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New Study Finds That Japanese Pets Live Longer

If you were ever planning on setting up a new home in Tokyo, you might want to take Fido too. According to a new report, not only are people enjoying longer lives in Japan but domestic cats and dogs are also living for much longer.

In recent years, the longevity of pet cats and dogs in Japan has reached heights of a dizzying disposition. And get this - the average Japanese cat is living to 11.9 years. And as for dogs? They are reaching 13.2 years.

These figures were highlighted by a new study conducted by the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, alongside the Japan Small Animal Veterinary Association and these numbers say it all.

They also highlight the steady growth over the last 25 years, which is a whopping 2.3 times for felines and 1.5 times for their soppier counterparts, the faithful hound. This is a stark contrast in relation to previous figures. According to Kyodo News; in 1990, the average lifespan of cats was 5.1 years and for dogs, it was 8.6 years. This average longevity was calculated by researchers of a 2014 survey of 5,977 dogs and 3,288 cats, which passed away across a total 192 veterinary hospitals across Japan.

So what are the reasons behind this extended lifespan? Well, aside from the better quality of Sushi, evidently, a key reason for longer life is down to pets increasingly being kept indoors. Far from the assumed misery of leaving the outside world behind. Raining cats and dogs - it ain’t, and their lives are longer for it.

Alongside an indoor life, an increased number of vaccinations and better veterinary care were key reported factors behind the lengthier lives of Japan’s fur babies. In the same way that Japanese people are also living longer, there is also a rise in sophisticated medical treatment. There was also a notable drop in the number of deaths caused by infection diseases; down from 30 per cent in 1990 to 2.5 per cent in 2014 for dogs, and a marked dip from 25 per cent to 12 per cent for cats.

Interestingly, the number of pets in Japan has outpaced the population of kids. According to a 2015 survey by Japan Pet Food Association, there were roughly 19.8 million dogs and cats being kept as pets in Japan. Compare that with 15.9 million age 14 and under and it’s clear to see just who the favourite children are.

Many pet owners will be aware of how Japan plays host to one of the world’s most forward-thinking pet industries. Unsurprisingly, they are constantly coming up with innovative ideas that are devoted to just about anything and everything in the pet world, and as is to be expected, the crazier the better.

From fashion shows and doggie dance classes, there is also cat aromatherapy on offer for those who can get their paws on it. Humans can also rent a mutt for a few hours, if in need of a cuddle.Just imagine what that does for both parties wellbeing.

For those who haven’t heard, now is the time to prick those ears up, as Pusuke, a Japanese Shiba dog reached a record-breaking, 26 years and eight months until her death in 2011. (Just think of the amount of dance classes she could fit in.)

Whilst It’s clear to see that Japan are very fond of their furry friends, the fact that they are living longer nods to a general trend towards longevity among Japanese people. The number of Japanese centenarians reached an all-time high of 65,692 in September 2016; a substantial increase of 4,124 from just one year ago, according to the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry.


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