Share Your Best Friend with these Dog Sharing Sites
Do you love dogs, but lack the bandwidth to take care of one fulltime? Do you have a dog, but find yourself away from home and unable to give it the attention it deserves? Are you single and need a cute prop to bolster your self-esteem? If you fall into any of these categories, here are three dog-sharing sites that might just have a solution for you predicament.
In all seriousness, the following sites connect dog owners with dog lovers and people interested in adopting a dog fulltime a chance to experience dog ownership firsthand. These sites also provide a cost-effective way of keeping your pooch out of the kennel–a none too cozy environment for a dog to hang–while you’re away from home.
- City Dog Share is a California-based nonprofit that hooks up fellow dog owners as well as prospective ones. Dog owners can swap sitting and walking duties. Unaffiliated dog lovers can rent-a-pooch whenever they want to. According to their site, you simply “post a picture of your dog when you have a dog that needs to be watched. Include relevant details like the dates away, care needed, etc. Members can comment on the thread or send you a private message in response.” CDS is a coop structure and free to use. Their site is pretty bare bones technologically and doesn’t have any formal vetting procedure we can see. All transactions are handled on community Facebook pages. There are pages for the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles Area, Humboldt County, Greater Portland and Seattle Metro areas. Predictably, San Fran has the most traction.
- Borrow My Doggie is a UK-based site that, like CDS, hooks dog owners up with dog borrowers. Borrowers can hang out with the dog for an hour or a month. Unlike CDS, they have a few more hoops to jump through before you can borrow someone’s dog. They verify personal information and have a one-time £24.99 registration fee. BMD acts as intermediary between owner and borrower, arranging “Welcome Woofs,” which “is an opportunity for the owner, doggy and borrower to meet for a joint walk in a local dog-friendly place.” In other words, it’s an internet dating site for pets and the humans that care for them.
- Rover is the Airbnb of dog-sharing. Within Rover’s extensive network, you can arrange peer-to-peer dog sitting. Owners and sitters create profiles for their pets and pet-care experience, respectively. Sitters determine their rates, which range from $10-75/day. Additional services like cat care, bathing and grooming, etc can be added when booking a sitter as well. Sitters can also be hired for basic dog-walking, but unlike the two other sites Rover is all business with standard hourly rates.
While using these sites might require a bit of trust (they all recommend getting to know the borrower/sitter), they also present a cost-effective opportunity to hand over your leash to someone who might actually want to spend time with your dog.