The Spruce dog bed in action. Image courtesy of Spruce.

Elijah Wiegmann and his wife, Leah Wiegmann, know how much of a hassle traveling with pets can be.

“We go everywhere with our dogs,” says Elijah, a former director of design for the high-tech baby product company 4moms who now runs Base, a design consultancy firm.

Between their two rescue Pit bull mixes and their two-year-old child, he says their car gets pretty cramped with stuff. “My wife and I thought, if you could toss everything into this bag, zip it up and take it with you, wouldn’t that be awesome?”

Along with a silent partner, the Wiegmanns founded Spruce, a startup focused on designing the perfect accessory for the modern dog owner. Over the past year, he and Leah, who’s also a former 4moms employee, used their product design skills to create a portable dog bed that doubles as a case to hold food, bowls, toys and other necessities.

Open view of Spruce dog bed. Image courtesy of Spruce.
Open view of Spruce dog bed. Image courtesy of Spruce.

Elijah believes they offer a higher quality product compared to what’s currently on the market.

“Most dog beds are basically a pillow,” says Elijah, adding that they’re often impossible to pull apart, wash and reassemble.

With an exterior made from tough but lightweight suitcase material, the Spruce bed is built to last through all the wear-and-tear a dog can unleash (pun intended). All the components, from the handle to soft inserts, are replaceable for a small fee. The company will also sell removable sheets that are easy to wash and put back on.

The bed will come in small, medium and large sizes, with medium units going for around $160, says Elijah.

He believes the bed would appeal to a wide array of owners, especially young professionals who take their dogs to their pet-friendly office jobs.

Spruce is set to launch a Kickstarter for the bed in the near future. They plan to release the bed by this fall.

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.