How to Build a Pet Lover Community

You’re a loving dog or cat owner—and you know you’re not alone.

Amid the hustle and bustle of life, how can you make time to get out of your bubble and make time to connect with fellow pet owners? By meeting like-minded pet owners, you can foster a community to lean on and share in both the delights and frustrations of pet ownership.

Here are some ways to build a pet lover community:

Volunteer at an Animal Organization

By volunteering, you can make friends with fellow animal lovers who also care deeply about the well-being of animals. The best part of volunteering is that because you’ll be focused on the task at hand, you’ll bond naturally with other volunteers in a casual, low-key environment. There’s no shortage of opportunities to volunteer at your local no-kill animal shelter, through the Humane Society, or perhaps by being a dog foster parent.

Note that some organizations may require you to volunteer for a set amount of hours every week, so you’ll want to check beforehand what the expectations are for volunteering. You’ll also want to check and see if any vaccinations are required for volunteers.

Strike Up a Conversation at the Dog Park

If you’re a naturally shy person, a dog park is a great way to meet fellow pet owners. You have a dog, they have a dog…you have an instant connection right there. Whether it’s chatting it up on how to acclimate newcomers to the park, or swapping referrals for dog walkers in the neighborhood, it’s easy to make friends with fellow puppy guardians at the local dog park.

Sometimes your pups do all the work for you. When your pets bond with one another, they provide an easy introduction to their human owners. So while you may be shy by nature, there’s a good chance that the fellow pooch owner will be too. Don’t hesitate to initiate chit chat.

Attend Pet Adoption Fairs

Even if you’re not actively looking for a dog or cat to bring home, attending an adoption fair will keep you connected with fellow pet lovers. Plus you can learn about local animal organizations and resources. Besides attending a pet adoption fair to meet other pet lovers and offer some TLC to animals in need or a home, you can sign up to volunteer at one.

Connect Online

These days there are plenty of ways to meet fellow pet owners on the Internet. Besides Meetup.com, you can join Facebook Groups to reach out to fellow dog and cat lovers. And don’t underestimate the potential of good ‘ole Yelp. You can look up dog parks, cat cafes, pet-friendly places and volunteer groups, and read reviews.

Create a Pet Sitting Group

While you can easily hire someone to watch over your dog or cat while you’re on vacation, consider creating a network of fellow pet owners who are available to pet sit. If you’re wary, start by asking people you know and trust, and build out your network from there.

You can also join a Time Bank, where you exchange goods and services with time, to suss out potential members for your pet sitting group. Besides swapping hours for services, you can also host a free pet supplies swap, where you can informally barter unused pet food and toys.

While it may seem challenging to do, by making a bit of effort, you can slowly foster a community of fellow pet owners that can help support one another.

Meet the Author: Jackie Lam

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