• Kyodo


The Aeon retail group plans to open a nursing facility for dogs this month at a shopping mall in the city of Chiba that will operate in conjunction with a 24-hour surgery clinic, gym and swimming pool for pets in the mall, the company said Tuesday.

Aeonpet Co., a unit of Aeon Co., will initially accommodate up to 20 dogs at the mall in Mihama Ward.

It’s the first entry by a major retailer into the pet nursing care business, which is currently populated by smaller operators.

“We will build up our expertise thoroughly, with a view to helping to establish an industry standard,” Aeonpet President Akihiro Ogawa said. “We hope eventually to expand operations nationwide.”

Dogs are living longer these days because of advances in health care and improved domestic conditions. This causes problems for owners, for example when an elderly dog is no longer able to walk or tends to howl due to dementia.

The move follows the revision of an animal welfare law last year that essentially requires owners to take care of pets until their death.

Aeonpet said its nursing facility will be between 100 and 130 sq. meters in size.