Tokyo oxygen bar offers pick-me-up for pooped pups

TOKYO, Sept 18 (Reuters Life!) - Dogged by demands of the day? Hounded by the hubbub of urban life? Head to Japan’s latest fad: a canine oxygen bar that is breathing new life into the meaning of pet posh.

The Air Press, a chain of more than 20 oxygen bars across Japan, has opened its first oxygen bar exclusively for dogs in Tokyo, offering that extra pick-me-up for pups.

The dogs are placed in a cylinder and oxygen is pumped in.

“If you do not live in a city, you can let your dogs run around a huge place like in the highlands, freely,” said Tsuyoshi Hirano, the owner of the dog oxygen bar, OWND.

“But in the Tokyo area, home space is very limited while dog walks are only occasional. So it will be very difficult for dogs to stay in good condition without this extra health support.”

A 30 minute oxygen treatment costs 2,100 yen ($18) and dog owners say their pets love it.

“My dog may not be tired but is usually kind of lethargic. After he comes here, though, he is enthused and barking with vigor,” said Umekichi Sakon, who’s pet is an oxygen regular.

Dogs now outnumber children aged 10 and under in Japan -- there were 13.1 million dogs in 2006 -- making it a prime market for anything canine. Owners hold dog parties in dog cafes, dress their pets in silk and cashmere, take them to hot springs and spas offering massages and aromatherapy.

$1=114.95 Yen