Need a Dog Fix? Bark’N’Borrow Can Set You Up With a Loaner

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There’s no excuse to be lonely. The Internet has a date for everyone: the marriage-minded, Christian singles, farmers, busy professionals and even marijuana lovers. But what if you’re interested in taking a long, romantic walk with someone else’s dog?

Well hang on to your leash for this one, there’s now a site that matches pooch-lovers with…you got it, pooches!

Yep, Bark’N’Borrow is a start-up based in Los Angeles that matches animal lovers with dogs they can borrow for a couple hours to walk, run, just hang out with or even enjoy a sleep-over .The concept is the brainchild of Liam Berkeley who started the service in 2014. Back then, he couldn’t own a dog himself, so he created a network for people to borrow other people’s dogs. Yes, borrow. The service is free to both sides – the pet owner doesn’t get paid, nor do you for your walking time.

That said, since its inception the program has expanded to include the services of professional sitters and walkers who are fully insured and offer secure PayPal options. The professional tier of Bark’N’Borrow is where this little start-up generates its commission-based revenue.

Are you wondering how it works? Similar to an online dating site, you simply download their app (free on iTunes) and create a profile that tells the Bark’N’Borrow community a little bit about you and your skill sets/services/requirements. It includes questions about your living arrangements (Apartment? Backyard? Kids on site? Other pets?), as well as what you’re looking for in your ideal match (Breeds? Size of dog?  Temperament?). For those hoping to borrow, you must first pass a screening process that turns you into a “Verified User,” and once you achieve “VU” status, you get to connect with a world of dog owners, animal lovers, pet sitters/walkers, borrowers and in some instances even Rover himself, in order to find your ideal “mate.”

For pet owners seeking a special someone who is up for walks and handy with a leash, they simply click on the “sitter” or “borrow” tab to connect with you and whether your services are complimentary or paid, you’re now networking within a like-minded community that shares your interest in getting our four-legged buddies up and moving.

I’m not sure I’d loan out my dog to a stranger – it’s a bit out of my comfort zone. But I would be willing to walk someone else’s dog now and then (especially if it meant getting away from my computer to stretch my legs). And it’d be awesome if they could extend the service to shelters, in some capacity (with dogs that  are well-trained) – it would be a win-win for dogs and walkers!