Cost to Rent or Borrow a Dog

Last Updated on November 11, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Are you the type of person who finds a challenge in committing to things, especially to pets? Then you’ll surely like the thought of renting or borrowing a dog. This means that you will only be able to enjoy a furry companion for a day or two, or even an hour or two, depending on your needs. Some people consider this the best type of pet ownership there is, as you won’t have to take responsibility for raising the dog and can just enjoy the benefits of spending some time with the pet from time to time.

How much does it cost to rent a dog?

To get the price right out of the way, expect a cost of about $1,700 per year to rent or borrow a dog, although this price will depend on several factors like the type of dog and your location. But let’s dig deeper into this pet rental.

For example, companies like Flexpetz charge quite a hefty membership fee for renting dogs. Members will usually pay an annual charge of around $100 just to be part of the club, as well as a one-time training fee of around $150 to $200 for ambulatory training sessions. These clubs also charge a monthly fee of around $50 when you’re using their dog rental services. If you don’t rent a pet for a whole month, then you might be charged $20 to $40 per day on weekdays and $40 to $80 per day on weekends, on the days when you need a dog.

As a paying member of these clubs, you will get all of the needed tools so that you can enjoy the pet visit without having to worry about anything. This includes anything from bowls and leashes to pre-measured dog food, and even a dog bed, authorized by the American Pet Products Association. You also have the option for the pet to be delivered right to your doorstep. This type of transportation will usually come with an average price between $20 and $40 depending on the club.

Ready to own a dog, check out the cost of breeds like French Bulldog, Siberian Husky, or Doberman Pinscher.

Keep in mind that these clubs will also have a requirement that you take a dog for at least two visits each month. If for any reason you won’t be able to take a dog in one particular month you might be charged a pet fee equal to those two weekdays in which you would have rented the pet. You are also likely to be charged a late fee of $50 to $100 when you return the pet late. So if you were to add all of these expenses, you are likely to reach a number between $1,500 and $2,000, just to see what it is like to have a dog.

Of course, these costs are nothing to ignore, but even so, they will be the same, if not lower, than the expenses, you will face as a pet owner, although you will enjoy a lot more convenience when renting.

To get a better idea, think of it this way: Using a dog-sharing service club, you will be charged around $1,500 to $2,000 per year, while the average cost of owning a pet will cost you at least $3,000 in the first year alone if you were to include everything from vet bills to food, toys, and bedding. 

It easily became a trend

Currently, about 44 million people in the US alone are owning dogs. There are also people, and quite a lot, that can’t have a dog due to different issues like having to travel a lot, working long hours, or living in a place where pets are not allowed, which makes it impractical for them to keep a pet. This is how the service of dog sharing, renting, and borrowing became a trend.

If this sounds like something you might like, you can shop around for clubs that offer pets for rental in your geographical area. This will at least cut down the costs of pet transportation to and from your location. Some shelters also offer the chance for people to care for dogs temporarily, walk them, and visit them, and a good example of this is Stray Rescue from St. Louis. Not all shelters and animal rescues offer you this possibility, as the concept of keeping a pet for just a few days is rather new in the US.

The general target audience for these types of services seems to be career-oriented families who live in big cities, or people that just want to try pet ownership for the first time, without having to commit. Other great candidates for pet sharing are college students, older people who might not have what it takes to take care of a pet, or families that live in apartments.

It also sparked quite a controversy

Borrow Dog from ShelterThere is some controversy around the idea of renting a pet, even though it’s a great way for people to avoid responsibility while also giving a pet a short time inside a loving home.

According to opponents of the trend like animal rights activists, the practice of renting a pet and moving it from one home to another is unfair, as it doesn’t give the animal a chance to have a long loving life or a strong bond with a person. It might also teach children a weird lesson that you can always dispose of something that you don’t need anymore.

And of course, if you want to have a dog for just a couple of days, then activists argue that you shouldn’t pay for this service, as there are a lot of pets in animal rescue centers that would need a periodic walk or visit from individuals.

However, according to the companies that rent out dogs for money, these pets will get a lot of love and needed attention during the shared ownership program, being a great alternative to them being in a pound. And of course, many people who are on the edge about taking care of a dog on a permanent issue get convinced to get one after taking advantage of this service.

Some supporters of this trend also point out that most shelters and pounds have very limited visiting hours, which makes it impossible for someone with a very busy schedule to enjoy the opportunity of owning a pet. This is why these people will look for an option that can fit into their personal schedule.

And of course, these services will handpick dogs to guarantee they have a personality that matches that of the home they reach. Also, people hosting these dogs will receive mandatory training and will have to meet certain criteria to be able to take the dog home.

The dogs introduced into the program will be under the permanent supervision of a caretaker when they aren’t rented out, as well as be well-groomed and receive regular visits to the vet. These are all intended to offer benefits to both pets and temporary owners, which is why some people consider this a very viable option.

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