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so what about dog sharing?

Do you share well with others? Books? Food? Your dog?

When I heard about dog sharing on the news several months ago, I was surprised and had mixed feelings about it. I didn’t completely understand why a person would want to share their dog, so I checked it out.

citydogshare.orgWeb sites such as City Dog Share of California are popping up for reasons of convenience, economics, and philanthropy. So what’s this all about? At it’s foundation, it is a pet sitting co-op. Owners seeking someone to watch their dog are paired with strangers who are looking to spend time with a dog. It’s touted as a great way for people to test out a breed before taking the plunge. City Dog Share says:

People with or without dogs are encouraged to join. If you are looking to foster or adopt a dog, but still not sure which type of dog is right for you, maybe meeting up with someone and sharing their dog can help. They will help guide you with all the tips and tricks that are best for their dog. And maybe that can help you find a dog that’s right for you.

Post a picture of your dog when you have a dog that needs to be watched. Include relevant details like the dates away, care needed, etc. Members can comment on the thread or send you a private message in response–it’s that easy!

For many reasons, this seems like an awesome idea. In these troubled economic times, I’m all for helping each other out. In fact, I would have six inch gray roots, if it wasn’t for the fact that I trade services with my hair dresser. She colors and cuts my hair, then I credit her pet sitting account with the value of the service. It works out great for both of us.

To think that strangers with complimentary objectives could be paired in the name of animal welfare is a pretty cool idea, however, I would be nervous about leaving my dog in the care of a stranger with no professional experience. It’s not like trading landscaping services for housekeeping…this is a deeply loved member of the family! But, still…I love the concept and hope it can work. One person receives the dog care they need for free and the other gets to learn–before adopting or purchasing–what breed of dog might or might not work for them. How wonderful.

The City Dog Share Web site also includes sponsored services such as nonprofit foster and adoption organizations and professional services and currently have open groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles area, Humboldt County, Greater Portland, and Seattle Metro. They also facilitate adoptions and local canine social groups.

Under what circumstances would you be willing to share your dog?


4 Comments on “so what about dog sharing?”

  1. Christie says:

    I like this concept. From experience on the rescue side of things some people jump into adoption too fast and with romantic notions in mind and certainly without breed specific information and practical experience at hand. My concerns however are that any person taking care of my dog is highly qualified, bonded, insured, certified in pet CPR and understands what to do in emergent situations whether that be pet health or life situations. I want to fully trust the person taking care of my pet…my family member.
    With that said I doubt I would use a service like this. But I can see in certain markets and certain pet families this would work well. Thank you for continuing to post informational and interesting content.

    • well minded says:

      I feel the same way, Christie! I think it can be a great tool for people to give breeds a try, so from that side, awesome! But from the side of the pet owner, I, too would prefer a professional. Maybe I’m biased because I am one (ha!), but I’ve heard to many nightmare stories.

  2. I like the concept… but no way would I share my dogs without supervision. We have only one kennel ever that we use to board our Border Collie when we leave town once or twice a year. We bring my chihuahua with us. (We’ve brought the dog on international trips, even. He flew in the cabin with us, in my lap in his soft kennel.) I couldn’t imagine leaving my dogs in the care of anyone other than a professional or my mother-in-law. And even then, I call to check in on them.


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