Japan has one of the highest average life expectancies and one of the largest pet populations in the world. So it probably comes as no surprise that the country is opening their first canine retirement home outside of Tokyo.
Although long term pet care facilities exist elsewhere in the world, Aeonpet, the company behind Japan's retirement home, is hoping to establish an industry standard and create the first chain with multiple locations. Aeonpet is already a fixture in the Japanese pet market with specialty stores, animal hospitals, and a luxury pet hotel.
Aeonpet's first location will care for up to 20 dogs at a time, charging about $1,000 per month. The price will vary based on dog breed and size. Amenities include an on-call veterinarian, a grooming "spa," a playground, and a swimming pool--enough to make any human jealous! Hotel rooms are also available for people to stay during their pup's last days.
Pet retirement homes play an important role in ensuring proper care as people get older or move into nursing homes that don't allow animals, but many people may not be able to afford the price tag. Aeonpet's facility comes at a good time for Japan, since they recently revised their Law on Welfare and Management of Animals. The updated legislation requires pet owners to take responsibility for their animals, either by taking care of the pets themselves or finding them a new home.
Making plans for the inevitable isn't fun, but I'm glad that pet retirement homes give us yet another option for how we can care for our pets if we are no longer able to do so.