Supermarket in Finland welcomes dogs, with special carts for canine customers

FILE: Image of dogs in special cart at supermarket in Finland
FILE: Image of dogs in special cart at supermarket in Finland Copyright Instagram @kmkissanmaa
By David Mac Dougall
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The grocery store in the Finnish city of Tampere even has an official golden retriever who tests out dog treats and shares the results in Instagram videos.


A 'su-paw-market' in Finland is welcoming canine customers, with specially-adapted carts which allow dog owners to bring their pooches grocery shopping. 

The Kesko grocery chain in the city of Tampere has introduced the "Koirakärry" – dog cart – as a way to welcome in more dog-owning customers at one of its stores, where usually only service animals would be permitted inside the aisles. 

"The idea is already used in some countries, but not in Finland, and we have a lot of dog owners nearby," explains Matilda Tistelgren, who has been operating the supermarket with her partner Joona Pesonen since the spring. 

"We have a golden retriever ourselves, and if we go out jogging with the dog and forget something from the store, we don't want to go home, leave the dog, then have to return to the store ourselves, we want to be able to take the dog with us," Matilda tells Euronews. 

Instragram @kmkissanmaa
FILE: Dog-friendly supermarket operators Joona Pesonen (L) and Matilda Tistelgren (R)Instragram @kmkissanmaa

The carts have a dog bed in the bottom, and a clip for leads or harnesses, with owners encouraged to pick up their pups and put them inside – although a future version of the cart might include a small ramp so the dogs can walk in unaided. 

Since taking over the management of the supermarket in Tampere's neighbourhood Kissanmaa – which funnily enough translates as "Cat's Land" –  Matilda and Joona have introduced other pet-friendly innovations. 

The couple's own retriever Tove appears on Instagram with 'Tove Tastes' videos where she samples different dog treats.

"Our customers love it," exclaims Matilda. "In this part of town we have a lot of dog owners and that means a lot of dog customers too, and we already have a lot of hairy regulars," she adds.

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