Early this year, a woman had her rabbit treated for a stomach ailment in a pet hospital for a week, costing her around ¥80,000. But the financial hit didn't pose a problem for the Osaka store clerk because she had pet insurance.

"I was shaken by the sudden illness of my beloved pet, but since I had insurance, I didn't have to worry about the hospital costs," the woman said.

In Japan, around 10 companies, including Anicom Insurance Inc., offer pet insurance, mainly for cats and dogs.