Setting Up a Community Website to Match Dogs and Older People

Hi, I know this isn’t about AirBnB per se so apologies in advance. I’ve read some articles recently about the benefits and costs of owning dogs to older people, but can’t afford vet fees. As well as having many AirBnB weekend guests who tell me that they work during the day and leave their dogs alone. It occurred to me that a website which matched one with the other might be a good idea. I looked on a popular Australian website (GumTree) and there were people who ask if there was anyone in their neighbourhood who might be prepared to look after their dog during the day and give some vague map references. But there aren’t more than one or two and I think there would be more with the right set up.

So. Does it sound like a good idea? Does anyone have experience of setting up this sort of community website, not just on this topic? What are the risks involved and how can you mitigate them? Obviously people giving out addresses or too much info is a no no. Also any ideas on dealing with compatibility and safety issues. Best case scenario is little Poochie gets to spend some days with lonely Mrs Smith down the street while her owners are at work but they pay the vet and food bills. Worst case scenario? Well you can imagine.

I’m not looking to make any money out of this website. But any feedback, even if the usual reality check from here is welcome.

We have a FB group for that in my area and it’s really popular.

It’s not just for older people, but popular with families and dog lovers.

It seems to work well.

Personally I wouldn’t let some stranger online take my dog - what if they couldn’t control it out in public. What if it got attacked or attacked another dog off the leash in a park? What if they didn’t look after it properly ? What if they fed it the wrong food all day?

I think if people want someone to look after they dog while they work they should pay a suitably experienced and insured dog walker.


Checkout a website called borrowmydoggy. Its only for UK. Same idea but not just for old people. A similar set up would be good.

I think it’s a great idea. It would have been a lovely thing for my old mum. Her dog of many years died and mum didn’t want a new one a) thinking that somehow she’d be ‘unfaithful to the memory’ and b) because of the cost and the upheaval of taking the dog to the vet as required. Excellent idea to have ‘adopted day dogs’.

Many years ago I thought a dog borrowing [site] would be a great idea. I say site but this was pre-internet when I was thinking about it. Now the technology exists to carry out what seemed like a nearly impossible task but the risks (as Helsi pointed out) remain. That said, those risks can be managed. The sites that exist in the US like Wag and Rover do virtually no vetting and there are tons of subpar people listed on those sites. Just like Airbnb, the worst could happen but most of the time it would be fine. That said the logistics, insurance, securing funding, etc seem daunting. An existing charity setting up a program seems like the quickest way to get something like that off the ground.

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Something I would have loved in the early internet days, was a service whereby youngsters went into the homes of the elderly to teach them about computing.

So many older people have family abroad or certainly not local and yet (in the case of my mum again) had no computer and wouldn’t know what to do with it if they had. I would have loved it if there had been some charity that could have fixed her up with a basic set up plus had someone teach her how to send and receive email. Nothing more - just so we could all stay in touch.

Now that was a lot of years ago and if a service does exist (it must surely?) then wouldn’t the day dog adoption be a great follow up? The older people would need a computer after all and youngsters (work experience, interns, volunteers, community service etc.) could teach them how to operate the site.