One of the news stories that regularly does the rounds about Japan is the problem of its decreasing population as fewer and fewer families are choosing to have children. However, at the same time time that the number of children is decreasing, the number of families who are choosing to keep a pet is on the increase. In lots of cases, families are actually choosing to keep pets instead of having children!
As in much of the world two of the most popular pet choices in Japan are, of course, dogs and cats! If you want to get a pet yourself while you’re in Japan there are a few ways to go. The most common way to get a new furry member of the family in Japan is to go to one of the many pet stores. Unlike in countries such as England, here in Japan the pet stores have dogs and cats readily available, just like the old song, “how much is that doggy in the window?”.
There are usually a lot of enclosures with windows so everyone can see the cute puppies and kittens, the cages aren’t usually too big though as they only usually sell the animals young and the price of getting a dog or cat from a pet store is usually in the hundreds of thousands of yen. Instead of going to a pet store, why not adopt from somewhere the animals are kept in better condition and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg?
Animal Refuge Kansai or ARK was started in 1990 by Elizabeth Oliver and is a refuge that takes in dogs, cats and even rabbits and rehomes them. The dogs at ARK aren’t all puppies, they are looked after even when they get older until someone can take them in and give them a new home. You have more peace of mind when you adopt through ARK and it’ll save you money so if you’re going to get yourself a pet in Japan take a look at their website first!