Luxury Pet Products in Japan for Fun and Catastrophe

Aside from not having much of a lawn (if any) to play in, Japanese pets must be the most spoiled in the world. Well, they’re at least the best-dressed. Examples of pet luxury abound in Japan, from fashion-conscious outfits to oxygen cafes and doghouses. of course, it’s the costumes that make a cute dog on parade in Tokyo, regardless of size.

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Kinda feel bad for the cat though. While the cats at our house roll around in the backyard and go in and out (bringing in live cicadas at 4am), the cat above likely spends his time in a tiny 38th floor apartment wearing a Mr. Rogers sweater.

Last year we were doing a research project for a European pet store chain, and spent a lot of time in pet stores and at events like the Pet Haku expo at Makuhari Messe where lots of vendors come to sell their pet-related good directly to consumers. Not only was there a big pet fashion show judged by celebrities, but the sheer number of shops and variety of outfits for pets could rival Shibuya 109.

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This brings us to more practical (?) fashion for the pet owner.

With earthquakes, typhoons, and random nukes flying in from North Korea being on the minds of many, what can pets do to survive in the aftermath as they wander around ground zero?

The Pet Evacuation Jacket (shop link) comes with everything both pets and humans need for emergency survival, and is fireproof to boot. Just be sure to show your pet how to put it on in case of emergency, or you may find yourself busy getting him strapped in when you should be RUNNING FOR YOUR LIFE.

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Some pet shops even feature pet delis complete with premium biscuits, “desserts”, and beer/wine for dogs with names like Wan Wan Sparkling and Happy Lager.

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It makes one wonder how many people actually buy these premium items for their pets, but I’ve seen entire racks of “premium biscuits from Hokkaido” that cost more than the snacks I buy for myself, so they must be moving some of it. We have a feeling that the deli section is more branding than anything, giving pet owners a price level to aspire to and showing that no matter what they get for their pets it’s never good enough. That, and it makes the Hokkaido biscuits look a heck of a lot cheaper.

About the Author

Michael is founder and director of the Mandalah Tokyo trends and innovation consultancy.