A man feeding many dogs and a cat at a dog cafe in Shanghai, China

Canil Dog Cafe in Shanghai

We know you might have doubt about that. Dog cafe + China = eating dogs in a restaurant? No! Absolutely not! It’s just a cafe that has so many cute dogs for you to play with whilst you have a drink and snack.

Dog cafes are kind of Asian culture; you can find them in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and China! We have been to a lot and this is one of the best. There are more than 20 cute dogs, all with different personalities, and you can play with any of them.

Many dogs walk around and play at Canil; a dog cafe in Shanghai

The cafe is called Canil. It is located in a famous building “1933 Old Millfun”; an old slaughterhouse that has been converted into an art building with shops and restaurants.

The cafe is quite big and there are some facilities in the middle for the dogs to play. You could also bring your own dog, but you must let the staff know beforehand.

A lady smiles as she looks at 2 Shitzus sitting next to her

When we walked into the cafe, we felt very welcomed because so many cute dogs ran to the door to look at us. Two of them followed us to our seat and just jumped on our sofa. They ended up sitting with us for almost the entire time we were there, except from the last 10 minutes when another customer stole one from us! The most important thing about those 2 dogs is that they are Shitzus, which is my favourite dog.

There are plenty of drinks to choose from; coffee, juices, special drinks and beer. We ordered a couple of bottled beers and started to play with the dogs. They are very well trained, you can just put the drink on the table and the dogs will not try to sip it. 

A Westie wearing a hoodie, stretches out to rest on the floor

There are few cats in the cafe, but the main purpose we went there was for the dogs. And there were a lot of different types of dogs; most of them were small and one Labrador. They had 6 Westies, Ben’s favourite, they were all so fluffy and always doing different poses. 

There is a salon for the dogs inside the cafe, so you can see some dogs with “special” hair styles, such as braids or green hair. They definitely caught the eye, but we preferred the traditional looking dogs.

A freshly groomed westie puppy

After the initial rush of dogs, most were no longer interested in us. But one way that never fails to get a dog’s attention is food, especially chicken. We bought some and the staff told us to tear bits off and drop from about 30 cm to the dogs. Don’t feed them directly from your hand or they might accidentally bite you when they try to eat the chicken.

We bought the chicken, expecting to get the attention of a couple of dogs that had been ignoring us. We were not prepared for the rush of excited dogs. As soon as we fed a Corgi, the rest of the dogs were onto us.

All the dogs want some chicken and they have some different tactics for getting it. Some will sit, some will stand and some will keep tapping your leg. With the chicken in hand, the dogs will look any way you want, so it’s a good chance to take some photos.

A woman feeding many dogs at a dog cafe in Shanghai, China

There was a great mixture of dogs. Some dogs were so energetic and kept walking or running or jumping the whole time. Other dogs couldn’t help but just fall asleep on your lap.

Before we left, we picked up a few dogs and wanted to take them home with us. The bulldog and the pug were so heavy! I guess it’s because they are all meat and not much hair.

A lady holds a french bulldog

We stayed at the dog cafe for around 2 hours and wished we could have stayed for longer but it was time to go to see the lights turn on at The Bund. 

  • Address: Canil, Shop 1-318, Third Floor, 1933 Old Millfun, Building 1, 611 Liyang Lu, Hongkou District, Shanghai
  • Chinese Address: 溧阳路611号1933老场坊1号楼318室, 近海宁路
  • Hours: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Cost: ¥68 minimum charge per person (excluding dog treats, which is ¥20 for some chicken)
  • Other: you can stay for unlimited time and they provide WiFi.