Mohammad Khomakho, above, says besides cats and dogs, parrots are also currently covered by dupaws.com Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai-based expat has launched a new online platform to help pet owners find pet sitters to take care of their animals while they are away.

Called dupaws.com, the platform claims to work “along the lines of Airbnb”, a popular online marketplace and hospitality service.

“That’s what I say when people ask me how dupaws works. It’s the simplest way to deliver the idea of what we do,” Mohammad Khomakho, the Jordanian founder of dupaws.com, told XPRESS.

He said the service, registered in Ras Al Khaimah and launched last month, has already received around 30 requests. For now, its services cover only dogs, cats and parrots.

The aim is to provide an affordable option for residents to ensure their pets are taken care of when they have to travel. “Summer is fast approaching. As people go on vacation, it is not uncommon for them to abandon their pets. Our service hopefully will make a small difference,” said Khomakho.

So how does dupaws work? Khomakho said, “Those looking to avail our service just have to look up our list of registered pet sitters from different communities and areas. Their profiles, complete with their availability and experience are provided. There are many passionate pet people around us that would love to spend time with our furry friends, so we only try to connect people together.”

Potential match

Once a potential match is identified, the pet owner and sitter are encouraged to “meet and greet”, usually in the pet sitter’s home, so they can seek and get clarifications while the pets can acclimatise themselves to the new environment. Some sitters provide pick-up and drop off services, but not all.

Khomakho said some pet sitters offer their services free of cost while others could charge anywhere between Dh15 to Dh50 per day. “This is considered way cheaper than what most kennels charge. Moreover, the pets get to live in a proper home space, as opposed to tiny cubicles.” Although the initial registration of pet sitters is free for three months, a monthly subscription charge of Dh100 is charged if they wish to continue. Khomakho, who has been in Dubai for five years, said the idea of the pet sitting service dawned on him when he was living in Saudi Arabia with two cats earlier. “Once, I had to travel home to Jordan, but I didn’t know anyone with whom I could leave my two cats behind. I couldn’t take them on a flight either, so I was forced to drive all the way down with them. However, the experience got me thinking – surely, there were pet lovers around who would have been willing to sit my pets, provided I was able to reach them? That’s how I was led to start dupaws.”

For more details, go tohttps://www.dupaws.com