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New Free Service Sets Up Play Dates For Your Dog

Many dog owners fret about leaving their best friend alone all day while at work. Especially if they live in an apartment or a place with no access to a backyard. In fact, many would-be dog owners site this as a reason they don’t own a dog. Dog Buddy Match, a new free service, is helping dog owners everywhere overcome these obstacles so that both dog and owner can live happier, healthier lives.

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The company started in 2015 in Southern California. A Dog Buddy Match is a neighbor-to-neighbor exchange, fulfilling a dog’s need for company. This new service was created to help a dog that is longing to exercise and socialize outside of the home or its own yard, and pairing it with another dog in a yard while the owners are at work or school. Or, for dogs that would love a good play date. The service can also be used by neighbors who would like to trade boarding responsibilities, so each agrees to board the other’s dog while away or on vacation.

“The free alternative to leaving your dog alone all day” is now ready to do the same for the millions of dogs and their owners in other communities across the nation via the their site.

“Many dogs suffer great distress when left alone for long periods of time, resulting in destructive or other problematic behaviors,” explains Dog BuddyMatch founder Sam Lovett. “Since not everyone can afford dog daycare, dog sitting or dog boarding, we wanted to create a completely free alternative, and make it available to every dog owner nationwide. And we also see Dog BuddyMatch as a way to potentially greatly increase the number of dog adoptions across the country, because if people who perhaps don’t have a yard or wouldn’t want to leave a dog alone while they’re at work have a completely free alternative to those things, they are much more likely to adopt one.”

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How it works:

Step 1 – Sign up and create a profile for your dog

Step 2 – Search for potential Dog Buddy Matches in your area

Step 3 – Connect – When you find a good potential match, send them a message

Meeting 1 – In a completely neutral area such as a public park, a dogpark or school athletic field. Preferably some place where the dogs can be off leash.

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Meeting 2 & 3 – If all goes well in the first meeting, a second meeting should take place wherever the dogs will be spending their time alone together.

Final Step- The Dog Buddy Match begins

Obviously the company cannot prescreen dogs – so making a match is all on the owners as is the risk if a wrong match is made. But there is a lot of gain if owners are careful and chose compatible dogs – they will get socialization, play time, and for dogs that live in apartments and get to visit a home, more room to roam while their owner is away.

The company hopes that this service will increase adoptions by overcoming a common barrier many would-be dog owners feel is unsurmountable.

“The thing we’re most excited about is our potential to help increase dog adoptions,” Lovett told iHeartDogs. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people telling us that they would love to adopt, but haven’t because they don’t have a yard or wouldn’t want to leave a dog alone all day. But, having a Dog Buddy Match with a neighbor could enable them to overcome those obstacles.”

They are currently working on a whole new search criteria for those who want to see out a Dog Buddy Match prior to adopting.

“We are trying to determine how we could incorporate the ‘3 to see’ compatibility assessment into the process. For dogs in foster care, arranging ‘3 to see’ would likely not be difficult, so this will most likely be our focus to start. Working directly with shelters and current dog owners who have a yard and are specifically interested in a Dog Buddy Match with a rescued shelter dog may be the answer.”

For more information on Dog Buddy Match or to sign up and find a match near you, check out their website.

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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