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. Man

    Why do I have to scroll down all the way to the bottom of the screen just to leave a message.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  2. Jen

    "Fixing" is the only solution to end the suffering of companion animals due to starvation, homelessness, and abuse worldwide! Having pets fixed is not cruel Helen...to say such shows YOUR ignorance!!!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  3. hippo

    I am all for stopping animal cruelty and all that. I do not see how this is cruel. They look happy walking down the street. If they were being beaten or starved i could say cruel. Hair dye? No different than painting nails. I think people should just mind their own business and leave others alone. You do what you want with your dog, And others will do what they want with their dog. Less stress for everyone, b/c no one is caring what others are doing.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  4. Crazy People

    Aren't there MORE IMPORTANT issues for people to be discussing, other than fashion trends for pets?!?!?! People, please! If you want to get passionate about something, get riled up about the current crappy state of our economy, not PET FASHION TRENDS! The dogs are adorable and it's a current fashion trend, much like people taking their dogs to pet salons to have their nails painted, groomed, etc...and so forth in the US. No one is hurting the dogs at those salons and there is no abuse going on in this instance either. Would it make you insane people, who are insisting that this is animal abuse, feel better to go throw a few buckets of red paint on the people doing this in China? Feel free! Hop a plane and fly on over there, nutjobs! At least, it'll get you out of the US for a little while and maybe just maybe we won't have to listen to your idiotic babbling for a bit. Poor Chinese people! I feel sorry for ya'll!

    June 24, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • maybe we should free the dogs from China

      Yep. Thank you!

      June 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Trey

    Cute furry pets getting cosmetology should be much lower on your list of concerns as compared to women and children being embargo-starved and blown up in the Middle East.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Kordax

    Its a dog. As long as you don't kill it, abuse it and continue to feed it, it doesn't care. Many Americans have really gone overboard in many areas.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  7. A.R.Shams

    NOTWITHSTANDING, TO MANY PEOPLE DYING PETS IS A SORT OF ANIMAL ABUSING.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  8. Roland

    They are made super cute and then they eat them 🙂

    June 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  9. Rebecca

    People on this comment page need to chill the fuck out.

    Yes, this is a terrible double standard, all the dyed poodles you see on easter are "OMG SO CUTE" while as soon as the dog is dyed more than one color it's "OMG THE CHINESE ARE BARBARIC. LALALA ANIMAL ABUSE"

    Yes, the Chinese do eat dogs. HOWEVER (this is a huge however), they're not the pets that you see. Okay? These are dogs bred ESPECIALLY to eat. They're not pets. Got a problem with it? Then stop eating chicken, pork, beef, or any other animal product.

    Do you people HONESTLY have nothing better to do than to speculate whether or not DYEING a dog's fur is animal abuse? Are we in kindergarten again? HAIR IS DEAD. IT DOES NOT CAUSE PAIN. I'd even go so far to say that it feels good for the dog. Doesn't brushing your hair feel good? yeah thought so.

    a side note, these were clearly done with care/precision, China is a LOT different from what you see on AMERICAN news. -.-

    June 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
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