For anyone who’s ever owned a dog with behavior problems, you’ve likely been told that your dog might be suffering from loneliness and is therefore destructive when you’re not around. “Adopt a second dog” is advice commonly given to help combat these issues, but not everyone can have more than one dog. Thankfully, Sam Lovett, a dog lover from Los Angeles, came up with an answer to this problem a year ago. His solution is dogbuddymatch.com.
Dog Buddy Match is a neighbor-to-neighbor exchange, allowing a dog companionship with another dog while owners are at work or school. Additionally, Dog Buddy Match can be used by neighbors who would like to trade boarding services while one owner is away or on vacation.
The concept was born when Lovett was looking for ways to find companionship for his dog, Riley, during the day. Riley didn’t like being left alone and was prone to chewing and digging when he spent the day by himself in the backyard. At the same time, the neighbor’s dog, Buster, was prone to constant barking whenever he was left alone.
One day, Lovett decided to ask the neighbors if his dog, Riley, could spend the day with Buster. The neighbors agreed, and not surprisingly, the behavior problems in both dogs disappeared. Two years later, the two dogs are best buds and spend time together every day.
“Many dogs suffer great distress when left alone for long periods of time, resulting in destructive or other problematic behaviors,” said Lovett. “Since not everyone can afford dog day care, we wanted to create a completely free alternative and make it available to every dog owner nationwide.”
It works almost exactly like online dating services. You sign up and create a profile for your dog, search for potential matches in your area, send a message to connect, and then meet to test compatibility.
Dog Buddy Match suggests three separate supervised meetings to ensure the dogs get along well before leaving them alone together. The first meeting should be in a completely neutral area such as a public park, a dog park, or school athletic field, preferably off-leash. If all goes well in the first meeting, a second and third meeting should take place wherever the dogs will be spending their time alone together. If all goes well after the third meeting, then it’s time to officially let the Dog Buddy Match begin!
Dog Buddy Match has the potential to improve the well-being of lonely dogs across the country, and it’s also a great opportunity for dog owners to connect with their neighbors and exchange dog-sitting services. The overall hope is that Dog Buddy Match will prevent dogs from being given to animal shelters due to behavior problems. And it’s totally free.