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What’s Hot Now: Dog Rental by the Hour

March 30, 2008

Shopimage01When I was in Tokyo last month, my mom and I took our dogs to Odaiba, where we stumbled upon this strange store called Puppy the World.

Puppy the World is a dog rental store. You can choose small, medium, or large breeds and rent them for $19/hr, or $100 a night. They have everything from chihuahuas to labs to border collies to papillons—and you get a 5% discount at the cafe if you rent one! You can’t lose.

By the time my mom and I got there, registration for rentals for the day were over. Besides, they said, you can’t rent one if you already own a dog. I couldn’t help but wonder how they treated the dogs in a place like this. So I asked. Here’s what I found out:

Every day, they have about 10-15 dogs in circulation. The dogs rotate in and out of service every few days. The ones in service stay on-site in a kennel, and the rest are all kept in nearby facility on their days off. The average dog works for about 5-6 years before they retire. Once they retire, they go to a facility in Chiba where they "rest." I wasn’t exactly sure what they meant by rest, but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it means they get to romp in huge meadows with other retirees.

You don’t need anything to rent a dog, they just make a copy of your drivers license and give you a leash and you’re good to go.

I wonder how the dogs feel about this. My dog really likes other people, but she’s definitely a one-owner type of girl. These dogs just belong to this institution and they live in cages while they’re on duty. That can’t be fun.

Puppy the World main page

9 Comments
March 31, 2008 at 12:01 am

this just doesnt seem right…

March 31, 2008 at 9:06 am

Wow, this is really, really disturbing

March 31, 2008 at 9:07 am

Looks like the puppy rental thing is spreading overseas as well?
http://gothamist.com/2008/03/31/renting_puppies.php

March 31, 2008 at 9:28 am

Yeah, I don’t like this either.
But if you take a place like here in Brazil, where there are thousands of abandoned dogs, they’re better there than alone on the streets.
I don’t know how it is in other countries though.

March 31, 2008 at 9:47 am

Seems like a smart idea to me. Potential pet owners can do a few trial runs to better prepare and evaluate if they should get a pet. It also allows others who cannot keep a pet in their apartment, simply rent one for an hour to take it for a walk, or whatnot.

March 31, 2008 at 11:45 am

This bothers me a little, as I am wondering if too many people handling the same dog might be stressful.
OTOH, if there are dogs that can be saved from life in a cage at a shelter, I think this is better.
I don’t like to think about animals this way. Makes me sad…

April 1, 2008 at 9:44 am

This bothers you a little?? Dogs are living beings!!!! Not goods to be rented hourly. Want to pleasure yourself for an hour go down to Roppongi and rent a person who has free will! This is a disgrace and people should know better than to treat dogs this way

April 2, 2008 at 12:24 am

Anthropomorphism

April 10, 2008 at 12:41 am

Check out http://www.flexpetz.com who is doing something similar in LA and NY.
They don’t rent them by the hour, more by the day or week.

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