Japan opens old age home for dogs

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Tokyo - A new Japanese nursing home has everything seniors could want, from a hair salon and 24-hour medical care to comfy beds and a swimming pool to keep those legs in shape - all four of them.

The facility in a Tokyo suburb is throwing open its doors to ageing dogs of all shapes and sizes with the promise of a comfortable retirement for the elderly canines, and their equally wrinkly human owners.

Aeonpet Co, a unit of major shopping mall operator Aeon, billed its nursing home as the ticket for a pet-loving nation which also has a rapidly ageing population.

“Many pets are getting old while their owners are also ageing. This is a serious social issue,” company president Akihiro Ogawa said during a media tour on Wednesday.

“I hope this business will provide part of the solution for this problem.”

Owners who worry about their pet's future after they die need not fret - the pool has dog-sized life jackets and there is a CT scanner for thorough medical check ups.

And when those beloved pets aren't getting a shampoo and trim, the home offers memory games to help ward off dementia and comforting care during the final stage of life.

There is an interview to make sure owners aren't just trying to get rid of old pets, with costs ranging from 100 000 yen ($1 000) a month for small pets to double that number for bigger dogs.

The nursing home opens next week. - AFP


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