Read our exclusive interview with Tanguy Peers, co-founder of Pawshake and an expat himself !
Having trouble finding someone to trust during your absence to take good care of your pet!
Pawshake help you find a trusted person in your neighbourhood to take care of your pet. You can find either a foster home or a pet sitter who comes to take care of your pet at home.
With Pawshake the animal receives personalized attention, sleep in his own basket, is not in a cage or kennel and receives free hugs. You are sure your pet will be happy now !
Furthermore, there is also the master winner. Pawshake will not give the master feelings of guilt, he will receive daily photos of his pet and can easily book and pay online.
New : Pawshake offers an insurance that covers your pet and its guardian!
Do not wait and register on www.pawshake.be
The procedure to have your pets come to Belgium:
Interview Tangy Peers PAWSHAKE
1)Your idea is great – how did you think of it ?
Pawshake cofounder Dries Coucke's life was turned upside down in 2009 when his father Luc Coucke (who passed away in 2012) was diagnosed at the age of 60 with cancer. During the numerous chemotherapy sessions, Dries and his two brothers tried their best to support their parents. Yet, it soon became clear that his parents' labrador Ibeau would need someone to take care of him. Unfortunately, Dries couldn't lodge Ibeau because the dog didn't get along with his dachshund Brownie. Moreover, Dries' two brothers had just become fathers and were couldn't take responsibility for Ibeau either.
In 2010, Dries started the idea of Pawshake with a post on the Facebook page of pets.be, the online animal community he founded in 2002. Immediately, the community responded positively. The idea of Pawshake was born!
The idea continued to run through Dries' mind, but accelerated in 2013 when he spoke about it with Tanguy Peers, a former colleague from eBay. Fueled by their shared passion for using the internet to make meaningful connections, they embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to bring Pawshake to the world and improve pet and owner lives.
2) In how many countries is Pawshake actually active ?
Pawshake is present in 14 countries - from Brussels to London to Toronto to Sydney. The list of countries can be found at www.pawshake.com
3) Does an ex-pat have the possibility to find a gardian who speaks English or a foreign language, is it specified in his profile ?
Yes, we there are many expats registered as sitters on Pawshake (especially in the Brussels and Antwerp area) as some expats have to travel frequently and cannot have a pet full time.
There is an English (en.pawshake.be) and German (de.pawshake.be) version of the website available for the expats.
4) Your site is very « user-friendly » but in case of an accident, what insurance do we- or our animal- have as well as the person looking after it, or a third party ?
Yes, Pawshake offers an insurance.
5) You say «checked profiles, checking by mail, Facebook and sms, is this sufficient ?
These verifications methods are just one of the many quality thresholds on the site. Pawshake is all about trust.
Choosing a pet sitter is similar to choosing a baby sitter. We always recommend pet owners to contact at least two sitters and meet them for free in person before making a booking.
Pawshake is a community of responsible pet lovers around the world. There are veterinary medicine students, professional sitters or just pet lovers registered on Pawshake who offer their services.
The best insurance you have is to use your common sense.
6) In order to pay, is it necessary to go through Pawshake ?
Yes, you need to book through the website. No, there are no booking or hidden fees on Pawshake. So the price you see on the website is the price you pay.
We finance the website by taking a 19% contribution from the pet sitter. So concretely, if the price is 12 euros, the pet owner will pay 12 euros, the pet sitter will receive 10 euros and Pawshake gets 2 euros to finance the team and the website.
7) Can you assure us complete security and trust from the moment we entrust our animal to you?
You can never be 100% sure as Pawshake is the reflection of our society. However at Pawshake we do everything we can to work with the most trusted people only. Not everyone can register and people if sitters don’t keep a high level of service they are immediately banned from the site. Trust is the foundation of Pawshake.
Pet owners should always meet (for free) the pet sitter in person before making a booking. Make sure all your questions are answered properly. Trust your instinct and use your common sense.
Once you found the right pet sitter, book online. The sitter will only be paid and the end of the booking period and you will be able to leave a feedback rating.
8) Extra question for everyone interested in your progress :
your expatriation to San Francisco is going well ?
Yes my expatriation is going well. Actually I am expat for the last 20 years and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to live in many different countries.
When I was young I was fascinated by stories like David Livingstone, Marco Polo etc. My passion has always been to travel and to meet people.
Do you miss Belgium ?
Both my wife and myself are from Belgium. It’s where our parents and family live. Every year we make extended stays with the children in Belgium. It’s important to keep your roots. I think we succeeded with our 8 year old twin boys who get really excited during the world cup in June. On the professional side, I have close ties with Belgium as Dries Coucke, co-founder of Pawshake, is based in Belgium
Do you have an equivalent of Expats in Brussels ?
I am not aware of a written expat guide here in the San Francisco Bay Area but there many expats groups (usually by country) like BCNC for the Belgians, SFBA for the French …