Adopting a pet in Japan


Are you a dog or a cat person? A pet can add life to a home and make an ideal travel companion during your expatriation in Japan.

However, formalities or regulations might put you off traveling with your pet making adoption a better option.

Are there any particular rules or procedures for the adoption of an animal in Japan?

What are the costs associated with adopting a pet in Japan?

Are there different procedures depending on the animal?

Are pet-sitting options available?

Have you ever adopted a pet in Japan? Is he or she still with you today?

Thank you in advance for your feedback,


I have never adopted nor brought a pet into Japan so cannot really answer your questions. However, everyone should know that pets such as dogs and cats are very popular in Japan, many of our friends have them. In fact, Japan has a decreasing population and that is because married couples often choose not to have children, but instead get a pet instead. That means lots of pet shops everywhere including boarding and grooming facilities.

We adopted a Labrador retriever from the Japan Guide Dog Training Association,
which operates the same way it does overseas. You make a "donation" (I've heard some people pay as little as 10,000 yen) to purchase the dog who needs a permanent home because s/he failed the training! You need to fill out an application and promise to provide an indoor home, then they notify you if a dog is available. There are several regional sites. Our dog failed after only one month of guide training (LOL) but he came to us at 2 yrs old, house broken, trained in basic commands, and socialized. They also need people to care for pups on a non-permanent basis but you have to follow their protocols and then return the dog to the training facility.

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