Pet dog grooming: China style and creative colouring
In recent years, pet ownership has been booming in China where it was once banned as bourgeois. In Beijing alone, there are more than a million households having pets.
As their country prospers, wealthy Chinese have begun to pamper and dress up their pets. Many pet grooming salons, especially for dogs, have sprung up. These salons offer pedicures, rose petal bubble baths, massages, dyeing and other pet pampering services.
New stars among the dogs are created using Hollywood hair design ideas, such as pony tails, spikes, braids and Mohawk.
An ordinary dog grooming session will take two to three hours, costing anything between 50-500 yuan. The statistics gathered by the Beijing Association of Small Animal Protection shows that the Beijingers spent 500 million yuan per annum on pets.
Creative colouring of pets
Dyeing of pets has been practised in China for quite some years. However, dyeing them to resemble some other wild animals started only in mid-2010 in Beijing.
In a Chinese pet store, pets are turned into exotic wildlife in the new fad. The colours and looks of the dogs are manipulated in such a way that they look like other animals.
You can find dogs, ranging from golden retrievers to Pekingese, being groomed to look like a panda, a ferocious tiger, a zebra, and even Spider-Man/Woman or Ninja-Turtle.
One of the most popular trends is to create the panda-dog, as the giant panda is China’s treasure. The tiger-dog is also a favourite among pet owners.
However, such dog grooming service is not cheap. A full-body dyeing will cost the pet owner US$300. The whole process will take five hours to complete and can last only for six months or so.
Concern over pet’s well-being
Some Chinese veterinarians have warned that hair dyes and colouring for pets are relatively new products in China. There may not be proper regulation as yet for this industry.
The dog’s skin is very sensitive as it is three times thinner than human skin. Some dyes can irritate its skin or damage its fur. Moreover, certain dyes are toxic and the dog can get sick after licking its fur. Dyeing can be fatal for pets.
In addition to the safety aspect of the dye products, the dog’s mental well-being has to be taken into consideration as well. Some dogs dislike being in the spotlight and might react negatively to the unwanted attention.
Why people dyed pets
The practice of dyeing pets also existed in countries like USA, Japan and Taiwan. Pet owners have different reasons for dyeing their pets; some for vanity’s sake while others for events or for fun.
Pet owners are known to have changed their dogs’ colours for special occasions (e.g. wedding) or for a particular holiday (such as St Patrick’s Day). Some used the dogs as fashion accessories and dyed them to match their wardrobe or to highlight certain outfits. Others treated their dogs like novelty items and dyed them in a spectrum of inspiring colours.
The new Chinese style of dyeing dogs to resemble exotic animals has brought the art of pet dyeing to new heights.
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