Apparently Dog Sharing is Now a Thing People Do

Just as Uber and AirBNB have shaken the taxi and hotel sectors, technology can now help make owning an animal easier and cheaper.

Companies such as BorrowMyDoggy, and DogVacay are the latest examples of how the Sharing Economy can create new careers and bring change to long-established industries.

The services use websites and mobile apps to connect pet owners with people living nearby who love animals but can't spare the time or expense of owning one.

Wally is a Shorkie (a Shih Tzu/Yorkshire Terrier cross-breed)

Rebecca Brown is based in London and is the general manager of theatre company Specifiq and regularly uses BorrowMyDoggy. Since June, she and the company's artistic director, Oscar Blustin, have been looking after Wally, a Shih Tzu/Yorkshire Terrier cross-breed, once a week.

"Wally spends the day with us and after a play in the park comes to keep us company in the office," Brown told CNBC in an email. "We joined the site to spend time with a dog. With our busy (and unpredictable schedules) it is tough for either of us to have a dog, but this way we get some canine love without too much commitment.

Her experience is typical of those who are driving the demand for pet sharing services: young people, often professionals, who don't have the time or money to own a dog full-time, or need someone to regularly look after their pet.

"Everyone we have spoken to gets very excited about the idea of Borrow My Doggy and often have plenty of questions," Brown added.

"We work in the arts, and I think there are plenty of people in this industry who would love to own a pet but don't have the time or financial freedom to commit full time."

BorrowMyDoggy, which claims to have a community of more than 250,000 users, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube this week offering equity to private investors. It valued itself at around £5.5 million ($8.6 million). The site uses a subscription model to generate revenue. Owners and borrows pay a yearly fee to the website, but users will look after someone's pet for free.

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