Borrow a Dog: Everything You Need to Know
Borrow a Dog: Everything You Need to Know

Borrow a Dog: Everything You Need to Know

3 May 2023

Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 25 May 2023

Are you somebody who loves dogs, but doesn't have the time or resources to commit to owning your own pawsome pooch? Or maybe you're considering adopting a dog, but want to try it out before making a long-term commitment? BorrowMyDoggy is the ulti-mutt solution for you!

Here's your pawfect guide to borrowing a dog with BorrowMyDoggy.

Benefits of borrowing a dog

Dogs are more than just pets - they're loving companions that bring joy and happiness into our lives. However, owning a dog is a big responsibility that requires time, money, and commitment. By instead borrowing a dog through BorrowMyDoggy, you can enjoy all the benefits of having a pooch pal without the long-term responsibilities.

Ned with his borrowers

Borrowing a pup is a great way to increase physical activity and social interaction. Enjoying walks and playdates together is a wagulous way to get some exercise, and it can also lead to meeting new people who share a love for dogs. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who have a hard time staying motivated to exercise on their own - just think of your borrowed dog as your very own pawsonal trainer!

Research has also shown that spending time with dogs can have a pawsitive impact on mental wellbeing. Our canine companions help reduce stress levels and increase feelings of happiness and relaxation.

I joined BorrowMyDoggy after moving to university. Since starting to borrow dogs, I have found my stress level has greatly reduced and I feel much more fulfilled in my life.

Buddy's borrower, Siobhan from Guildford

Discover 7 pawsome benefits of borrowing a dog!

How to borrow a dog with BorrowMyDoggy

  • Sign up: To get started, you will need to sign up for a basic borrower account.
  • Create a borrower profile: Once you’ve signed up, you will be asked to create your borrower profile. This is your chance to tell potential dog owners a little bit about yourself and why you would like to borrow a dog. You can also include information about your experience with dogs and any preferences you might have (e.g. size, breed).
  • Find dogs in your area: After you have created your profile, you can start sniffing around and taking a look at the doggies available to borrow in your area.
Ziggy with borrowers Chris and Gary
  • Subscribe to Premium: When you’ve found pups in your area you’d like to get to know better, you’ll need to subscribe to Premium to go through our safety checks before you can send a message to the owner and start learning more about their pooch. Premium includes our safety checks, insurance and the 24/7 vetline service.
  • Welcome Woof: Once you think you’ve found a potential match it’s time to arrange your first in-person meet and greet, which we call the ‘Welcome Woof’. This is an oppawtunity for both you and the owner to share your expectations and get to know one another better, and most importantly it’s a chance to get to know their doggy!

Saffy and borrower Helen

Most members will meet several times before a borrower spends time with the pup on their own. It’s essential that everyone, especially the dog, feels comfortable and ready for the borrower to take care of the dog by themselves.

Tips for a successful borrowing experience

To make the most out of your BorrowMyDoggy experience, here are some top tips for successful borrowing:

  • Communicate with the dog owner: Communication is key to successful borrowing. BorrowMyDoggy is all about getting to know one another really well so make sure you spend time learning about the dog, and discuss things like the dog's routine, likes and dislikes, and any quirks or behaviours to be aware of. And of course, let the owner get to know you, because you’re pawsome! See our messaging guide.
  • Establish boundaries and expectations: It’s impawtant to establish boundaries and expectations with a dog owner from the start, so be honest about what you’re looking for. This includes things like how often you would like to borrow the dog and what kind of arrangement you’re looking for - are you looking for a walking buddy or perhaps you’d like to keep a dog company when their owner is away? Being honest from the start will help you to find the pawfect match.
  • Build a relationship with the dog: Building a relationship with a pup is the most rewarding experience! Spend time getting to know the dog, playing with them, and taking them on walks or outings. This can help build trust and deepen your bond with your new fuzzy BFF. And don’t be surprised if you build a friendship with the owner too - often our members become good friends!
I met Louis the Bichon nearly a year ago and we walked for a half day twice a week. The bond was instant and so was the friendship with the owner.

Louis' borrower, Simon from Dorset

Louis, the bichon frise

Dog care and safety

When you’re borrowing a dog it’s impawtant to make sure you put the dog’s health and safety first. The dog’s owner will share their doggy info sheet with you which should include all the information you need to know about the pooch. But here are some things to consider:

Feeding and Exercise Routines

Before you borrow a dog, you should ask the owner about their feeding and exercise needs. It's key to stick to the dog's usual schedule to avoid upsetting their routine, which can lead to stress, anxiety and sometimes poorly tummies. Make sure you have access to the dog's food and treats and know how much to give them. You should also know where the dog likes to go for walks and how much exercise they need.

Transportation and Travel

If you plan on taking your BFF on outings, you'll need to consider how you'll transport them. If you're driving, do you have a dog-friendly car? Your borrowed pooch will need to be secured properly, so make sure the owner gives you the necessary items for car travel. If you’re going by public transport, make sure that your borrowed dog will be comfortable, and that dogs are allowed.

Health and Safety Precautions

Before you borrow a pup, you should make sure you understand any health or safety precautions you need to take. For example, does the dog have allergies or health conditions requiring medication or special care? Does the dog have any behaviour issues, such as fear of other dogs or people, that you need to be aware of? Make sure you have all the necessary information to keep the dog safe and healthy while you're borrowing them. This will make sure both you and your BFF will have the best time together!

Borrowing a dog through BorrowMyDoggy is a pawsome experience that offers loads of benefits, including companionship, exercise, stress relief as well as learning the responsibilities of dog ownership.

Jasper and his borrower Philip
The bond I have gained with my little buddy Jasper who I walk on a regular basis has really brought that extra something into my life and what I feel this whole concept can be all about.

Jasper's borrower, Philip from Yorkshire

So what are you waiting for? Join our community today to find a pooch pal in your area and unleash the benefits!

Borrower Guides

7 pawsome benefits of borrowing a dog

How to choose the pawfect dog to borrow

Borrow a Dog: Everything You Need to Know

Hey there!

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

Or perhaps you’re a dog lover who can’t have one of your own right now?

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