Everything You Want to Know About Animal Cafes


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Unless you have been hiding out in the woods somewhere, completely cut off from human civilization, you’ve probably at least heard about the many cat cafes which dot the landscape in the United States and around the globe. The popularity of these cafes has been impressive, and it was only a matter of time before this idea was adapted. That day came quickly as in 2016, the very first dog café was opened for business in Los Angeles.

This café is a fantastic place to enjoy a blended coffee beverage while spending time with man’s best friend. But The Dog Café, as it is named, was started for loftier reasons than that. The main goal of the café is to provide a space where animals can find a home through adoption. The owner of the café, Sarah Wolfgang, has adopted dogs of her own in the past and wanted to bring awareness to the needs of the largely forgotten shelter dogs in every city and town.

The Dog Café is split into two sections in order to meet health code guidelines. One side is a play area where you can hang out with the dogs, the other is the café where you can check in and pay to visit with all the dogs you can handle. For someone who loves coffee and loves animals, there’s very little that can be better than this. The café offers espresso drinks, as well as teas and lemonades. The roasters used are, unsurprisingly, Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co and Dogs Drink Coffee. Every time you buy a drink, a portion of the price goes to a dog rescue in need.

But what if you live nowhere near Los Angeles? You don’t have to worry. There are many dog cafes across the United States as a result of the pioneering presence of The Dog Café. Many are similar to the first café, while others are simply cafes that allow owners to bring their dogs with them to enjoy a coffee. In this article, we’ll be looking at this modern institution and exactly what it’s all about.

The Best Dog Cafes to Visit in the United States

While Los Angeles was the location of the first dog café in the United States, it is far from the only one. There are cafes similar to The Dog Café we explored earlier, but there are also cafes that allow you to bring your own dog. The former are still limited in number but the latter can be found in nearly any large city in the United States. We’ll look at the most popular of these, so you know where to stop no matter where you’re living, traveling, or visiting.

Alabama Dog Friendly Cafes

When looking for coffee shops that allow dogs in Alabama, there are a couple of options. There’s BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets in Orange Beach and Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea Company in Mobile. BuzzCatz has great coffee and small menu in a cozy atmosphere while Carpe Diem has a large beverage and food menu. Neither have a specific pet menu but Fido is welcome to visit with you when you stop in.

Arizona Coffeehouses That Allow Dogs

Unlike Alabama, there are a handful of different pet friendly cafes and coffeehouses in Arizona. The two most popular are Boss Coffee and Prest Coffee & Juice, which can be found in Scottsdale and Tucson respectively. Prest is the smaller of the two and focuses on healthy beverages, while Boss has a massive menu with anything you could imagine available for consumption.

A Plethora of Coffeehouses in California

California is one of the most popular areas for dog friendly coffeehouses and it shows. There are more than a dozen options everywhere from Los Angeles to Redlands, Carmel, and Calabasas. That final location is called 10 Speed Coffee and is a mixture of a coffeehouse, place to play with your pet, and somewhere to talk shop and enjoy the lifestyle of being a cyclist.

Locations in Colorado

In Colorado, you and your pup can enjoy a cup of coffee in Fort Collins or Colorado Springs. Fort Collins boasts a total of three coffeehouses that allow dogs into the midst. You can choose from Cuppy’s Coffee, Bean Trees Fort Collins, or Alleycat Coffee. Alleycat is open around the clock while Bean Trees is a drive-through location so keep that in mind when you decide to stop.

Cafes That Allow Dogs in Florida

While Florida doesn’t have density of cafes seen in California, there are still a nice handful to choose from in everywhere from Tallahassee to Winter Garden, Hollywood, and Miami Beach. Parrot Coffee in Hollywood is a delicatessen that serves strong coffee along with a hearty breakfast and lunch menu. Your pet dog will surely enjoy helping you polish off a Cuban sandwich while you enjoy the sun and warmth of Florida.

Georgia Coffeehouses Allowing Dogs

If you’re located in Atlanta, you can find coffee and company with your pup at Condesa Coffee or Aurora Coffee. Other locations include 45 South Café in Norcross, Cream and Shuga in Jefferson, and Blue Donkey Coffee in Fayetteville. The most interesting of the bunch may be Cream and Shuga which is located in what was once an old city jail. The old cells are now spaces where you and eat and drink at your leisure.

Stops to Make in Idaho, Illinois, and Indiana

Each of these states has only a single dog friendly café, at least as far as we’re aware. We’re combining them here. You can find Big City Coffee & Café in Boise, Idaho, while Chicago is the location to visit The Coffee & Tea Exchange. Indiana is home to The Attic & Coffee Mill Café in Madison.

Kentucky Cafes to Bring Your Pooch

Nearly every single dog friendly coffeehouse in Kentucky is located in Louisville with the exception of Cedar Grove Coffee House which is found in Shepherdsville. If you’re hungry or enjoy the aroma of fresh pastries, you’re going to want to choose Breadworks as your café destination. You’ll find bagels, breads, pastries, as well as organic teas and coffees.

Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Michigan Cafes That Allow Pets

As with the cafes up the list a bit, each of these states only has one or two cafes that are appropriate for visiting with a dog. Louisiana boasts Common Grounds Coffee House and Café which is located in Gretna. This café is open most of the day and has a humongous patio for your pet to enjoy while you sip on a latte and enjoy breakfast. Barrington Coffee Roasting Company is located in Boston and has a decent selection of caffeinated drinks, as well as lemonades, fresh fruit, and pastries. In Maryland, Baltimore offers Ceremony Coffee while you can stop in at Water Street Coffee Joint in Kalamazoo, Michigan to enjoy a drink and time with your pet.

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Dog Friendly Coffee Houses in Minnesota

If you’re in Minnesota with your dog in tow, you can’t miss a visit to Diamonds Coffee Shoppe. This café is found in Minneapolis and bills itself as “your atomic coffee shop.” This location has hot and cold brews, along with a large menu with everything from grilled and deli sandwiches to soups, salads, desserts, and breakfast food. The clear king of the café is coffee with nearly limitless brews to choose from, but you can also enjoy a smoothie, juice, or ginger ale if you prefer.

St Louis and Kansas City Represent Missouri

Surprised Missouri has a selection of dog friendly cafes? Don’t be. Both St. Louis and Kansas City have an option for those who want to keep Fido nearby. Crow’s Coffee has three locations in Kansas City to visit, each of which serves traditional espresso drinks, teas, and a selection of breakfast food. As for St. Louis, the café to run to is Blueprint Coffee. There’s a fantastic patio area where you can meet new people and your dog can enjoy the sights and sounds nearby.

North Carolina Brings Plenty to the Table

Wherever you turn in North Carolina, there’s somewhere to get a fantastic cup of coffee while your dog is nearby on their least. One of those shops is Buggy Town Coffee in Carthage which offers a seasonal menu of lunch and breakfast items along with tea and coffee to pair with them. The shop also has regular demonstrations and tastings for those who want to try something a little different. If you happen to be in Charlotte, make sure to hit up Coppa Coffee and Tea for an experience you’ll get nowhere else. There is a full café that offers espresso drinks, chia lattes, loose leave teas, and sweet pastries to sate your hunger.

The Big Apple Allows Pups

There are a couple of fantastic options for coffeehouse fun with your pooch if you’re in New York. One is right in New York City at Prodigy Coffee. This is a space built for the creative types with small batch coffees and pastries courtesy of some of the best bakers in the city. You can also head up to Saratoga Springs to visit Saratoga Coffee Traders for another safe haven where you and your dog can both enjoy the atmosphere and fun of a café.

Moving on Into the State of Ohio

In Ohio there are a few different coffeehouses that allow your dog to join you for a beverage, but College Hill Coffee Co and Casual Gourmet is probably the most interesting of the bunch. This cozy place has a warm interior and the menu is out of this world. Beyond the great coffee, you can enjoy everything from quiche muffins to hummus plates, veggie sandwiches, and hearty soups. If you stop in on a Saturday night, you’ll even get to enjoy live music with your meal and coffee drink.

Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia Cafes Perfect for Dogs

In Memphis, you can stop in to Bluff City Coffee with your dog to enjoy some grub and get some caffeine in your system. Bear in mind that this café only serves espresso drinks, but there are plenty of them on offer. Tulsa is home to The Coffee House on Cherry Street Neighborhood Bakery which offers exactly what the name would suggest. That brings us to Virginia and Alchemy Coffee. Don’t expect a ton of food here, the emphasis is on coffee. However, they do over a pour-over flight that is a lot of fun to experience if you enjoy savoring different flavors while you’re out and about with your pooch.

Dogs Are in Fashion in Oregon

In Oregon, you can enjoy a cup of java with your dog in Portland and Newberg. Portland is home to Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters, while Newburg offers both Caravan Coffee and Coffee Cottage. Caravan Coffee is a fantastic place to visit, with or without your dog, and you can be assured that every cup of coffee is organic and Fair Trade certified.

The Choices in Pennsylvania for Java With Dog

The two major cafes allowing the presence of dogs in Pennsylvania are The Coffee Tree in Pittsburgh and Devon Donut & Bagel in Devon. The Coffee Tree has multiple locations and each has its own flair. You can find a location in Pleasant Hills, Mt. Lebanon, Fox Chapel, Shadyside, Bakery Square, and Squirrel Hill.

Texas Loves Their Dogs and Their Coffee

Texas is a massive state, which might be why there are so many great dog-oriented coffeehouses in the area. There are a handful in Dallas, along with locations in Austin, Houston, and Amarillo. Crooked Tree Coffeehouse is one of the Dallas locations and their menu has a list of brewed coffee, espresso drinks, non-coffee beverages, and more. They bring in food from various local shops that the locals love so you can expect to experience a good time no matter when you show up.

Animal Cafes

Coffee You Can Rely on in Utah

Utah has a few different cafes that allow dogs onto the premises, with cafes in Salt Lake City, Logan, and Park City. Atticus Coffee & Teahouse can be found in Park City and offers great coffee and a menu full of food. It goes a step farther though and brings in the book lovers with a huge selection of books, journals, cards, and other fun gifts.

Ending the Journey in Washington

Washington is home to Seattle, so it should be no big surprise that there are cafes in the city that allow dogs to come inside. One of them is Compadre Coffee, an independent shop in the Rainier Valley. The coffee is fair trade and the result of sustainable production, so your ethical heart will be happy to stop in. Some of the revenue from the coffeeshop goes to the coffee farming communities in Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

Proper Dog Etiquette at a Coffeehouse

If this is your first time bringing your pooch to a café, you may be wondering exactly what sort of etiquette is normal. Visiting a café with your pet can be an excellent bonding experience, but you want to be sure that it is a positive event. You don’t have to worry because we’ve scoured the web for what the expected etiquette is when going for a latte with your dog. It’s nothing that’s too difficult and it won’t cause you much hassle. What it will do is ensure you and your dog are great customers who the shop workers will be excited to see time and time again.

Rule One: Understand the Rules

Every café that allows dogs is going to have its own rules about where your pets can go and what they are allowed to do. At some locations, you may not be allowed inside the shop with your pet, but the patio will be available. Some locations will allow pets inside, but they are required to stay in certain areas. One café you visit may have treats and beverages that are specifically for pets, while you may need to bring your own to another café. If you aren’t sure what to expect, make a quick phone call and ask first.

Rule Two: Bring the Leash

You don’t want to allow your dog to run around without a least at a café or coffeehouse. Your dog may become overwhelmed by the new location and act differently than normal. Be sure that your dog is on a leash at all times while at the coffeehouse. You should also take care to ensure the leash being used fits the dog properly, so it cannot slip out and run off. This is for the safety of your pet as well as everyone else at the café you are visiting.

Rule Three: Ask Before Letting Your Pet Approach

Your dog may be excited to sniff and approach all the other people and dogs at the coffeehouse, but you shouldn’t allow them to run rampant. Before your dog is allowed to approach anyone, human or canine, take a moment to ask for permission. You’d expect someone else to do the same if their dog was interested in you so do the right thing and reciprocate that gesture. If someone says no, back off. Otherwise, your pet may make a new buddy.

Rule Four: Pack Poo Bags and a Water Bowl

This might be common sense, but it bears being stated regardless. Whenever you take your pet to a location like a coffeehouse that allows dogs, make sure you bring along waste disposal bags and a container for water. The last thing you want to do is leave your dog’s waste on the patio of a café that you want to visit again. The water bowl is equally important. Even if you are visiting a café that doesn’t serve special items for dogs, you can always order a water and make sure your four-legged friend is hydrated while enjoying their new adventure.

Rule Five: Be Sure Your Dog is Trained and Will Listen to Commands

If your dog isn’t used to being around other dogs and people, it can sometimes lead to a chaotic situation. Anytime you go somewhere new, it’s important that you can control your dog if something goes awry. If your dog is already well-trained and you know they will listen to you if you give a command, visiting a coffeehouse should be a lot of fun for both you and your pet. If the opposite is true, you might want to wait until the dog is better trained to put them into a situation where there may be many unfamiliar dogs and people around.

Rule Six: Know When Your Dog is Overwhelmed

Every dog has its own set of personality traits and what one dog may do to show anxiety might be very different from what another dog does. You should have a very good idea of how your pet acts when overwhelmed before putting them in a café situation. The sounds, scents, and noises can be a bit much for some dogs and you want to be prepared to remove them from the environment if they are in a negative space. That means you should pay attention to your dog at all times and be mindful of how they are feeling. You can also come back another time and try again if things don’t go well on your first attempt.

Teaching Your Dog How to Politely Greet Others

If you realized your dog isn’t quite comfortable with people yet, it might be time to start training them to properly greet others. The process may take some time and effort but that will pay off when you can grab a leash and have your buddy go anywhere with you that you’d like. We’ll go over the basics here, so you can get things started.

The first step here is to teach your dog that right way to greet you whenever you walk in the door. Train your dog to sit and wait for you whenever you come home. You can place a mat or small rug near the door, so your dog knows that this is where they should sit when you join them in the house. After you have this down pat, the next step is to greet your dog. You can talk to them in a calm voice and give them gentle strokes. This helps your dog begin to understand the proper way to be greeted, no matter who comes in your door. The only way to make this stick is to keep at it every single day. The more you practice, the easier it will be for your pet.

You can also teach the dog to come in politely to the house. This is a good option if you have a dog that spends a lot of time in the outdoors. You can have a mat near the door outside to give them a visual indicator of what you want them to do and where. You want to train the dog that when they come inside, they should sit on the mat and wait for a command or a greeting to come inside. This can take a lot of time and patience, since your dog is likely to be excited to dash inside the house as soon as the door comes open. However, after you put in the work, your dog will learn to politely wait and come inside when they are given permission.

This is all setting up for this step, which is greeting people other than you. You want to start out with only one or two people at first, but you can increase the amount later on. Your guest should come to the door and knock or ring the bell. You will get the dog into their position on the mat near the door. The door should not be opened until the dog has calmed down and sat in the spot for him. It may take time, but patience will get you there. After the initial attempt, every other time is going to be easier. Always be sure to praise your dog when they do things correctly.

After you allow the guest in, watch to be sure your pet stays in the greeting position. Your friend can then greet Fido by talking calmly and petting them. Your dog should be allowed to sniff at them before your friend goes to sit in the living room. At that point, you can let your pet know it’s okay for them to join you. This may have to be done time and time again before it sticks but again, patience is key. The more frequently your dog experiences this training, the easier it will become. In time, it will be second nature and your dog will do it without even thinking about it.

Once you have managed this, your dog is ready to go places and meet others. They may need some help at first but having an understanding of the proper greeting process will keep them from getting worked up or jumping on someone in the café with you. Teach your pet to sit near you until a command is given and you’ll be known for having one of the politest dogs at the local café. It may sound like a lot of work but it’s decidedly worth it in the end.

Types of Animal Cafes Seen Around the Globe

While dog and cat cafes are probably the most popular and well-known of this café craze, they aren’t the only options. If you’re curious about some of the more exotic cafes that are out there, we have all the information you could possibly want. We’ll start in Japan with a goat café. Yep, that actually exists!

Sakuragoaka Café

If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, make sure you spend some time in the Shibuya district where you can take a gander at Sakuragoaka Café. The café itself is relaxed and calm, the sort of place you might enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee anyway. But the addition of two goats, Sakura and Chocolat, makes this experience like no other. The goats are in a small wooden area surrounded by a cage and you can actually see them from the street. If you stop in, you’ll find that the café serves a lot of American fare like pasta, burgers, and alcohol. It’s a lot of fun to watch the goats go about their days, although they may be less active than the pups and kittens at the traditional animal cafes.

Reptile Cafes

We couldn’t decide on just one café for this one as Japan is crawling with reptile cafes. This might sound like an odd choice but it’s clearly gaining popularity. Many of the cafes offer coffee, alcohol, and other drinks. Some even serve food. However, it’s worth being aware that handling reptiles can lead to salmonella, so we recommend sticking to a drink or two. Some of these cafes have the animals behind glass while other cafes allow the animals to hang out at your table with you. If you thought dogs and coffee was a strange combination, this is sure to blow your mind.

The Café in Which There Are Birds

That name is not made up, it’s simply a translation of the Japanese name that it comes from. As you can see, these specialty pet cafes are often located in Japan. That makes it a great place for a vacation for anyone who loves coffee along with a dose of love from some animals. There are multiple bird cafes in Tokyo and after you enter, you’ll see dozens of beautiful birds behind the glass. You can pay a little money to spend a few minutes petting the birds. There’s no charge to enter, but you are expected to order at least one drink. If you aren’t sure what to order, try out the magnificent bird cakes. There are also souvenirs to buy and take home with you.


This location isn’t specifically a café, but it fits the idea so we’re going to mention it anyway. This Japanese restaurant houses not only delicious meals but also a waiter named Yacchan who happens to be a monkey. The whole thing started one day when the money’s owner was handed a napkin. Yacchan went on to carry the napkin out to a customer. He’s been on the job ever since. If you stop in to enjoy the food at Kayabuki, you may see more than one monkey inside. There are a few baby monkeys there who are happy to take photos with guests, although none are quite the waitstaff as the original.

Fish Spa Cafes

This is another strange addition, but it fits. At a fish pedicure location, you can enjoy sipping on a cappuccino or latte while you dip your feet into water that is filled with minnows. These little guys may not be as cuddly as a dog or cat, but they do have another trick up their sleeves. These fish provide pedicures to clients who enjoy a beverage while the fish do their job. The minnows nibble away the dead skin on your feet to leave them silky smooth and clean. You can find these businesses in various places, but they are most popular in Korea.

Ra.a.g.f Rabbit and Grow Fat

Moving back to the cuddly animals, have you ever wanted to enjoy a coffee while petting a rabbit? At this small café in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, that’s exactly what you can do. This café is quite small with no more than three tables, but there are around a dozen rabbits to interact with and feed. The café has a cover charge which includes soda or coffee and you can shell out a few dollars more for shredded carrots and greens to feed your new buddies. There are many different breeds available including the Lionhead, Jersey Wooly, French Lop, and American Fuzzy Lop.

Fukuro Sabo Owl Café

Any bird lover out there will want to make a stop at this café in Tokyo at some point. There are many different breeds of owls to watch and take photos of. For a little bit extra, you can even hold or pet one of the owls. You can also enjoy some fantastic food and coffee while the owls hang out behind a glass window. This café is known for being a fantastic option for stress relief and relaxation. While there are other owl cafes in the city, this is one of the most popular and the place to go if you only choose to visit a single one.

The Wrap Up

Dog cafes are a huge thing across the United States. Some of them allow pets inside to mingle with customers, while some have a special patio or outdoor space for your dogs to explore. In nearly every state, there are at least a few dog cafes where you can sip on a latte while you have your four-legged buddy by your side. Even if we didn’t mention a location near you, don’t be afraid to call a few of the local cafes and inquire about the possibilities. You never know what coffeehouse is going to be completely positive about the idea.

We also looked at the other type of dog café, which is where people can sip a coffee and meet adoptable dogs. In addition, we looked at some of the other pet cafes across the world who house cats, monkeys, rabbits, goats, and more. You should be well on your way to having a great adventure with your pet and a mug of warm coffee. Good luck!

Bonus Questions

1. Can I take my dogs into shops?

In most cases, dogs are not allowed into retail establishments. However, this can vary by shop. If the owner chooses to allow dogs, that is within their rights. Guide dogs and assistance dogs are the only exception and are allowed into shops with their owner.

2. Where was the first cat café?

The very first cat café was opened in 1998 in Taipei under the name “Cat Flower Garden.” The concept then spread throughout Japan before becoming popular in other parts of the world.

3. Can dogs go to restaurants?

Most restaurants do not allow dogs inside unless they are service dogs. However, this is rapidly changing as more and more restaurants begin to allow dogs onto the patios and outdoor areas at various restaurants.

4. Are guide dogs allowed in kitchens?

While guide dogs are allowed into areas that other animals are not, this does not extend to restaurant kitchens. Food storage and food preparation areas do not allow dogs inside due to potential hygiene issues.

5. Can dogs have ice cream?

Dogs should not consume human ice cream, although there are dog-friendly options. Human ice cream contains milk, which many dogs cannot digest due to the lactose. It also contains large amounts of sugar which is not healthy for a dog.

6. What happens if a dog has caffeine?

If a dog consumes only a lap or two of coffee or tea, this is likely not to cause any major problems. It is not healthy, though, and should be avoided. Large amounts of caffeine can cause health issues or even lead to death.

7. Can you bring your dog into Starbucks?

In the United States, you cannot bring your dog into a Starbucks unless the animal is a service dog. The reason dogs are not allowed is because having pets inside can make the café less hygienic and sanitary.

8. Is Puppuccino good for dogs?

This sweet treat from Starbucks is essentially nothing but cream and sugar, which many dogs will have difficulty digesting due to the presence of lactose. While it is not something you want to feed your dog every day, it can be a treat on occasion.

9. Are Puppuccino free?

Starbucks Puppuccino drink is entirely free. However, you will not see it on the Starbucks menu.

10. Is Frosty Paws OK for dogs?

Frosty Paws treats are intended for dogs and as such are safe for them to eat. The treat does not contain lactose, so it should not cause any problems to your pet’s digestive system.

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