Smol Boi Sitting on a Daybed

Looking for a dog sitter in Atlanta? Here is your ultimate guide.

Explore the best, most convenient, and locally-loved options.

Hitting the road this holiday season? If you’re unable to take your pup with you, you’ll need someone to care for them while traveling. Take a look at our breakdown of the apps, services, and locations you can use to take good care of your furry friend this year. 

Rover app

  • Services: In-home dog boarding, sitting, walking, and training
  • Locations: Available in most locations
  • Pricing: Varies based on location, sitter experience, etc., but may start around $40 per night of boarding.
  • Features/perks: Sitters pass a background check and are pre-vetted by Rover; receive photo updates/GPS tracking of dog walk
  • How to book: Download the Rover app for iOS or Android. 

Rover is among the best-known pet-sitting apps that allow you to search for and hire somebody to walk your dog, stay overnight in your home, or take your dog to stay overnight in their home. After downloading the app, enter some basic information about your pet and what you’re looking for. Then, look through sitter profiles to find the best one for you. Payments are made securely through the Rover website or app. 

Woman Taking Her Dog on a Walk

Georgia Pet Watchers

  • Services: In-home pet sitting (30- to 60-minute sessions, potty breaks, walks, overnight sitting)
  • Locations: Click here to view coverage areas
  • Pricing: 60-minute pet sitting for $37, 12-hour pet sitting for $100
  • Features/perks: No additional charge for multiple pets
  • How to book: Call 404-819-3641
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Georgia Pet Watchers provides a wide range of flexible in-home pet-sitting options that you can mix and match to make the perfect schedule for your pet.

Amanda Jackson of Flowery Branch used Georgia Pet Watchers for her 7-year-old Lab mix and 5-year-old Dachshund mix. 

“I was matched with a pet sitter based on what I was looking for,” Jackson says. “Before booking, she came over to meet the dogs, get to know the dogs, where their supplies are… We’ve booked with them so many times, and [the dog sitter] has always been timely, nice to the dogs, and reliable.”

Amanda also likes the online scheduling and payment system, which is “quick and easy to use.”

Buckhead Pet Pals

  • Services: In-home pet sitting, puppy visits, dog walking, overnight pet care
  • Locations: Services homes in Atlanta, Buckhead, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Roswell 
  • Pricing: 30-minute dog sitting for $27,  60-minute dog sitting for $54, overnight pet care for $120-$150
  • Features/perks: Existing clients can schedule in-app, sitters can administer injections and medication 
  • How to book: Call 404-303-0312

Buckhead Pet Pals has cared for pets in the metro Atlanta area for over 25 years. While all pets are welcome, BPP’s in-home sitters specialize in puppies, senior animals, and animals needing medical care. 

“Dog owners can expect superior customer service from the time of online registration to their return home,” says owner Shannon Centola. “Our sitters provide real-time updates via Pet Care Journals, including pictures of their pets!”

Wag Atlanta

  • Services: Dog boarding, luxury suites, dog daycare 
  • Location: 3872 College St., College Park, 30337
  • Pricing: Standard den boarding for $49/night, luxury suites for $58-$88/night
  • Features/perks: Staff on site 24/7, grooming and vaccination add-ons, discounted rates available for pet siblings 
  • How to book: Reservations are required for boarding (you’ll need to register on the site.)

Located just outside the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Wag Atlanta offers multiple options for doggy daycare and overnight stays. If your dog gets along with other dogs, they will be allowed three to six hours of playtime daily (plus at least four potty breaks). Staff members are trained to administer medications but cannot care for dogs with more intense medical needs. 

To board at Wag Atlanta, dogs must be up to date on their vaccinations. Aggressive or anxious pets, those under 16 weeks, elderly pets, and certain large male breeds will not be accepted. 

Small Dog Being Groomed

Barking Hound Village

  • Services: Dog daycare, boarding, grooming, training
  • Locations: Sandy Springs, Cheshire Bridge, Decatur, East Cobb-Marietta, Lambert Drive, North Avenue-O4W, Pharr Road-Buckhead
  • Pricing: Varies based on location but starts at approximately $45 per night of boarding or $27 per day of daycare 
  • Features/perks: Staff on site 24/7, does not require daycare reservations, administers medication 
  • How to book: Create an online account or call the number for your preferred location

Founded in 1999, Barking Hound Village is one of Atlanta’s most-awarded dog care facilities. Atlanta’s Nicole Replogle has used Barking Hound for the past year for her 4.5-year-old border collie/terrier mix, Darcy.

“Darcy is always excited to see them — which is a sign they’re taking good care of her!”

Nicole also appreciates Barking Hound’s doggie cams, where she can log in and check on Darcy throughout the day, the “report card” with candid photos, and the grooming services. “They get the little details right, like sending her home with a cute new bandana each time.”

Questions to ask before choosing a pet sitter

Before choosing a pet sitter, it’s essential to research the company or individual and ensure they can responsibly care for your dog. Ask questions like:

  • How many years of experience do you/your sitters have?
  • What will you do if an emergency occurs when I’m away? 
  • How do you handle behavioral issues or a fight between dogs?
  • Are you insured?
  • How frequently will I receive updates on my pet? 
  • How much time will you spend one-on-one with my dog?
  • How do you handle safety to ensure my pet’s health? 

Some pet-sitting facilities, such as Barking Hound Village, will provide free tours for new clients. If you are working with an individual sitter from an app like Rover, they should be willing to meet you and your dog ahead of time.

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Pizzas on a table adorned with Christmas decorations

7 great Phoenix restaurants that are open on Christmas Day

Where to grab some grub when it feels like everything is closed.

No matter what your plans are for Christmas Day, one thing is true for us all: We still need to eat. Whether you don’t want to cook or simply feel like getting out, there are still plenty of options. From dim sum to pizza to high-end resorts, here are our picks for great restaurants open on Christmas Day in Phoenix.

(Note: Some places take walk-ins, but it’s best to call ahead to check for availability and/or wait times.)

Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn

($105 per person; $35 for kids 4-12)

If you want jaw-dropping mountain views, romantic old Arizona charm, and one of the best meals of the year, Lon’s in Paradise Valley is your pick. Quaint Southwestern touches like adobe fireplaces and Mexican tile set the stage for contemporary American cuisine that’s never cliche. The three-course Christmas prix fixe menu is served from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes staples like lobster bisque and prime rib along with winter squash agnolotti, red beet risotto with hot smoked salmon, and a Christmas spiced poached pear.

McArthur’s at Arizona Biltmore

(Limited a la carte dishes from $16 to $75)

Phoenix’s Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria resort, is a desert art deco gem that underwent a $100 million “reinvention” in 2020, so it’s a perfect time to visit again if you haven’t been in a while. McArthur’s — named after the property’s original architect, Albert Chase McArthur — has a cool, classy open-concept vibe with shuffleboard, foosball, and other fun touches. A simple two-course a la carte dinner, available 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., includes gourmet renditions of soup or salad and a steak/scallop duo or ham; more than 20 well-selected bottles of wine are $75. This is ideal for friends, couples, or singles who want a superb meal and chill ambiance.

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The Mission

(Full regular menu available; $85 per person for family-style menu)

Add a little spice to the season with Chef Matt Carter’s modern Latin cuisine at the Mission. It’s a treat any time of the year, from the exquisite guacamole to succulent roasted pork shoulder tacos to elevated entrees. Both locations — in Old Town Scottsdale and the larger setting at Kierland Commons — are open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., serving the regular menu or a chef’s family-style menu with a little of this and that. Pro tips: They shake up some of the finest cocktails in town here, and walk-ins are accepted at the bar.

Rustler’s Rooste

(Meals, $27-46; kids’ menu, $9 per item)

If you have a gaggle of family to feed, particularly with little buckaroos in tow, saddle up and ride to the Rooste just off of I-10 and Baseline. The family who runs this huge hilltop eatery has been feeding hungry cowpokes for over 50 years, and it’s open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a variety of entrees for everyone: Choose from sauteed shrimp, turkey, ham, grilled salmon, prime rib, or ribeye. All meals come with sides like candied yams, corn on the cob, and more, plus a kids’ menu that includes a cheeseburger, chicken fingers, or mac and cheese. The fun factor alone —thanks to an actual slide in the dining room, expansive views of the Valley and nostalgia no matter which way you turn — is worth a trip.


($78 to $95 per person; $25 for age 12 and under)

For a hip holiday, head to ZuZu at the mid-century modern marvel that is Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. The food is just as impressive as the eye-popping design, thanks to Chef Russell LaCasce’s creations. Dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a starter buffet followed by a choice of entree, ranging from Australian rack of lamb to mushroom Bolognese and more. Dessert includes a choice of Bûche de Noël, yogurt panna cotta or poached pear tart — and don’t skip it, because their sweets game is strong here.

Phoenix Palace

(Full regular menu and dim sum available)

An extensive menu of tried-and-true Chinese dishes, from egg foo young to orange chicken to hot pot, will be available at this Chandler mainstay from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The usual array of delectable dim sum will be offered until 3 p.m. as well, so arrive early if you’re in the mood for steamed barbecued pork buns, egg tarts, salt and pepper squid, and much more. Prices are reasonable, family-style dinners for two to four are offered, and beer and wine are available.

Zzeeks Pizza

(Full regular menu available)

Few meals are easier, tastier, or more affordable than pizza and wings, and luckily, the award-winning Ahwatukee Foothills location of this family-owned pizzeria will be open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery. Hours will depend on how many staff sign up to work; no one is conscripted to give up family time. Best of all, Zzeeks has 25 — yes, 25! — flavors of wings and nine types of pizza crust, including vegan, gluten-free, and keto, so everyone can get what they want. The menu also includes salads, pasta, appetizers, calzones, and desserts. You can even get beer and wine delivered.

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A black phone with a pink and black heart on its screen against a pink background

How to beat Dallas dating app burnout, according to an expert

Set your intentions, set parameters, and keep it fun.

Who knew swiping left and right could be so exhausting?

“Burnout is real,” says Rachel DeAlto, Chief Connection Officer of Match Group, the Dallas-based company that owns and operates most of the big online dating services, including Tinder,, OkCupid, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, OurTime, and others. DeAlto’s domain is “all things dating,” and she knows the pitfalls people fall into in their online quests for love. She has these tips for staying in the Dallas dating scene. 

Know what you’re looking for

One of the best ways to burn out is to just swipe willy-nilly without a clear idea of what you’re seeking. “People often don’t set an intention,” DeAlto says. “They’re on, they’re searching, they’re messaging, but they’re not really sure who or what they’re looking for,” she says. “I mean, I love Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx, but I need to go in there knowing I am looking for a blue top, or else I’ll end up leaving with, I don’t know, some shampoo, a chair, a sleigh … The first step for anybody going online is to make sure you have some idea of the qualities you’re searching for.”

This means deciding on your non-negotiables. Are you looking for someone kind, intelligent, and ambitious? “Try to stick to four: a solid short list of those things that really matter to you,” DeAlto advises.  “Keep it open enough for a little bit of magic to come in. If you have that intention, you’re reading with those goals in mind and are able to filter things that way.”

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Step outside yourself

Being clear on your intentions will also help you present yourself in a way that might attract what you’re looking for. “People often don’t think through the outside perception of themselves,” she says. “It’s one thing to write your profile, and it’s another thing to put yourself in the shoes of the people who are viewing it. Think about the person you want to meet, the person you want to sit across the table from. What do you think that person is looking for?” By doing this, you’ll have a better chance of hearing from people who might be remotely interesting to you, eliminating some of the tiresome static.

Don’t sweat rejections

It’s easy to burn out on rejection — in both directions. Being rejected is hard, of course. But having to do the rejecting — as you must at times, and often to perfectly nice people who just don’t do it for you — also takes a toll on the psyche. 

“It’s challenging,” DeAlto concedes. “I don’t think anyone seeks to hurt someone’s feelings, but you want to be absolutely honest in the kindest way possible. You don’t have to explain exactly why you’re not attracted to the person; you can just say it’s not right.” 

Perhaps surprisingly, DeAlto has mixed feelings about ghosting. Yes, it hurts when it happens to you, but it also can be an efficient way to escape a suboptimal situation. “I don’t think you owe anyone anything,” she says. “I also understand — and I’ve been working in this industry for a decade now — that there are some people who handle rejection very poorly. I think you should provide people with the level of energy they deserve.” So, if you suspect the person will not go too softly into the good night, ghosting is a viable option. Even blocking as necessary.  

Keep the energy equation in mind when you get ghosted, as well. “It’s not typically someone who deserves a lot of energy on your part.” 

Several people standing in a line.

Don’t exhaust yourself with abundance

One of the biggest pitfalls of our swipe-ity culture is the sense of abundance that causes us to always look for better. “Thirty years ago, you didn’t leave your first date with someone and say, ‘Let me get back online and see if there’s someone better,’” says DeAlto. “My plea for all dates is that if you are remotely attracted, remotely interested, give them another shot.” Maybe your date had a bad day, a toothache, or was just plain nervous; if they fall in the realm of possibility, take a second look before you start swiping again. 

In fact, too much swiping, in general, contributes to burnout. If you’re spending hours a day on the apps, rethink it. “I would advise setting parameters,” says DeAlto. “It’s the law of diminishing returns. Instead of spending hours daily searching and messaging, make it 15 minutes.”  

Time limits will ease frustration and keep the quest for love in perspective as part of life, not your entire life. The dating apps should be fun, exciting, and hopeful, and if you reach the point where it feels like work and is frustrating, it might be time to step away, take a breather, and regroup. “It doesn’t have to become a part-time gig.” 

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