Farmer’s market–goers and dog lovers tend to be the same lot. Taking the pooch to enjoy the great outdoors, supporting local businesses, and going home with fresh produce? No-brainer! Only problem is that pups are rarely welcome at the market — that is until now. The Urban Dog and the Fulton Farmers Markethave teamed up to offer free (yes, free!) dog-sitting/walking services while you shop the South Minneapolis market.
Why are farmer’s markets not automatically pooch-tastic? First things first, the state only allows police dogs and service animals in food stands. And then there’s the plethora of practical reasons: “Farmer’s markets love dogs, but some market-goers don’t,” says David Brauer, board chair of the Fulton market. “We’ve had parents with young children who are scared of dogs ask us not to have them on-site, some vendors from dog-unfriendly cultures resist them, and then there are the worries — especially in small, compact markets — about people or dogs getting tangled in leashes, about hygiene, and about potential fighting.”
Right: Satisfied customers
Short-term (meaning up to 30 minutes) poochie services are available 9:30 a.m. to noon most Saturdays through October 27 (contact The Urban Dog for schedule deets). And The Urban Dog is totally on top of the logistics: Digits are exchanged in case of an emergency, pet parents are given a code to ensure no pooch mix-ups, and water bowls, poo bags, shade, and lovin‘ are aplenty. Hit ’em up on the east side of the market.
Any plans for expansion to other farmer’s markets? Says The Urban Dog proprietor Cathy Menard: “If other farmer’s markets approached us, we would certainly be open to it! We have an excellent system we can integrate anywhere.” (Pooch parents, this is your chance to shine: Contact your favorite farmer’s market and encourage them to go dog-friendly.) Turns out this little doggie can go to market!
At top: The Urban Dog team gets some puppy love.