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Uber meets travel agent (for dogs) launches in Western Canada.



That’s right. Uber for dogs. Are you intrigued? Because we sure were.

We sat down with Founder and CEO of Paws En Route, Dacia Rohlehr, 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.

If you’ve ever called an uber and while waiting for the driver watched them slowly turn around after getting a glimpse of you and your dog, you already understand.

We’ve heard hundreds of stories like this and 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 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 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 vet 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.

“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 a 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.”

The company takes pets to regularly scheduled veterinary appointments, special vet clinics, family & friend visits, grooming appointments, daycare, kennels, airports - you get the point.--- they happily go 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.”

Dacia told us that they had a pet parent reach out last month requesting the company 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 safely 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 our 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 physically 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 also 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.

Applicants interested in becoming a pet guardian can apply directly on their website and are put through a stringent vetting process, with requirements including experience with pet care, working in the industry.

“We have a zero 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 slightly lower than the industry average for services that offer pet sitting, 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 a paid position, and they couldn’t believe it.”

Once becoming an approved Pet Guardian, the company provides continuous training 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’s Website outlines the rigorous product evaluations, as it pertains to pet safety products, that are conducted, one of which being the safety harnesses.

“The product is now required in all ground transportation rides, and is just one example of the benefits this partnership has resulted in.”

A few other partners in the works include the Department of Transportation in Texas 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 Dacia made it very apparent that their company really cares about the safety and wellbeing of pets, the cost for their service is comparable to an Uber ride (only this time, the driver won’t turn around), even to a pet owner transporting a pet themselves.

“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 the Paws En Route website for air transportation or concierge service and download the app for ground transportation.

Exclusive OMD! Readers offer - Add promo code Paw5 to driver instructions upon booking for $5 off your first ride.



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