Meetup.com has long been used for dating, political gatherings and book clubs. Now, pet owners all over the country have found a new use for this popular website â€“ socializing and commiserating with other pet owners.
Letâ€™s say you just adopted a Chihuahua puppy and youâ€™ve never had this breed before. Your puppy is incredibly hard to housebreak and youâ€™re at your breaking point. Your vet is tired of listening to your questions and the puppy classes youâ€™ve tried are filled with huge, goofy labs. Your mother just thinks youâ€™re completely crazy. Where do you turn for advice? Try turning to other Chihuahua owners that you meet on meetup.com.
For those of you not familiar with www.meetup.com, let me introduce you. Log onto the site and put in your city and dog breed or interest. Chances are high that there is an existing â€œmeetup groupâ€ already started in your area. These owners of like-breeds get together occasionally to let their dogs play together while they discuss breed-specific issues.
Youâ€™ll also find groups of people with new puppies, deaf dogs, feral cats, and myriads of rescue groups. Think of it as a built-in support group for pet owners.
I had my first experience with meetups when I joined a newly formed French Bulldog meetup group in the Denver area this winter. I was delighted to find 25 Frenchies frolicking at the dog park during the first meeting. The owners were all very knowledgeable about the breed and we all took turns discussing common Frenchie problems. (Snoring was a hot topic!) In less than a year the group has swelled to over 60 members and we now have a built-in network of email buddies when breed-specific issues crop up.
Mutt-lovers rejoice! There are plenty of other categories that include you as well. Look for small dog meetups, active dog meetups or all-inclusive Yappy Hours for the evening crowds. If you donâ€™t find an existing group already in your area, you can easily start one or request someone else to do so. Often others will jump in and help once they read about your great idea.
The next time youâ€™re at the breaking point with your pooch, donâ€™t fret. Just ask for a little help online! There’s a whole group waiting to help you.