Japan’s pet obsession

Dogs in schoolgirl uniforms are just the tip of the iceberg

In the land with the most rapidly shrinking birthrate in the world, it’s easy to see where all that energy is going…

Huskies dressed in schoolgirl uniform costumes
Now it’s the dogs that are wearing schoolgirl uniforms
Huskies dressed in schoolgirl costume and maid cafe uniform
And aspiring to work at maid cafes
Dog wearing pink pants
They’ve settled the issue of how dogs should wear pants
Dog wearing hot dog costume
And what they should be for Halloween
Dog wearing Toy Story "Woody" costume
And they can even dress up like their favorite movie characters
Bride and groom dog outfits
Doggie wedding gowns and tuxes are definitely a Thing (whether for their own nuptial bliss or their owner’s, nobody’s saying)
Pet surgery cones with pretty designs
And even the dreaded Cone of Shame need not embarrass a pet in public anymore
Dogs with fancy trimmed fur
Naturally, there are salons that specialize in cut, color and extensions
Pet'sized couches
And furniture makers that sell tiny sofas for pets to recline upon (or, more likely, for you to sit on while they occupy yours)
Pet stroller
For dogs that would prefer that YOU do the walking on the daily constitutional, there are pet strollers (including this stealth assault version)
Harness to assist elderly dogs with disabilities
And pets who need a little help getting around can get a fashionable assist while giving an alt-Pilates core strengthening to their owners
Gourmet dog food plates at pet store "deli"
If Fifi gets peckish while out and about, a stop at the local pet store’s “deli” offers a selection of tastefully styled dog food combos
Dog food bento boxes
Unless you’re really a glutton for punishment, in which case you can subscribe to magazines that have recipes for getting up at 5:00 am with your tweezers and veggie cutter to craft custom doggie bento-boxes
Petite Dog Resort Joker swimming lessons for dogs
And if all those fine meals are putting on an extra pound or two, the Petite Dog Resort Joker offers doggie swimming lessons and treadmill time
Petite Dog Resort Joker hot spring bath for dogs
Followed, of course, by a relaxing shower
Petite Dog Resort Joker hot spring bath for dogs
And a soak in the dog-sized hot spring bath
Custom painted maneki neko cat portraits at Yanaka Nekoemon
The perfect gift for a doting pet owner: a custom-painted lucky cat figure made from a photo of their beloved Mittens
Felted cat and dog portraits by Futakurumi at Design Festa in Tokyo
Or a cuddly life-sized felted doppleganger
Cat figure at the lost cat shrine Tachikawa Suitengu
If Fluffikins should accidentally go walkabout, there’s a shrine dedicated to lost cats where you can pray for its safe return
Amulet from Chichibu Shrine for protecting pet
And amulets blessed by the local Shinto deities begging divine protection from all manner of animal calamities
Shiba inu dog in kimono at New Years
And finally, no New Year’s celebration would be complete without the annual trek to have the faithful animal companion blessed at the local shrine (wearing traditional kimono for the occasion, of course!)

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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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