Are you afraid of commitment, at least when it comes to adopting a pet? Then you may be glad to know about a new concept that lets you “borrow” a dog -- whether you want to enjoy it for two hours or for two days, the choice is yours. For some people, this is pet ownership at its best, since you don’t have to worry about the responsibility that comes with having a dog, but can still reap the benefits of spending limited amounts of time with man’s best friend.
Like A Timeshare, But With Four Legs And A Tail
More than 44 million people currently own dogs in the United States. But there are many more people who’d like to have a dog but can’t, either because they live in an apartment where pets aren’t allowed, or because they work long hours or travel often, making it impractical to care for a dog on a daily basis. Thus comes the rationale for a service where pets are shared.
If you are interested in the whole idea of renting a pet, there is a company - Flexpetz that offers its members the chance to share a pet with no strings attached. While some shelters, such as Stray Rescue of St. Louis, provide people the chance to temporarily care for its dogs, this is the first such commercial endeavor of this kind in the United States. Flexpetz currently has offices in Los Angeles and New York, with new locations currently in the works in San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C. and London. In addition, a host of other branches are planned both in the United States and internationally, indicating that the idea appeals to people in many different geographic locations and lifestyles.
Generally, the target audience for such a service seems to be professionals who live in big cities and want to try out pet ownership without too much risk. But families who live in apartments, older people who aren’t equipped to care for a pet and even college students who don’t have time to care for a dog all week but want the benefits all are good candidates for sharing a pet.
While the idea of renting a pet is said to be a great way to save a pet from life in a shelter and avoid the danger of being put to sleep eventually, this practice is also the subject of much controversy.