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How can I borrow a dog?

Beagle dog with its owner hugging advice

BorrowMyDoggy is an online platform for dog owners and dog lovers.

© Shutterstock

Spending time with a dog just got a whole lot easier… BorrowMyDoggy is the online, trusted community which helps you connect with local dog owners to help share the care of a dog - from walks, weekend stay and even holidays. Ready to learn more?

By Pippa Ischt

Published on the 14/09/2020, 14:00

From Uber to AirBnB, the sharing economy is booming - and now dog sharing is finally a thing and it’s a win-win for everyone.

Dog owners receive help when they need it, and also peace of mind that their pooch will be looked after by a genuine dog lover, a dog borrower gets to spend some quality time with a local pup when they otherwise can’t and dog’s get more attention, exercise and most importantly, love!

Pet sharing: Looking after a dog

Pet sharing is a different type of pet care as it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement with no money exchanged - unlike pet sitting or dog walkers. There is often a fee to cover insurances and safety checks but borrowers help owners because they want to spend time with a dog rather than as a job. The pioneer of pet sharing is the UK’s largest dog sharing community, BorrowMyDoggy.

What is BorrowMyDoggy?

BorrowMyDoggy is an online platform connecting dog owners with trusted local borrowers for walks, weekend and happy holidays.

How did BorrowMyDoggy start?

Rikke Rosenlund, dog lover and founder of BorrowMyDoggy, was helping a neighbour by taking care of their dog Aston, a beautiful chocolate Labrador. While out enjoying a wonderful afternoon in the park with Aston, Rikke thought to herself: “why are dog owners spending so much money on dog care when there are thousands of people just like me who would love to take care of a dog for free”.

The online matching platform was launched in 2012 and the community of dog lovers is growing every day! Now with over one million members across the UK and Ireland it’s so much easier to share the love of dogs.

How does BorrowMyDoggy work?

Anyone can join the largest dog sharing community, all you need to do is create a profile. Borrowers write a little bit about themselves and why they’d love to look after a dog - it’s also a great idea to include a photo of you and a dog! Owners share more about their dog and why they need a helping hand, along with what sort of arrangements they are looking for.

Once your profile is created you can start looking at the suitable matches in your area - make sure to like any profiles that you’re interested in!

Is BorrowMyDoggy free?

Yes! Signing up and creating profiles is free, however there is a membership fee to help keep the community as safe as possible. Once you’re subscribed there are no other costs involved as borrowers help out just because they miss spending time with a dog, rather than for a profit.

For Premium BorrowMyDoggy membership borrowers pay £12.99 a year and owners pay £44.99 a year. This cost includes:

  • Verification process - which is a safety check that ensures members are who they say they are
  • Accident and Third Party Liability insurance - to make sure all premium members are covered in the very unlikely event of an incident
  • 24/7 vet line - to offer advice and support to both borrowers and owners
  • Unlimited message and matches - speak to as many members you’d like in your local area to find the pawfect match

Many owners have shared how BorrowMyDoggy is a cheaper alternative to dog walkers, doggy day care and dog kennels - what’s more your dog will be looked after like a member of the family, another great reason to join their community!

How do you borrow a dog for the day?

All matches on BorrowMyDoggy are based on location and availability. It’s recommended that owners and borrowers get to know each other really well before a dog is borrowed, this ensures that both owner, borrower and dog are comfortable with one another and trust is established - after all, dogs are very important members of the family. Therefore matches can take some time and effort.

The “Welcome Woof’ is the first meet between an owner and borrower, and this normally takes place in a local park, high street or even at a member’s house. This gives everyone a chance to get to know each other, see if you’d be a good fit and if your requirements match. Each match is different and building trust can take some time, some borrowers may have experience with dog ownership while others may not.

Before you can borrow a dog for a day you’ll need to spend some time getting to know the dog and owner first. 

Once both owner and borrower are ready, arrangements can be made for borrowing - owners may be looking for their dog to spend a few hours with a borrower, a whole day, overnight stays or even longer. Just make sure you swap details and arrange a time for the dog to be returned home - just to avoid any confusion!

Dog walking services

Borrower’s don’t get paid for dog walking, they help as they simply love dogs - with this in mind it’s always best to be as flexible as you can with borrowers as they may have a full time job and help owners when they can in their spare time. Many owners who need more frequent dog walks may have more than one borrower taking their dog for a walk. It’s just finding the right match for you!

Can you use BorrowMyDoggy to hire a dog for a day?

We get it, dogs are really cute and therefore make great models for photoshoots and films. Finding a dog to feature in these sort of events can be tricky and although BorrowMyDoggy is all about sharing dogs their aim is to build friendships and trust with each match. Therefore if you’re looking to rent a dog for an event it’s best to use another service.

Can I borrow my cat with BorrowMyDoggy?

Although many dog owners also have cats, the BorrowMyDoggy community is just dedicated to sharing the love of dogs at the moment. However we can keep our paws crossed for cats being part of their pack in the future! Why not try Cat in a Flat in the meantime?!

Whether you’re a family considering pet ownership, a student who has moved away from your family dog, a professional working full time or a dog owner who has a change of circumstance, BorrowMyDoggy aims to help dogs have the best lives possible - and what better way to do that than to share the love of dogs and to create a safe and trusted community for dog lovers to do so.

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