Updated: Sep 27
Yes, dogs… are you intrigued? Because we sure were.
Sitting down with the Founder and CEO, Dacia, we had to learn more about this concept, how it started, and why.
Here’s everything you need to know about Paws En Route, a platform that safely transports your pet (with or without you), at any time, to any place.
Have you ever called an Uber, waited for the driver to show up, only to have them slowly turn around once seeing a glimpse of you - or rather, seeing a glimpse of your dog…
We’ve heard hundreds of stories like this – in fact, many of us on the team have experienced it ourselves.
While it’s not the primary reason that Dacia, Founder and CEO of Paws En Route, started the company, it’s definitely a good reason to be intrigued.
The on demand service started as a personal struggle that Dacia had in finding a service to transport her dog, Liam.
“I was at a clinic when I was told my dog may never walk again, and had a few hours to take him to the emergency clinic to receive the medical care that he needed.”
Dacia asked the veterinarian clinic if they had a service that would take her to the specialist when she was told that no such service existed.
She was left without transportation, scrambling to find someone to help.
“I didn’t want any pet parent to experience what I did,” she explained.
After countless months dedicated to researching pet requirements around pet transportation, Paws En Route launched in Eastern Canada in 2018.
The on-demand-service is for pet owners looking for reliable and safe transportation, both for ground and air. The team is comprised of vetted and experienced pet-loving Drivers and Nanny’s, which they call Pet Guardians, that are dedicated to making the pet travel experience a pleasant one.
The on-demand-service is for pet owners looking for reliable and safe transportation, both for ground and air. The pet guardians, comprised of drivers (for ground transportation) and nanny’s (for air transportation) are all vetted and experienced pet lovers that are dedicated to making the pet travel experience a pleasant one.
“We know pet parents have high expectations when it comes to products and services for their pets, which is why we spent endless hours researching their requirements before launching.”
The delivery model and operating philosophy is centered around these expectations, and include high quality and safe service, knowledgeable and experienced pet guardians that exhibit care, respect, and place a high priority on safety.
“All of our ground transportation furry passengers are required to wear a crash tested safety harness, and each ride comes with enough water for the ride and potty breaks to ensure the pets are hydrated and comfortable.”
But where exactly do these pets go?
According to Dacia, pets are almost as active as us humans.
“Our ground transportation service has transported over 10,000 pets to date, to all sorts of places.”
This includes regularly scheduled veterinary appointments, special vet clinics, family & friend visits, grooming appointments, daycare, kennels, airports - okay we’ll stop now because we think you get the drift - basically anywhere on ground that pets need to get to.
“We have transported everything from dogs and cats to pot belly pigs, turtles, geckos, alpaca’s, salamander, geckos… the list goes on.”
The company had a pet parent reach out last month requesting for the service to take her pet rat to and from rat day camp – yes, day camp for rats, a service our team didn’t even know existed – you learn something new every day!
“We don’t discriminate - if the pet can fit in the vehicle, we will help.”
The air transportation service has helped transport hundreds of rescues and adopted pets, which includes driving the pet to the airport, or acting as a concierge service to relieve the stress that comes with organizing air transport.
“The concierge service is perfect for pet parents that need help with the stringent process that comes with transporting a pet from one city or country to another. It can be overwhelming at times, and the concierge service makes the process as seamless as possible.”
According to Dacia, there are detailed requirements from the Canadian government, and importing countries have varying rules and regulations that pet owners need to comply with.
“We take the worry out of organizing the details that come with transporting a pet after adoption, including providing health certificates, completing the custom paperwork required for travel, security checks, and the check-in process.”
The company has partners in almost every country and for pet owners that require a bit more, the Paws En Route service can be used to escort the pet during the travel experience. A dedicated pet guardian can also be assigned to be with the animal during an overnight stay or lay-over.
“Similar to what happens when we humans travel to a new country, pets have to go through custom clearance as well. They may have overnight stays where they need to stretch their legs, and we ensure a comfortable stop.”
Sounds like the perfect job, but we had to know more about who these pet guardians were, and how to become one.
Dacia let us know that applicants interested in becoming a pet guardian are put through a stringent vetting process, with requirements including experience with pet care, working in the industry.
“We have a 0 tolerance for driving infractions, all of our drivers have a clean driving record, undergo two interviews to ensure alignment with our overall philosophy around pet care, and are required to have vehicles that are of a certain year or newer.”
Dacia let us know that up to 40% of drivers and nanny applicants don’t receive approval. While this is lower than the industry average for services that offer pet setting, for example, Dacia explains that the majority of applicants that apply prefer to be around pets versus people.
“We had someone apply last month that actually thought this was a volunteer based service! We had to explain to them that it was actually paid, and they couldn’t believe it.”
Once approved, continuous testing and training is conducted to ensure each pet guardian is up to date with the newest tools, safety regulations, and safety partnerships.
One such partner is the Center for Pet Safety, a non-profit safety science organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety.
“The organization conducts rigorous product evaluations as it pertains to pet safety products, one of which being the safety harnesses that we’ve recently implemented for all of our ground transportation travels.”
A few other partners in the works include the Department of Transportation in Texus and the RCMP.
“We’ve heard horrible stories of pets being left in cars on hot days, or pet owners that just aren’t aware of the impact of paws on hot surfaces, or not providing enough water on hot days. All of these can be fatal, and our partnerships in this area aim to educate, and promote pet safety outside of our service.”
During our conversations with Dacia, it was apparent that the company really cared about the safety and wellbeing of pets, so much so that the cost for their service is comparable to an Uber ride (only this time, the driver won’t turn around), or comparable to the cost of a pet owner transporting and escorting a pet without their help.
“We wanted the service to be accessible to all. For the air travel, we have partnerships with airlines that make it an affordable service, and keep our ground transportation rates similar to other services that are for humans.”
The company is currently servicing Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, with plans to expand Canada wide and into the States by early to mid 2023. To learn more visit pawsenroute.com (unique link) and download the app (unique link).
This article is sponsored content