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. hmmm

    i don't get it. CHINESE eat dogs (keeping them in inhumane conditions), make cheap coats out of their furs and generally are very CRUEL to the dogs who are unlucky to be born in that inhumane country.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • smiles

      There's someone called Jeffrey Dahmer who ate people – we are from the same country as him.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • A Chinese

      My neighbor in China hires a full time care taker for his two tibetan dogs and airlift fresh meat from Tibet for his dogs. Yes, he probably spends more on his dog food than you spend on yours. My point is don't just see the extremes. Most Chinese love their pets. Remember, dogs are first domesticated by the Chinese. Go do some research

      June 23, 2011 at 4:21 am |
  2. Moryghn

    What's wrong with a dog looking like a dog? That's all I have to say...

    June 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • A Chinese

      What's wrong with you without any makeups or accessories? That's all I have to say.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:23 am |
  3. Steve-o

    Although this probably doesn't cause any harm to the animals, I certainly wouldn't be doing this to my dogs fur, I like my dog to look like a dog. I would be most concerned about these dyes staining anything the animals lay on, like carpet, upholstery etc..

    June 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • mdonln

      Good point about the stains but these are some very hairy pets. I guess they'd have to be to get dyed. Wouldn't that mean they'd 'stain' anything they lay on even without the dye? I'm referring to the shedding hair; the dirt in the hair, on their paws, noses and mouth – UGH. That's why I'm not into pets. When I get home, I leave my shoes at the door, put on slippers, shower and change clothes. Dogs and cats roll around in places I would never even walk in then they're all over the place: in the owner's beds, in the kitchen around food, in kids faces – ugh, I'm really getting nauseous.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  4. Mrs Wang

    no chemical in food this is not health

    June 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  5. smiles

    I think this is so cute! I don't see it being bad if it's not harming the dogs. If this is a bad thing – face painting for kids should be banned. You decide.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • CJ

      agreed. People go crazy over the stupidest things. These people obviously like their dogs and are having fun. I am certain the dogs are loving all of the attention.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  6. Stephen

    Oh by the way. The Asians only eat yellow dog (at least in Korea). If you see a Labrador or any other dog that is someones pet. If you see a Dingo looking dog – that is someones dinner. Actually yellow dog taste pretty good. It is sort of like the beef at the Chinese buffet with the broccoli. The meat is pretty tough but if you beat it with a stick before slaughter it is much better. Also helps to use a blowtorch to burn the fur off (make sure dog is dead).

    June 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Steve-o

      Given all the other delicious animals available, like cows, pigs, chickens, various fish, the fact that you say that dog is tough and must be beaten to tenderize it just goes to show that all asians are monsters if they are to go out of they're way to eat mans best friend

      June 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
      • smiles

        All Asians?? Stereotyping people is more inhumane than this dog dyeing issue.

        June 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Sue

      someone needs to beat you with a stick...this isn;t even funny

      June 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  7. Jason

    I want a panda that's painted to look like an Asian person.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  8. Lori

    In the grand scheme of how people treat animals this is not abuse. The dog may want to kill itself out of embarrassment but would certainly accept this over being Vick's dog.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  9. smiles

    Just be happy you live in a prosperous country that don't have to resort to eating things other countries have to eat to survive. I'm sure anyone in that situation would do the same. I remember the story of this person who ate human parts from a plane crash to survive. Do you think he's sick?? Or is it survival?

    June 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Sue

      at least a human has a choice...animals have no voice

      June 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
      • CJ

        What about the guy that got eaten? Where was his voice? Oh yeah, it was in the stew they made out of him.

        June 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  10. emperorobama

    This is cruel punishment for the dogs. That's why I won't let Michelle use dye on our dog Bo, she's only allowed to use bleach 😉

    June 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  11. CJ

    I think that they should make the dyed dogs fight each other and see who wins. Could a bear-dyed dog beat a tiger-dyed dog? only one way to find out!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  12. Lila

    Good God people are stupid and have too much time on their hands. Poor dogs.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  13. Charlie

    Dear people: love your pets like they're family members and stop doing ridiculous, abusive shit to them.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • CJ

      Exactly! You make them look like something they are not, you dye their hair, and you parade them around the neighborhood for everyone to look at. Stop the abuse! Wait. . . are we talking about the dogs, or kids on Halloween?

      June 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  14. Li

    This far and no one has yet to actually say HOW this is cruel and abusive. lol. I think people just love to find passive, off-topic ways to hate groups, cultures, etc. that they don't necessarily agree with.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Remy

      It MAY NOT be cruel and abusive, but it MIGHT BE. The issue is there's not enough information about how the animals are dyed, what is in the dye, and what the long term effects are. And to be honest, my guess, is that in China they dyes are probably very toxic–I mean their baby toys, milk, etc. are toxic. AND DYE!?!?!? I can bet they're not using any sort of special dye that is safe for animals.

      The other issue is that because we don't know a lot about the dye and the process, and the fact that the dogs can't decide yes or no I want my hair to be dyed, it could in fact be very very cruel and abusive. THOSE are the issues.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Remy

      The other thing is the longer term effects that this practice will have on dog breeding and puppy mills.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  15. Jon

    Well, if a parent dye his/her daughter's hair pink or blue, what would you say?
    Do you really consider it is a child abuse?

    Dogs are fed by their owners and owners have a right to dress or decorate their dogs as long as they don't physically/mentally damage the dog.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Flyguy

    I'm dyeing my pitbull camouflage...stay of my lawn you rapscallions

    June 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  17. Onesmallvoice

    Quite cute indeed. A dog to look like a panda? Now that's a novelty although some people may deem it as animal abuse. I don't understand why since the dogs are not mistreated in the first place.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  18. DR0182798


    June 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  19. DR0182798

    nbd. ____

    June 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  20. Nyarlathotep

    Memo to CNN: China and Taiwan are DIFFERENT countries (even though Beijing doesn't believe it.)

    June 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • TW

      Just like United States and Hawaii !

      June 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  21. DD75

    leave the damn dogs alone! instead of wasting so much time and money on ridiculous dog painting, feed a hungry child or donate money to those who really need it. WTF is wrong with people????

    June 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Li

      China? Donate to the needy? HAHAHA.

      June 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • harry

      Thanks to our lust for Chinese products they own us. Let's not get them mad so that our children can eat. Shhhhhhhh

      June 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • aaron

      There is nothing wrong with those people. It's their money and they can do what ever they want. Donate to the needed? How many pair of shoes do you have? I bet you have more than 1. Do you really need the second pair of shoes? WTF with you! Why don't you donate it to the needed instead of buying another pair of shoes or clolthes you don't need.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
      • DD75

        the number of shoes that i own has nothing to do with me donating my money to help others in need. i already donate on a VERY regular basis and don't need you to tell me to.

        painting dogs will always be stupid no matter who does it. people need to find more productive things to do with their time and money.

        June 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Stephen

      Better yet cook the dog and feed it to the hungry children.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  22. harry

    don't criticize the Chinese or our walmarts will be empty and our banks will lose all their money. remember that they own us.

    June 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  23. harry

    remember that the Chinese love dogs because they taste like chicken.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Stephen


      June 23, 2011 at 12:06 am |
      • Stephen

        June 23, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  24. Julio

    there is a reason why dogs are dogs. If people really want something they own to look like a wild animal they should just color and dye they're pubic area.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  25. Jake

    Plenty of dogs are mistreated in China, but these are generally not among them. These owners absolutely love their dogs. They are probably more careful about the dyes they use on their dogs than on themselves. Just a generation ago, dogs in China were not pets, they were livestock. Now, they have a growing pet culture. The people with these panda dogs are more likely speak out against bile bears and other animal cruelty issues. Also, the more people in China that take dogs as pets, the less people in China will be inclined to eat dogs.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  26. Olja Kaludjerovic

    They are nuts...that country is crazy!

    June 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Thatsnotrue:[


      June 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  27. Travis

    "barbaric" ... Um what? I really don't see what is so bad about doing these things. Im not very educated on this matter so I don't know if there is some type of poison or something that is negative towards the animal's health. So running off of the idea that they don't here, I really don't see a problem. :/

    If the animal is happy and healthy, then let it be. If there is in fact some type of negative property to it's health, then do something about it.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  28. Fuyuko

    The eye close to the animals eyes is what would concern me. The rest, is probably harmless but I guess it is better than cropping your dog's tail or ears.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
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