While many urban areas in the United States are becoming more and more dog-friendly, we’ve long been playing catch-up to much of Europe, where dogs are often more readily welcomed in businesses and restaurants. The IKEA in Köln, Germany doesn’t allow dogs (except for guide dogs) in the store, but they’ve added a special “dog parking” section in front of their store for shoppers who stop in accompanied by their dogs. Like much of what IKEA does, I think it’s pretty brilliant.

Each dog parking spot features a leash tie-post, an astro-turf surface for lounging, as well as fresh, cool water. For smaller dogs (or cats, I suppose), cozy kennels are available. (No official word yet on whether the dogs get any of those famous Swedish meatballs.)

Dog Parking at IKEA in travel other

Dog Parking at IKEA in travel other

What do you think about this idea? Do you think it would work where you live? Would you utilize a “dog parking” area? Bark back in the comments below!

[sniffed out via Design Taxi, additional images via Dog Splendor and flickr]