For many dog lovers, having at least one pup as part of the family is non-negotiable; our family dogs serve as our companions, our children, and sometimes even our siblings. We try and take them everywhere we can and make sure to get that quality bonding time in, whether it be a trip to the park or simply a game of catch in the yard. But what happens when life gets in the way? What happens when say we lose our best friend, or a new job, a new baby, or a big move hinder our ability to add a dog or dogs to our household? How can dog lovers get that quality time when they don’t necessarily have a dog of their own at home?
MAKE IT YOUR PROFESSION (AT LEAST PART TIME!)
There are a couple of great options to increase our exposure to dogs while at the same time not taking on full-on pet parenting. There may be a variety of reasons why we cannot have a pet in our home, and fortunately there are a few different alternatives to work with dogs and thus build an option that suits our lifestyle. If for example you cannot have a dog because of a family member with allergies, perhaps dog walking would be a good fit. There are professional services that contract out dog walking jobs and there is also the more DIY approach of posting to neighborhood bulletin boards or even to online sites such as Craigslist to let pet parents know you are available. As a dog walker, you’ll provide an important service dogs truly need while also getting exercise and enjoying time with a pup.
If it is simply a matter of not finding enough time in your days and weeks or that you aren’t quite ready to adopt again after the loss of a beloved pet, then hosting may be a great fit. At SLEEPOVER ROVER®, many of our hosts are previous pet parents that are currently without a dog of their own. They find that hosting allows them to spend time with and get to know several different types and temperaments of dogs, which can be great for learning about different breeds as well as just for the unique pleasure of having a variety of companionship. Some hosts have several regulars and may even provide doggy day care, and as such it is more like a niece or nephew coming to stay; other hosts take on longer term jobs less often, meaning that they have more variety in the dogs that come to stay with them. Whether you are considering future adoption or just are not in a place where you’d like to be a full time pet parent, taking on dog boarding house guests can be a great way to enjoy some quality pup time!
USE A SERVICE?
A new startup in Europe called BorrowMyDoggy offers another, more unique option for getting some quality one-on-one dog time. And by unique, we mean just that – the service links pet owners with dog lovers and effectively loans the dogs to the non-pet parents for specified blocks of time. The company serves the United Kingdom and Ireland, and unlike dog walking or pet hosting, the party taking on the dog pays a fee. So for example if a non-pet owner wanted to have a day at the park with a pup, he or she would pay BorrowMyDoggy a fee to rent a dog from a dog owner. It really is a unique concept, and illustrates the fact that there are many dog lovers out there that for health, time, or even financial reasons simply cannot be pet parents. As pet parents, we all know how much our dogs brighten our day and make our lives more full; even when we cannot parent full-time, there are options available to make sure we get that quality canine time in and have the opportunity to provide human companionship and entertainment for a lucky dog or dogs.
Images courtesy the author