Tokyo dog-rental service

Lisa at TokyoMango's spotted a disturbing dog-rental service in Tokyo:
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....

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.




  1. I wanted to do this in NYC years ago… rent out a dog, and take it to the park to play for a few hours. My friends all yelled at me.

    A few years ago, I found I ‘hack’…

    Many local dog shelters have a signout policy where you can volunteer to walk a dog during non-adoption hours (before noon, after 5pm). You get a few hours of a dog for free, and actually help out the shelter by reducing their workload and giving the dogs some much needed attention.

    Even better, most of the dogs that need/can be walked are sick in some way, and a little down… they respond to attention and a smile much more than other dogs.

  2. How terrible. Not only do dogs in need of rescue go further neglected because of this operation, the confusion and mistreatment the rental dogs surely endure is highly discomforting.

  3. the other aspect of this of course it the unseen neglect of people who buy dogs as a fad or buy one when they don’t have the time/space to look after it. maybe this service would reduce that….

    though you are all right that it sounds dodgy as hell.

  4. I would be happy to be rented out by the hour for walks in the park, so I don’t see why it would be inhumane to do the same with dogs. Unfortunately, there is no way to get a dog’s opinion on the matter.

    To all the dog lovers: People who keep dogs generally claim to be “animal lovers”, but I wonder how many other kinds of animals must be slaughtered every year to make dog ownership possible. Just asking.

  5. I only wish there was a place I could take my own dog for go dog-sitting. Someplace nice where the dogs could get to play in the park instead of being in a kennel.

  6. no dog walkers in your area?

    regarding Japan; the track record there for animal treatment makes me suggest no one patronize this establishment. They may be an exception, but I doubt it.


    They’ve got that kind of thing in our city. Try looking for “Doggie Day-care.” Most of the time, it’s a pack of dogs in some hapless human’s house (always avoid annoying alliteration), rather than romping in a park.

  8. while a service like this definitely has the potential to be inhumane, i sort of like the concept. you see, lately i’ve been thinking i might want a beagle. everything i’ve read suggests that they would be a good match for me temperament-wise, however, i don’t know anyone who owns one, and the nearest breeder is several hours away. it would be lovely to rent a beagle for a few hours and see first hand what their temperament is like.

    or as others have said, it would be great to rent a dog to go play in the park with for a while, or maybe to take on an outing with your children to see how they like a dog.

    also, think of how many people in japan live in small apartments with no room for a doggie of their own.

  9. this kind of reminds me of this hotel i went to when i was little where you could rent a cat from the hotel to sleep on your feet.

    i can’t remember what it’s called at all, but i’m pretty sure it is(was?) in Chicago.

  10. Dear Squirrel Girl:

    I’m glad you are going to a respectable breeder. Pet shops are NOT the place to find a dog. Surely you could book a day trip for the travel and quality doggie time? Any decent breeder should welcome you wanting to spend several hours at least with a prospective companion. I know breeders that REQUIRE multiple visits before they will let someone take a dog. Find the biggest beagle crank you can,someone who clearly sees you as a nuisance, lousy human and potential abductor of their beagle-children. If you pass their muster you are sure to get good genes in your dog.

    Dog guardianship is a privilege, not a right.

  11. I love the shots at Japan about track record above. Did not know Michael Vick was Japanese.

    In Beijing, there are similar shops but you don’t rent the dog, you buy it. You choose your dog, then the kill it, clean it, dress it and take it home all ready as a roast or for the stew pot. Many new stores are now opening up there in anticipation of the Olympic athletes and visitors wanting to try something more exotic. And several are already advertising hormone free varieties, always a plus when dealing with Chinese meat.

  12. and in Korea they still make stew by beating puppies to “tenderize them to death” in sacks

  13. squirrelgirl,

    while a dog’s breed may give you an idea about temperament, each dog is its own dog, so to speak. i was recently in a training class with a man who’d recently adopted another dog of the same breed as his first (and highly prized, perfect) dog. he was utterly dismayed and thoroughly disappointed that this new critter wasn’t exactly like the dog he already had at home. dogs have strong personalities with traits that are not necessarily breed-dependent. get to know the particular dog you are thinking of adopting.

  14. @squirrelgirl

    have you looked at ?

    if you check every few days, the breed you want (or a mutt with most of its characteristics) is likely to show up for adoption from a foster family or rescue shelter.

    just about every dog you could want ends up for adoption at some point.

  15. this exists in japan to cater to a market of wannabe dog owners who simply do not have the space to own a dog properly. the average size of a japanese home is much much smaller than an western home.

    and as for the dog eating comment, i’m not even going to dignify that idiotic statement.

  16. does a dog belong indoors or should they be kept outside at all times?

    do you let your dog sleep on your bed with you?

  17. Of the dozen or so dog owners that I know, none of them ever walk their dogs. The dogs shit in the backyard and hope for a little attention now and then. None of them have been to school. None of them get regular baths or brushing. What’s the point of having an animal if you don’t want to spend time with it? I’m just glad that none of these people have children.

  18. yep.

    Maybe there SHOULD be a dog trial facility so that people could find out BEFORE they increase the dog population what is actually entailed. Be hard on the trial dogs though. How about owner’s licences?

  19. #27 Antinous – you have to have a license in San Antonio, TX. Requirement to get a dog license? Current vaccination certificate and $20.00 for intact animals, $5.00 for spayed/neutered animals. That’s yearly.

    My dog has a license. Neither of my two cats has a license.

    Also, sorry to hear about your acquaintances that are dog owners. :( My boxer, Duchess, is an indoor/outdoor dog, who receives much love and attention, baths when she’s muddy, but walks rarely. She spends her days outside in the backyard, her evenings in the house with us. I wish all dogs got love and attention.

  20. I would think that cities would require dog licenses just because cities usually do anything that they can think of to raise money. It seems reasonable to use the money for animal care and control. Plus, I expect some fatal-to-humans, pet-borne epidemic will show up pretty soon and vaccinations will become a much bigger deal. In places with a lot of abused dogs, dog fighting, etc, it would be a way for the municipality to get more control of the situation.

  21. I walk my dog between a mile and two miles every morning and evening.

    It’s what lets me keep a dog like this in an apartment.

    If anyone wants to pay me for the privilege of walking Kira, I’ll send you my PayPal address and arrange a schedule.

    Bonus: Sometimes you come home with two animals.

  22. So now pets are like that old joke about beer.

    “You don’t buy dogs. You just rent them…”

  23. I have some friends who arranged to “rent” a friend’s cat for a week to get rid of their mice. But I think that was really sort of a catsitting-for-pest-control exchange.

  24. I brought a dead skunk home once and had a lot of fun terrorizing people with it. The squirrel seems pretty tame. FYI – there’s a resurgence of diseases like plague. You might want to talk the dog into backing off on the dead stuff unless you’re absolutely sure how it died.

  25. The squirrel was roadkill. Really fresh.

    I had to walk a quarter mile home with her carrying the thing because she would not let go. So, I figured I’d get a photo-op out of it, then offer her a sardine or something in hope she’d drop the corpse.

    As it happened, the camera flash scared her into dropping the squirrel.

  26. When I finished teaching my yoga class this morning, I told the gym manager that there was a dead squirrel in the wastebasket in the studio. He ran into the belly-dance class screaming “Where’s the dead squirrel?!?” Chiffon and spangle-clad hilarity ensued.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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