Japan – More Pets than Kids

posted on 3 Sep 2008 in Articles of Interest

With all the depressing talk about declining birth rates and whole towns dying in Japan (there aren’t enough crematoriums to keep up!), there is one population that is rising – pets!  According to this article (in Japanese), pets now outnumber children in Japan. 

Japan is officially pet crazy. As in – almost as crazy and pampering to their pets as Americans. Along with such craziness comes the various “wacky inventions” to accommodate pet owners. I’ll try and outline a couple below. 

This same article points out that Japan’s aging society doesn’t apply only to humans. Dogs and cats are starting to live longer and longer: cats in Japan live to 16 – a 50% jump over 20 yrs ago and dogs live to 15 – a whopping 100% increase over 20 years ago. Which begs the question: what were they doing to their dogs back then?

OK, so what is a pet owner to do to take care of these ‘elderly’?  You can start with this contraption – shorts to help keep doggie diapers on.  Sounds like a good idea right? (although the look on his face says: “please put me to sleep now”).

I realize that doggie diapers have been around in the US for a little while, but that doesn’t mean that the Japanese can’t make better doggie diaper technology!




Vending machine selling drinks for dogs

Vending machine selling drinks for dogs


Another item rising in population is the ubiquitous vending machine.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could buy specialized drinks for our dogs in a vending machine? Wait, there is one!

This vending machine sells “doggie water”, doggie sports drinks, doggie tea (called “wan-cha”), and even special DHA enhanced drink for your pooch. They range from 210 to 240 yen ($2 to $2.30 – more than the human equivalents!)



Sports Drink (like Gatorade) for dogs

Sports Drink (like Gatorade) for dogs

With a logo like this, what dog wouldnt want it?

With a logo like this, what dog wouldn't want it?

Wancha - Tea for Dogs

Wancha - Tea for Dogs

DHA Drink - makes them smarter?

DHA Drink - makes them smarter?

  • coffeebot

    america is…
    many her child–no nappies,
    dog diaper occurs!

  • shiranami

    I remember something on certain cell phones in Japan that “allowed” pet owners to communicate with their dog or cat. The pet would bark or meow into the cell and then the “pet dictionary” would come back and tell you what the pet was saying.

    Some Japanese friends of mine wanted to try this out, so they picked up their cat and harassed the poor animal until she meowed. The cell told them that the cat was angry. My friends were convinced that the “pet dictionary” was wrong, but I laughed my butt off. Seemed like it worked pretty well to me!

    I never saw those vending machines though. Well… I always called Japan “Wackyland” for a reason!

  • engrishwebmaster

    I think you are thinking of the Bowlingual and Meowlingual toys from the Japanese toy maker Takara. Here is the wiki entry on Bowlingual, and a BBC short article on Meowlingual:



  • Nyna

    Wow too funny. I can’t believe they have vending machines for dogs. And that poor dog in the diapers. ><

  • Ellen

    I wonder how many Gaikokujin don’t understand that the drinks are for dogs and buy them for themselves… probably wouldn’t taste too bad, though.

  • Spoony

    Spoony is approve this satisfy drink for I’m.

  • coffeebot

    anybody else find that body-building poodle hawt? woof!

  • Ree

    Pets are the future of the world… take me to your leader… WOOF!

  • http://www.essential-japan-guide.com/ Ichiro

    This is beyond awesome!

  • coffeebot

    “Pipi Sportswater” precludes the need for Fido to drink from toilet

  • ric

    ‘wan-cha’ = Genius branding!

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  • anonymous coward

    The first drink’s name is also a german colloquialism for “pee”.

  • Tatarujin

    Fun fact: pipi means “wienie” in Turkish.

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