Dogs are finding ways to stay cool as Japan swelters in record heat. Photo: Courtesy of Sweet Mommy
Dogs in Japan are getting a new way to stay cool in the unbearable summer heat: wearable fans.Attached to a mesh onesie, the fan blows air at the pet to keep it cool even under its layers of fur.“My dog has stopped panting after coming back from walks, which it always used to do in this summer heat,” Hikaru Uzawa, the man behind the creation and the CEO of Sweet Mommy, a maternity clothing store, told VICE World News.
Since the company began selling the products on July 1, it’s received about 100 orders, including two from Australia and Italy.
The device comes in handy as Japan is reporting record-breaking heat waves and sweltering temperatures. In early July, several cities in the greater Tokyo region set new records, with temperatures reaching above 40 degrees Celsius. Authorities are urging people to refrain from going outside and exercising during the daytime in an effort to prevent heatstroke.This trend is seen across the world. In mid-July, England recorded over 40 degrees, shattering previous records. The country issued its first-ever extreme heat warning, amid concerns that hundreds could die from heat-related deaths.Uzawa said he developed a portable fan for his pet chihuahua, Swan, because of warming temperatures.The idea came to Uzawa in 2019, when he noticed Swan would consistently pant after summer walks. “Because of my work schedule, it was difficult for me to wake up early—which is usually when it’s cooler out—to walk my dog, so Swan would struggle under the midday heat,” he said. But with the help of veterinarians, Uzawa developed a little fan to keep his cherished pet cool. Swan seems far more comfortable even when it’s blistering outside, he said. He currently sells the onesies in five different sizes at 9,900 yen ($74) a pop.Hiroko Murayama, who bought onesies for her two Yorkshire terriers Ann and Non, said she worried they may dislike the fan’s whirring sound. “But they weren’t bothered—they wear them during every morning walk,” she told VICE World News. According to Uzawa, there are two other wearable fan models in the making. One is a fan attached to a leash while the other is a wearable yukata, a traditional summer kimono, to keep it in line with pets’ summer wardrobes. “Now, dogs can stay cool even when they go to festivals,” he said.Follow Hanako Montgomery on Twitter and Instagram.