Rent-A-Dog Programs Let You Brighten a Shelter Dog's Day

Uniting lonely dog lovers with shelter pups who could use a walk



(Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash)

Although the adorable puppy videos on social media make us all want to run out and adopt a dog, not everyone is able to. For reasons such as finances, busy schedules, and rental contracts prohibiting pets, many of us are not able to bring home that special someone just yet, but we all know that dogs somehow make us happy.

According to Psychology Today, “pets provide meaningful social support for owners, improving their lives.” Social interaction is essential for happiness, but that is not limited to interacting with other people. Interacting with animals can provide people with similar feelings of joy.

So, what is a pet-less person supposed to do in order to fill the puppy-shaped void in their life? Shelters across America have implemented programs that allow people to “borrow” a dog for a few hours. That’s right - you can go to a shelter and take a dog out for the day of his dreams. Exercise, sunshine, fresh air, companionship - what more could a shelter dog ask for?

The benefits of borrowing dogs from shelters are mutual for both the human and the animal. The person gets the joy that comes from playing with a dog for a few hours, and the dog’s gets  a day out of the shelter, which can in turn increase its chances of getting adopted. Potential owners will come to the shelter and see a happy, friendly dog who is excited to be around people thanks to just a few hours out interacting with the world.

If you enjoyed your doggy day out and you want to take the next step, but are not ready to adopt, you can consider fostering a dog. While caring for the dog without the full commitment of adoption, you can figure out if pet ownership is for you. Beyond the benefit of the trial period you get, you will also be providing an animal with a safe, loving home, and helping him find his paw-fect forever family.

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Goodnet was initiated by Shari Arison and is operated by The Ted Arison Family Foundation. Shari Arison is also the initiator of Good Deeds Day.