GOOD

Rent a Dog to Stave Off Holiday Loneliness

New services allow you to buy the company of a canine.

Photo via Flickr user Alvin Trusty.

The holidays are a time for friends, family and companionship. For some, however, the days meant to be shared with loved ones end up as grim solitary endeavors. One solution is to rent a dog.


Businesses like BorrowMyDoggy.com and DogVacay.com allow dog lovers to enjoy the slobbery kisses and sweet snuggles that come with a canine pal without the full commitment of being a pet parent. Just sign up as a host and wait to be paired with a dog owner in your vicinity. On the back end of things, sites like these provide dog owners in a pinch to find passionate and responsible dog lovers to care for their pets.

According to a series of studies by a team of psychologists from St. Louis University and Miami University, the benefits of bonding with a dog are very real. Study leader Dr. Allen McConnell concluded that “one’s pet was every bit as effective as one’s best friend in staving off social needs deficits.”

Orphan pups are also an option for those looking to brighten their holidays. Many shelters have special programs that allow for their pups to be taken out for a spin by interested adopters or pet friendly locals hoping to bring some happiness into the life of a lonely dog. Dogs benefit by getting exercise and developing their social skills, while humans benefit in the form of a furry friend for a day.

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