A Japanese company has a perfect way to keep vacationing pet owners out of the dog house -- check your furry friends into a four-star pet hotel instead of leaving them at home alone with a bowl of kibble.
The Pet Inn Royal opens Thursday at Tokyo's Narita International Airport with 170 "rooms" to keep dogs, cats and other small animals in the lap of luxury while their masters are away. Staffed 24 hours a day, it even has veterinary and grooming services.
"Enjoy your travel overseas knowing that your pet is in good hands," Pet Inn Royal says in a statement on Narita's Web site, noting that it can also accommodate rabbits, hamsters and ferrets.
Room types vary from standard, for around 4,000 yen a night, to deluxe suites for 20,000 yen, Kyodo News reported. The pet hotel is located in Narita's Terminal 2 and also has an exercise field.
The Pet Inn Royal is banking on a pet boom that has gripped Japan in recent years, pushing the number of pampered pouches and pussycats to 19 million -- more than the number of children under 15, which just hit a new low of 17.8 million.
Catering to those pets is a US$9 billion industry encompassing everything from canine beauty salons to dog resorts with hot tubs, while the more fashion-conscious can walk Fido with matching Louis Vuitton leather leashes and collars. (AP)