Saturday, April 28, 2007 - Strange 'Rent-A-Pet' Business Idea

Flexpetz recently launched in Los Angeles and San Diego, and offers consumers the option of having a dog for just a few hours or days a week. Which is a good solution for people who'd love to have a dog, but are too busy, travel frequently, or live in buildings that don't allow dog ownership. The dogs come from breed rescue shelters, who take in specific breeds and help pick animals that are well-suited to a live as Flexpetz. When they're not spending time with members, the dogs live in a cage-free facility that provides a safe and steady base. The company's founder, Marlena Cervantes, views Flexpetz like an extended family: "When our dogs spend time with their extended family members, they are lavished with love and undivided attention. We feel our this concept allows our dogs more love and attention than single ownership can often provide."

Membership is limited, and each dog generally spends time with a small group of people. Monthly membership costs USD 39.95 plus a daily fee, and members can reserve their pooch of choice online. Before being allowed to rent a dog, members go through a mandatory training session with a certified Flexpetz dog trainer. The service aims to expand to New York, San Francisco and Boston soon, followed by other cities in the United States and abroad. One to set up locally? Or how about starting a website that matches two or three owners, facilitating fractional dog ownership based on location, availability and personality?

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