They look like high-tech dog houses — and they are.
Temperature-controlled pet huts appeared outside two Treasure Valley Albertsons over the Labor Day weekend, drawing attention from shoppers.
They are from Brooklyn-based DogSpot, which allows shoppers to secure dogs in a place that’s safer and more comfortable than inside cars or tethered outside, especially during sizzling summer heat or frigid winter weather.
The pet huts, which offer both air conditioning and heat, have an electronic locking system that’s controlled via a free phone app. Users can check on their dogs via a puppy cam, too.
DogSpot is expanding nationwide and is now available at two locations in Idaho. They’re at Albertsons stores at 1219 Broadway Avenue in Boise and 3499 E. Fairview Avenue in Meridian, a company spokesperson said via Instagram message Monday. There are two at each location.
“We don’t have non-grocery locations in this area planned yet but we’d love to expand,” the spokesperson said.
The cost to use the pet huts is 30 cents per minute — $9 for a half hour — and the transaction is all run through the free DogSpot phone app available on Google Play and the App Store. Be sure to download that before you try using them.
DogSpots typically have a time limit of 90 minutes but user data shows that most are used for 15 to 20 minutes, according to the company’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage.
“Sessions are billed by the minute because it is intended to be used for short trips and should not be used as a substitute for doggy daycare,” the FAQ says.
The huts are 30 inches wide, 33 inches deep and 46.5 inches tall. They are designed to hold one dog (up to 100 pounds), though they can accommodate two small dogs that are used to being in a kennel or other small space.
The pet huts are “autosanitizing,” using UV lights to kill bacteria, viruses and mold between users.
DogSpot CEO Chelsea Brownridge will be at a media demonstration from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Albertsons at 3499 E Fairview Ave.