Japan came out with a legislation in 2013 which requires all pet owners to provide care for their pets for their entire lifespan. Like taking care of elderly humans, you may face some challenges and have troubles taking care of elderly dogs. For instance, elderly pets may require extensive vet services and attention. Thus, pet nursing homes or retirement homes are available to provide care for elderly dogs and ease the burden of pet owners.
The first retirement home for pets in Japan was opened by Aeonpet Co. which is the biggest pet specialty company in Japan. The nursing home is equipped with a playground, swimming pool, gym and 24/7 vet services which include a vet on call. There is also a large grooming room for owners to stay with their pets. All these facilities ensure that the pets live their last days with comfort and luxury. Luxury though, comes with a price. Boarding a pet into the nursing home is estimated to cost about $1000 a month. The price may vary depending on the size or breed of the dog.
Sending your pets to the retirement home is a great alternative compared to sending them to animal shelters where their futures would be uncertain. However, it should be a last resort such as when the owner becomes too elderly, sick, or disabled which makes it hard for them to take care of their pets; or when the pet owners move into an apartment which does not allow pets; or when there are nobody to take care of the dogs.
Ultimately, pets would prefer to spend time with their owners till the day they die. Even if you were to send your pets to the nursing home, you should visit your pets often. Please remember that having a pet is a lifetime commitment!
Aeon Pet Website*Japanese Only