Adventure time in the BIG garden!

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Holly H.

51 Reviews
29 Repeat Guests
Other Sitters Nearby
  • Same day bookings are OK
  • Responds within 30 minutes
  • Cancellation Policy:

Pet Requirements

  • 1-20 lbs
  • 20-40 lbs
  • 40-80 lbs
  • 80+ lbs
All Ages OK
Must Be Vaccinated

Holly's Resident Pets

Cocker Spaniel
0 yr 11 mo old

Holly's House

View Neighborhood Map
Large Yard
100% fenced & locked
Smoke-free home
Pets allowed on furniture
Air-conditioned inside
Great for senior pets

About Holly

20 Years Experience Caring For Dogs
Your dog will have a WONDERFUL time romping and playing or just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine in the flower gardens on our fully-fenced-in half-acre! Big dogs and little dogs all love it here! are lots of tall, leafy plants to sniff under, shady mature trees to lay under and a cool patio to stretch out on. We spend tons of time outside time in the privacy-fenced back yard-- no leashes or tie-outs needed here! We love to garden, grill out and sit on the patio, so we're outside most evenings from Spring to Fall! In the winter we clear snow off the yard and we try to make it fun! We dig paths in the snow and try to make winter fun!

What does a day look like at Holly's?
Mornings the dogs have an hour or more of yard time to roam outside. We’re early risers around here and we like to have coffee on the patio! There are daily lunchtime potty breaks, we're home for an hour, at least. In the evenings they can wander in and out as they please. On weekends we enjoy gardening and cooking projects, so we'll usually be hanging out outside or in the kitchen. The most important thing is, your dog will be able to move freely and enjoy all of the cuddle time and play time that s/he wants!

How safe is it at your house?
Very safe! Everyone stays inside when we're not home. We have a security system and during the day we keep an eye on things via web camera. Our home is automated for security, lights and temperature. Everyone stays inside in the warmth or air conditioning during the day, but gets an hour to be outside at lunchtime, sometimes more if I work from home!

Where will my dog stay at your house?
Doggie visitors can choose where they would like to sleep—if they prefer crating to feel secure, we have lots of crates of various sizes, you can bring your own, or they can stay in one of mine. We mop the linoleum, vacuum the carpet and pick up doo every single day, no matter the weather! We keep an extremely clean yard, it's very important to us that everyone be clean and healthy!

Do you take care of dogs with special needs?
Our house is one level, so older dogs or handicapped dogs can stay with me without having to climb any stairs at all. We’ve taken care of a few blind dogs, a dog with a cart handicaps are not an issue at all. In fact, Sophie is going blind from old age, and we've completely safety-proofed the house for her. We’re very good at caring for small puppies, and willing to adjust our schedules to accommodate medications, tiny bladders, older dogs with arthritis, etc.

What happens during the day while you're at work?
We come home for an hour at lunch every day. If, for some reason we can't come home, a longtime friend and Stay-at-Home Mom comes over to let everyone out. This same friend might meet you for drop-off or pick-up if we're not available! She's incredibly nice and dogs LOVE her!

Do you have kids? Cats?
Nope, no kids or cats in our home! Just responsible adults!

What's your experience with animals?
We love all breeds of dogs, all ages! We help to transport rescued dogs occasionally, and take in fosters. We earn trust through consistency and patience. Skittish, shy or nervous dogs welcome, we just let them come around in their own time, and give lots of love and encouragement!

What time do I pick up and drop off my dog?
Here are our ideal times, but we can be flexible. Sticking to these time frames helps everyone have a chance to settle in, relax, enjoy mealtimes, etc. Evening drop-offs are required for new clients.

Monday through Friday: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Saturday/Sunday 8:00 AM-10:00 AM OR 3:00 PM-5:00 PM

If you would like to schedule a time to meet us, we are available by appointment most Saturdays, just book a visit through the site. We'll tour the yard, let your dog get familiar with the fenced-in yard off-leash. We talk about schedules, meals, behaviors, etc. Then, we tour inside. The process takes about 20 minutes, and it's a fun and helpful preview for your dog!

Where are you?
Our address is revealed by the site once you book. Our house is conveniently located in the central Des Moines metro area, and quickly reached from both I-80 and I-235. We are 1 block away from a vet clinic where we have an established relationship, and less than a mile from a 24-hour emergency vet.

What should I bring?
Please bring your dog's food, treats and a preferred bed or blanket from home. Everything else I have plenty of--crates, toys, bowls, leashes, etc. Now is a good time to make sure all shots are up to date, and the info on your dog's collar/tag are up to date! If your dog arrives without a collar, I will put one of my loaners on them.

But don't take OUR word for it, be sure to check out our reviews from our wonderful clients!
Read More about Holly...
Contact Holly
Can administer oral medicine
Can administer injected medicine
CPR / First-Aid certified
Special Needs Accommodated
  • Separation anxiety
  • Advanced senior issues

Holly H.

51 Reviews
29 Repeat Guests
Other Sitters Nearby
  • Same day bookings are OK
  • Responds within 30 minutes
  • Cancellation Policy:


  • Available
  • Unavailable
  • 1 Spot Left
  • Booked
  • Last updated December 1, 2016


Background Checked
This sitter has passed a background check, which searches a variety of criminal databases.
Course 101 Graduate
By completing courses at DogVacay University, hosts learn about best practices to help them provide the highest quality care for your dog.
Course 102 Graduate
By completing courses at DogVacay University, hosts learn about best practices to help them provide the highest quality care for your dog.
Pack Promoter
Pack Promoters are active members of the community who promote DogVacay and hosting best practices.
Disaster Relief
This sitter has completed training for the DogVacay Disaster Relief Program and volunteered to help displaced pets in the event of a natural disaster.
Phone Interviewed
Serious hosts take the time to talk to us over the phone, get their questions asked and introduce themselves personally.
Pay through DogVacay for:
Premium Pet Insurance, 24/7 Customer Support and Daily Photo Updates!

Services & Rates

Boarding Overnight At Holly's Home
$38 /night
  • Watches up to 3 dogs/night
  • Dogs may be unsupervised for 2 - 4 hours/day
  • 5+ potty breaks/day
  • 1 walk/day
  • Pets can sleep wherever they want
Daycare At Holly's Home
$38 /day
  • Watches up to 2 dogs/day
Dog Walking
$20 /half-hour
$30 /hour
  • Willing to travel 6 miles
Home Visits
$35 /visit
  • Willing to travel 10 miles
$40 /bath
$25 each way
  • Willing to travel 20 miles
More Services
51 Reviews
Faron had a great time and Holly was very easy to work with regarding drop of times and pick up. I've never left my dog with anyone other than friends so it was a load off my mind to see the pictures and video of Faron having fun with other dogs. Will be using Holly again!
Holly was so sweet and our dogs loved her. She had a very large fenced in yard that provided lots of room to play and run. We will definitely use Holly again when we return to Des Moines.
Our Tucker had a wonderful week stay with Holly! Vacation has never been so truly carefree knowing our buddy was not only being cared for, but was cared about. Holly was completely accommodating of Tucker's eating, sleeping, and playing habits and he returned to us with a spring in his step and interest in toys he'd not played with in a long time. We could tell he'd been interacted with in a loving and playful way which you simply cannot get in a traditional kennel setting. Having Tucker stay with Holly, in her home, where he was free to live life as normally as possible, was exactly the right choice. He will stay with Holly anytime we travel! She's a gem!
I am so lucky to have found Holly. I needed someone to watch my dog while my husband and I were traveling across country so that we could go to the Iowa State fair . I contacted Holly , who agreed to watch our dog Zuzu, but I couldn't have anticipated how wonderful this particular reservation would be. When we showed up to her house, Holly had prepared a map for my husband and I of the Iowa State fair . She detailed everything that we should go see and get descriptions of everything worthwhile . This was of course while Zuzu was in the backyard playing with her dogs and having a blast - I'm so grateful to have found someone as kind gracious and thoughtful , and I wish that every dog sitter could be like Holly . Thank you so much and I hope I'm lucky enough to meet you again !
I liked the picture updates, piggy looked very happy! Holly was very accommodating with my schedule.
Very pleased!
We were extremely pleased with the care that my dogs received in Holly's care. We loved the daily photos and communications while we were away. It was obvious to us that they enjoyed their stay with Holly and her canine family. It was great to know that they were socializing with other dogs in a home environment that is so unlike a boarding facility.
First time staying with holly. My pup did great and holly was very good with her. Will be booking in the near future more than likely again!!!
Holly is wonderful. She provides photos and videos that let me know Bella is happy and having a wonderful time in Holly's beautiful yard and loving home. I have no worries when Bella is with Holly.
Astro loved his stay with Holly, and she even sent him home with a giant bone! She sent pictures and updates daily, which really allowed us to enjoy our trip without worries!
This turned out to be such a great experience for us! I don't see why I'd ever choose to board my dog again. Holly was fantastic and shared plenty of pictures and updates throughout the weekend.
This was my first time using Holly and everything went great! My two dogs seemed to have a really good time! She kept me updated with pictures and texts which I really appreciate. I will definitely use her again!
Holly was an amazing host to our Sheltie who has never stayed with anyone before and has never been around other dogs. She let him get comfortable on his own time and helped him feel secure in her home. We are very grateful to know that she provides a loving home away from home for our puppy and plan to use her again. We highly recommend her!
Holly is flexible, reliable, and obviously great with dogs. My dog always seems to have a great time there.
Mochi had a great time at Holly´s. She send us daily pictures of him. Having had a meet and greet before definitely helped as Mochi knew Holly, her dogs and their place. We will definitely come back.
My 2 dogs stayed with Holly for 9 days while we were on vacation. I was so happy to find somewhere that they didn't have to spend most of their time in a cage as they would have in a typical kennel. They came home happy, healthy, and well taken care of. Holly was quick to answer my questions prior to boarding, as well as when I checked in while they were in her care.
Holly was really good with communication, she has a huge yard and is very kind and patient. Buddy must have had a good time on his daytime visit because once we got home he passed out. Much thanks!
Holly was awesome! Our schnoodle loved being with her and her dogs. The daily updates and photos were so appreciated. We will definitely use Holly again.
This was our first DogVacay - and Monte had a great time. He was a happy boy the second he met Holly and Holly's other dogs in her big back yard. Monte will be excited to come vacation with her again. A true treat. Thank you!!
Holly treated our Teddy like family. She sent pictures every day, and we could tell he was so happy. We will definitely ask Holly to watch him again!!!
Holly H was the perfect sitter for my Bella. Bella is a very shy dog but she warmed to Holly and her home very quickly. Holly sent us pics of Bella cuddling with her and a video showing Bella very responsive and happy. Very thankful to have found Holly. Now I can leave Bella and have complete peace of mind that she is being cuddled and in a home where dogs are loved.
We love Holly! We received daily updates and she took such great care of our pup. Highly recommended booking with Holly!
This was our first time using DogVacay and it was a wonderful, carefree experience! Holly was so responsive and flexible, and her dogs made Dugan feel right at home. She sent me pictures and videos of Dugan playing, relaxing, etc. several times a day, and there was no doubt that he was having a blast! Holly has a huge, fenced yard for the dogs to play in and they sure tuckered him out! Dugan is a big 80+ pound, 2 year old lab/Pyrenees mix, and he has been happily exhausted since being picked up. We can't wait to stay with Holly and her pups again!
Holly was wonderful. She returned all my inquiries right away and you can see how much she loves dogs. She took in all 3 of our babies and gave our sweet oldster special attention. The other 2 high energy pups were exhausted from all the playtime they had. Yay! We will be back. Thanks Holly
This is the third time we have used Holly to watch our golden retriever. Sadie has a wonderful time playing with the other dogs and comes home brushed and smelling clean. Holly is great at sending pictures to let us know what Sadie is up to. It is such a comfort to know she is going to a home with a big yard to play in and loving people to pet her when we are gone.
Holly is a great host. I know that Zoey is in good hands and has lots of fun there. Love that the yard is fenced in and appreciate all the attention you give her. Thank you for all the photo updates!
Holly was very accommodating with our last minute request for an area sitter. She was outstanding in immediately responding to texts and emails. As Holly was not at home at the time, she arranged for her neighbor, Montyne, to assist with taking care of my dog and other dogs in her absence. Overall, our experience was great and I would definitely highly recommend Holly to others.
Holly is great. Treats Rusty like one of her own!
My dog loved Holly's big/clean backyard. Plenty of space to play with other dogs. She genuinely cares for animals & it shows. I would definitely bring my dog back.
This was the second time we've left Daisy with Holly while we were traveling, and she does an amazing job. She sent us plenty of pictures to show us what a good time Daisy was having. And another dog from Daisy's previous stay was there, too, giving her another big-dog running playmate, which was great. Our dog is very social and likes to be around people and dogs, so Holly's place is great for her.
Lily had an absolutely wonderful week with Holly. I received daily photos/videos to reassure me that she was doing great! Knowing that she was cared for in a loving, dog friendly environment made all the difference! I would recommend Holly without hesitation to any fellow dog lovers/owners!!
My Dachshunds stayed for a week with Holly! They were so happy and I Loved the personal attention they received. Holly sent us photos so we wouldn't miss them. Definitely recommend Holly and the boys will be back to visit!
Our Samoyed Massimo spent his first day/night with Holly and friends over Memorial Day weekend. From the pictures Holly shared he clearly had a good time in the gardens with the other dogs. Holly is delightful to work with and talk to and clearly has a love for our furry friends which makes us more comfortable to leave him again and again and again :-) Thank you.
Kilo's second Vacay with Holly was just as great as the first! It was a last-minute trip and I was SO glad Holly could make room for Kilo. I feel great having Holly take care of my Little Boy. Got a picture and full report and Kilo was all wags as usual! Another great Vacay!
We had a great experience. Holly kept us updated with daily pictures and kept our dog active and entertained throughout his entire stay.
My dog was so happy I think he wanted to stay! Definitely better than boarding him in the kennels! He is wiped out and will definitely do this next time!
Kilo loved his time with Holly and her pack! The second I took him out of the car, he was all wags. I could tell from the pictures that Holly sent me that he was content and that was confirmed when I picked him up. Holly is a great Vacay Host and I highly recommend booking with her. I know I will again!
Holly is simply fantastic! Our dog was so happy and you can tell that she really loves animals. We were so excited to get the daily updates and pictures from her. We have already made plans with her for another stay in May.

Thank you soooo much!

Karen and Adam C.
Rusty had a great visit with Holly. He enjoyed all of his doggie friends.
Holly is an amazing DogVacay host. She's very accommodating and our dog has enjoyed every visit. We'll definitely be rebooking many times in the future.
My dog, Watson, is still a high energy Golden Retriever puppy who loves people and other dogs. Imminently upon arriving at Holly's house, she greeted him with open arms along with her 4 pups. Watson instantly forgot I existed and was off exploring her huge spacious yard. I really appreciate how flexible and accommodating Holly was. Even though Watson was only there one night, she sent me an update along with a picture of how he was doing. When I picked him up she told me all about his visit, then he fell asleep on the 15min car ride home. If that doesn't say he had a good time I dont know what does!

I highly recommend Holly!
This was the second time we have used Dog Vacay and our first visit with Holly. Daisy, our black Lab, is very friendly and energetic, so she loved playing with the other dogs in Holly's fenced-in backyard. We dropped by for a visit before we left town to get to know her, and she was very patient working with Daisy's fears of unfamiliar flooring. :) we would definitely recommend her for your dog's Vacay!
I felt very confident leaving Chevy with Holly. She sent pics and little updates which I appreciated. I will use her again when I am in Des Moines.
So glad we found Holly. This was the perfect place for our dog - plenty of room to run and play, other dogs to play with, and a human who clearly loves dogs. It was so reassuring to get photos of Sadie enjoying herself during our trip. We will definitely let her stay again the next time we need to leave.
My dog Ruby has a bit of anxiety, so it always broke my heart boarding her when I was out of town. I was so happy to come across DogVacay, and to find a wonderful dog sitter (Holly) very close to where I live. It made my own vacation much more relaxing to know that my dog was in great hands in a comforting home environment. Holly's own dogs are very sweet, but Ruby also made a new best friend during her stay, of which Holly sent several photos of them playing together. I would definitely recommend Holly, and Ruby will certainly be back next time I am out of town!
A perfect host with a huge yard. Our dogs had so much fun they didn't want to leave. I will definitely be using her again and I will recommend her to everyone.
Holly is a great person and clearly a dog lover. Her house has a great backyard for play and her dogs are friendly and gentle companions. I think Holly's place was a great spot for Wally.
Great host! Spent lots of play time with my dog and sent me photos nearly every day. Has a great fenced in yard and answered all my questions and accommodated all my requests including lunchtime dropoffs and pickups.
My dog Griz had an awesome time at Holly's house! It was such a relief while I was on vacation to know that he was in a comfortable environment, being watched by someone who cares deeply about animals. I will never board him in one of those cement pen kennels again. Griz seemed uncharacteristically happy and relaxed when I picked him up. He can be aggressive with other dogs sometimes, but he got along with Holly's dogs just fine—in fact, I think he misses them! Holly is awesome and clearly took good care of my dog. I would highly recommend her to anyone.
Our golden doodle came home a very tired pup after three nights with Holly, which suggests she had a great time! Holly has a large yard and comfortable home in a safe location. We enjoyed receiving the numerous picture updates each day. We highly recommend.
Holly took wonderful care of my nervous whippet, and he clearly enjoys time with her more than me(!)

She has a great yard with other dogs for your pet to interact with, and a nice safe house & location.

I would be remiss not to note that Holly went above and beyond taking care of my new dog. Not only did she provide updates throughout his stay, but upon pick-up she gave me:

- A list of his likes/dislikes
- Potential vets
- Things to look out for that he was doing (e.g. chewing everything)
- 3 photographs of him being happy :)

Highly recommended.
Read All 51 Reviews