DogSpot - High Tech Public Dog Houses

Posted: August 10, 2019

I Spot-ted one of these DogSpot public dog houses in person yesterday and, having not heard of them before, spent about 5 minutes walking around it reading all of the doggie daycare box's colorful commentary and instructions for use. Baffled, I was. DogSpot is an app-powered, lockable dog house a Brooklyn-based company of the same name has installed on sidewalks and in store vestibules in some of the most dog-friendly cities around the US. Owners pay to stuff their pooch inside while they shop, eat, or do whatever that doesn't allow them to bring their dog.

So, you know, instead of leaving your pup in the comfort of its own home, now it can tag along with you, and spend up to 90 minutes in completely foreign and sealed space the size of a German Shepherd crate as inaccessible strangers walk by and ogle / bang on its door and walls and freak it the F out. Good thing DogSpots are self-cleaning after each use, because I smell a shit storm a-brewin' in canine country. I mean, if the dog doesn't suffocate first.

OK, OK, the candy-colored commentary on the DogSpot dog house counters all of these assumptions. Emblazoned in bright pink all-caps on the side of every DogSpot are the following rest-assureds: Yes it has A/C & air holes; No they don't use it as a bathroom; Yes it locks; No they don't freak out; Yes we're serious.

DogSpot says their doggo don combines "dog-first design and the latest technology." That means:

  • Double-walled, insulated interiors with germ-eschewing veterinary-grade plastic surfaces.
  • Forced-air ventilation for fresh air and A/C for hot days.
  • An interior puppy cam owners have access to throughout the duration of their pup's DogSpot stay.
  • A UVC sanitation light to clean the DogSpot between sessions.
  • An RFID member card reader and wireless network connectivity, so owners can use the DogSpot app to unlock the front door and begin a doggie daycare session.

DogSpots also have built-in safety features, such as auto-shutdown if interior temps aren't safe, remote unlock features from DogSpot central in the event an owner's phone dies, and 2 manual override keys.

Using a DogSpot requires a (free) membership, at which point the company will issue an RFID membership card, which owners can use in addition to or instead of their phone for unlocking DogSpot locations. Cost of boarding Mr. Bojangles is $0.30 per minute, with a cap of 90 minutes.

Within the DogSpot app, users will have access to an interactive map of nearby DogSpots (at printing they were installed in select cities across 14 states, such as New York and Seattle) and be able to place a hold on one up to 15 minutes in advance. The app also gives real-time information on DogSpots your pup in chilling in, including house temperature, session duration, and a feed of the puppy cam.

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