SCOTLAND’S first chihuahua café opens this year, allowing customers to pet diminutive dogs while enjoying their coffee and cake.
Entrepreneur Tanya Salitura is opening the venue in Edinburgh after being inspired by her visits to pet cafés in Japan – which feature animals such as owls and hedgehogs.
Tanya reckons there’s a gap in the market for a dog café because people in big cities often want to spend time with animals but don’t have space for them in their flats.
She also explains that chihuahuas are the perfect animals to use because they love to sleep and be petted anyway.
Tanya said: “I myself have been out to Japan, and there is a big culture of animal cafes – there’s owl and hedgehogs but the core is cats and dogs.
“People in large cities don’t the space or facilities for a dog, but they want to spend time with them, so dog cafes are a good novelty.
“Chihuahuas love to sleep, and don’t need to walk a lot – we’re training eight at the moment, but they’re first and foremost my family pets. They’re being trained at home.”
When fully functional, the café – thought to be Scotland’s first dog cafe of any kind – will feature eight canines, as young as six months old.
The dogs are called Ama, Bee, Cleo, Duchess, Elsa, Faery Gatsby, Hepburn and Itsuko.
Now, Tanya is running pop-up sessions at The Melting Pot, a venue in Edinburgh City Centre, near to where she hopes the full-time café will open.
The Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe, as it shall be known when it opens, will not be the first animal-themed eatery in the Scottish capital.
Chihuahuas themselves are the smallest breed of dog and are named for the state of Chihuahua in Mexico.
They can be as little as 15cm long and weigh around 2kg, usually having a lifespan of around 15 years.
Maison de Moggy, in the Grassmarket area of the city, is a cat café, which can be visited for £7 an hour.
The first dog café in the UK is thought to be Dog and Scone, which opened in Newcastle earlier this year.
It houses six pooches, and is based right next to another venue called Mog on the Tyne, the city’s cat café.