Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe opens with ‘interactive experience’

Sophie Buchan, chief chihuahua companion
Sophie Buchan, chief chihuahua companion
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IN a city which already boasts its very own cat cafe, it was surely only a matter of time before their canine counterparts got in on the action.

And now the wait is finally over as dog lovers from the all over the Capital can head for some doggy downtime to the brand new Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe.

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The cafe, which is now open, is the brainchild of self-confessed dog lover Tanya Salitura who was inspired by her visits to pet cafés in Japan, which feature animals such as owls and hedgehogs.

Tanya explained she had run a number of pop-up events to help socialise the eight dogs lined up to work at the Frederick Street venue.

In a radio interview ahead of the launch, Tanya explained the word “cafe” was used in a broad sense and that such venues were more an “interactive animal experience”.

She said: “As a niche cafe concept you tend to book a session to visit us and whilst you’re in the cafe you have our eight resident Chihuahuas roaming freely amongst you.

“Whilst you’re having your coffee you have a little cuddle or a play at the same time.

“You pay for entry to most animal cafes and we will be following that trend so there is no pressure to buy drinks when you are there. You can enjoy the experience without pressure of buying extras.”

Known to be loyal, intelligent and easy to train, the Chihuahua breed needs limited levels of daily exercise meaning they are perfect companions for an indoor cafe.

The dogs are favoured by a number of A-list stars, including Legally Blonde actress Reese Witherspoon and Scream actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Tanya explained that while cat cafes had enjoyed a boom in recent years, dog cafes were still very rare and her Edinburgh outlet was only the second dog cafe to open in the UK.

She added: “All of our resident dogs are all my own pets first and foremost.

“We call them sisters but they are all from different parts of the country and they are very happy in their work normally - hostesses with the mostest.

“We have made simple tweaks like a glass panel so people can see the cakes available but stops any potential contamination.”

The cafe’s launch follows an event during this year’s Fringe to give revellers the chance to chill out with the help of some four-legged friends.