With peak daytime temperatures in Grand Rapids, Michigan, not expected to crack 40 degrees for the remainder of January, the prospect of leaving the house to shop for groceries will result in chilling thoughts. But for canine-owning patrons in the area who frequent the city’s Bridge Street Market, a warm pitstop awaits for pooches while their owners patronize the store.
Via a partnership with Purina, New York-based pet-tech startup DogSpot is offering free use of its temperature-controlled doghouses (normally it costs 30 cents per minute) that are near the market. In addition to warmth, they provide a secure, smart alternative to having pups wait at home or in an undesirable public situation.
"Running errands together creates a great bonding and socializing opportunity for dogs and their owners," said Erica Wehmeier, team sales leader at Purina. "By partnering with DogSpot and [Bridge Street Market parent company] Meijer, Purina is happy to help shoppers provide a clean, safe and comfortable space for their dogs to wait at Bridge Street Market so they don’t have to worry about their pets while they shop or feel guilty about leaving them at home."
Chelsea Brownridge, DogSpot’s CEO, had people like herself in mind when she co-founded the company five years ago, as she was seeking “a better way to involve my dog Winston in more of my everyday activities.”
“So many places cannot allow dogs inside because of federal health code regulations, and the alternatives like tying him up outside or leaving him the car are completely unacceptable for me,” she said. “Creating safe nooks for him [in a city setting] allows him to go on even more walks than before, and I know he’s safe and comfortable, grabbing a quick rest in between stops.”
Brownridge describes her company’s partnership with Purina as “a natural one. DogSpot is looking for ways to bring the service to our members for free and to promote dog brands who go above and beyond for the health and happiness of our pets.”
All DogSpot houses are app-connected with heated floors, air conditioning, a puppy cam, a locking, shatterproof door and fresh-air ventilation to ensure comfort, cleanliness and safety for dogs. A vet-grade UVC light activates between uses to sanitize the house.
DogSpot has locations in 11 states, with plans to have a presence soon in eight more, plus Washington, D.C. To learn more about its app-controlled houses, click here.