My weekend breathers usually consist of going to the grocery, a new restaurant or salon. But last weekend was a bit different. I thought of doing an unusual activity to destress and at the same time learn something new. I pondered and thought of going to Barkin’ Blends Café for a change.
Barkin’ Blends is one of the famous pet cafés in the country. It hosts a small café and an area where you can interact with different dog breeds. As any pet café, it has its own rules both for the benefit of the dogs and the guests. Rules include sanitation, security of belongings, bringing of food, and proper behavior towards dogs. The entrance fee is Php 219 and is inclusive of one drink.
I’ve listed the reasons why this place is a sure spot to adore for dog lovers (and non-dog lovers too! =) )
The Food is Amazing
Although the entrance fee includes a free drink, you can’t help ordering some items from their café while waiting for your turn to enter the dog zone. We waited for approximately an hour and a half since a maximum of 30 persons only is allowed in the dog area. (The café is separated from it). Contrary to my perception that food served in pet cafés are underestimated or half-heartedly prepared, Barkin’ Blends show otherwise. They have commendable items on the menu that are sure to please your palate.
We had Skyeghetti n’ Meatballs, Vader Burger and Salted Egg Chicken Wings with Potato Croquettes.
The Vader Burger was nothing unusual except for the black-colored bun, but we both liked the Spaghetti with Meatballs and Salted Egg Chicken Wings. The meatballs used in the pasta were tiny, but yummy! I liked the sauce too, something that leans on Filipino- Italian taste. This version of Salted Egg Chicken Wings was also a recommended snack or appetizer. It was crispy, spicy and well-coated with salted egg puree. I can’t help thinking about the potato croquettes too. Their milk teas are not too sweet nor overwhelming, and are blended just right.
The Dogs are Smart and Well-Trained
I know dogs are smart. But to see them cooperate with their fellow mates and heed to the trainer’s instructions as a group is something truly admirable. If you want to take photos with them, just approach any trainer and they will get the attention of the dogs by calling their names and bouncing a ball. The dogs will then sit, as if ready to pose for the pictorial. Afterwhich, they will earn their treats as a reward.
Funny back story: the main cast here are the big dogs, but the pug sneaks his way every time there is a pictorial, hoping to get his reward in the end! Haha!
The Dogs are Affectionate and Responsive
While some dogs prefer not to be disturbed in one corner, most of them are sweet and affectionate. Some will sit on your lap instantly or wag tails when you touch them. The huge dogs didn’t intimidate me since I know they are gentle and tame. Every time one of a trainer leaves the premises, a certain wild reaction can be seen among these dogs. It’s either they want to go out with that person, or go ballistic for separation anxiety.
The Place is Well-Kept
Although the place somehow stinks from dog urine, the staff are keen on cleaning the dog mess from time to time. Hand sanitizers are provided for the guests. There are also lockers provided for the storage of your belongings, and shoe racks where you can leave your footwear. Guests have to wear slippers for sanitation purposes.
The Dogs are Well-Taken Care of
To maintain these dogs is not easy. It requires finances, dedication and resources. However, it can be seen that the dogs are healthy and well-groomed. They also smell good! One of the staff even mentioned that they ensure that the dogs get to stroll regularly by batches to maintain wellness. The dogs follow a shifting schedule to prevent them from getting stressed out.
Barkin Blends is a happy place for dog lovers. It promotes healthy interaction between dogs and humans. It’s also a good venue to learn more about the behaviors of the dogs in different situations and appreciate their intelligence. Moreover, it compels you to love and care for your dogs even more. I just hope the guests will continue to abide to the rules to not threaten the safety and well-being of these fur babies.
My comments and suggestions:
- I hope the café considers moving to a bigger place to give more space for dogs to freely move around and accommodate more visitors. An open area or a garden perhaps will give them the liberty to play more and get the sunshine that they need.
- I hope the entrance fee is inclusive of food already since it’s a bit heavy on the wallet to purchase it separately. If you’re on a budget, try eating outside first to lessen the expenses.
- I also suggest to improvise the waiting area for the customers. Although the cafe is a nice place to hang out, it’s still too small to receive all the guests. Maybe they can provide a lounge for incoming guests, especially to those who do not wish to order food from the café.
- Add more couches so guests don’t have to sit on the floor anymore.
Barkin’ Blends Dog Café
J&R Concon Centre, 91 Rosa Alvero St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Metro
Phone number:02 5337290
Opening Hours: Everyday except Tuesday, 12 noon to 9 PM
Facebook: Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe