Keeping dogs in the city has always been something of a complicated prospect—besides sharing close quarters with a furry creature, most New Yorkers lack both yards and the time to take their dogs on the requisite 2-3 walks a day.
Dog walkers have long ambled the halls of New York apartment buildings, multiple leashes in hand, but as New Yorker’s spare time diminishes and luxury buildings look for new ways to draw tenants, a new breed of pet care has become increasingly popular—the full-service dog concierge.
The Spot Experience, which earlier this summer announced that it was partnering with 30 Manhattan buildings managed by Rose, has announced that shortly after Labor Day it will start offering services in five rental buildings owned by ARGO Real Estate.
“We’ve been dog friendly for many years,” said Marina Higgins, vice president of ARGO. “I think that the residents will just love having Spot in the building.”
So what exactly is a dog concierge? Basically, full-service dog care, CEO Mitch Marrow told The Observer. Spot will pick your dog up in the morning, provide supervised daycare with trained handlers, groom your dog, take your dog to the vet, train your dog and then drop it off at your house at night with any pet supplies you might need. Including food. Also you can watch your dog online all day long at your job! How many child care providers offer that feature?
“When you live in the city, your life is really tied to making sure your dogs are cared for. They have to walked, they have to be fed, they have to be socialized, you can’t really have dogs in the city unless they’re socialized. And people work a lot,” Mr. Marrow said. “The kind of clients who live in luxury residential buildings have disposable incomes, and they’re willing to pay a premium to feel at ease.”
So how much for the basic pick-up/drop-off/daycare package? There’s a $20o annual membership fee, and Mr. Marrow said that the costs basically come to about $25 a day.
The Argo is rolling out the service at its Upper West Side luxury rental buildings on W. 101st Street, Central Park West, West 85th Street and West End Avenue. The management company is looking at the partnership as something of a pilot that it will consider extending to its other buildings as well. Ms. Higgins told us that the UWS buildings—located near both Riverside and Central Parks, are generally very popular with dog owners because they make great places for dog walking. Not that residents will be doing much of that anymore, anyway.