IKEA “Dog Parking”: On the Right Track, But Still Needs Some Work
I read an article written by Allie Walker from PSFK about the IKEA store in Berlin and its new dog parking concept. Only guide dogs are permitted in the store because of health reasons, so for shoppers that want to look around the store but don’t want to leave their pet at home, the store is providing a “parking” area where dogs can stay while their people shop.
In looking at pictures of the “dog parking” area, it appears each dog has a runway type area, covered in astroturf to sit/lay on, a water bowl and a tether/leash to secure their dog.
I think this is a step in the right direction, a thousand times better than leaving dogs in hot cars while owners shop. The article doesn’t give details on the area, but I do have concerns around issues like:
- Keeping aggressive dogs away from others to prevent injury
- Having a trained attendant on duty to monitor dogs to prevent injury from things like a twisted leash
- What happens if a dog is injured, or escapes from the “parking area”, where does liability fall?
- Sanitation-are water bowls cleaned often? What about dog runways? Dogs can pick up parasites if they drink from same bowl as diseased pet, for example
- Is there a time limit to leave dog in “parking area”? What happens to a dog that may be abandoned by his owner in the “parking area”?
I think IKEA may be onto something with this concept, and with a little more development, I think it could be a very viable concept for many retail locations here in the U.S.
What are your thoughts, would you take your dog and leave him in a “dog parking” area while you shop?