Whether you’ve actually been to one or just heard of them, dog cafes are one of the latest, greatest trends in Singapore. The one problem: the popular dog cafes – Doggiestyle Café on Changi Road and III Café on East Coast Road – were places for people to bring their own dogs, until now.
We’re the Furballs, Singapore’s newest dog cafe, is different in that it’s a place for people to go play with dogs, rather than bringing their own. The cafe is located a short MRT ride away from Orchard Road on the top floor of the Bugis+ mall. The Downtown Line and the East-West Line both stop a two-minute walk away.
After the long elevator ride up, you walk out and the cafe is easily visible through the giant glass doors. When you first get inside, you can see the dogs, but you’re going to have to resist the urge to pet them for just a second. First you have to pay the $11 entrance fee and give them some sort of ID to hold while you play with the dogs.
Monday through Thursday, you’re allowed to stay as long as you want for $11. Friday through Sunday is the same price, but it’ll only last you two hours. If you want to stay, it’s an additional $2.50 per hour. Also, if you’re someone who struggles to get attention from dogs, you can buy food and they’ll all rush to you! Another thing that’s great about We’re the Furballs is that all the dogs are adopted, so the cafe’s not just a place for you to play with them, it’s their home.
Animal cafes originated in Taiwan during the late 1990s, with the first ones being cat cafes. Since then, the cafes have spread all over the world. However, there are an overwhelming number of cat cafes compared to dog cafes, which is something that makes We’re the Furballs unique.
Senior Adriana Ballas recognizes the appeal of a dog cafe. “Dogs are just really cute… When you see something that cuddly and cute it just makes you happy.” Senior Rahil Kapur gave a similar response, “It would be fun… I like dogs.”
Oh, and did I mention that a free drink is included in the entrance fee? Jamila Adams, a senior, got an Iced Minty Cool Lime Tea and I got an Iced Fruit Splash Tea. Also, if you’re wondering why the dogs are wearing clothes in the video, we happened to go on Halloween, so they dressed the dogs up in a variety of costumes. My personal favorite was Bui Bui, the pug who got dressed up as a flower (see the video).
Opening a dog cafe is not a simple task. In fact, according to the National Environmental Agency (NEA), there are 20 health requirements that a pet cafe must meet. When I asked senior Craig Dudsak if he’d be worried about the health standards at a dog cafe he simply said, “No. I just want to play with dogs.”
With dog cafes growing in popularity every day, We’re the Furballs is sure to be a success.