There may be a solution on the horizon for some elderly people in Japan who can't care for their equally elderly pets, with the opening this month of the nation's first dog retirement home outside Tokyo.
Aeon subsidiary Aeonpet Co. -- owner of specialty pet stores, more than 50 animal hospitals, and a luxury pet hotel near Narita Airport -- will manage the home, and plans initially call for the retirement community to care for 20 dogs.
Amenities of the retiring canines' digs will include an on-call veterinarian as well as a deluxe grooming room, a playground, and even a swimming pool.
"Many Japanese people have pets now, but of course they get old and it can be difficult to care for them," company spokeswoman Nanako Oiishi told the U.K. Telegraph. Making the matter even more pressing, last year Japan enacted legislation requiring citizens to provide lifelong care for their pets.
The cost for each dog will likely vary, based on breed, but the company initially expects to charge about $1,000 per month for each pet. Owners can visit their canine friends as the pups enjoy the high life in their golden years.
Aeonpet hopes eventually to expand the pet nursing home concept to all of Japan.