Nursing homes for elderly dogs?

Elederly Japanese dogs have it made -- gyms, swimming pools, 24-hour care

Are you worried that when you can't walk and diapers replace your sexy underwear your kids will put you in a nursing home? Your dog may have the same fear if you live in Japan.

A Japanese pet company is opening a nursing home for elderly dogs, providing round-the-clock veterinary care, a specialist gym and a swimming pool. This place may have better care then what you would get as a human.

Aeonpet Co., a subsidiary of the Aeon supermarket chain, has opened the first dog retirement home at a shopping mall east of Tokyo. Apparently it's in demand and many dog owners have requested it according to Nanako Oiishi, a spokesperson for the company.

Initially they will have room for 20 dogs at a mall in Mihama Ward, Chiba City. The move follows last year's enforcement of the revised animal welfare law that essentially requires owners to take care of their pets until their death.

Pet dogs are believed to live much longer than a few decades ago as a result of advancement in health care services and improved living conditions, causing problems for owners such as walking difficulties as well as howling stemming from dementia.

Domestic versions

Are there dog retirement/nursing homes like this in the United States? Well yes there are, but they're not set up with the amenities quite the way Aeonpet Co. has positioned theirs.

We did a little investigating and found some like Silver Streak Kennels in upstate New York. Their website states, "Silver Streak Kennels provides a dog retirement home and long term dog boarding with special attention and comforts so every day is restful, comfortable and full of love. Trust Silver Streak Kennels to make your best friend's golden years magical."

"There is no better piece of mind then knowing your loyal friend receives quality care in a loving home for a long or short term stay. A calm, low stress environment with relaxed appropriate exercise in a country setting gives each dog a beautiful landscape to retire in."

Nothing about a pool here or a gym. Just acres of grass. I guess not everybody is a gym rat.

Another senior connection is The Senior Dog Project. They don't call their centers retirement homes, they call them sanctuaries. They have a list of rescue groups where your dogs can spend their final days in the hands of caring individuals..

Still no sign of a pool or a gym. So for now, if you want your dogs to have access to a pool or a gym either enroll them at 24 Hour Fitness or ship them off to Japan.

Better yet, make those last years count and take care of your trusted companion as they have you for all these years.

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