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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

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?

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


April 10, 2008 at 12:41 am

Check out 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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