Saigon’s mayhem might not be seen as the most idyllic place to keep pets in — and outside — the house. Walking around on the pavements is hard enough for humans, let alone if you want to take a dog for its daily walk.
However, this metropolis is slowly gaining status as a pet-friendly city, as shown by the increase of establishments dedicated exclusively to pets. Among them can be found Pet Me café, an original spot which resembles a little zoo rather than a place to drink coffee.
Pet Me Coffee opened its doors a little more than a year ago for all those pet owners looking for an intimate place to bring their pets to play and hang out with. Every day is an opportunity for families to drop by and learn a bit more about what having a pet is like. According to Tuan, one of the owners, “People living outside of Saigon or even in the Mekong area make their way here at weekends to experience some pet action since they don’t have that opportunity at home.”
Once you walk in, an explosion of noise from cockatoos, macaws, finches and peach-faced lovebirds welcomes you, making you forget about the constant sound of motorbike engines in the street outside. Say hello to a spirited frisky squirrel and admire the beauty of the Pacman frog — guilty of having an extremely loud croak, as Tuan jokes — that awaits for you at the counter where you order your drinks.
The drinks menu is big enough to sample several goodies; from the Pet Me sodas — here I went for theHyacinth, a blueberry and kiwi soda which tasted as beautiful as it looked for VND38,000 — to juices or coffees, where an average ca phe sua da costs VND35,000. Once ordered, take your drinks upstairs and enjoy the company of a couple of super furry cats, two shy hedgehogs and a few bunnies.
Besides the drinks and cosy chairs, Pet Me Cafe offers a range of additional services. It also functions as a shop, and provides a pet sitter service for a pretty reasonable price of VND100,000 a day. This is a great solution in case you are leaving the city for a few days and can’t figure out what to do with your beloved animals.
Every once in a while you can enjoy some of their workshops where you will learn how to take better care of your animals — the next one is scheduled for this month. On top of it all, a pet tailor service has just been added to this list — and we both know how cute your cat would look wearing a feline ao dai. — Natalia Martinez
Pet Me is at 179 Tran Huy Lieu, Phu Nhuan, HCMC and opens every day from 10am to 9pm