Dog lovers won’t have to tie up their pets outside shops any longer after the first creche at a Scots shopping centre opened its doors to the public.
The play area for pooches is located at one of the busiest centres in the country and hopes to encourage shoppers to leave their dogs to play.
Dogmore Play opened its doors at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh last month and has already welcomed a number of small pets for their daily play fix.
Susan Shihor, 56, the creche manager, said the service came about after she kept noticing dogs tied up outside shops.
She said: “The creche allows people to leave their dog with us while they go shopping or see a film for a few hours without having to worry. We keep them safe and give them plenty of water.
“More and more people are getting dogs but when they go to shopping centres have to tie them up outside to a tree as they can’t take them with them.”
“It can be quite stressful leaving your dog outside especially when it is a very hot or, more typically, very cold day.
“We’ve had a few people going back to their car to get their dog having realised that we’re here and left their pet with us.”
The dog version of the popular children’s play zone replaces a portable cabin which sat at the entrance of the shopping centre.
It caters for small dogs of any age and boasts a slide, doggy toys, an outside play area and a sleeping corner.
And the creche has been welcomed by animal welfare bosses who hope that this will encourage people to stop leaving dogs in their cars while shopping.
Susie Rabin, Dogs Trust campaign director, said: “Dogs Trust welcomes initiatives that mean dogs aren’t left in cars while their owners are out shopping.
“It can only take a few minutes for a dog to suffer the effects of being left in a car as dogs can overheat quickly and be at serious risk if left for only a short time.”
Dennis Jones, the manager of Ocean Terminal shopping centre, said that the creche has already put a big smile on his face.
He said: “I stopped by to say hello the other day and there was the cutest dachshund in there.
“Earlier in the week there was a little pug too, it just puts a smile on your face.
“Dogmore Play is a great initiative for customer service. It’s good to see something different and I am sure it is going to be a great success.”