Australia's Dog Minding Club!
Australia's Dog Minding Club!

In the press

Mx (Melbourne) - October 3, 2012

Quit the yap, you'll get your sleepover

Dreaming of a desert island while you feed Fido? Friends at the end of their dog-sitting tether? Well, Ronster takes the leash.

St Kilda East's Tanya and Michael Martin, both 31, came up with Ronster after a bad dog-minding experience.

The Martins left their two-year-old Weimaraner Ron in April last year with a minder who didn't have a dog - or much of a canine clue. 

It occurred to them there must be other puppy people facing the same dilemma - and Ronster was born.

Ronster is an online facilitator using a credit system: for each night you mind another member's dog, you can earn a day for your own. The only cost is a $20 pairing fee.

With two German Shepherds, Brighton East's Martin Littlewood and his partner - without nearby family to dog-sit - were paying up to $50 per dog per night in a kennel.

"We'd found it difficult to find kennels or services that didn't charge through the roof," Littlewood said.

Since joining Ronster, Littlewood's dogs Max and Zoe have had one three day stay and Littlewood recently hosted kelpie cross Jessie.

Ronster's namesake, Ron, has had two sleepovers himself.

The Martins said Ron's most recent night away was such a ball that he slept for 12 hours after he got home. 

"It's like when you're a kid and you go to a sleepover," Martin said.

Manningham Leader - September 12, 2012

Canine Getaways Online

Most dog owners will attest that their pet lets them know if they are happy or not, especially when they have been away from their owners during holidays.

So Lower Templestowe residents Ana and Chris van der Merwe were overjoyed when they left their two-year-old weimaraner, Zulu, with dog-sitters for a weekend, and then had trouble getting him to come home."

It was like we were trying to take him away from his friend," Ms van der Merwe said."

We could tell he was not as homesick or out of sorts as (he was) after previous options we have tried."

The family has registered with the online dog-minding club, loosely based on the babysitting circle concept. Ronster members earn one credit for each night they mind someone else's dog, and those credits can then be used to have their own dog minded.

There is a flat $20 fee per minding period and dog owners can purchase additional credits - at $30 each - if they haven't earned enough for the period they need.

Stonnington Leader - 20/8/2012

Owners lap up dog care in Prahan

PRAHRAN pooch Rocky doesn't have to fret when mum is out of town.

The eight-month-old border collie is a member of, an online hub based on the concept of a babysitting club, where dog lovers register and are matched with minders.

Members earn credits for each night they look after another member's dog, which they can cash in when they then need to go away.

Rocky's owner, Bel, said the site suited people who loved their dogs, but also liked to travel.

"For us, it meant we could relax while we were away, knowing Rocky was being looked after by like-minded people," Bel said.

Michael Martin and wife Tanya began the business this year.

"We realised it would be great if we, and others in the same position, had a list of people who'd be happy to dog-sit," Ms Martin said.

Original article:

St Kilda Leader - 20/6/2012

Take a bow-wow, site makes dog minding easy

DOG lovers in need of a holiday have snapped up a successful child minding idea.

They have reinvented the babysitting circle so their canine companions have free, trustworthy doggy care on demand.

Tanya and Michael Martin founded when they discovered affordable reliable dog minding was hard to come by.

"We always relied on friends but once, when no one was available, we put our weimaraner Ron in a minder's home for $35 a day," Ms Martin said.

"We realised it would be great if we and others in the same position, had a list of people who'd be happy to dog-sit."

Inspired by the success of babysitting circles with credit systems, au (named after Ron) was born.

Dog lovers register and earn one credit per night they mind someone else's dog, which they can use to have their own dog minded.

Original article:

The Age - 19/5/2012

Going to the dogs

Ronster is a new website for travellers seeking a short-term home for their dogs. Ronster members earn credits for minding others' dogs, then use those credits to have their own pet cared for. Dogs are matched with a minder based on breed, size, exercise habits and sleeping preferences. Owners can "buy" extra credits if they don't have enough for the time they plan to be away travelling.

Website founders Tanya Martin and her husband, Michael - owners of a Weimaraner named Ron - came up with the idea after an informal dog-sitting arrangement with friends. It's Victorian-based and costs $20 to register.

Original article:


Melbourne Weekly - 30/04/2012

Tanya Martin and her husband Michael recently launched an online dog-minding service.

DOG owners are a special community and, while we love our pets, we also have a life and sometimes the two cannot coexist. Instead of forking out $35 a night to a kennel a consensus developed among my dog-owning friends, which quickly evolved into a dog-minding network. We’d care for each other’s pets when their owners could not, operating much like a babysitting rota. You are spared the bill and get some piece of mind thrown in for free.

We decided to put this dog-minding club on a wider platform by taking it to the web to incorporate more dog owners when, one weekend, no one was available to mind Ron, the leading canine in my life at the moment. Ron is an 18-month-old, deep brown weimaraner who joined my husband and I when he was just eight weeks old.

The website,, was named after our bundle of slobbery joy. We thought that a service like this should operate as an exchange of services, rather than funds. I thought that if a stranger was to care for Ron, I’d be happy to care for their dog in return – once you have the responsibility of one dog, there’s not that much difference in taking on another for a short time.

Our site has garnered a lot of positive feedback since its creation two months ago, yet the number of users is still small and restricted to Victoria.

The process is very commonsensical; credits are earned for minding dogs and are used when your dog is being minded. A $20 service fee is charged per booking and $30 per night if you have no credits. It’s a cost-effective way to have your dog cared for if you are willing to care for others in return. We also welcome non-dog owners as minders.

My husband and I work full-time in the financial sector and have created the website as a hobby on the side. We hold firm the intention to bring dog owners together to help each other out.

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