Dog owners in Japan can now purchase portable fans to keep their pets cool during the country’s sweltering summer.
Consisting of an 80 gram battery operated fan attached to a breathable mesh suit, the device circulates cool air around the animal’s body.
Rei Uzawa, president of maternity clothing company Sweet Mommy, said she came up with the idea after seeing how tired her pet chihuahua was when she took him out for a walk.
While experts have advised owners to skip walks or take their pets out very early in the morning or late at night during Britain’s recent record heat wave, Japan’s high humidity levels are keeping pets temperatures over 25C overnight, according to public broadcaster NHK. .
Tokyo experienced its longest heatwave on record starting in late June, with temperatures rising to 35C for nine straight days after the rainy season ended early.
“There’s been almost no rainy season this year, so the hot days came early,” said Uzawa, who teamed up with a vet to make the jackets.
Mami Kumamoto, who owns a miniature poodle named Purin and a terrier named Moco, said she tried to keep her pets cool with dry ice packs during walks. “But it’s easier to walk my dogs with this fan on,” she told Reuters.
The Cool Dog range, which is also suitable for cats, appears to be inspired by the fan-fitting jackets that have become increasingly popular with Japanese construction workers and others who need to spend long periods outdoors.
Demand is not expected to drop anytime soon. Temperatures rose again this weekend after the arrival of a high pressure system over much of the country.
Of 914 observation points, 725 recorded a maximum temperature of 30C or more, the Mainichi Shimbun reported, adding that the mercury in the city of Kushiro in Japan’s far north had reached 33.5C. C – the highest temperature since records began in 1910.
Although slightly less severe weather is predicted for Thursday and Friday, temperatures are expected to rise again over the weekend, remaining in the mid-30s for much of next week.
Weather officials have warned against venturing outdoors unless absolutely necessary and exercising during the day. They also urged people to set their air conditioners to “appropriate” levels, drink water at night and remove their masks outside provided they observe social distancing.