Do you love puppies and dogs? Ever wonder what it’s like to be a doggy parent but don’t want to commit?
There are some ways that you can “borrow a dog” to test the waters and see if you are ready to expand your family.
Pawedin has sniffed out some great programs for you to test.
Shelters are always in need of volunteers.
You could volunteer to walk the dogs, help clean cages, answer phones, take people on tours, work with the mobile adoption crew—the opportunities are endless.
There is also a huge need for foster parents in the shelter industry. If you have it in your heart to foster, you could help many animals find their new furever family while finding out if you think adding a dog (or cat) to your family on a permanent basis is your ultimate goal.
Beware though, many fosters fall in love and become what’s lovingly referred to as “foster failures” when they decide to adopt their fostered pet because they can’t give them up (myself included).
Organizations such as the ASPCA and Petfoster provide a multitude of options for foster parents. You can also contact a local shelter if you have a favorite.
“There’s an app for that!”
Yes, believe it or not, there are now apps for your smartphone or tablet that can get you a dog/puppy at the push of a button.
Bark N Borrow is one such program that allows you to create your profile, book and pay for your “borrow” all on your phone.
Uber puppies has also gotten a lot of press recently. They teamed up with Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl to bring 15 minute puppy play dates to these larger cities: Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay area. The goal is to spread shelter awareness and hopefully increase adoptions.
Pet Sitting via Website Hook Ups:
Maybe you aren’t ready to commit yourself, but might like to take care of some other people’s dogs.
DogVacay is a site that hooks up doggy owners and pet sitters. Pet sitters create a profile for the site and then dog owners view the profiles and pick a sitter. Sitters can go the dogs’ home or possibly have the dog in their home. There are many options. BorrowMyDoggy is also a very similar site.
If you specifically want puppies and are in the Salt Lake, UT area, you can look into PuppiesForRent. They are often near the college campuses and students missing their best furry friend from home are enjoying play dates between finals and exams.
Military/Guide Dog Assistance:
There are also opportunities to have some part time doggy love via the military.
Dogs On Deployment is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit which provides an online network for service members going on deployment to hook up with volunteers who are willing to take care of the service member’s pet while they are gone.
And, if doing a little training for a good cause might interest you, Guide Dogs of America needs help raising puppies from 7 weeks until 18 months old.
Once you have helped get the puppy started, it goes off to formal training and then, at a grand ceremony, you get to meet the person ultimately receiving the guide dog.
PROS/CONS OF Borrowing a Dog:
To report fairly, there are some dog advocates, including some veterinarians, that have concerns about puppy borrowing types of programs. Their main concern is the emotional well-being of the animal in getting rented out to so many people.
Their secondary concern is that a puppy or dog may strongly bond with someone and then be adopted to someone else.
Those all for the aforementioned programs stress the fact that these programs are invented for the main goal of getting the animals adopted out to furever families in the first place.
And, of course, when dogs are puppies, socialization with other dogs and people is a key part of training them to grow into wonderful family members.
Ultimately, it is up to you to choose what is right for you and your family.
We all know that research shows pet ownership is good for your health. Now, you can get the benefits of raising those endorphins without the stress of ownership.
If you know someone that might like to have some puppy playdates, be sure to share this article with them.