SAE stands for Japan Society for Animal Specialty Education and SAE specializes in education aiming to create the society where pets and humans coexist in harmony, and in Japan we are the only association operating with this mission.
There are three main pillars.
1. Fostering future leaders – helping them building human–pets coexistence society.
We promote the development of future pet professionals through coaching using our own curriculum, skills and methods. This is provided to all students studying at our member vocational schools specializing pets. To certify the level of the skills and capabilities of the student, we issue total of 9 licenses such as Trimmer License, Pet Nurse License, Pet Dog Trainer License, etc.
2. Education Program for Responsive Pet Ownership
Creating the society where pets and humans coexist in harmony cannot be realized without the individual pet owners’ awareness of the importance of ‘health’ and ‘life’ of their pet. We focus on providing education for pet owners. Currently, we offer 13 correspondence courses including Dogs & Cats Pet Care Advisor, Pet Emergency Advisor, Dog Nutritionist, etc., and also we run 100 seminars such as Dog Health Management, Home Care for Cats and Dogs throughout the country.
3. Education Program for industry Business Owners.
Not only offering staff development on the skills and manners to the customers and pets, we also offer insurances to protect business owners to cover events such as injury as a result of carelessness while trimming the pet customer.
These 3 pillars are the main focus of our operations. And currently, there are 50 company members 1200 business members and 30,000 personal members, which makes us the largest education association in Japan.
Recent Pet Businesses in Japan
The size of the Pet Industry in Japan is approx. US$142 billion and it hasn’t grown in the past few years. 32% of it is from Pet Food, 17% is from Pet Products, and the remaining 51% is from the businesses such as medical, insurance and grooming.
What’s stopping the industry from growing is the declined number of the dog ownership/headcount, which is the base of this industry. Currently there are 8.7 million dogs and 9.7 million cats.
However, although the growth rate for Pet Food and Pet Products are flat, the number of new entries is growing in the areas of insurance and pet grooming salon in the past 5 years, which indicates some growth potential in the Pet Service industry.
For instance, there are 25,000 grooming salons in Japan. However, the number of young people who wish to become a pet trimmer is declining due to the ageing population, which is a huge challenge in Japan.
Under normal situation, if there’s no trimmer you can’t operate the business. What we’ve been seeing is that Animal Hospitals have started pet grooming service as a part of their business and now there are 15,000 hospital salons, which is 60% of the total Salon business.
This change was created by a new service called ‘Trimmer Staff Service’ where trimmers can work limited hours otherwise, they do not wish to work as a full time. We, SAE, saw the growth potential of this service and have started this business from the 1st July this year. Already we have been receiving many requests for not only the trimmers but also for Vet nurses, which is reflecting the challenges of staff retention and education. The common challenges that we face these days.
Due to Covid-19, the society has become closed, but on the other hand, sales figures for pets such as dogs and cats along with pet products are growing steadily.
However, whether the Japanese pet industry will be able to leap ahead in the future depends on this evolution to transition from pet industry to service industry and continual optimization of the business. For this reason, we take ‘business ideas’ and ‘fostering program’ very seriously.
We are continually learning worlds’ approaches towards education and we are always open for collaborative relationships for alliance as a part of our strategy. I look forward to seeing our paths crossing in the future for our mutual benefit.