Many people share intense bonds with their pets, some even treat them like family. There are now designer clothes, hot spring resorts, and even yoga classes for pets. They’re treated so much like humans that in Japan, pets can now get their very own resident cards.
It's really random but we don’t expect anything less from the land of e-sport hotels and DIY funeral kits.
The Kanagawa Prefectural government collaborated with tech startup Peco in developing the cards, Sora News 24 reported. They’re available online for free, and include vital pet information such as their name, photo, birth date, sex, and family members (you and any other human who shares ownership). And if you’d like to show off, you have the option of adding their special tricks and abilities too. Expert pets who can play dead or bark on command, it’s your time to shine.
If you know your pet well enough, you can even add in their personal mottos: “Good things come to those who wait,” one sample I.D. card reads. Make up some cute ones like “Tuna before cuddles,” or “I only poop when my owner is in the room.”
Pets don’t have wallets (obviously) so the identity cards are digital-only. What is it for then? You ask. Owners can use the I.D. cards to prove they own their pet should they ever get lost. So they do have a purpose.
For higher security, and borderline Black Mirror behaviour, Peco also sells microchips that can be attached to pets, allowing owners to track their every move.
With Japan’s tiny homes and declining birth rate, many prefer to raise pets over children, making their furbabies arguably the world's most pampered pets. One city even recently launched an airport toilet just for dogs.