BorrowMyDoggy and COVID pandemic, 1 year on
Press and news26 March 2021BorrowMyDoggy and COVID pandemic, 1 year on

BorrowMyDoggy and COVID pandemic, 1 year on

It’s safe to say this last year has been an absowoof rollercoaster... It was unprecedented, unexpected and all the other adjectives we've been using to describe the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, a year on since the announcement of the lockdown we’re looking back over the past months and how our pawsome community has pulled together…

Adapting to lockdown

Like most businesses, here at BorrowMyDoggy, we buckled down to face the storm ahead. Our top priority was keeping our community informed, and we published our COVID advice on our blog. But as the virus spread across the nation, in March 2020, for the first time in our history, we had to make the difficult but responsible decision to recommend to our members to stop dog sharing.

While we were preparing for the worse, we were ast-hounded by the kindness that followed.

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We also witnessed our community pull together like never before, and we thought now would be a great time to give our members the recognition they deserve:

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We heard of many wonderful members offering a helping hand to their local matches, from bringing each other groceries and prescriptions to temporarily rehoming dogs while their owners recovered. The love of dogs truly helps to bring our members together to form everlasting friendships and bonds, which shined throughout lockdown.

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Dogs not only helped to keep us physically active, but now more than ever they’ve made such an incredibly positive impact on our mental wellbeing. According to a report by Mars Petcare, it found that pet ownership in the UK reduces costs to the NHS by £2.45 billion/year as people who own a pet suffer from less depression, less anxiety, less loneliness and get more exercise. With the help our community, it's not just owners that can now reap the benefits; here's how Sue, a borrower from Middlesex was positively impacted by borrowing a dog.

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While there was a pause on dog sharing in the BorrowMyDoggy community for a short period, we still saw a steady sign up of borrowers joining in the hopes to help owners who were vulnerable, shielding or key workers. We thought now we would be the time to act.

Keeping our community connected

With the help of a few email campaigns, a dedicated landing page and our incredible help team, we began to manually match and connect dog owners who were key workers, shielding or vulnerable to borrowers that were keen to offer their hand. We managed to speak to over 100 owners across the country and connect them with a borrower in the local area.

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Not only was it important for us to keep connecting those in need, but also to keep our existing dog loving community engaged and active. We hosted a number of fun campaigns including our April Photo Challenge, live Q&A sessions with My Family Vets and our very first Instagram Live event, with our friends from DOSE.

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Riding the waves

While the nation slowly emerged from their homes and helped out to eat out, our community began to dog share once again. We kept our advice up to date and instructed our members to be safe and responsible while borrowing a dog, and meeting outdoors when possible.

Our borrowers were incredibly happy to spend time with a dog after weeks in lockdown, dogs were enjoying all their long walkies in the park and owners got a helping hand when they needed it, and also the joy of making another person happy by sharing their dog.

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Much to the nation’s dismay COVID-19 wasn’t going anywhere any time soon, and we were hit with a second wave. Seeing our community prevail responsibly and kindly during the first lockdown, we informed our members that they could still use BorrowMyDoggy but should always follow their government guidelines if they choose to borrow a dog, and this has been our advice ever since.

Happy dogs

This past year has been challenging and tough on all of us, but if there could be any 'winners' of lockdowns it would be our furry friends. They’ve spent all day, everyday with their favourite humans, received more fuss and attention, and got to go on more pawsome walks. Puppies and rescues have found new, loving homes and an amazing 11% of the UK population got a new pet!

However with many dog owners returning to work in the not so distant future, many dogs are at risk of separation anxiety while lockdown puppies can lack vital socialisation since spending their youth stuck inside. Luckily our community is still here and ready to welcome new owners and borrowers across the UK and Ireland to help connect and share the love of dogs. Ready to join us? Get started and create your profile today.

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