What do you think about this new service? Bark in!
Thanks to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for this article.
Rent-a-pet is the latest California trend
By Chris Duke, D.V.M.
Some people think that image is everything, and that renting a pet of a certain breed for a certain amount of time can improve their quality of life.
At least, that’s the view of Flexpetz, a new membership-only club in California that rents dogs to members.
In the May issue of the trade journal Veterinary Forum, the subject of this new service was featured.
Debra Horwitz of Veterinary Behavior Consultation, 11148 Advertisement
Olive Boulevard, said the program reflects how society views pets today.
“Pets have often become family and special companions, but there are many obligations providing appropriate care, socialization, welfare, a predictable routine, health care that go with having a pet. On the surface, this company could be filling an emotional need for people who would like animal companionship but can’t own a dog.
“But it also has to be good for the dog,” Horowitz said. She does have a concern that different environments may challenge how a given dog is equipped to handle it.
Flexpetz dogs are screened for temperament, and are trained to AKC Canine Good Citizen standards. Members can take these dogs for a few hours to a few days. The six dogs in the current program reside in cage-free doggy day care centers when not with a member, and these dogs either go home with a staff member or a staff member stays at the center with the dogs at night, according to Lauren Walen, a Flexpetz spokesperson. In addition, the company is “identifying and training additional dogs to join the Flexpetz family as other location and membership demands increase.”
Flexpetz requires a monthly membership fee of $39.95, with a yearly commitment, registration charges of $289, daily charges when dogs are taken out and late fees if the dog is not returned on time. A single dog might be placed with three to six households a month. Already, there has been a trend seen where some members request certain “favorite” dogs for repeat outings, and that is acceptable with Flexpetz.
The Flexpetz folks claim that the dogs get comprehensive health screens every six months, and that old or sick dogs will be offered to members for adoption.