Baltimore-based Dogs of Charm City is working to make Baltimore a more pet-friendly city, one dog toy at a time.
On May 31, Dogs of Charm City launched new merchandise paying homage to a beloved part of Baltimore culture: the Baltimore Bench dog toy, inspired by the iconic benches of “America’s Greatest City” located at through the city. The Baltimore Bench is the third in Dogs of Charm City’s line of dog toys, following the release of their Orange Crush and Loose Cannon IPA themed toys in 2021.
“Marylanders love Maryland,” said Alexa Cambi, general manager of Dogs of Charm City, of the company’s decision to model the toy after such an iconic aspect of Baltimore life.
According to the company, $2 of the proceeds from every Baltimore Bench toy sold is donated to the local nonprofit organization Friends of Patterson Park.
“As one of Baltimore’s largest public parks and the unofficial office of Dogs of Charm City, we couldn’t think of a better organization to give back to,” Cambi said. She added that Patterson Park is vital to the company’s pet care services, such as dog walking and training.
Although the company loves everything about dogs, cats have not been forgotten. Along with the Baltimore Bench toy, Dogs of Charm City also launched an Orange Crush cat toy on June 2. Inspired by Baltimore’s summer drink of choice, the Orange Crush cat toy is stuffed with catnip and is smaller than the Orange Crush toy for dogs.
Lyndsay Shackleford, owner of Dogs of Charm City, led the toy design process, working with a team to find the perfect size and color. Once the designs were solidified, Dogs of Charm City maintained local operations by choosing a Maryland-based company to bring the designs to life.
These toys are just one step towards Dogs of Charm City’s initiative to make Baltimore a more pet-friendly city. On their website, Dogs of Charm City states, “We are on a mission to grow a community of dogs (and their humans) by being their best resource for pet care services, dog-friendly events, businesses and all the rest.
Dogs of Charm City offers a range of pet care services. Through the company, pet owners can schedule structured walks, dog trainings, overnight pet sitters, and “pack adventures.” According to the Dogs of Charm City website, pack adventures are structured outings to locations in Baltimore where dogs can “hike, swim, play, and work on a variety of life skills.”
Cambi said Dogs of Charm City’s work extends beyond what customers can buy, however. Besides their online store and pet care services, Dogs of Charm City hosts pet-friendly events; refer pet owners to other services, such as grooming; and offers a “dog-friendly map” on their website.
The Dog Friendly Map was produced through the Dogs of Charm City Verified Project, which reviews Baltimore businesses to identify dog-friendly places. Once Dogs of Charm City identifies a location as dog-friendly, they place a sticker inside the business and mark the business on the online map. Currently, there are two levels of stickers: “dog-friendly terrace” and “dogs welcome inside”.
Business owners and customers can also nominate a business for verification by Dogs of Charm City.
Dogs of Charm City also launched a range of “Patio Passports” on Tuesday. The passport allows dog owners to redeem a free drink or appetizer once at each of the 18 verified dog-friendly businesses when they bring the $38 passport and their dog to the restaurant patio. Customers must also purchase other food or beverages in addition to the free item when using the passport.
While the first Patio passports sold out within 24 hours, Cambi said Dogs of Charm City plans to release more passports in the future.
Dogs of Charm City could see the development of a more dog-friendly Baltimore. In April, real estate website Zillow teamed up with dog-walking app Rover to conduct a survey of the fastest-growing dog-friendly cities; Baltimore is ranked number two on their list.