PETALING JAYA: Pet cafes are going to the dogs this Chinese New Year – but in a good way.
Clawset Cafe owner Wayne Heng said patrons are in for a treat when they visit his cafe, especially as the dogs will be dressed up in traditional Chinese New Year costumes.
Heng, who also owns a pet shop located next to the cafe, added that dog owners are willing to spend more for their beloved canine companions during the Year of the Dog.
“They will bring their dogs to our cafe, and dress them up during the festival,” he said.
However, he discouraged people from buying or adopting dogs without being able to properly care for the dogs just for the sake of “ushering in luck” for Chinese New Year.
“In Malaysia, there are a lot of restrictions to owning a dog so we will make sure if they are eligible to own a dog and if their lifestyle suits their dogs,” he said of customers who buy dogs from his pet store.
Cafe patron Irence Tan brought her corgi to the cafe after being introduced to it by a friend.
“I plan to buy Chinese New Year costumes for my dog from the pet store,” said the 24-year-old who is in between jobs.
Another patron Jeff Yee, 34, said the decorations in the shop gave off a Chinese New Year feel and he enjoyed seeing the dogs decked out in traditional costumes.
“My dog feels happy coming here because there are other dogs here and he has friends to play with. Normally he is alone in the house,” said the film director, adding that he has been to the cafe a couple of times before.
Yee added that people should see owning dogs as a long-term investment, and not buy them just for “good luck” for the New Year.
“If you buy a dog just to have ‘good luck’, it’s only for that year, but owning a dog (lasts) for 10 to 15 years,” he said.
Another dog cafe owner, David Son, was able to combine his love for dogs and his business acumen by setting up Cubs and Cups cafe.
“There were no pet cafes in Malaysia at the time (I started my business),” he said, adding that the concept was not new in some countries.
His pet-friendly cafe business is booming since it opened two years ago, especially as people can bring all kinds of pets such as cats and hamsters into the cafe.