In recent years, cat cafés have started to pop up nationwide, including Edinburgh’s beloved Maison de Moggy; but, much to dog lovers’ dismay, dog cafés seem to be few and far between. But fear not dog lovers, as Scotland’s first dog café will be opening its doors in late 2017.
The animal café market started with cats but has now expanded to include dog cafés, hedgehog cafés, and even a penguin bar in Tokyo. The world’s first cat café opened in Taiwan in 1998, though the concept of the animal café really blossomed in Japan. Since then, the popularity of animal cafés has soared.
Edinburgh Chihuahua Café, which will be located in central Edinburgh, will offer 50-minute sessions you can spend cuddling puppies, drinking tea, and eating scones – what more could you want? The café will also offer private puppy parties and is currently offering limited edition Puppy Cream Tea Parties as pop up events around Edinburgh before the café opens.
Of course, the stars of the café are the eight resident Chihuahuas – Ama, Lady Bee, Hepburn, Cleopatra, Duchess, Elsa, Faery, and Gatsby, who have all been raised together since they were puppies, but all have their own unique personalities. Lady Bee is the best at learning tricks, Duchess is clumsy, and Gatsby loves long walks.
Ama, the top dog, was owner Tanya Salitura’s first Chihuahua, and the inspiration to open the Edinburgh Chihuahua Café. She believes the incredible popularity of animal cafes is down to the instant feel-good feeling we get when we interact with animals, even calling it a form of therapy.
Animal activists have questioned the wellbeing of animals living in animal cafes, and animal charities insist they should be properly regulated. Edinburgh Chihuahua Café states their number one priority is the health and wellbeing of their Chihuahuas. The dogs have plenty of breaks away from the crowds, a balanced diet, and have plenty of exercise and space to play.
I, for one, can’t wait to have an excuse to play with puppies and drink tea. Though the café is opening in late 2017, you can view events and book a slot at the café via their website, edinburghchihuahuacafe.co.uk.
Image: Amber Young