15 Jun '11, 8am

Japan's ageing pets spark elderly care boom - Channel NewsAsia: via @AddThis

Japan's ageing pets spark elderly care boom - Channel NewsAsia: via @AddThis

TOKYO - Pets are said to be like their owners, and in fast-ageing Japan a generation of greying pooches and tabbies has sparked a boom in elderly care for the four-legged friends. Better pet food and veterinary services have allowed dogs and cats to live longer, spawning an industry that ranges from animal diapers and walking aids to 24-hour emergency care and research into pet tissue-engineering. The market is huge. Japanese keep 22 million dogs and cats, according to the latest data from the Japan Pet Food Association -- outnumbering children aged under 15 by about 30 percent. Japan's population has been declining since 2007 and the country is greying, with one of the world's lowest birth rates and highest life expectancies. Children under 15 now make up just 13 percent of the population while almost one quarter of Japanese are 65 or older, according to recent demographi...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/lifestylenews/view...

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