Want a dog but not full-time? Now you can borrow one
Two Toulousains have set up a website service allowing dog owners to lend their dogs to people who would love a pet, but cannot own one full-time.
Thibaut Pfeiffer and Eleanor Stanton created the service, called ‘Emprunte mon toutou’ (which translates as ‘borrow my doggy’), allowing dog owners to connect with people who love dogs and are able to look after the animals for short periods of time, but cannot own their own dog full-time due to work, health, or space limitations.
Pfeiffer himself desperately wanted to own a dog, and loved his friends’ animals, but could not keep one full-time due to his small apartment and busy work schedule.
Now, dog owners can meet dog lovers - who put a profile on the website - and arrange for them to look after their pet for an agreed amount of time, such as during specific holidays or for a few hours in the daytime or evening.
There is no money involved, except for a €29,90 annual fee to belong to the website.
Both owners and potential borrowers must go through a verification process to check their identity and avoid any scammers or untrustworthy sign-ups, and owners and borrowers can meet up as many times as they like before the borrowing takes place, to ensure safety and trust.
The service also offers insurance for owners and borrowers, in case anything goes wrong while the dog is in the borrowers’ care.
The site already has over 2 600 people signed up, and is in operation in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpelliers, Marseille and Nice, and has plans to move across the whole country soon.
“The idea of the site was born from the frustration I felt when speaking to a friend [about how my apartment was too small for a dog]”, explained Pfeiffer, to the French news website 20 Minutes. “We had this crazy idea that dog owners could lend their animal out for short periods of time [to people like me, who wanted to own a dog], and after I asked a few friends, it seemed that the idea wasn’t so bad.”
The service is along near-identical lines to the popular UK and Ireland website, Borrow My Doggy, which was founded in 2012 by Rikke Rosenlund, after she spent the day looking after a friend’s pet, and realised many more dog lovers would happily help owners out for free, simply “because they love” dogs.