If you could, I bet you’d take your dog everywhere with you. After all, they’re part of the family, so it’s only natural that we involve them in our daily activities, including grocery shopping.
In Italy, owners are legally allowed to bring their dogs into stores with them as long as they keep their pets under control. However, many people still choose to leave their dogs outside because it can be difficult to shop with a dog in tow.
To make it easier for pet owners, Unes, an Italian grocery store in Luino, created a shopping cart that can carry small dogs.
After seeing patrons leave their dogs outside while they shop, its owner, Gianfranco Galantini, came up with the idea. Aside from making local dog owners happy, this invention also comes with business benefits.
Galantini said that if customers can bring their dogs inside with them and shop with ease, they will likely spend more time shopping, thereby increasing the store’s revenue.
“The owners of tiny dogs may now avoid having to leave them outside, giving them peace of mind to take all the time they need to complete their purchases,” he told Italian newspaper La Repubblica in 2016. “Although the project is new, we’ve already noticed how much our clients like it.”
The shopping cart features a divider that allows the dog to sit on the front part of the partition while customers drop their items on the other side. The side where the dog sits has a flat divider that will make it comfortable for the furry shoppers to sit, stand, or walk around.
But what if the cart gets dirty? Customers wouldn’t have to worry about that because every cart is cleaned after each use.
During its launch in 2016, Galantini said that dogs enjoyed their trip throughout the store while aboard the shopping carts. One dog barked when his owner placed him on it but calmed down as soon as his human pushed the cart.
Customers at the Unes store in Luino loved the unique carts so much that the initiative got the attention of corporate management. They hoped to make the dog carts available in more Unes outlets across Italy.
So far, these dog carts haven’t made their way to the US. For now, we’ll make do with placing plastic shopping bags on the bottom of shopping carts so our dogs can stay in them while we explore the aisles.
Hopefully, we see these carts being offered in stores soon!
Another Italian store that looks after its local dogs is this IKEA in Catania, Sicily. The store transformed a particular space in their shop to accommodate stray dogs during the cold winter months. The employees bought pillows, beds, food, and water for the animals to use.
Many pups have been well-fed and sheltered through this initiative. Seeing their canine pals running and playing around in the store also brought so much joy to the IKEA staff and its customers.
This project also paved the way for a few of the dogs to find their forever homes. Many patrons were moved upon seeing the dogs snuggling with one another, so they decided to adopt a few.
Kudos to stores that start dog-friendly initiatives like these! Please share this story with your friends and family.