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Wanco Labo Pet-Sitting Service
Price: 10000 yen
Usually while walking my giant Dober-mutt Mac, people in Japan seem to have two distinct reactions: Kids love to run up and pet his face, most everybody else makes a point of crossing the street to get away from us.
That’s an exaggeration, but what I’m saying is when we walked through the park and a Wanco Labo staffer fearlessly approached us and told me all about how much they would love to care for Mac whenever we went on vacation, I was intrigued.
Wanco Labo is a pet hotel, but they offer one unique service that we’ve used once or twice on day trips: Namely, they will house sit.
The set up is a bit of a process, but one I appreciated for the careful detail: Clients will first fill out at questionnaire (this is all in Japanese so get ready to have a friend help or bust out your google translate), detailing health information about all critters in the home (so for us, Mac the dobermutt and our old cranky tabby cat, Bubba), as well as what needs to happen on a daily basis (Mac needs to be fed 2x daily, let out 3x, and get at least a .5 hour walk. Bubba needs to have food in his bowl at all times and cuddles, but only when *he* asks for them). Then they schedule a visit where two staffers will come to your home and go over your forms, see where food and treats are stored, introduce themselves to the critters, etc. Then you simply schedule your visits, hand over a spare key, and enjoy your day trip away!
I say day trip because Wanco Labo gets a bit cost prohibitive: it ran us about 10000¥ to get services for just one day. But for us it was nice to not have to worry about *how* to transport the pets (getting Mac anywhere in this city gets tricky if it’s out of walking distance), or schedule in extra time to take them somewhere, plus it was nice for them to be in a space they are comfortable, but that said anything more than a day wouldn’t be worth it.
Also they sent us postcards for both critters' birthdays and that sort of cracked me up.