Japanese Dogs … happy or not?

imageFrom man-about-Osaka, Urano-san:

In Japan, we often see people taking a walk with their dogs. Almost all the dogs wear very colorful clothes. Why is this?

Sometimes owners walk with their dogs in their arms or transport them in a baby carriage, which looks very humorous to me.

Every owner carries some bags and papers to collect the droppings of their own beloved dogs and never leave them on the road, even in the park. Owner’s manners are always very good, something which we Japanese can be proud of.

In Japan, smaller sized dogs are prefered, because they are taken care of within the narrow Japanese houses common in urban areas.

Near my flat, there’s an animal hospital, a pet shop and a doggie salon. That animal hospital accepts patients for medical care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s equipped with a very high level of medical instrumentation including an X-ray machine, a MRI scanner, and more. We’ve heard that medical treatment costs are very high at this hospital, however it looks very busy.

At the pet shop, many kinds of animals are sold: dogs; cats; fish (in fresh and salt water); birds; squirrels; crocodiles; snakes and many other species. The price of dogs or cats is typically more than 100, 000円 per animal. During the weekend, that pet shop is full of visitors.

It sells not only animals but also all the goods necessary for keeping one’s pet healthy, comfortable and stylish. Goods for dogs are especially plentiful; ball shaped feed, canned food, snacks, cakes(!), ice cream(!!), diapers(!!!), clothes and more; almost all the goods are similar to the ones necessary to take care of human infants and toddlers. I truly feel that I ate rather inferior quality food when I was a child living in a much poorer Japan compared to the kind that today’s pampered Japanese dogs eat regularly.

The hair salon for dogs seems to be always busy, though the cost is far higher than my typical bill at the barbershop.

In spite of the fact that there are many areas where people starve to death in the world, what is the current Japanese situation? I once heard a trusted veterinarian’s opinion that dogs kept within a house are not so happy, because they are confined in limited-sized rooms and therefore under greater stress than is natural. In addition, they are not allowed to have contact with fellow dogs of the opposite sex.

Are they truly happy?

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