A Booming Pet Industry:Here are some fascinating facts about the pet industry in Japan.There are more than 19 million pets in Japan, a little over 13 million dogsand 8 million cats.The Japanese pet industry generates about $18 billion per year as of 2009estimates (compared to $48 billion in America for the year 2010). Like theAmerican pet market, the Japanese pet market is proving to be recession-resistant.That’s because, like Americans, the Japanese increasingly regard pets asbeloved family members, and will spare no expense on their care, comfortand spoiling them rotten.
The four most popular pets inJapan in order of popularity are:● Dogs● Cats● Fish● Turtles
Like America, spa services for pets (especially dogs) such as massages andfacials are very popular in Japan.Self-serve dog washes are also very popular in Japan.Elaborate pet funerals that may cost several thousand dollars are verymuch in vogue as well.Plus, there is a huge market for specialty products for senior pets,including wheelchairs!Meanwhile, the Japanese will spend huge amounts of money on doggiecouture, including designer duds and accessories by the likes of Prada andGucci.Not surprisingly, the high-tech loving Japanese are big fans of pet locatingand tracking devices, such as identification chips inserted under the pet’sskin containing identification information that can be read by hand-heldapparatuses.
Dogs as Chick Magnets forJapanese MenSingle Japanese guys know what their American counterparts have knownfor a long time: Owning a dog is a great way to meet women!However, the ever-creative Japanese have taken this a step or twofurther by launching a rent-a-dog industry, whereby men who can’t ownpooches can employ the services of matchmaker mutts for a daily feeaveraging about $60.People who love pets but can’t own them due to housing restrictions can“rent” the companionship of pets on an hourly basis. (This is similar inprinciple to the countrys wildly popular cat cafes, where visitors canenjoy some beverages, light snacks and temporary kitty companionship fora fee.)
TamagotchiTamagotchi is a handheld digital pet, created in Japanby Akihiro Yokoi of WiZ and Aki Maita of Bandai. It wasfirst sold by Bandai in 1996 in Japan.A Tamagotchi is a keychain-sized virtual pet simulationgame for people of all ages. The characters are colorfuland simplistically designed creatures based on animals,objects, or people.