You know that friend who feels guilty about leaving a dog at home while they’re at work? Or the family that would love to get a dog but can’t because of allergies, expenses, housing rules or travel schedules? Dog sharing removes some of these barriers to having a pet, and connects dogs with local people who want to spend time with them.
Dog sharing also gives dogs more walks, social time and love, which is a good thing, regardless of who’s doing the giving. After all, dogs are probably more concerned with getting to the dog park than with who takes them there.
Services that rent or lease pets have taken heat from critics and animal rights activists for trying to make money off of pets. Dog sharing, on the other hand, is a peer-to-peer way for people in the same area to co-parent, look after, or just have a playdate with a local dog. Here are some dog sharing sites that have Fido’s well-being at the top of their list.
The UK-based Borrow My Doggy connects people who want to spend time with a dog but can’t have one of their own, with people who have a dog that could benefit from more walks, connections and “tail wags.”
Find a Dog Share
Find a Dog Share is a matchmaking tool for people who have barriers to being the sole caregiver for a dog, whether financial, work or lifestyle. Moving beyond walks and dog park dates, it brings together compatible families for long-term dog sharing.
City Dog Share
A social network-based, free, dog-sitting co-op, City Dog Share connects people who have a dog that needs to be watched with people who would like to watch one. The not-for-profit organization uses local Facebook groups as a referral service for dogs and dog-related care. They currently have groups in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Humboldt County, Portland and Seattle.
A twist on the dog-sharing theme, Rover is a dog-sitting community that provides an alternative to kennels. Built on the profiles, reviews and feedback of its community members, it is being called the Airbnb of the dog-boarding market.
Have a favorite dog-sharing service that we missed? In the comments, please let us know.