Weekly Poll: Rent a Dog


Experienced Member
Does your life feel incomplete, just at weekends? Perhaps you're getting on in years and feel it unfair to own a dog full-time, but want to have one for company from time to time. Maybe renting a dog for the day is just what you need!

It's been huge in Japan for years, but it's rapidly making its way around the world. But do you support the idea? Is it cruel to have the dogs shifted from pillar to post all week long? Maybe that's a good thing - after all, isn't variety the spice of life? Maybe it's true for dogs too. Are you confident enough that the dogs aren't ill-treated before being returned to the centre? Wouldn't it make any training for the dog nearly impossible, as different people perhaps teach it different things and different ways of doing things? Wouldn't the dog's head be left spinning from confusion? Or maybe the dog would love every second of it?


Experienced Member
I am sure there are a great many people who have genuine needs for such a service. Perhaps older people who don't want to commit to owning a dog full-time but want the company of a dog from time to time, or those who can't keep a dog full-time because of their house contract.

However, from a dog-welfare perspective, I see more potential negatives than I do benefits.


Experienced Member
I think this whole thing is only good for the person who rents the dog.
In my opinion it is bad for the dog, becouse he gets in a really new environment for a couple of days, than another, and another. I think a dog needs a normal peck for a long time, not loads of pecks for a few days...

Jean Cote

Staff member
LOL, rent-a-dog. I've never heard of that before.

It sounds to me like it could be good for the people who rent the dog, but also sounds like they just don't want to train it as a puppy or have the responsibilities of owning a dog.

It's not like people rent kids for a weekend so that they can feel like successful parents. In my view, raising your dog from puppy hood is the best thing in the world.


New Member
Wow t actually HAVE these services already? Are they successful, from a business perspective, as well as from an animal-welfare perspective?

I see a lot of problems for the dog...I think it would be less problemmatic if the renters had to sign a minimum contract of say, 6 months. That would ensure that the dog has at least some consistency in its life. I really worry about dogs being shuttled off to a different household every week. Think about the inconsistency in potty schedules, house rules, and expectations. The poor dog is going to be so confused! Everytime dogs are rehomed, it is a major stress and readjustment. I think if a dog was being "rehomed" regularly throughout its life, it wouldn't be very good for its health....??

Another practical problem I see is, what if Household 1 doesn't bother to upkeep the dog's manners training or diet or exercise routine, and thus when it is Household 2's turn to take the dog, the poor dog now has all these health and behavior problems caused by the first household, who will pay the vet bills or training-class bills? What if the dog develops aggression from mismanagement? I worry that people who would rent a dog (rather than commit to owning one for life) would also not be knowledgeable enough or dedicated enough to be able to avoid something like this.

You bring up a good case about the elderly or the infirm and how to meet their social needs when it comes to their desire to have pets. My personal opinion is that they could own their own dogs (who must be carefully matched to them in size and temperament and exercise needs) and that it would be better to provide them with dog-walking services or dog-care services. Or if they live in a nursing home or assisted living facility, the nursing home could have a resident dog that the residents can interact with on a daily basis (many do, though maybe not in a formal program but rather just a staff happens to bring their dog there every day) So the residents can benefit from the dog's companionship, but it is the staff, or someone else, who takes full responsibility for the dog's welfare.

by the way, we once stayed in a hotel where they had a resident dog that you could "rent" for the day to go hiking with! They called it the "Loan a Lab" service! We were intrigued but didn't get to inquire about it. Just think - I could rent my dog out and have people pay ME to exercise him for me!! :) Of course I would probably be following them around, spying on them and being all paranoid to make sure they were handling him properly, so actually I wouldn't want to rent my dog out!


Honored Member
Staff member
Interesting post, CollieMan...hmm....
I don't see this being beneficial to the dog. HOWEVER.......
Why not a "rent-a-dog" type program hosted by shelters for potential adopters? Many no-kill shelters will allow you to "try out" the dog for a while before making a definite decision. What about new dog owners? Why not "rent" the dog to see if you are ready to make the commitment, and see if the dog is right for you? If you have other dogs or cats or other animals, why not see how the pup/dog or the other animals are going to adjust to each other? I can see this rent-to-own being beneficial for both in this instance. Now simply renting just for "something to do" I think is cruel to the dog...virtually anyone would be able to come to the dog-renting service and decide to rent a dog for a while, right? This can potentially be extremely dangerous. Let's say the renter ends up with an active lab who loves chew toys. The renter doesn't provide the dog with chew toys and is furious to come home to his destroyed couch cushion. Instead of talking to the renting company or trying to provide the dog with acceptable chew toys, he physically punishes the dog--beating, not feeding, etc. The dog is returned to the company timid and snappy, and his career as a rent-a-dog is over because the company doesn't have the time or knowledge to help the pup get over his new behavior problem.
Renting doesn't sound like a good idea to me, unless used for the purposes of a rent-to-own type of matter...resulting in either the adoption of the pet, or returning it to the shelter to give the dog a chance at another, perhaps better home.


Well-Known Member
I think a dog would not benefit from this at all. I do think this would be a good idea for the handicapped or people with temp. injuries to rent a trained dog. It really is not much different from some hunting ranches where a guide takes you hunting with a dog, You are using the dogs services after all. This is a very interesting subject none the less!


New Member
I dont really like the ideas of renting a dog out. There could be some good points of it such as new owners as tx_cowgirl pointed out and for the elderly like collieman said but altogather renting the dog to different people all the time I dont think is a good idea becuse I think that it would put to much strain on the dog and I just dont trust some random person but the Idea of someone walking ur dog for you is kinda nice sometimes.