Some refer to it as the ‘gig economy’ or the ‘side hustle’ — but ‘dog sharing’?

Today, there’s a good number of ways to earn extra income, aside from working 9 to 5. However, the new “shared economy” is somewhat of a misnomer as it pertains to the home-share of an AirBnB or the ride-share of an Uber. Add “dog-sharing” to this mix, and visions of passing dogs around for free seems unfathomable.

But to a certain extent, such is the case. Except, with 'dog-sharing,' what you’re really sharing is ‘time.’ For a fee, you’re providing a service [such as, dog-walking, dog-sitting or dog-boarding] for busy dog-owners, freeing up their time to attend to life’s other chores. 

The Latest Dog Sharing App

There’s a good number of dog apps in the market today — some of which I’ve written about in the past, such as Rover and WonderWoof.

In March, a new one has caught the zeitgeist, when it became this year’s “Pet Care Innovation” grand prize winner at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida.

Welcome Barkly Pets, the latest app to enter the competitive dog-sharing market.

Top Dog Honors

Purina's grand prize is presented each year to a new company in the pet industry that has distinguished itself innovatively.

“Purina’s founder, William Danforth, dared his people to dream big, work hard and lead by example,” Blair Morgan, co-lead of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures Division and vice president of innovation at Purina, said, “and the Pet Care Innovation Prize is one way that we hope to embody that spirit by helping others succeed.”

Barkly Pets is an app, which matches up dog walkers and sitters with dog owners.  It’s an automated service for pet owners who choose to seek out pet care with in a few taps on their smartphone. Customers are then linked with ‘local,’ background-checked, and trained dog walkers available to attend to their dog[s] in as little as a 60-minute notice. Barkly Pets delivers premium care through pick-up/drop-off notifications, detailed walk reports including a GPS map of the route, photos from the visit, ability to provide instant feedback, and encrypted cash-less transactions - similar to Uber.

Who let the Barkly out. . .

As three close friends and neighbors – Chris Gonzalez, Dave Comiskey, and Jim Camut – often found themselves in need of helping each other out, when it came to the care of their dogs. Finding affordable, trustworthy, and reliable pet care for them was difficult, especially with little notice.

So they launched Barkly Pets in January 2015 and began walking dogs in their Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC. Word spread quickly throughout the numerous dog parks of the city. That was the beginning of what has become apet care choice for thousands of pet owners along the East Coast. Today, Barkly Pets is available in New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

It’s a Happy New Year for ‘Dog Sharing’

As noted, Barkly Pets didn’t invent ‘dog sharing.’ There are several in the market. But coincidentally, 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog, and as a result, it appears these apps are getting their fair "share" [pun intended] of attention, than they might have otherwise. From Wag, to Swifto and Care, today's there is a lot of software out there vying for your pup’s attention.

So Readers, if you’re in the market, please report back and let us know which service you’ve selected and why? Love to know what ‘bells and whistles’ caught your attention? I’m currently testing out Rover. If you're or around Beaufort, SC, give me a holler. I answer to barks as well.