Monday, October 8, 2018

What are these strange dog houses at the rest stop?

My daughter pulled into a thruway rest stop in Oneida NY and saw.....

Alongside the building were these two little huts, Dogspots--designed to be a safe place for you to leave your dog while you go inside.

There are now Dogspots at four thruway service areas in Central New York. They are also on sidewalks in more than a dozen cities. I can't decide if I'd use it or not. Would my pet be anxious? As much as the idea seems unusual to many of us, if you have to go inside for a meal or to shop or use the facilities, it does seem like the vet-approved Dogspot is a safer alternative than leaving your dog inside your car--which is not even an option and can be deadly in hot weather.

The Dogspots have a front-facing window, air conditioning, and a UV light to kill germs. They even feature a camera so you can check on your dog from your phone.

The way it works--You download the Dogspot app on your phone. You reserve a spot 15 minutes before you arrive. You then unlock the Dogspot door with your phone. The fee is 30 cents a minute. It's important to note that the Dogspot is not a doggy daycare--they are designed for brief stays (15 minutes is average) while you run an errand.

I asked my daughter if a golden retriever could fit inside, and she said not very well. So if you have a larger dog, that might be an issue.

Would you use this?
If no, what are your concerns?
If yes, what features do you like the best?
Would your dog like it, or would your dog be afraid?
Would you feel safe and secure with your dog inside, or more anxious?

If you've used one, how has your experience been?

I look forward to your thoughts in the comments,


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I like the idea of the dog being in air conditioning, but there's no reason you couldn't do that in your car as well.

    I would be worried that my dog might be anxious and that would make me too nervous, besides, how do you know that some a-hole isn't going to be antagonizing your dog?

    For me, this is a no, although like I said, I can see the value.

    1. I'm feeling like my dog would be anxious in there too. The cameras inside that you access on your phone can give you some security in knowing that no one is bothering your dog or if your dog is okay. Although that would require watching your phone the whole time pretty much.

    2. Exactly, and you could SEE someone bothering your dog, but by the time you get there, is it too late? Has your dog already been traumatized?

  3. Replies
    1. I think that in many cases it would cause more anxiety for the dog and the pet parent. Although I'm sure the designers intend it as a safe and therefore less stressful place to put a pet. I do commend that goal.

  4. sounds like an interesting idea. i was worried abt someone stealing my dogs, but it does lock. it is permanently attached to the sandwalk or in front of the store, so no one can remove the house? who can do anything in 15 min in ny? you cant eat in 15 min. i think it is a good idea, but not sure i would feel safe leaving my dog there. i do like that it is ac, has a camera. who cleans up the mess if your dog poops/pees in it?

    1. You have a lot of the same concerns as I do. You can only open it with your phone, so no one else can get in. I don't know if they're attached to the sidewalk or how easy it would be to carry it off. I doubt it would be easy. I guess if the room is soiled when you get there, you wouldn't use it. I'm not sure if they are patrolled and cleaned on a regular basis or not.


Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!