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Dog parking? High-tech, rentable dog houses coming to Seattle

(Photo courtesy of DogSpot)

Numerous grocery stores don’t allow dogs inside because … they’re dogs. And being around that much food is too much for them to bear. So you often see them tied outside or waiting in the car, but apparently that wasn’t good enough for the dogs.

Enter DogSpot, a company that makes high-tech dog houses that gives the dogs a comfortable, secure place to wait in while their owner buys food that isn’t for them. Eight of the dog houses will be installed at QFC locations throughout the Seattle area in May, according to QFC.

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“QFC is leading the way in new innovations that span health, fitness and fresh food, and now we’re proud to pioneer DogSpot because it enables us to champion our four-footed community as well,” said Suzy Monford, president of QFC. “Our primary goal is to offer a friendly, uplifting shopping experience for all of our customers, no matter their situation. These DogSpot houses at our stores will offer a safe and comfortable shelter for our customers’ dogs and eliminate a barrier to shopping that pet owners often run up against.”

These aren’t the dog houses of your childhood. They’re equipped with heat and air conditioning, secure access, auto-sanitizing UV lights, and even feature a puppy cam, so you check in your dog during the 15 minutes or so that you’re apart. All that’s missing is room service.

“For a long time, it was difficult taking Winston around the city with me because so many places don’t allow dogs inside,” said co-founder Chelsea Brownridge on the DogSpot website. “I wouldn’t tie him up because, like many, I worried he’d get loose, get scared, or be stolen.”

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Comfortable as they are, the four star dog houses are only meant for short-term use, and not trips to Europe or anything. The maximum time allotted is 90 minutes and each of those minutes normally cost 30 cents. However, the QFC DogSpot houses will be free to customers while shopping.

They can fit one average-sized dog or two small dogs. Horses are far too big for the houses so cowboys will have to stick with hitching posts.

DogSpot currently has 60 dog houses in 14 states and is launching 300 nationwide this year. Seeing dogs in little houses on sidewalks could become a strange regular sight, not to mention all the passersby who will be tapping on the glass.

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