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OSAKA

Pet Expo helps Fido look spot on

by Eriko Arita

Staff Writer

As Tokyo prepares for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in Osaka fashion has gone to the dogs.

Pet lovers are set to gather in Kansai for Pet Haku (Pet Expo) 2012, and one of the main programs of the event will be a fashion show for man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Dog owners who that have applied to take part in advance will get to parade their matching duds down a runway.

Also scheduled for dogs will be “Matte! Senshuken” (“Stay! Championship”). In this contest, which will be hosted by Hideki Matsumoto — a TV personality who is also known for his love of dogs — canines will compete with each other to see who can stay the longest by their owner’s sides.

Owners of other pets need not worry, there will be a lot of other activities for their furry friends to take part in at the three-day event. For those with feathered friends, there will also be a bird circus.

Pet Haku is also organizing lectures by animal professionals on topics such as disciplining your pet, and as with most expos, there will be a plethora of shops selling various pet goods including outfits and food.

For an extra fee, expo visitors can visit an on-site cat cafe and pet some felines, there will also be some rabbits on hand. Other services available include electronic tagging of pets, in case they get lost or wind up running away from home. Dogs and their owners who pay an extra ¥1,000 can also join the “Wanchan Dai Undokai” (“Dog Sports Day”) in which dogs compete by running and clearing obstacles.

Pet Haku 2012 takes place at Intex Osaka, which is a five-minute-walk from Nakafuto Station, from Oct. 6-8 (10 a.m. till 5 p.m.). Tickets cost ¥1,000 (adults) and ¥500 (elementary school students and younger) in advance, and ¥1,200 and ¥800 at the door. For more information, visit www.pethaku.com/osaka/event.php (in Japanese).