Should we be happy about booming pet business in Japan?


Looking at the most recent figures published in Nikkei Shimbun according to Anicom Pet-Insurance, the yearly spent average total costs for a dog’s care is expected for 2010 to rise to about JPY 300,000 (2008 about JPY 200,000) and then in comparison for cats up to an amount of JPY 170,000 (2008 about JPY 100,000). For sure pet business is booming in Japan and now especially before the Holiday Season cute pet show up more often in the media. The actual figures spent on pets seem rather high for me, when according to Nikkei Shimbun the top five cost points are:

dogs:
1. pet hospital/doctor
2. pet food
3. shampoo, trimming
4. pet insurance
5. pet hotel, pet sitter

cats:
1. pet hospital/doctor
2. pet food
3. pet insurance
4. daily goods
5. pet hotel, pet sitter

From business perspective all this increasing demand sounds very interesting, but chances are these pets just reflect the increasing trend for having pets instead of children, or having some company in order not to feel alone. Furthermore, I believe it has become fashionable to have popular certified, bred pets. Along the same lines, I am very concerned about the number of given up pets. Based on government data from 2008 only a very small number can end up with a new home (cats: 8311, dogs: 32,774), but a sad large number of cats (193,748) and dogs (82464) had to be killed. I do hope a change of thoughts will happen and enough respect for the “average” cat and dog occurs, so that more pet can have a second chance with a new home.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

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