Want your pup to spend his twilight years in style? Pet parents in Japan have asked and Aeonpet Co. has answered: The world’s first state-of-the-art dog retirement home will open outside of Tokyo next month.
The facility will include a swimming pool, doggie gym (yeah, we don’t know what that is either), luxurious kennels and around-the-clock veterinary care. At first, Aeonpet’s retirement home will only accommodate 20 dogs, but they expect to grow from there.
“We decided to open the nursing facility because so many dog owners have requested something like this,” said Nanako Oiishi, a spokesperson for the company. “Many Japanese people have pets now, but of course they get old and it can be difficult to care for them.”
Because of a new law that went into effect last year, it is now a legal obligation for parents in Japan to own their dogs until their deaths. Many of these dogs have complicated ailments, and pet parents in Japan are seeking options for care that will not diminish their dog’s quality of life.
In the United States, there are a few similar services but none come close to what Aeonpet is aiming for—a luxury experience that can match, or even rival, the care that pups receive at home. At Silver Streak Kennels, a farm in upstate New York that markets itself as “a peaceful, enjoyable dog retirement home”, there is no gym (again, what?) or swimming pool to be seen—but there is a lovely meadow to wander about in that Tokyo seems to lack!
In fact, thousands of elderly dogs in the United States end up in shelters when they become either too expensive or too labor-intensive to care for, or when their owners move or pass away. Organizations like Susie’s Senior Dogs and The Grey Muzzle are trying to mitigate this problem by matching these elderly pooches with new owners or providing funding for their medical care, but it’s no surprise that many families looking to adopt want a younger dog.
Aeonpet’s concept certainly doesn’t solve that problem—NBC News reports that boarding your dog in Aeonpet’s new facility is expected to cost 1,000 a month, so these families must not struggle with the costs of their dogs’ care.
It seems most likely that these are dogs that need extensive veterinary care and lots of attention that their owners cannot provide. But hopefully our goal is to start pampering all of the elderly pooches among us, and not just those who can pay an arf and a leg!