How To Spot an Ethical Dog Café

First, check where the café got its dogs from. Animals bred specifically for cafés usually come from mills or farms that often raise the animals in inhumane conditions. Ideally, the café would have gotten its animals via rescue and adoption.

It’s also important to be aware of which breeds cope well indoors. Huskies, for example, are built for cold weather and can easily overheat in hot environments. A dog café centered around huskies may not be able to give the high level of attention and care that each husky needs. 

Customers should then check if the café has rules on the number of visitors. Even the most sociable pup can tire from a day of cuddles, pats and attention. Go for cafés that have pre-bookings or limit the number of people allowed in. 

The dogs should also be sociable and friendly. Those that aren’t begging for attention or cuddles may be stressed, uncomfortable, tired or sick, so that is one key indicator of their welfare. 

1. Cafe Lua

We featured Café Lua in our ethical cat cafés article, but it’s both a cat and a dog café. It also serves as a pet hotel, grooming salon and shelter at the same time. Customers know that their pets will be well looked after and that their money will go toward the rescue of more cats and dogs.

dog cafe tokyo

2. Dog Burrow Oinu

Dog Burrow Oinu is a dog café that also operates a large dog grooming salon. It’s recommended that customers make a reservation, particularly on weekends and holidays. Children under 6 are not allowed in for the protection of both the dogs and kids. 

3. Hogoken

Hogoken rescues stray dogs and cats and operates multiple branches of its café in Japan. It tries to save as many dogs and cats from euthanization in kill-shelters as possible. Its website features information about all its pets up for adoption. 

dog cafe tokyo

4. Inu no Jikan

Inu no Jikan is a quaint little café that only allows up to six people at a time. Due to the size and the limited number of people, you must make a reservation in advance. However, that means the dogs have plenty of energy to show off to each visitor. The pack includes eight dogs: four Toy Poodles, a Chihuahua, a Shih Tzu, a Pomeranian and a Dachshund. Customers are given an apron after entering the café space to protect their clothes. 


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5. Ahbase

Rescue dog café Ahbase is designed for both those who own dogs and those who don’t. The “Doggies Room” has handicapped dogs and older dogs that you can adopt. There are also other rescue dogs in the petting space. In addition to the café, customers can pay to walk the dogs while dog owners can use the grooming salon and vet services. 

6. Cats&Dogs

The dogs and cats at Cats&Dogs were rescued from abusive homes and kill shelters. The mascot Saran-chan was sold as food in a Korean market before she was rescued by the owner of this café. You can, of course, visit and play with the dogs in the dog area, as well as apply to foster and adopt dogs via the café’s website. Reservations are required. 

7. Small Life Protection Japan

The NPO Small Life Protection Japan operates a rescued dog and cat café to unite pets with potential owners. It has many breeds of dogs, both small and large. Interested adopters can visit or simply check the pets on Instagram and Facebook at the beginning of each week. 

8. NPO Orphan Rescue Team Dog and Cat Transfer Center (Tokyo)

Located on the first floor of Tamagawa Denenchofu Clinic, you will find the Tokyo branch of the NPO Orphan Rescue Team Dog and Cat Transfer Center, operated by an animal protection organization from Hiroshima. The profits from the café go to rescuing more animals and taking care of the ones in the café. You can interact with about seven to eight rescue dogs and five to six rescue cats. To check the exact number of pets in advance, visit the website as it changes. 

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