If you can’t have a doggy of your own, why not ‘BorrowMyDoggy’?
Our work patterns mean we’re not around enough to have a dog of our own. However, thanks to ‘BorrowMyDoggy’, we can enjoy the perks of dog ownership by looking after other peoples’ dogs.
Doggy day dreams.
You may remember me telling you in an earlier post how much we ‘wanted a dog but couldn’t have a dog’ (HERE). We’ve had to talk ourselves out of dog ownership so many times and youngest, in particular, is desperate for one. The problem is, we aren’t always at home during the day and don’t have family nearby who can help. Plus, with family and friends scattered around the country, we’re often away for weekends too.
So what can you do if you really want a dog but can’t offer one a permanent home? I’ve often joked with friends that there’s a gap in the market for a ‘dog library’. Instead of borrowing a book, you could choose from dozens and dozens of dogs of all shapes and sizes and book one out for a bit! Just like books, if you discovered a particularly lovely pooch and didn’t want to return him straight away, you could just keep ‘renewing’ him!
Unfortunately, dog libraries aren’t a very practical solution. However, I’ve discovered something even better than a dog library. It’s the perfect solution for a family like ours, who would love to lavish our love and attention on a dog for those days we’re around. It’s a website and app called BorrowMyDoggy.
BorrowMyDoggy connects dog owners with local dog lovers so they can share the care of a dog. There are already more than 600,000 owners and borrowers registered with BorrowMyDoggy in the UK and Ireland. Whether you’re a dog owner looking for people to help walk or look after your dog for longer periods, or whether you’re a dog lover looking to find a part-time doggy companion, BorrowMyDoggy gives you access to friendly local dogs or borrowers.
How does BorrowMyDoggy work?
Once you’ve created your profile, you can choose between FREE basic membership, where you can search local members and receive messages. Alternatively, you can sign-up for Premier membership, which costs £12.99 per year for borrowers and £44.99 per year for dog owners. We chose premier membership because it enables us to send as well as receive messages, gives us access to a Vet hotline 24/7 and offers insurance cover too, (provided the dog owner is also a premium member).
Once you’ve become a member, you can start looking for dog owners or borrowers in your local area (by default, they’re sorted according to their distance from your home). You’ll see photos of the dogs with a description, details of the pet services the owner is looking for (walking, pet sitting, boarding) and when their dog is available (daytime, evenings, weekends, holidays). In the same way, if you’re looking for a borrower, you can search local dog lovers and check out their photos and profile.
Once you’ve found your perfect pooch or prospective borrower, you can send them a message (if you’re a premier member) and arrange to meet them and get to know them and their dog. Getting to know the owner and their dog is an important part of the Borrow My Doggy experience. Trust and friendship is important to everyone, including the dogs.
If everything goes well and you feel happy with the match (owner, dog and borrower) and you’re comfortable, it’s time to take the first steps towards sharing the care of a dog. Having a scheme like Borrow My Doggy means dogs benefit from more exercise, more social interaction and more company.
Why use BorrowMyDoggy?
a) If you can’t own a dog, borrow a dog!
For families like ours, BorrowMyDoggy offers us a great alternative to dog ownership. It enables us to look after a dog ‘on our terms’, when we know we’ll be around and able to give them the attention they need. Plus, we’re helping out dog owners who can’t always be around to walk them or look after them.
Borrowers aren’t paid to look after or walk dogs, as this is seen as a mutually beneficial arrangement for those who enjoy looking after dogs. However, most owners will be happy to provide food and accessories, if needed, so it shouldn’t cost you anything to take care of their dog.
If you’d rather earn money looking after dogs, then check out Tailster.com. Tailster.com connects local dog owners (as well as those with cats and small animals) with those offering pet services such as walking, pet-sitting and boarding. Owners request a service for their pet and then people put in bids to provide those services.
b) Try before you buy.
If you’re thinking of getting a dog, it’s important to do your research. After all, a dog is a long-term commitment. You need to make sure a dog is right for you and more importantly, you’re right for a dog. So, why not take a dog or two for a test drive via ‘Borrow my Doggy’? There are loads of lovely pooches to choose from, in all shapes and sizes, so it’s a great way to investigate dog ownership, rather than jumping straight into it.
Our BorrowMyDoggy experience.
When I talked to youngest about dog borrowing, she wasn’t too keen. She really wanted a dog of her own and even said to me ‘Why don’t we get a dog and then we can join BorrowMyDoggy and people can help look after our dog?’ She is too clever for her own good!
Nevertheless, when I showed her the BorrowMyDoggy website and the selection of dogs available within 1.5 miles of our home, she soon perked up! There were pugs, cockapoos, retrievers, terriers, poodles and more, living nearby. Youngest loved looking at the photographs and reading the doggy profiles and within no time we’d selected a couple of owners to contact. We waited for a week or two and eventually got a reply from a pug owner who said we could meet her dog, but unfortunately, we heard nothing back after we responded.
Then, a few weeks later we had a message from a couple who’d spotted our profile and wanted to know if we’d be interested in meeting their 7-month-old Cairn Terrier, Kubo. They’ve had Kubo since he was 8 weeks old but because they’re teachers who’re at work during term time, they’ve turned to BorrowMyDoggy to find dog lovers to keep him company and walk him during the day.
Kubo looked adorable in his profile photo and from his little biography, he sounded like a perfect match for our family. We explained to Kubos’ owners we could look after him 2-3 days a week when I was at home. We asked if we could keep him until the kids got back from school so they could spend time with him and walk him too. This all sounded perfect to them and they only lived a mile away. Even better, our house is on their way to work so they could drop Kubo on the way!
We were so excited about meeting Kubo and arranged to see him and his owners when we returned from our summer holiday. Youngest had never been so keen to get home from a holiday – she even bought a dog biscuit making kit and we made him dog biscuits with his name on!
We hit it off with Kubo’s owners immediately and more importantly, Kubo was an instant hit with all of us. He’s still a pup and very bouncy and excitable. Best of all, he’s super-friendly and absolutely loves our girls. By the end of our first meeting, we all felt it was the perfect partnership and arranged to meet Kubo and his owners and take him for a walk at the weekend and put some potential dates in the diary.
So what do we think of our BorrowMyDoggy experience so far.
Kubo is great fun and so eager to please. He knows when he’s coming to us now and gets so excited when we open the door to greet him. It’s been nice to break my day up with a dog walk, too, rather than just sit at my desk working. Plus, the girls love walking and playing with him before and after school.
Mind you, dabbling in dog ownership makes me realise there’s more to looking after a dog than having them lay next to you quietly as you work! I certainly don’t get as much work done when Kubo is around and end up playing with him or chasing him off the sofa instead. However, it’s been so lovely to share our lives with a dog and watch him as he gets to know us and trust us. Plus, it’s great to know we’re helping Kubo’s owners. They’re so happy to have found a loving home for him whilst they’re at work and we feel like we’ve made new friends too.
Find out more.
If you’re a dog owner looking for someone to help look after your dog, or a dog lover who would love to borrow a dog, why not check out the BorrowMyDoggy website? Click on the link below:
Over to you.
If you’re a dog lover but aren’t able to offer a dog a permanent home, have you ever thought of borrowing a dog? If you’re a dog owner or dog lover and you’re already a member of BorrowMyDoggy, what are your experiences? As always, I’d love to hear from you.
This isn’t a sponsored post. I’m just so delighted we’ve finally got the chance to hang out with a dog as wonderful as Kubo via BorrowMyDoggy!
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