China's latest craze: dyeing pets to look like other wild animals
A dog is painted as a baby giant panda during the launch of a new pet park at Dahe Mincui Park on June 5, 2010 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China.
June 22nd, 2011
01:51 PM ET

China's latest craze: dyeing pets to look like other wild animals

By Emily Lodish, Global Post

They only look like baby pandas.

These little bundles of joy are actually chow chow dogs that have been dyed black-and-white to look like pandas.

Dyeing pets has been a trend in pet pampering for quite some time. At last summer's Pets Show Taipei, there was a fierce dog-dyeing competition. Check out photos.

But dyeing your pets to look like other wild animals is a more recent development.

The trend demonstrates how quickly and dramatically attitudes toward pets — particularly dogs — have changed in many parts of Asia.

Read: Can China censor its leading artists, Ai Weiwei?

In Taiwan, for example, just 10 years ago, dogs were still eaten in public restaurants and raised on farms for that purpose. Traditional Chinese medicine held that so-called "fragrant meat" from dogs could fortify one's health.

Now, eating dog is viewed by many as an embarrassing reminder of a poorer time.

With more money to spend, newly wealthy Chinese have embraced dog-owning culture with a vengeance. Dogs are brought into restaurants, fussed over in public, dressed up in ridiculous outfits and dyed to look like ferocious tigers.

Panda or chow chow? Tiger or retriever? You be the judge:

People take the dogs which were painted as baby giant pandas and tigers out during the launch of a new pet park at Dahe Mincui Park on June 5, 2010 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China.
A dog is painted as a baby giant panda during the launch of a new pet park at Dahe Mincui Park on June 5, 2010.

People take the dogs which were painted as baby giant pandas and tigers out during the launch of a new pet park at Dahe Mincui Park on June 5, 2010 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China.

For more pictures, visit Global Post.

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Topics: China • Culture

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soundoff (961 Responses)
  1. Heather

    I'm not worried about the animals LOL ...I'm worried about those holding the chows! I love the Tiger dog!

    And really you want to discuss colors (miss Pinks and Greens) with Americans.... from a group that wears pinks and purples with red sandals with hello kitty socks... who were told to tone down the colors they wore during the Olympics... which hands down was the best performance I've ever seen! Furthermore, Yes I do only buy made in America items because of lead in made in china items...as best as we can here. I have friends that are American Chinese too so watch your insults please. Lets all go google something important and useful like Stephen Biko...or who was the first person to sign the US Constitution...

    June 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  2. ADH

    I've worked in veterinary medicine for 15 years and have a huge issue with this. For everyone saying that this is not a potentially hazardous situation for the animal, please refer to what the International Veterinary Center has to say regarding the issue.
    "The dye can be absorbed through the skin or ingested when pets lick or clean themselves. Sometimes these dyes can be fatal for pets, especially puppies or kittens who are often dyed to look more attractive for sale. Most of this industry, especially hair dyes and coloring for pets, is so new that there may be no testing or regulation."

    June 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Sue

      Thank you ADH. I do not even want to think about how they hold the dogs or worse the puppies to do this. I have seen so much abuse of these beautiful animals in China. They do not deserve CNN;s awwww isn't this cute crap.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  3. CJ

    It's nice to dress up animals before you eat them. Yummy!!!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  4. leecherius

    Don't care ..it's their dog...and not mine or your business what they do as long as it doesn't adversely affect me...or you. BIG problem today is people not minding their own business...

    June 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  5. yourmom138
    June 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • JosefBleaux

      Oh yeah, it's SO much worse than cutting off their tails like Americans do, or ear-bobbing, painting your poodle pink, etc. etc. etc. Get a brain and stop being so racist you pig.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  6. Peter

    I can't stand this. What kind of dyes are they using? How many heavy metals are being introduced into their systems?

    June 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  7. Chris

    Oh my gosh. This is awesome! Those panda ones a freaking adorable. I'm so doing this to my dog. Peta people go cry or something. Lol. I'll sic my pet PANDA on you.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Chris

    I thought they had created a breed that naturally was colored like a panda. If they're just dying them... meh, whatever. Should my 2 year old get an article because she can scribble on my cat with a marker?

    June 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • john

      your kid is probably not nearly as cute as a panda dog ....

      June 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  9. john

    I'm a huge pet advocate. my dog is sitting beside me at work as I type. I think as long as there are no health issues and animals get harmed, this is actually kinda cute. If you want to talk abuse, look closer to home. many many puppy mills all over this so called civilized country ...

    Don't be so quick to judge when you're not perfect yourself.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • john

      I meant to say DON'T get harmed ...

      June 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • CJ

      Agree. People going crazy over nothing.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  10. farhero

    First they eat them back a few years back, now they painted them?

    June 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  11. KRS1

    I'm laughing so hard at that dog. That's comedy.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  12. Patriot

    Folks,
    There are no WHITE Chows. There is blonde, cinnamon, and black. They didn't dye around the eyes, they bleached the other parts white..............

    Feel better now?????????

    June 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • bookworm01

      there are actually 5 colors or chows – 3 dominant colors – Cream, (off-white) Red, and Black, and 2 recessive Cinnimon (a tanish color) and Blue. Either way, dyeing dogs who have a very large potential to be aggressive and putting them in large groups of people, especially children is very irresponsible. I own a chow and while she is very well socialized, I would never put in the middle of a group people because they are very protective and very suspicious dogs.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  13. mikey

    asians are nuts. the cutest part is when they EAT it.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  14. Li

    Mmmm.... I don't get why this is a bad thing. I'd totally dye my dog like a tiger. Frikkin awesome. It's not like their throwing lead paint on the animals or something..... I mean... since it's China they probably are, but if this were to happen in the U.S., I'm sure there'd be animal-safe dyes involved.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  15. prommy

    Well..well..well...We can eat beef but not anything else..sounds illogical isn't it..?:)
    we decided to eat or not to eat purely depends on taste..probably dog might not have tasted good 🙂
    i think human being tried eating everything and they settle down with what they like in their respective parts of the world..

    June 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • UglyPugsHK

      OK not great for the dogs but they looks 'well kept' at least. Better than living in a cage all day like some pet owners.

      What is worse is the way they keep the dogs ready to be skinned alive for their fur and their meat (this is not just China) – they are tortured kept on top of each other and watch their buddies being tortured while alive and crying.

      Check your fur collar all you folks in the (USA & elsewhere) on your coat next time, probably a nice Chow or Labrador blend. Do they say on the label what kind of fur...check it out...

      June 23, 2011 at 4:45 am |
  16. DingleDick

    They must dye cats to look like chickens because that's what I'm eating down at my local Chinese restaurant.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  17. JosefBleaux

    Think I'll paint my black long haired cat to look like a skunk! That should shake up the neighborhood.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • prommy

      ha ha..surely it will..:)

      June 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • meow

      You don't need to paint cats – the breed itself is amazing. Check out the toyger(Looks like a tiger) or the savannah (looks like a leopard)

      June 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  18. Corvus1

    So nice to know that the Chinese have so much money to spend on their hobbies and pets. And I just can't imagine where all that wealth is coming from, let's think on it a moment, shall we?

    June 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • prommy

      There you go!!now i understand..it's not about the love for animals,it happened in China!!!that's the problem..:)

      June 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  19. john

    Are they crazy! their animals have rights to! Just because we call them pets, does not give them the right to do that them! So it to your selves and see how you like it? i am sure you won't so leave the animals alone!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Chris

      John – They are animals, they have no rights. Rights are for people. What the heck is wrong with people today? So many otherwise intelligent people are becoming pretty far removed from reality nowadays. Perhaps "AirBud" and it's thirty-odd sequels have subliminally convinced everyone that animals can talk/feel complex emotions/play sports fantastically. You don't like coloring dogs? Then don't color your dog. That was simple, huh?

      June 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
      • Peter

        Yup they have no rights. But they have animal feelings. Bank on it. I hope you get your eyes opened as to why animals NEED rights. The sadists and the indifferent all be damned.

        June 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  20. Patti Lytle

    Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!! The Chinese are the cruelest people in the world when it comes to animals

    June 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Li

      ........ What are you people mad about? I honestly don't understand. lol

      June 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • prommy

        me too..

        June 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  21. prommy

    Seriously..we can kill a cow or bull..but we can't paint a Dog..well what's going on??

    June 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  22. whatwhatwhatyo

    humans are a joke...

    June 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  23. Maverick

    I hate pandas, if they weren't so damn cute they would have been extinct a long time ago. No one worries about the unattractive animals.......

    June 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Li

      I'd dye my dog to look like a roach.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  24. Burbank

    These people need to just breed dogs to look like pandas. Anyone that dresses up animals in human looking clothes or dyes them like this has mental issues.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  25. d.v.8

    When I first saw this article I got so excited thinking china genetically created a Puppy sized Panda!!! Kinda like a Labradoodle or some weird dog cross but with a panda! But to my dismay the weirdo's are just dieing the pups but lets face it people, Getting their nails trimmed is more traumatic for these (probably very well taken care of) pups than getting some die put around their eyes and legs. Personally I wouldn't do it but I and I hope you can atleast admit they are cutie-poopies haha

    June 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  26. mi

    These animals are food to Chinese people, this could poison someone... should be banned!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Ching Ping Ping

      Me love china dog no eat!

      June 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  27. JR

    Hahhahahaha! I find it hilarious that they're dying their dogs to look like wild animals they, as a nation, have nearly made extinct. They fairly single-handedly ensured the only tigers any of us or our children will ever see will be the local inbred at the zoo. They're 99% gone in the wild. THANKS CHINA!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Li

      This is the SINGLE valid point anyone has posted thus far.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  28. Josh

    "A dog is painted as a baby giant panda ..."

    Painted? PAINTED !

    June 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  29. Stephen

    Got some leftover Easter Egg dye that I didn't use. Gonna make a batch and toss the poodle in. Never liked white poodles anyway. Think green will work.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  30. Ed

    This is hardly cute. China's record on animal abuse is off the scale compared to any other society in the world, stealing people's pets and skinning them alive for the international fur industry [http://features.peta.org/ChineseFurFarms/]. These people are real monsters.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • A Chinese

      Relax Ed, you have high school students killing other high school kids and teachers in excution style. Would that make Amrerica the devil? Of course not. Get some education and travel more.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:16 am |
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