Dog culture is spreading through Baltimore businesses
BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Baltimore is the second-fastest-growing dog-friendly city in America, according to a recent study by Zillow and Rover.
With the huge increase in dog ownership, a small business started a project to connect pet owners with stores that welcome their furry friends.
“We’re lucky to have such a dog-friendly city and people want to do things with their pets; they want to take them out to eat and they want to go to the brewery with them. We feel like there’s a missing link between places that allow dogs and those dog owners who aren’t quite sure where they can and can’t take their dog,” said Lyndsay Shackelford, Owner and Founder of Charming City Dogs.
She and her company launched DOCC Verified project so pet owners know where they can take their puppies.
Companies get appointed. Members of the DOCC team make sure they really allow dogs, then put up a sticker indicating that four paws are welcome inside or on the terrace.
They also have a menu on their website showcasing all the places that have been checked out so you can anticipate and plan a shopping spree.
The project has already been a success, with the participation of many companies.
“I know I’m always thinking what can we go to Home Depot today because I know I can bring my dog there, so it’s good to now have local businesses that allow that interaction as well. with your pets,” said Jessi Ceiri, manager of Charm City Run Fells Point.
All seven of Charm City RunThe locations are dog-friendly, and Ceiri often brings her French bulldog Bronx, the star of the shop.
Down the street you will often find distinguished gentlemen Bear and Armin sniffing plants at Fells Point Grown Creations. Dogs are allowed inside and they even have a pet section, approved by the store dogs themselves.
“It is already part of your life. You already have to walk them. You already have to bring them food, and if you can get them to those places, life becomes that much easier. You don’t have to go home and drop them off and leave them on the sidelines. They are part of your family, you can bring them in,” said owner Alexander Madaus.
Across the harbor, snowball shop ice queens at Locust Point has an order window and offers Beef Broth Dog Ice Cream, inspired by owners dog Penny.
“We have customers who only come for the dog ice cream,” owner Dasia Kabia said. “My dog is like my emotional support animal, so being able to take him into my home and know he’s welcome is very reassuring to me and I wanted to offer the same in my own shop.”
All three noticed that the stickers brought more people and dogs to their stores. They said before that people would just window shop.
“A partner would come inside while a partner stayed outside with a dog and I would always run to the door to let them know you could come in with the dog. So now with the sticker it’s just a bit more obvious and even when we’re busy people can see it and know just walk in,” Ceiri said.
“It’s worked well for the business, I’m not going to lie, it’s been nice to have this other sect of people here, but it’s also really nice to have a space where people can walk into a store with their pets and feel comfortable,” Madaus said.
Dogs of Charm City is preparing another exciting adventure. After successfully launching the first-ever Dog-Friendly Brewery Passport, they will soon be offering Patio Passports to connect Baltimore dogs and dog owners to patios at local dog-friendly restaurants.
DOCC will only print 100 of the new Patio Passports and they will be launched on Tuesday June 7th. These passports not only allow each recipient 1 free aperitif OR 1 free cocktail at each restaurant listed, but they also support the community as 5% of each purchase is donated directly to BARCS, Wings of Love Kuwait and Saving Grace Animal Rescue.
They also have lots of resources on their website.
“When we talk about pet care, it’s about much more than the physical care of pets, through walking and training dogs. It’s about taking care of pets from Baltimore and all dog owners in Baltimore. We do this through resources on our website, things like blog posts, patios, restaurants, dog-friendly breweries. We host various community initiatives, outreach activities, and in-person events,” Shackleford said.