New dog trends at Japan's biggest pet fair

Hundreds of dogs and their human companions made the trek out to Tokyo Big Sight convention center in early April for InterPets 2016, Japan's biggest pet fair. Although the fair also caters to the interests of cat fanciers, lizard lovers and tropical fish enthusiasts, a majority of the exhibitors were here to show off the latest consumer products for dogs. And judging from the number of canine-filled baby carriages here they seemed to be the main target audience, although we also spotted a few confused-looking cats and inquisitive meerkats being wheeled around the hall.

Visiting dogs could look forward to free samples of doggy treats, while a few booths carried more elaborate cakes and pastries, and others focused on health foods. One Hokkaido-based company went even further with a full lineup of prepared gourmet dinners, including minestrone soup, liver steaks and venison-liver stew.

Honda Motors showcased a line of camper vans suitable for back-to-nature excursions with your pet; they also provided an elaborate photo-op area where you could see what your dog would look like in a kayak. Other Instagram-friendly opportunities included human-size dog mascots with whom you and your pet could pose.

One of the most crowded attractions in the hall was the dog-racing track, where you could time your pooch on both a straight run and an obstacle course - we watched a few greyhounds making excellent time. Another very popular spot was the booth set up by Sunshine City Aquarium, where visitors could take a break from all the dog action and hang out in the relaxing company of cute penguins.