When you walk into Wag, you may ask yourself: “Is that for me or for him?” From yogourt-decorated pumpkin and apple treats to Joe the Dog coffee, Wag takes loving pets to a wondrous new level and easily rivals your favourite human boutique café in the process.
“When we saw what the business was about and the community that it’s involved with, we were thinking, ‘We want to be part of that,’” says Wag Pet Shop owner Alberto Garcia. Not only did Garcia and his family join the community, but they created many new ones, with special social gatherings every month for different breeds and their owners at Wag’s Doggin’ It Café.
Wag is a special kind of pet shop that combines three businesses into one: there’s the store, with its dangling string lights decorating displays of high-end pet food, toys, and accessories that say things like “Pooch Pouch” and “Dog Mom”; the recently expanded doggy daycare (with a capacity for roughly 15 dogs) that can host your pet daily, weekly, or on a monthly basis; and the café, where hounds and humans can chill out side by side and share a treat in the bistro-like back end of the shop. A recent immigrant to Canada, Garcia moved his family from Mexico in January 2015 and took over the long-time Ottawa pet establishment from a previous owner.
It’s a great place for both people and pooches to socialize, and patrons especially love sipping on the fair trade organic coffee, Joe the Dog.
Not a big coffee fan? No problem. Garcia plans to infuse a bit more of his heritage into the place and offers some of the hot drinks common on cool days in Mexico — like a spiced hot coffee called Café de Olla or a Mexican hot chocolate flavoured with cinnamon, clove, and hot pepper.
A dog lover all his life, Garcia envisions expanding his business in the coming years to include grooming services and is considering a second location in either Gatineau or Orleans. “It’s all an adventure,” Garcia adds.
Wag, 1071 Bank St., Ottawa
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the dog daycare capacity, and information about Joe the Dog coffee beans. These errors have been corrected in this article.