Preparing for a Welcome Woof | Essential Borrower Tips
BorrowMyDoggy guides1 March 2023Chopstick the Border Collie sitting happily in the local park waiting to meet a new potential match

Preparing for a Welcome Woof | Essential Borrower Tips

So you’ve been messaging a lovely owner via BorrowMyDoggy, and now you’re ready to meet up!

Meeting a new owner and their pooch can be really exciting, but we don’t blame you for being a bit nervous about it as well.

We understand that you want to make the pawfect first impression and build a long-lasting, trusting relationship with an owner and their dog from your first meeting, or ‘Welcome Woof’ as we like to call it.

Ralphie, the cocker spaniel

So everyone gets the most out of our community, we want all our members to feel confident using BorrowMyDoggy, so here are our top tips for your first meeting.

Taken from the combined experience of our members and our team’s experiences as borrowers and owners, this guide should leave you feeling prepared for your ‘Welcome Woof’.

And if you are left with any questions then be sure to get in touch with our friendly Help Team who can support you further.


You can arrange your ‘Welcome Woof’ using the messaging feature on our website or app without having to exchange any personal details.

We recommend meeting in a neutral, public space like a park where you can all feel comfortable and the dog can be relaxed somewhere they know.

This depends on what type of arrangement you are making with the owner though, so if a park walk is not possible, then choose the next best thing that still allows you to get to know the owner and dog safely.

Willow and Jinny, the Labrador retrievers


Before meeting an owner, let them know if you are bringing another person who is not included in your profile. This is just a nice way of giving them a heads up on what and who to expect.

This starts you off right, with open and honest communication.

And if you can’t make a ‘Welcome Woof’, for whatever reason, let the owner know!

Communicate your expectations

Open communication between you and a pooch's owner will help to build trust and make sure no-one gets let down. You should discuss your expectations and boundaries for what you both want to get out of BorrowMyDoggy. We recommend discussing things like:

  • What are you looking for on BorrowMyDoggy?
  • What is your availability - are you able to help regularly or just every so often?
  • Are you looking to help with walking, company and/or overnight stays?
  • Are you happy to be called on at the last minute to help out?

Once you are both on the same page, let the fun begin!

Tyke, the cross breed

Bonding Time

Bonding with a dog during the ‘Welcome Woof’ is not only pawsome fun, but also useful to both you and their owner.

You can understand the dog’s quirks and qualities, whilst seeing how the two of you get on, find out what motivates the dog (do they come back to you for food or toys?), and get to know if there is training that they are currently going through and how you can help continue it.

It’s a great time to see the dog meet other dogs, people with food, approach mucky puddles etc., and see how your new pooch pal responds and how their owner usually manages them.

This is your chance to see the dog in action and their behaviour, so you aren’t caught by surprise when you are first alone with them, and so you will know how best to react.


If all goes well with your ‘Welcome Woof’, then communicate this to the owner, and you can then make plans to meet up again. 

If you feel that the match isn’t working for you, or your availability changes, then simply let the owner know.

If you want to discuss your experience with us, please do!

Our Help Team is happy to support - whether this is reaching out to the owner about your experience or helping you find a more suitable match.

I recently moved to London and although it has been great for my career, it has been tough going mentally. I joined BorrowMyDoggy with the hope that maybe if I walked dogs the exercise and company would help my self confidence and general settling in. How right I was! I am currently in close contact with multiple owners, and have had lovely experiences on other "Welcome Woofs". The pup that has really got my heart is Elvis, a black Cavapoo. He is amazingly sweet natured and a joy to be around. His owner is so thankful for some extra help and often messages me with pictures of him to cheer me up during the week. BorrowMyDoggy has been a brilliant investment for my mental health and I've recommended it to lots of my friends.

Elton's borrower, Lily

Spencer and Emily are two lovely but slightly crazy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I heard about BorrowMyDoggy from my Auntie years ago so I signed up. I’ve honestly made some true friends from this site, and the love and kindness my borrowers give my dogs is so amazing. I always have a ‘Welcome Woof’ walk together before I let them loose with the Cavis and it really helps to introduce everyone and see if we all click. I love my dogs more than ever, and the fact I can share them and enjoy the company of others is just amazing.

Emily and Spencer's owner, Helen

We hope you have a great first ‘Welcome Woof’!

Borrower Guides

Hey there!

Want to hear about a different kind of dog care that both you and your dog will love?

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