Owning a Pet in Japan: Where to Buy Premium Food

Dog & Cat Food Brand Collage

Maybe they exist in Tokyo or bigger cities, but in my area and most rural areas there’s a dire lack of pet stores.  Most pets and pet supplies are sold at home or DIY centers, and while they carry a wide range of domestic brands, most don’t sell premium dog and cat food I could find at Petco or Petsmart back in the U.S.  The only “premium food” sold around town is Royal Canin, which is really only premium in price, and not ingredients-wise.

With dogs, you might find it at little easier since the market still caters heavily to them.  But after we first got our cats, I was stuck feeding them generic stuff that was high in grains (not good for their health 😦 ) until I could hunt down some of the better brands high in meat or protein content.  So, I thought I’d pass on the list of stores I’ve come across that import or sell premium wet and dry food.

  • Tomcat – This is usually where I buy dry food unless it’s sold out.  They stock premium and semi-premium dry food brands like Innova (including their EVO line), Orijen, Avoderm, Artemis, Solid Gold, and Natural Choice.  They also sell non-premium cat food brands like IAMS and Purina, along with cat towers and bunch of other pet supplies.  For dogs, they stock semi-premium brand wet food. They also have a catalogue if you prefer mail in over online shopping.  Unless food is marked in stock, it usually takes about a week or two for it to reach you.  They also did a recent website overhaul and now accept credit card payments.  Their staff is really friendly.  When I ordered a 7 kg bag of EVO that was later found to be out of stock, they went ahead and sent me two 3.5 kg bags at no extra charge instead of just refunding me and being done with it.  We’ve been using them for over 4 years now.
  • Pet Village Kurosu – Their Rakuten store sells premium and semi-premium dog and cat food.  Also sells food and supplies for smaller pets.
  • Orijen Online Store – Orijen used to be import only, but now the Canadian brand has expanded their market to domestic sales within Japan.  You can read more about the brand in Japanese here.  Right now they only sell dry dog and cat food. Their parent brand, Acana, also has a store on Rakuten.
  • Amazon.co.jp – You can find a lot of premium brands by searching their pet supply category.  Ordering is easy, can be done by credit card, COD, or paid at Lawson’s, and delivery is usually free.
  • Apple Dog – Specializes in grain-free dog food brands.
  • Nekomanma – Innova and their EVO brand wet food for cats is hard to find, but they sell it here along with other premium and semi-premium cat food brands.
  • Pu-chan – A Rakuten store that sells Orijen and other semi-premium dog and cat food brands.  Mainly adding them because they offer free samples of their food, which is great.  Nothing sucks more than dropping a wad of cash on a good brand and finding out your pets won’t eat it. :/
  • Frontbell – This is an online shop of the brand that sells Blue Buffalo premium cat food.  Right now they only have one of their offshoot brands up, but I’m hoping they’ll eventually start stocking Blue Buffalo.  Info on Blue Buffalo can be found on their page here.
  • Peppy – They sell EVO, but mostly semi-premium and non-premium dog and cat food brands.  They have an awesome range of really handy pet supplies and furniture.  Seriously, check them out for stylish pet-friendly decor and additions to your house.  Many vets stock free copies of their catalogue/magazine, which features good health and care advice for your pet.

As far as my recommendations on premium dry cat food brands go, EVO has been the best for our cats diet-wise.  Taste-wise they really enjoyed Solid Gold.  We did a run with Orijen and they liked it, but it gave them super stinky poop.  Plus they ran through the bag a lot faster than other brands and it’s also a bit more expensive.  Still, even though it didn’t work out for our little guys, a lot of my friends swear by it and it’s considered one of, if not the top, brands.

Some cats prefer the taste of non-premium brands, so in that case I suggest mixing that and premium dry food together or supplementing wet food in as well.   Doing either one of these helps stretch out your yen, too.  Just make sure your cats get enough water if you do a mostly dry or dry only diet. 🙂

If you have any other good recommendations, especially for local stores, please tell me and I’ll add them to the list!  Or feel free to spam the comments with your own adorable pet pics. 😉

– J

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