In the UK, nearly a quarter of non-dog owners would consider sharing ownership of a pet. This isn’t surprising considering a study conducted by Legal & General, an insurance and asset management group founded in 1836, found that 71% of non-dog owners wouldn’t mine walking someone else’s dog, and 55% of dog owners would consider letting a stranger walk their dog.
Legal & General also asked survey participants if they would consider co-parenting a dog. Co-parenting involves two or more people who live in separate households and share ownership of a dog. Under a quarter of the people surveyed were open to co-parenting, with 24% of dog owners and 23% of non-dog owners saying they’d consider it.
Meanwhile, six percent of owners already co-parent a dog. The reasons for co-parenting include sharing expenses and also because many people are too busy to care for a dog by themselves. In addition, co-parenting minimizes the time a dog may have to spend in daycare. “Co-parenting would allow me to get around the problem of working shifts and lack of walkers available,” a 28-year-old male non-dog owner responded.
Sixty-five percent of respondents said they would not be open to co-parenting, while 10% said they were unsure. Of those who are not in favor of co-parenting, 59% said that having more than one home could unsettle the dog, and half thought that differences in parenting styles may confuse the dog. On the other hand, 23% of respondents believed it would be positive for a dog to have more than one parent, though one in three people thought co-parenting would have a negative impact on a dog’s welfare.
For those who don’t have time or possibility of owning a dog or even co-parenting, dog walking is a good alternative. In the UK, the market for dog walkers is booming. Currently, dog walkers generate £700m a year, though experts say it has the potential to become a £2.3bn industry.
Seven in 10 people would consider walking a stranger’s dog and 43% of dog owners say a key reason they use a dog walker is to give someone without a dog the pleasure of interacting with one. Meanwhile, 31% percent of dog owners say they’d consider paying for a dog walker. So whether you own, co-parent or simply walk dogs, enjoy the time spent with your four-legged friend.