Gia Lanzetta recalls the small nuisances and major struggles of dog-walking in the city as her inspiration for the goDog Bag, which is now, along with her two dogs, her constant companion on every walk.
“Before the bag, the pockets of my fleece jacket were encrusted with Milk-Bone dust for years,” Lanzetta said.
She and longtime friend Will Hargreaves worked together to create the goDog Bag, a compact utility bag designed to keep owners’ hands free while storing all of their walking essentials, from the dog’s treats and tennis ball to the human’s cellphone and keys.
The bag was imagined and created as Lanzetta walked her dog along the streets here in Philadelphia, where the small brand continues to operate today. She said the project was born out of her complaints about a lack of existing compact and practical dog-walking bags. Hargreaves’ response was to create one.
Lanzetta learned the process of creating a product in school but never made one in practice. She studied marketing and entrepreneurship at Drexel University while Hargreaves majored in business at the University of Connecticut. She says he was the one who really helped to bring the product to life.
“Will had the bright idea of us making the prototype ourselves. It took about two months to create what’s really just a rougher version of the bag we have today,” Lanzetta said, despite neither of them having any sewing experience beyond a middle school home economics course. “I stuck myself with a lot of pins and needles making that bag.”
What they created was a bag large enough to hold two tennis balls and the biggest cellphone on the market, as well as a built-in wallet with credit card slots, a removable treat pouch, and waste bag dispenser, all without being too cumbersome for the owner to carry.
Lanzetta moved to Philadelphia to attend Drexel. She said spent a year at the university before realizing something was missing—a dog.
Having grown up surrounded by pets, Lanzetta spent months researching the perfect type of dog for her lifestyle. She settled on the miniature Australian Shepherd, a small dog with a big dog personality and activity level. But that’s where her research ended.
“I figured I’d just get one in a few years,” she said. “Then my dad got me Lola for Christmas.”
That was about seven years ago. She’s since adopted Couper, a two-year-old mix who most resembles a Golden Retriever. Now with two dogs, she said the goDog Bag is more important than ever.
She said she needs to be able to focus all of her attention on her dogs, especially when one still has some training to do. For Couper, the removable treat pouch comes in handy.
In addition to customizing how the bag is worn—owners can carry it as a traditional purse, wear it as a crossbody, or attach it to their belt loops—the easy-access dog waste bags are Lanzetta’s favorite aspect of the goDog Bag. She said she never liked leash-attached waste bag holders, and that the goDog Bag provides quicker reachability without having to unscrew, untie, or unzip a dangling plastic contraption.
“Having the goDog Bag on me just makes it easier to deal with the unexpected. If we set out for a walk but then decide to go to the park, I’ve already got tennis balls in my bag. If I run into a friend, I can head to her place with the dogs because we already have everything we need,” she said. “It’s great for even just sitting outside in the yard with my dogs.”
Currently, the goDog Bag is only for sale on their website and at special events, such as the annual PAWS Mutt Strut. But Lanzetta, who works full time at a media planning company, hopes to expand the brand beyond the goDog Bag.