Dog sharing: one dog, two owners

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Many dog ​​owners do not have enough time to care for their dogs all day. Others would like a dog but are not allowed to keep one in the house. Is dog sharing the solution?

There is carsharing, job sharing, home-sharing, and food sharing – why not is dog sharing too? This begs the question: can you share a dog?

Also Read: Walking the 🐶 dog during quarantine?

It may sound absurd to some dog friends, but dog sharing has become very successful. Especially in large cities with cramped living spaces, where working from home is often not possible and people do not have the time to go to the woods with their dogs, dog sharing is very popular.

But how exactly does it work? What are the advantages and disadvantages of dog sharing for dog owners and canine friends? And what does the dog think of dog sharing? We are looking for the answers.

What does dog sharing mean?

In dog sharing, two or more people share a dog while they do not live together in a house. So they both take care of the dog for part of the week. If the dog owner has too little time for his dog, the dog sharing partner will take care of him for several hours or even days. He goes for a walk with the dog, feeds him, and gives him attention when the owner is not there.

The difference with a dog sitter is that the dog sharing partner not only occasionally picks up the dog to walk him, but generally spends more time with him. The relationship between the dog and dog sharing partner is usually closer than with a sitter. The dog has two owners at dog sharing and lives in two different households.

Dog sharing: is that a good idea?

Dog sharing critics wonder whether this patchwork model is good for the social development of the dog. Finally, a dog is not a car that simply changes hands, as is the case with carsharing. For a dog, it is important who walks him and who is there for him.

The proponents of dog sharing also see that a dog needs a lot of attention. Finally, dogs don’t like to be alone. They orient themselves to people. If there aren’t any, they’re missing something. A dog-sharing partner can fill this gap.

Conditions for successful dog sharing

The important thing is that the dog builds trust with his two e owner and acceptance as an additional owner. Finally, the dog should listen to this person as much as it does to its owner.

But the relationship between the people who share a dog must also be good. Without sympathy and trust from all sides, dog sharing will not work in the long run.

Taking time to get to know each other

Quickly hand the dog over to the first best dog friend – that’s not how dog sharing works. It takes a lot of time for dogs and humans to trust each other. Several encounters must first occur before a dog can spend several hours or even days in its new ‘second home’.

Buying a dog together: is that possible?

With most dog-sharing combinations, a dog owner looks for an extra buddy for his dog. In this case, the owner remains the main liability, when it comes to papers, insurance or veterinary visits.

There are also people who would like a dog but do not have enough time on their own. A dog-sharing partner who takes care of the dog the rest of the time can be the solution. This allows your dream of a dog to come true. It is important that both are aware of the shared responsibility.

In addition to the basic questions when buying a dog, such as what breed of dog you want, whether it is a puppy or an adult dog from the animal shelter, everything around it must be clearly agreed.

Important agreements between two dog sharing partners

A dog-sharing partnership needs to be well planned. The more concretely you share your wishes and rules regarding dogsharing, the smaller the risk of conflicts.

The following questions should therefore be discussed in advance:

  • Who is the main owner of the dog?
  • Who pays the dog tax and insurance?
  • What food does the dog eat? When and how often should he be fed?
  • Are the food costs for the dog shared?
  • How often and for how long should the dog walk?
  • Who pays the vet bill? (Especially if the dog needs to be treated after an accident at the co-owner’s home.)
  • On what days and times is the dog transferred?
  • How is the dog raised? What is he allowed or not allowed to do?

Tip : Write down the agreements made on paper. Grooming a dog is a very emotional affair and conflict between two dogsharing partners can never be completely ruled out.

Routine for dog sharing dogs

Dogs need rhythm and a routine course of the day. Comparable feeding and walking times often make it easier to change owners.

In addition, it can help, especially in the beginning, to give your dog his beloved things to the co-owner. Think of his cuddly blanket, basket, and favorite toys.

Is dog sharing suitable for every dog?

If a dog is very fixated on its owner, he is more likely to suffer from separation anxiety and may react stressed or nervous to other people. In this case, dog sharing is probably not a good idea.

As soon as you notice that your dog is bothered by switching places, you should distance yourself from dog sharing and look for another solution. For example, your dog may not accept the dog sharing partner, become aggressive quickly, or lose his appetite.

How do I find a suitable dog-sharing partner?

On social media, community groups, or online forums, you’ll find numerous requests from people who love dogs but can’t keep one of their own.

These are often people who grew up with animals or who have had their own dog before. Sometimes parents also want their children to have contact with dogs from an early age without having to care for a dog on a full-time basis. Especially for dogs that love children and live with a single person or with a childless couple, this can be a good solution. It is a good opportunity for dogs to play occasionally with children, who love to roam and play as much as the dog itself.

The living conditions or family compositions of the dog-sharing partners, therefore, do not have to be identical. Even a dog that lives with its owner in a house full of children can enjoy the peace and quiet of a single household.

Conclusion: dog sharing has many advantages and a few disadvantages
A well-functioning dog-sharing combination offers many advantages. It gives people the opportunity to have a dog while not having to worry about the dog 24/7. In addition, the dog has an extra owner who takes care of him.

At the same time, dog sharing gives people who don’t own a dog the opportunity to spend time with a pet every now and then. And the dogs themselves? They are less alone and get a lot of attention and love.

Dog sharing has disadvantages if one of those involved suffers from the situation: this can occur, for example, if the dog misses its owner too much. Or the main owner becomes jealous because he is no longer the only owner. In addition, the second owner can also build a very close bond with the dog, so that he would prefer not to give him up anymore.

Fortunately, such problems can easily be solved with good agreements, extensive planning and open discussions. It is important that you choose your dog’s well-being in all decisions.

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