Seeing a sign that reads Dog Cafe, you might be alarmed and think, Oh No they are eating Fido, well that couldn’t be any further than the truth.
Japan has a keen love of dogs and other small fury animals, and many of the more fashionable shopping arcades and strips have Dog Cafe’s and other businesses catering for the animal lover.
Dog cafes are cafes or small diners where you can take your pouch, get yourself a cappuccino and get your puppy a puppychino and a sausage or two.
Dogs are all the rage and are one of Japan’s finest fashion accessories. Big ones dressed up, fluffy ones dyed pretty colours or little ones in hand bags, it doesn’t mater what breed, just as long as you are seen with a pooch. With many people in Japan living in small housing, having a puppy is a status symbol.
So if you haven’t got the space to own a dog, you can also hire one; yes that’s right, you can hire a dog just as you would a car but by the hour. Here, you can take the doggie for a walk or treat it to a bone and steak salad at a dog cafe. Many of the areas which have dog cafes also have shops which specialise in pet grooming. Here, the animal is treated like royalty, with shampoos, conditioners, blow waves and they can even have perms, colours or get their nails done.
Some of the grooming saloons are flasher than the best hairdresser saloons. There also doggie boutiques where you can buy the latest fashion and jewellery for your pooch.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a green and pink poodle being pushed around in a pram with booties, diamond neck laces, sunglasses and a bonnet.
One of the best places to show one hour of hired pet devotion is around the Palette Town shopping centre on Tokyo’s Odaiba. Here, there is a whole floor devoted to dog cafes, pet department stores and pet grooming (or is that a furdresser?). You can hire a dog here and maybe stop off for a bite to eat at a dog friendly cafe.