Pet Sharing?

Is Pet Sharing the next big thing?

Barknfun January Blog

What is pet sharing? It’s exactly what it sounds like; people sharing their pets with other people. The concept goes a little bit further in that people are sharing pets with strangers, and strangers are inviting other stranger’s pets into their home.

I suppose we are in the “sharing economy” with companies like Uber and AirBnb, people are sharing their lives with complete strangers! So why not share pets too?

Upon researching, I found a couple different companies who specialize in pet sharing services. I decided to highlight one company called “Borrow My Doggy” based out of the UK and Ireland. The company describes itself as a “trusted community where local dog lovers help take care of dogs for walkies, playdays, weekends, and happy holidays.

The company’s business model is a subscription service where both the owners and borrowers pay a fee for access to the network of dog owners and lovers. The price for owners is 44.99 (pounds) per year, and just 9.99 (pounds) for the puppy sitter or borrower. They use verification processes and give owners the chance to see pictures and videos of the dog lovers who want to borrow their dog.

I must admit, at first, I wasn’t comfortable with the whole concept of lending pets to strangers and wondered who would be. I also wondered how many people are comfortable with the idea of letting another person’s pet into their home. I asked a couple colleagues around my office what they thought of the concept and here’s what they had to say:

Chris is a young professional working in the financial district of downtown Toronto. He currently doesn’t own a dog but some day he would like to. With Chris’s career coming first and foremost, he simply doesn’t have time for a pet. Chris, would you consider Pet Sharing?

“I 100% would consider it if there was some sort of rating scale and so that there would be a guarantee that I’m getting the same tempered dog that I signed up for. I’d be curious to know more about liability and insurance surrounding the concept of pet sharing, but if it was through a reputable source, definitely. It’s kind of like Uber for Dogs!”

Chris brings up a good point, liability and insurance. I checked out Borrow my Doggy to see what their policy in terms of insurance is. Both borrowers and owners are covered by third party liability insurance for accidental injury and damage to property.

Natasha is a millennial working in the big city as a communications professional. She’s never owned a dog nor had a dog present in her household as a child. Natasha even admits to being slightly scared of bigger more rambunctious dogs. Natasha, would you ever use a pet sharing service?

“Surprisingly, I actually would consider this service if I was able to select the size, temperament, and breed of the dog. Despite being scared of some dogs, I love dogs and hope to own one one-day. I think pet sharing would be a great way for me to spend small amounts of time taking care of a dog to prepare me for the day I get one!”

Natasha’s answer was one of the more unique answers I got from my colleagues and it got me thinking about the different types of people that would potentially use this service; young professionals who don’t have time to own their own pets, older people who need help walking their pets, families wanting to test the waters with a new dog, and people needing dog sitting services.

Is there an untapped market of pet sharers out there? Would you ever sign up as an owner or borrower of a pet sharing service? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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