The reasons for pets living longer include increased vaccinations, better veterinarian care, higher quality food and more pets living inside with their owners.
The number of pets in Japan has outpaced the population of kids. There were about 19.8 million of dogs and cats being kept as pets in Japan, according to a 2015 survey by Japan Pet Food Association. That compares with 15.9 million children age 14 and under.
In the fast-aging nation with the birth rate declining and people increasingly living alone, pets are replacing children in more and more households, so their owners are happy to spend big on everything from better food to pet clothing and even massages.