The concept behind puppy rental is simple. You pay to have your presence graced by a fuzzy puppy for a specified amount of time, no strings attached, and no potty training needed. Though, to be honest, you probably still need to snag a few of these bad boys for the length of your “rental.” If you can’t get your puppy fix being a dog sitter or walker, and can’t yet own a dog, puppy rental services might be a good fit.
So, What’s the Deal?
In both of these organizations, the puppies hail from litters of accidental pregnancies or former owners who had second thoughts on dog ownership. They live in foster homes until they are adopted—typically by a renter.
Stress Stinks, Puppies Work
Dogs are good for our health—emotional and otherwise. Puppy rental is one way to spread these benefits to everyone. Campuses like Emory, Indiana University, and Yale have all offered puppy rental programs for their hardworking and sleep-deprived students. A scholar at Emory University’s pet therapy program explains that cortisol (aka stress hormones) levels are decreased and endorphins are increased when people interact with their pets.
For a freshman acclimating to college life sans their beloved pooch, temporary puppy playtime can offer a sweet and much needed taste of home—particularly during peak stress points of the academic year, like midterms and finals.
Test Drive Your Puppy Today?
Proponents also suggest that it’s a great way to figure out if a dog is right for your child. What better way than to introduce them to a puppy firsthand?
Puppy rental could help your family make the leap to pet parenthood. Surprise your well-behaved girl or boy with a puppy before buying or adopting to gauge their interaction and make an informed decision on pet parenthood for your family.
The Flip Side
It’s important to consider the possible downsides, however. For example, this argument by animal behaviorist Bill Berloni asserts that puppy rental services “reduces them [puppies] to things, things we use for our leisure.” Animals are social creatures and Carl Arky, spokesman for the Humane Society of Utah, worries about the possibility of stunted growth as a result of being passed around and heightened susceptibility to illness in the puppies’ young age.
If this dissuades you from puppy rental, there is always the option of volunteering at a nearby shelter and walking the jumbo version of puppies at no cost to you.
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