A dogshare is when a single dog has multiple dog owners. It is something that was popularized in recent times. However, there are sound reasons why people should consider dogshares, meaning that interested individuals might want to look into the practice. For starters, dog ownership is expensive. The exact cost can see a great deal of variation from case to case. However, it isn’t uncommon to see dog owners paying out thousands and thousands of dollars for their dogs on an annual basis. On top of that, the cost of dog ownership isn’t limited to money, seeing as how dog owners also have to spend a lot of time with their dogs to ensure their continuing health and happiness. Under those circumstances, a dogshare can be a good way for interested individuals to become a dog owner while splitting the cost of dog ownership between themselves.
Speaking of which, that division of the cost of dog ownership can be very helpful for existing dog owners who have run into serious problems. Simply put, no one can predict the future with perfect accuracy, meaning that there is always a chance of people experiencing either an accident, a medical issue, or some other problem with catastrophic consequences for their finances. For a lot of dog owners, that means a breaking of bonds when they are forced to entrust their dogs to animal shelters, which can mean an uncertain future for their dogs as well. In contrast, if those dog owners are open to dogshares, they might be able to retain their dogs while still being able to exercise enormous influence in ensuring their health and happiness.
Having said that, there are some things that interested individuals should keep in mind about dogshares:
Dogshares Are New
It should be emphasized that dogshares are still very new. As a result, while there are services out there that are meant to help interested individuals set up a dogshare, none of them have managed to carve out a dominant position in their chosen market. Due to that, it can be more difficult to find a good service of this kind than what they would want. Still, this isn’t an insurmountable issue so long as interested individuals are willing to sort through their options to choose something suitable for them. In this as in other things, more effort should make for a higher chance of success.
Sometimes, interested individuals can set up a dogshare with people who they know can be trusted with their dog. Unfortunately, this is rather rare, as shown by the sheer number of services meant to help interested individuals find other interested individuals. As such, a lot of people are going to have to take a chance on a potential candidate, though there is much that can be done to minimize the associated risks. For instance, references are very useful for gauging someone’s trustworthiness. Personal references are fine. However, veterinarian references are even better because of their expertise and experience when it comes to dogs and dog ownership.
Have a Primary Owner
Generally speaking, it is best for there to be a primary dog owner who handles the biggest share of the decision-making as well as the financial responsibility for the dog. This is important because relationships can become filled with conflict for a wide range of reasons, meaning that there needs to be a clear way to figure out what happens next should a dogshare become unsustainable because of such issues. Otherwise, the dog owners can get caught up in a knock-down, drag-out fight, which wouldn’t just be bad for them but also be bad for the dog caught between them. Generally speaking, the person who registers and renews the dog license is going to be recognized as the dog owner from a legal perspective. Something that can be very relevant in such matters to say the least.
Discuss Other Matters
Speaking of which, the dog owners should also discuss other important matters before time so that they know exactly what is happening as well as why it is happening. For example, everyone should have a crystal-clear idea of their responsibilities in the dogshare. Likewise, everyone should know the exact extent of their financial responsibilities, which is critical for the success of any kind of long-term relationship. Naturally, this policy should extend to other matters related to the dog as well, with an excellent example being the dog training. Other examples can range from who should get the dog in case the dog owner passes away to who is responsible for what in case the dog gets into some kind of legal incident.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the dog owners should continue communicating with one another through their dog ownership. Generally speaking, people don’t have perfect access to information, so it is very common for an arrangement that seems fine to turn out to be otherwise. As such, as the dog owners continue to learn more about their situation, they can continue making changes to their arrangement to better-suit their particular needs and preferences. For that matter, it should be mentioned that circumstances can change, meaning that dogshares should be kept up-to-date as much as possible.
Consider Longer Periods
Consistency is critical. This is importance for everything from the dog’s name to the dog’s rules on what they can and cannot do. The importance of consistency extends to the place that the dog is staying, so interested individuals might want to arrange for their dogs to stay in each place for longer periods of time so that their dogs will have an easier time adjusting to their living situation. Such an arrangement can be beneficial for the dog owners as well, seeing as how bringing the dog from place to place can require a lot of time and effort in its own right.
Test Things Out
On a final note, the primary dog owner should test out the dogshare before committing to it on a permanent basis. This means a play date as well as a home visit, which should give them a much better idea of how the dog will be treated by their fellow dog owners.