Toilets in Japan are glorious. They have heated seating, multiple types of bidet and flush settings, and even the option to play relaxing music while you do your business. So it’s no surprise that they wouldn’t settle for anything less for their beloved pooches, who are the leading pet of choice in the country.
Osaka’s regional airport Itami, which services spots in western Japan including Kyoto and Kobe, is the first to set up a proper toilet exclusively for dogs, Reuters reported.
According to Kansai Airports, which also runs the Kansai International Airport and Kobe Airport, the demand for a pet-friendly toilet was high. Not only did passengers request for one, airline officials were also all for it after reporting toilet mishaps involving dogs on board their aircraft, Kyodo News reported.
Designed to encourage dogs to relieve themselves before boarding domestic flights, the urinals are located in a fenced-off yard just outside the terminal, fully-equipped with a shower, water bowls, and a pole for them to pee on and flush.
With the toilets set to launch on Thursday, February 13, these will be the first canine comfort facility at an airport in the country, joining others in Germany and the United States. It will be open for daily use from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In a statement from Kansai Airports, they said they hoped the introduction of these toilets would lead to “stress reduction” by allowing both dogs and owners to go to the toilet before boarding.
Japan has arguably the world's most pampered pooches, with many preferring to raise them over children.
This has led to a rise in services and treats for pets, an industry estimated to be worth more than ¥1 trillion ($9.1 billion) a year. Now, there are hot spring resorts, yoga classes, and organic gourmet restaurants for dogs.