Dog Sharing

What exactly is dog-sharing?

At Social Paws, we consider dog-sharing to be the result of a wonderfully beneficial relationship between a dog-parent, Team Paws, and a non-dog parent who loves dogs, Team Social. This relationship is built upon the shared love of a particular dog and a desire for more freedom, community, and savings around time with that dog. Team Paws shares their dog with Team Social, gaining freedom from traditional full-time dog-ownership. Team Social offers dog care simply to spend time with that dog, benefitting from an alternative to full-time dog-ownership. 

Why dog-share?

Team Social’s reasons for sharing a pup include: 

  • Fitness: wanting a companion for walks and/or runs
  • Companionship: to make solo life and activities more enjoyable
  • Family: to offer a solution when some family members want a dog and others don’t

Team Paws’ reasons for sharing their pup include: 

  • Providing their dog with more affection, activity and less alone time
  • Enjoying a break from dog-parenting
  • Saving money on dog care expenses such as walking and boarding
Who pays for the dog’s needs: ie: dog grooming, food, treats, etc?  

Team Paws is always the dog-owner responsible for 100% of their dogs’ expenses and needs. Team Social’s role is to spend time with Team Paw’s dog, following their guidelines and perhaps even using Team Paws’ supplies during dog-shares.

As a dog-sharing relationship deepens between the humans and dog(s) involved, Team Social may choose to purchase food, treats, etc for the dog and Team Paws may flex their guidelines for their dog. Ultimately, Team Paws is the dog-owner responsible for their dog’s expenses and for determining the guidelines around their dog’s care.

Do dogs enjoy dog-sharing?

Dog-sharing can be very enriching and rewarding for your dog, as they benefit from more exercise, affection, and play. We recommend taking dog-sharing slowly and observing your pup’s enjoyment of the process. There are exceptions to every norm and you know your dog best.

Social Paws

How does Social Paws help?

Social Paws provides the platform to connect both sides of the equation – so that all of the interested dog owners and dog lovers local to one another can match, connect, and potentially enjoy the benefits of dog-sharing!

How much does Social Paws cost?

Currently, to our beta-testers, we are offering Social Paws for completely free! We eventually plan to charge a subscription – which will still be a massive savings compared to the costs of dog-care or dog-ownership. So for now, as we build, take advantage of your free full access to Social Paws!

What is a free beta version and how can I help?

The version of Social Paws you are experiencing is a simple version with the minimal features required to express our service, offered as a free download with no subscription attached.

All we want from you is your feedback: What do you love? What annoys you? What do you want to see in the next version? Tell us everything, often, right here.

Also share and refer Social Paws so we can blow this test out of the water! More users = a better experience. Refer us to all your dog-people here.


Is dog-sharing safe?

Dog-sharing is as safe as the measures that you take to ensure that it is. Social Paws is simply a matching platform that facilitates the introduction of dog-owners and dog-lovers for the benefit of both parties. Think of us as matchmakers, like dating applications. With this in mind, it’s important to vet one another for experience, safety, and comfort.

What measures do I take to ensure safe dog-sharing?

Social Paws’ role is to connect. Your role is to vet your matches beyond our introduction. We recommend getting to know one another and building trust gradually.

Safe Dog-Sharing 101: Getting to Know One Another
Message through our app and then get to walking! Team Social, offer to walk a dog you dig. Team Paws, offer some dog-time to a sweet family or student. Chat a bit before the dog-walk or walk together, covering:

Establish your human connection 

  • How long have you both lived here?
  • What do you both hope to get out of dog sharing?

Get to know your dog(s)! 

  • What is their personality?
  • What are their funny quirks?

Get specific around safety
Disclose all potential safety risks. 

For Team Paws (the dog-owners)
Disclose everything about your dog. 

  • Is your dog an escape artist? 
  • Does your dog get car sick? 
  • Is your dog aggressive around certain populations? 
  • Does your dog pull, chew, dig?

You know your dog best, and it’s your responsibility to share openly and answer questions honestly about your dog.

For Team Social (the dog-carers)
Be honest about your experience, level of understanding, and capability with dogs. 

  • Is your house and backyard dog-friendly, what are potential hazards? 
  • How much experience have you had with dogs?
  • What should you do when approaching another dog with their dog? 
  • What is the plan if something goes wrong – i.e. the dog is unwell, gets injured or escapes.

Safe Dog Sharing 101: There is no obligation
If at any point, either team isn’t comfortable, move on. With dog-sharing, it’s important that both parties feel confident and excited to dog-share together. If you suspect that someone doesn’t have the right attitude, or is a risk to our community, report this to us: woof@socialpawsapp.com.

Safe Dog Sharing 101: Build Trust Over Time
Once both parties feel ready and excited to move forward into dog-sharing, start small and build trust over time. Let Team Social take the dog on their own for a walk and see how that goes. All good? Let the dog can stay over for a few hours while Team Social works from home. Pup came back happy? Let the pup can join in for an adventure the next time Team Social heads out for a hike.  Build trust over time with short shares: visits and walks, before moving into longer shares: day trips and overnights. Watch a demo!

Safe Dog Sharing 101: Ongoing Communication 

Always keep open lines of communication. It may be that you’re both sharing fun comments and cute dog photos most of the time, but reliable communication ensures that when there is an urgent need or emergency, you are available to one another to ensure the best possible outcome for your shared dog.

Social Paws’ Social Agreements

We ask that our community uphold the standards of the American Kennel Club in all interactions through our platform.


“The dog” refers to all dogs that you find yourself sharing through the Social Paws platform.
I pledge to: 

  1. Properly control the dog’s environment 
    1. Follow Team Paws’ leashing guidelines for their dog
    2. Provide fencing where appropriate
    3. Protect the dog from real and potential hazards
  2. Pick up and properly dispose of the dog’s waste in all public areas 
  3. Care for the dog as if it is my own and return the dog in the same condition in which it was given to me.

I pledge that:

  1. My dog is a safe dog
  • My dog is up to date on all required and recommended vaccinations
  • My dog has a safe temperament and is not a violent dog
  1. I will share openly and honestly about my dog to give Team Social as much information as possible regarding:
  • my dog’s temperament 
  • my dog’s level of behavior training
  • my dog’s level of house training
  • anything I believe is important to know when caring for my dog
  1. I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification
Do you conduct background checks?

We do not currently conduct background check screenings.  The success of dog-sharing will always come down to you doing your research, using your best judgment, and remembering that every new interaction carries an inherent risk. View every match as if you are meeting someone new at the dog park and de-risk yourself by spending adequate time building trust with your new dog-loving pals.

Are dog-shares insured?

We do not extend insurance to our community. Our service is limited to the introduction of both parties and as we outline in our terms and conditions, you agree that we are not liable for any subsequent events which are outside of our control once the introduction has been made.
We recommend, but do not require, ensuring that you have the following coverage in place before dog-sharing: health insurance (for Team Social), pet insurance (for Team Paws), and homeowners Insurance with allowances for third party property damage and personal injury.

What about Vet Information?

We ask that both parties work together to share critical information that can make or break an emergency situation: 

  • Emergency contact information
  • Preferred Veterinary contact information

We created a Vet Release Form to facilitate the communication of Team Paws’ preferred Vet information and to even allow Team Social to authorize care of their dog if ever necessary.

Team Paws, it is your responsibility to gather this information and communicate it to Team Social and complete our Vet Release Form.
Team Social, it is your responsibility to record and use this information in any emergency situation.

What if an incident/ accident occurs during a dog-share?

Accidents and incidents occur even when:

  • Team Paws shares all of the necessary dog-care guidelines and Team Social follows said guidelines.
  • The dog is a healthy and safe dog
  • Team Social is responsible and well-meaning.

We advise taking the following steps when an incident/ accident occurs with a dog:

  • Team Social, communicate with Team Paws immediately and transparently:
    • Report the incident that occured 
    • Clarify that you have followed all of their instructions correctly 
    • Put out the fire together: come up with a solution and next steps
  • If Team Paws is not accessible, use their emergency contact information and follow the same above steps. 
  • If vet care is necessary, use their veterinary information to secure the emergency care important for their dog. 

Ultimately everyone has the ability to rate and review the humans and the dogs on our platform. This is an opportunity to inform others about what to expect from their sharing experience with this person or dog. 

Account / App Usage

Is my credit card information safe?

In this [the beta] version of Social Paws, the only reason you will enter credit card information will be to “toss us a treat if you’re enjoying your experience!” We are not charging subscriptions or incorporating credit card information into our authentication process.
Any credit card information entered by you will not be stored by Social Paws. We recommend using standard precautions when entering your personal information:
enter it on personal devices

  • Enter it on personal devices
  • Log out afterward
  • Ensure that you are entering it in private
How do I leave a review?

Both Team Paws and Team Social can leave a review at any point in time to expand upon any dog or human profile. We encourage you to review every dog-sharing experience so our community can be as informed as possible during their dog-sharing experiences.

What happens if one of us needs to cancel our share?

We recommend that all messaging is kept in-app to house and protect your interactions.
The best practice when canceling is to do so as soon as possible and to share a reason why to minimize disappointment and inconvenience.

Ultimately, you have the opportunity to rate one another, report problems to the Social Paws team, and move on to other matches. Here at Social Paws, we believe there is a dog-sharing partner for everyone and we strive to provide the tools to help you find one another!

What if I can’t find any matches for me?

Try increasing your search radius and decreasing filter preferences. 

If you are still not finding matches, suggest the app to people in your real-life encounters! The next time you chat with the owner of an adorable dog or someone who adores your dog, say, “Have you heard of Social Paws? We can connect there and dog-share if you would like!” We love the power of word of mouth referrals and yours matters.

Team Paws

How do I get to know Team Social?

The concept of Social Paws is that you are meeting local dog lovers who are keen to meet and potentially spend plenty of time with your pup! Simply message in-app and meet in-person to let them give your dog a walk! During these interactions, gauge their ability to care for your dog, reliability, and transparency..

What questions should I ask Team Social?

Interact with intention. Enjoy getting to know a new person and also appreciate the importance of vetting someone who will care for your furbaby. We recommend chatting about their past experience with dogs, their comfort with dogs, and their concerns with dogs.

What information should I share with Team Social?

Top 3 points to cover with Team Social:

  • Share your pup’s past history of fights and bites
  • Share whether or not your pup is spayed/ neutered
  • Share anything and everything that you think is important

And for good measure, ask them if they can think of anything you missed. As always, maintain open lines of communication because questions always crop up in real time.

Can I meet Team Social before I leave my dog in their care?

Yes. In fact, it is required.  Meet as many times as you want: do walks, demonstrate leash-behavior, encounter other dogs & humans, visit Team Social’s home, etc, until you feel super comfortable letting them dog-share with you!

Where will this meeting take place?

When Team Social comes to give your dog a walk, you can choose to meet them on the street or let them pick up your pup at your apartment. And if you choose to walk with them, show them your regular route!

Can Team Social let my dog off-leash?

It’s important that you establish rules and boundaries for your dog’s leash behavior. Consider:

  • Is it imperative that your dog never be off leash in the presence of other dogs?
  • If off-leash, will your pup run for freedom? 
  • Are they perfectly fine off-leash inside an enclosed area?

It is always safest to request that Team Social keep your dog leashed 100% of the time.

Should I tip Team Social?

Nope! We are connecting dog-owners with a community motivated to spend time with dogs for the joy of it, without income as a motivator. Dog-sharing is relational vs. transactional. The reward is baked right in.

What vaccinations are required of my dog to participate with Social Paws?

There are “core” vaccines and “lifestyle” vaccines. In NYC, for the safety of your dog and Team Social, it is critical that dogs be current on the following “core” vaccines: 

  • DA2PP vaccine ( covers infectious diseases ie: Distemper, Parvo) 
  • Rabies vaccine (required by law in NYC)

Beyond the core vaccines, we want you to follow these guidelines:

  • Leptospirosis (Lepto is spread through rat urine, recommended for NYC)
  • Bordetella (Also known as “kennel cough,” recommended for dogs often in social settings: dog parks, boarding or daycare, groomers)
  • Lyme (Dogs who often hike in tick-infested areas can benefit greatly from this vaccine)
  • Canine Influenza (Similar to Bordetella, this is recommended for dogs in social settings, as dog flu is highly contagious)

On Social Paws, you pledge to share a dog that is safe and healthy, and according to NYC veterinary guidelines.

How do I add dogs/ more than one dog?

Our app guides you through profile creation for yourself and your pup. After you’re done with your pup’s profile, you are given the option to create additional pup profiles. For our matching process, it is necessary to create individual profiles for each of your dogs.

What if I want to share all of my pups together?

We understand that it is convenient, if you have more than one dog, to have them all walked or cared for at once. But, Team Social may not be equipped for or interested in doing so.
Explore the option this way:
Ask Team Social about their interest in and comfort with meeting your additional pup(s). Share your other pup(s) profile(s) with them.
The in-person walk is an opportunity to introduce them to the pup(s) they are interested in meeting. Ultimately, they may want to limit their sharing experience to one pup before taking on their sibling(s). 

Allow Team Social to set the pace that works for them.

Do you have any breed restrictions?

All dogs are welcome to Social Paws! We leave breed discretion up to Team Social. 

What should I put on my dog’s profile?

Post up to all 3 pictures of your pup!
Then, in the bio, include: 

  • Your pup’s hopes for dog-sharing – ie: Luna could use more exercise during the day 
  • Your hopes for dog-sharing – ie: I would like my pup to be with someone when I’m at the office.
  • Your pup’s personality!

Ultimately, share with Team Social a snapshot of: who your pup is, what activities can be enjoyed with your pup, and when.

What should I put on my profile?

Your dog is the star of the show and you are the dog-pawrent behind the star! Try sharing: 

  • All about you
  • What are your reasons for dog-sharing? (ie: life has gotten busier and I still want my pup to have the affection and activity she loves)
Can I be a part of Team Social too?

So you want to meet other dog pawrents? We have saved this feature for the next version of Social Paws. If you want to share more and make other suggestions, message us. We are always developing for you!

Team Social

What should I put on my profile?

Share plenty of photos expressing yourself as a dog-lover and other aspects of your personality. Include: 

  • Why you are interested in dog-sharing (ie: I would love to have a pup to take my daily walks with)
  • What your past experience with dogs is (ie: my dog passed away, and I’m not sure if I want another just yet)
  • What you do for work, fun, etc.
Can I meet Team Paws before caring for their dog?

Yes. In fact, it is required.  Go ahead and offer a dog-walk to the dogs to get started! Gradually give more walks, then playdates, and maybe even a holiday stay. Meet and interact as much as is necessary for you to feel confident and excited as you build relationships with some pawsome dogs!

What questions should I ask Team Paws?

Top 3 questions to ask when meeting  

  • How is your dog around other dogs? humans?
  • Does your dog prefer the dog park or just walking through the park?
  • What else should I know?
Does Team Paws provide food?

We encourage you to ask Team Paws to ensure that you have everything you need to care well for their dog. Feel free to ask them for: 

  • Leashes (ie: a running leash)
  • Food (and feeding details)
  • Toys (ie: a ball to play catch with)
  • Bowls (maybe a collapsible one to-go) 
Are the dogs I am matching with vaccinated?

We ask that all dogs on Team Paws be current on the vaccinations recommended by veterinarians for dogs in NYC. These include rabies, bordetella and canine distemper vaccines.

Where can I take the dog? Can I let him/her off leash?

The safest thing for you to do is to assume that you want to keep the dog on-leash 100% of the time. If Team Paws outlines exceptions to that rule, those are the exceptions you can observe. The golden rule at all times is to remember: the dog you are sharing has an official owner and you as Team Social are required to and have agreed to yield to their guidelines when caring for their dog.

Can I take the dog on a hike? Can I give the dog trim? Can I treat the dog cheese?

Eventually dog-sharing becomes intimate. Communication is key. Simply ask Team Paws if you can “treat their dog to some cheese, allow their dog to be off-leash during a hike, treat their dog to a trim, etc.”
Ultimately it’s up to Team Paws. Remember: in dog-sharing, you benefit from the freedom of not owning a dog; this is the tradeoff. Enjoy it!