Have you ever wanted to bring your dog on an errand but were too afraid to leave him or her tied outside? This is often a major concern for city dwellers, who worry about their dogs hurting themselves, escaping, or being stolen. Enter Dog Parker, a new Brooklyn business that ensures that your dog will be safe, comfortable, and secure while you run into a store or restaurant! We interviewed Dog Parker’s Founder and CEO, Chelsea Brownridge, about her plans for the business and her dog, Winston. Plus, all Dog Parker Memberships and minutes are currently FREE! Just use code FFDOGPARKER when you join!
Spotlight On: Dog Parker
Where is your business based?
Currently we have Dog Parkers in three [Brooklyn] neighborhoods: Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Ft. Greene. We will be expanding to more neighborhoods in April and May as we deploy our first large network of 100 Dog Parkers.
How long have you been in business?
We put our first two Dog Parkers out in October 2015 in Ft. Greene. We piloted the program with 50 members in the neighborhood. Just in the last couple weeks we have opened up memberships to the public in anticipation of our bigger launch in April.
Tell us about the humans behind your business!
The idea for Dog Parker came from Chelsea Brownridge. She has lived in Brooklyn for almost six years now and has been with her dog Winston for over three. She is originally from Charlotte, NC and has always had rescue dogs. Having a dog in the city is much different than the suburbs of North Carolina! The city is the dog’s backyard and playground, and cities should be better designed to accommodate dogs and their parents.
In what ways are you planning to expand your business?
We just found a local manufacturer in Queen who is going to custom design, engineer, and manufacture our next 100 Dog Parkers. They are also dog owners and love the idea of Dog Parker for their own lives. So next up for us is deploying 100 Dog Parkers in 6-8 Brooklyn neighborhoods and getting urban pet parents sign up for the service. We’re giving away free Dog Parker memberships for the time being as we grow, but it won’t last forever, so folks should get in now! Sign up at www.dogparker.com/membership .After the 100 Dog Parkers, the sky’s the limit. We plan on going into the other boroughs and to other cities across the US and abroad. We’ve had a lot of interest from dog owners outside of Brooklyn to get the service to their neighborhoods.
What else would you like readers to know?
Dog Parker is a brand new service. It’s never been done before, so naturally we got LOTS of good questions. The main things we like people to know is how we ensure the environment is safe and clean for the dogs, as that is what is most important to us–keeping the babies safe.
The first thing to know if that Dog Parker is a members-only service. Anyone who wants to use the service must sign up online at www.dogparker.com/membership. We require proof of vaccinations just like doggie daycares, groomers, and boarders. Once you sign up, you get a membership kit in the mail with member cards to use the house. The card gives you access to the entire network of houses. We track member usage and times and no one can use the Dog Parker for more than 3 hours total every 12 hours.
The second thing to know is that the environment inside the Dog Parker is closely monitored. We have 24/7 temperature monitoring and ensure the house stays between 32 and 85 degrees F (the recommended safe range for dogs). We have cooling fans, cooling pads, and heating pads for extreme weather. And if a heat wave strikes NYC and our internal temperature rise above 85F, then we shut down unoccupied Dog Parkers and they will not be in service, and anyone currently using the Dog Parker will be notified, asked to retrieve their dog quickly, and then shut down. We also have internal webcams for our own 24/7 monitoring, and soon members will be able to check in their dogs via mobile app (coming soon).
Lastly, Dog Parkers are surface cleaned daily and as-needed based on usage and member reporting and we’re excited to announce that we’ll have sanitation lights in our next 100 houses to sanitize the air between each visitor so no doggie germs spread. Basically this is the safest, cleanest environment you’ll find in NYC 🙂
We encourage members to slowly acclimate their dogs to the Dog Parker. Bring treats, their favorite toy, etc and try it out a few times before leaving them for more than a few minutes at a time. Every dog is different, but most dogs can be trained to feel comfortable in new environments.
If you had one tip to share with a dog owner trying to care for and spoil his or her pet on a budget, what would it be?
Well besides signing up for a FREE membership to Dog Parker 😉 I think it’s hard to beat off-leash hours at the dog park. Nothing makes Winston happier than running free with his friends at Prospect Park in the morning (except maybe cuddles at night…and bacon).
REMEMBER, all Dog Parker Memberships and minutes are currently FREE! Just use code FFDOGPARKER when you join! Check out their website at www.DogParker.com.
I personally think that Dog Parker is a GREAT idea. I’ve already signed Henry up and received my membership card — now all I have to do is try it out! Keep checking back for our report!
Would you use Dog Parker for your dog? Let his know in the comments!