2000, we are proud to provide the UK’s most trusted pet sitting service, rated no.1 by Trustpilot.

We offer bespoke pet holidays, provided through a franchise network of dedicated, local professionals. Franchisees recruit a community of carefully chosen, pet-loving host families who care for pets whilst their owners are away.

Join O​ur Pack

Would you jump at the chance to ditch your current routine and enjoy spending every day in the company of adorable dogs and fellow dog lovers? John and Elaine Warburton, recent winners of the British Franchise Association Lifestyle Award, describe buying a Barking Mad franchise as, ‘the best decision we have ever made’.


Self-confessed, ex ‘wage slave commuter’ John explains:

“As animal lovers, the concept of home-from-home dog boarding held huge appeal. The Barking Mad franchise system’s tried, tested and proven operating procedures were a major factor in our decision, along with the training, support and potential for growth to an impressive six figure turnover.”

Barking Mad is expanding across the UK and needs new, motivated business owners to meet demand. Could this be you?

Comprehensive Business and Customer Support

Starting out on your own can be really tough and new entrants to the market need to stay ahead of the competition. According to a recent report in ‘The Times’, 20% of sole traders fail within a year and 60% fail within five years. Launching a franchise with a prominent brand name, with the added support of a dedicated HQ team, means that your new venture has the best possible start.

Barking Mad’s team of experts are specialists in all areas of the business, so you don’t have to be!  From sales and accounts advice, to social media and online marketing support, help is on hand. Franchisees are guided every step of the way with one to one business planning and expert training guides.

As part of Franchise Brands plc since 2016, our franchisees also benefit from the knowledge of a  group of market-leading franchise businesses who share the same support services, with huge commitment to investment and innovation.

Loyal Repeat Business and Referrals in a Massive Growth Industry

When you buy a Barking Mad franchise, you will benefit from our brand’s loyal repeat business and referrals in a massive growth industry. Our customers love our service, as demonstrated by our independent 5* Trustpilot reviews.

Tapping into potential in the pet market requires knowledge of a complex sector, but with a Barking Mad franchise, our proven and successful business model will give you all the tools you need to achieve your entrepreneurial, pet care dreams.

Top Dog Brand Leader as Seen On TV

A strong British brand and extensive expert resources mean we have a tried and tested recipe for your success. Barking Mad has a strong brand presence both online and offline, as well as being featured by the national media including the BBC, ITN, Daily Mail, Metro, Evening Standard and many more.

If you’re a pet lover, with ambition and a dedication to first class customer service, then Barking Mad could be perfect for you. Our franchise owners create profitable and successful businesses with the support and expertise of our leading national brand. They enjoy an enviable work-life balance whilst indulging their passion for pets.

Join a business community who love pets as much as you do. Territories are strictly exclusive and available on a first come first served basis, so why not get in touch today? We’d love to chat to you about taking the first steps to becoming a dog care entrepreneur.

*The franchise is £14,995+VAT, but with our attractive PAYG option, we can get you started with as little as £10,000 to set up. Our PAYG option means you can pay a smaller amount upfront and spread the cost over the term of your agreement. Barking Mad also has a great relationship with high street banks and there is also the option of a Government start up loans scheme, subject to acceptance.

“Pet Care Pioneers Since 2000
Established in 2000, Barking Mad is the UK’s most trusted dog sitting service, as independently verified by TrustPilot. Bespoke dog holidays are provided through a franchise network of dedicated, local professionals. Franchisees coordinate dog holidays and recruit a community of carefully chosen, dog-loving host families, who care for pets whilst their owners are away.

Part of Franchise Brands plc Group 
Franchise Brands plc is an international multi-brand franchisor with a combined network of over 450 franchisees in 12 countries, but predominantly in the UK. The Group’s current principal brands are Barking Mad, Metro Rod, ChipsAway and Ovenclean. Franchise Brands’ vision is to create a group of market-leading franchise businesses that benefit from sharing the same support services, with huge commitment to investment and innovation.

Fully Insured, Licensed & ISO9001 Canine Compliant
Barking Mad has been fully insured and worked with all relevant UK Local Authorities and Councils since 2000. The Barking Mad system is the only dog care franchise to achieve ISO 9001 certification, the world’s most recognised quality management standard. This allows consistently high implementation of a robust quality system and for us to be fully compliant with all laws.”

Franchise Overview

Turn the dream of working with dogs and dog loving people every day into a successful career. Established in 2000 we have grown because of the success of our franchisees and power of the brand.

Profitable greenfield and resales available based upon quality customer service and regular repeat business. Many years’ of multi-award winning experience.

Passionate about dogs and excellent customer service. If you think you’d like to join the team, we look forward to hearing from you!



Initial classroom practical in-house training with support in all areas.

Guidance throughout term. Training / support ongoing with regular points of contact and events every year. We involve your employees providing ‘Supporting Success’ training day.

We provide a comprehensive in house training

Covering all aspects including:

  • Business planning / systems
  • Dog behaviour
  • Marketing / PR
  • Social media / Email marketing
  • Database / CRM
  • Sales techniques
  • Accounts
  • I.T. (including laptop / smartphone set-up)
  • Administration
  • Customer service

Daily Life of a franchisee

Every day is different, whether it’s being out and about visiting customers and hosts (taking advantage of doggy cuddles along the way, of course!) working flexible hours in your home/office, or marketing your business in your local area. You will also fulfil the role of ‘dog chauffeur’ and organise community events for dog lovers in your territory such as: coffee mornings, afternoon teas and shopping centre promotions. As your business grows, you will recruit staff to assist with operational and marketing tasks.

Kevin Matthews

Name: Kevin Matthews
Franchisee since: 2014
Location: Central Lancashire
Last Updated: September 2019

“A highlight for me is seeing the hosts’ faces when the dogs arrive.”

Kevin Matthews is the owner of Barking Mad Central Lancashire. He lives with his wife, Sarah, in Walton-le-Dale. Before buying his Barking Mad franchise in 2014, Kevin was a retail manager for a large high street chain. This career history yielded skills which have been transferable and instrumental in running a successful dog home boarding franchise.

When asked what made him opt to go down the franchise route and choose the dog care industry, Kevin said,

“I loved all the interaction with customers and the hustle of a job in retail but after nine years, I decided I wanted something I could call my own. I also wanted something that would fit in with my lifestyle and I’ve never looked back. I had been a

Barking Mad customer for several years and jumped at the chance of running my own successful pet care business, offering the same great service to others.”

As a Barking Mad business owner, Kevin has received initial and ongoing expert training and support in all areas of running and managing his business. Franchisees benefit from the autonomy of setting their own schedule, working full-time flexible hours.

“What I really like about Barking Mad is that you are in control of your business and the growth is down to you. It’s great because you reap the benefits and you get a great feeling of satisfaction. I now feel in control of my job which is wonderful.
What makes it work well for me is the franchise support. All the elements of the business that I was less experienced in, I could be taught and get support for, whereas at the same time I could make use of the skills that I did have to grow my business.”

When asked how becoming a Barking Mad franchise owner has changed his life, Kevin explained,

“A highlight for me is seeing the hosts’ faces when the dogs arrive and them running around wanting to play. It’s also lovely to see the customers happy and knowing the system works so well. On a summer’s day there is nothing better than being out and about chauffeuring dogs through the countryside and working with my laptop in the garden, rather than being stuck in an office all day! I love the freedom to work the hours that suit me and the fact that no two days are the same.”

Barbara Frater and Caroline Bradshaw

Name: Barbara Frater and Caroline Bradshaw
Franchisee since: 2019
Location: Alnwick
Last Updated: September 2019

“We fell in love with the concept of Barking Mad when we came across a business opportunity that cared about dogs as much as we do.”

Barbara Frater and Caroline Bradshaw have recently made the change from senior teaching roles to their “dream job” with the Barking Mad self-employed franchise opportunity. They said, of their decision to purchase the already established Barking Mad Alnwick business as a resale:

“We have recently swapped 20 years in the classroom for the stunning countryside of the Northumberland Coast, relocating to run a Barking Mad business full time. We love the county of Northumberland and the beautiful scenery makes chauffeuring of dogs to host families on their holidays a real new pleasure. We are crazy about dogs, especially collies, because we have a rescue collie called ‘ Ailsa’ but we love all breeds large and small.”

The dog loving duo attended a comprehensive initial training week at Barking Mad’s head office support centre, in the Lake District, completing modules in dog behaviour, business essentials, customer care, service and operational delivery, marketing and brand building, accounting and finance. A bespoke launch programme, delivered by sales and marketing experts, also ensured they were well equipped to take over the reins of an already operating business.

As well as initial support, Barbara and Caroline were attracted by Barking Mad’s award winning ongoing franchise support, business development and technical assistance. They are benefitting from advice and support from an APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) accredited in-house dog behaviourist, an in-house licensing and compliance professional on hand and a UK based call centre, staffed by knowledgeable dog lovers, ready to answer their calls and make appointments on their behalf.

Barbara and Caroline bought the business from outgoing franchisee, Tina Young. Tina had successfully operated the Northumberland territory for fourteen years, even being crowned the BFA HSBC Franchisee of the Year in 2014, a prestigious, national award.

John & Elaine Warburton

Name: John and Elaine Warburton
Franchisee since: 2014
Location: Fife & Kinross
Last Updated: September 2019

“Barking Mad is not just our business, it’s our way of life!”

John and Elaine Warburton, partners in both business and life, started their Barking Mad journey in 2014 and have recently scooped a top title at the 2019 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards. The pet mad pair from Fife in Scotland, were named the Lifestyle Franchisee winners at a glittering ceremony at the Vox, Birmingham.

Self-confessed, ex ‘wage slave commuter’ John explains,

“Becoming British Franchise Association winners is a fantastic recognition of our efforts. With Barking Mad, we feel that we have really achieved something special. This has had a massive personal impact for us both but particularly for Elaine, really increasing her sense of self-worth. We have grown the franchise by 300% which has been a great success for us.

Our Barking Mad journey began when we heard our local franchise was for sale. We jumped at the opportunity to change our lives and haven’t looked back. Flexible working hours were a must, to allow us to care for our daughter and furry family!

As animal lovers, the concept of home-from-home dog boarding held huge appeal. The franchise system’s tried, tested and proven operating procedures were a major factor in our decision, along with the training, support and potential for growth to an impressive six figure turnover.”

Former Marketing Director John keeps a keen eye on the figures but Elaine, an ex-police officer and fitness instructor who felt unfulfilled in her previous career, also counts doggy cuddles as part of the profits! The husband and wife team seamlessly weave professional and personal responsibilities together to create an enviable lifestyle.

When asked how running an award-winning dog care franchise had changed their lives, Elaine said,

“Running our business isn’t a job but a way of life! There isn’t a typical day, just typical activities to complete whilst striving to implement excellence.”

John and Elaine have achieved a cumulative turnover projected to be £400,000 in just five years and aspire to grow their business to a level where they can recruit more staff.


Please visit the Barking Mad Website to see latest Opportunities

Barking Mad Partners with Other Pet Care Franchisors to Launch Pet Welfare Organisation (PCFA)
16 January 2023
Barking Mad Dog Care: The UK’s Top Rated Pet Care Franchise Five Years Running
11 January 2023
Barking Mad Dog Care Reveals Revamped Website
27 May 2021

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