Pet Sharing can benefit pets, owners and sharers.
The NZCAR is constantly on the look out for new services and new ideas that can help pets and pet owners in New Zealand. We not only look for ideas we can build into the NZCAR, we also look at what other great ideas and services are out there that we can simply share with our users.
At a recent pet expo, we came across one such new business idea called "Share My Pet."
Founders of Share My Pet, Lili and Dave aim to enhance the lives of pets by connecting kiwi pet owners to local community members that want to be a part of an animals life. The concept is simple. If you are passionate about animals but currently don't own your own, or are unable to own your own, then Share My Pet can put you in touch with a full-time pet owner who is struggling to provide all the exercise their pet needs, or who simply wants to expand the social contact and experiences of their pet.
The service brings together people who have time to entertain and look after a pet part-time, with people who may be struggling to give their pet the attention it needs full-time.
A shared pet can mean no more lonely hours at home for your pooch while you head off to work! Or it gives people who are unable to have their own pet the chance to cuddle a kitty. As people create profiles and get to know each other it can even offer an opportunity to have someone you know and trust to look after your pet when away on holiday.
On the part-time caring side the service is being seen as ideal for students, frequent travellers, people living in a rental property or generally busy people. Where they do not have the time to commit to being a full time pet owner this service means they can still enjoy the company of a pet.
For pet owners the idea is that when you are struggling to meet all the demands of pet ownership, you can share your pet with someone who is keen to interact but is unable to have a pet of their own. Owners can take comfort from knowing their pet is getting the extra exercise and attention they want from someone you have approved and trained.
And the best thing about the concept is that it creates a pet sharing community, that brings pets and people together.
Lets talk safety !!
The first questions any owner will ask is "how do the pets being shared stay safe?" and "how can you ensure the people you come into contact with have good intentions?"
Share My Pet allows pet owners and animal lovers to create profiles. They then connect with each other via a messenger system. All initial contact is made via the messenger system. All data such as home address and phone numbers are kept private.
Once a pet owner and a pet carer decide to meet up they are encouraged to do so in a public space. A local cafe or doggie friendly park makes an ideal first meeting place.
Both parties have the opportunity to meet each other and have a chat. If there is an initial good feeling both parties can decide to proceed with further combined meetings. It may take several "doggie-dates" or "cat-coffees" to establish trust in each other. The new carer must show they have a desire to learn about this particular pets needs, and the owner will want to make sure the carers personality fits with their pet, as well as show the carer how to best look after them.
The process of meeting a Sharer for your pet will require time, commitment, honesty and great communication. Share My Pet do not consider their service a quick fix solution to pet care needs. They encourage owners and sharers to get to know each other and discuss specific rules in regards to keeping the pet safe. Share My Pet consider this process of taking time to form a relationship with each other as very important. As the founders emphasise "In a world that's on fast forward, where every one wants instant solutions Share My Pet holds old values, such as face to face communication, dear."
The benefits of this new service are that once a match is made not only does the pet have a whole new range of contact and experience to keep them entertained, the owner has someone they can trust with their beloved pet, and the sharer gets to experience the joy and responsibility of pet care that they would not be able to otherwise.
The NZCAR can assist with keeping shared pets safe.
Share My Pet encourages all pets to be microchipped and registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register. It is highly recommended when sharing your pet as accidents can happen to anyone and pets can escape at any time. Share My Pet also encourages all pet owners to practice responsible pet ownership.
So if you are thinking Share My Pet is a great new option to consider for enriching the life of your pet and you are keen to connect to New Zealand's first pet sharing community, visit their website for more details.