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. Manoj Bharat Kumar

    Calls for psychotherapy
    http://features.peta.org/ChineseFurFarms/

    June 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  2. MMS

    They key word here is "Chinese"...
    In comparison, while Koreans and Japanese live their lives like the rest of us..CHINESE do these mind blowing things!!!
    hmm

    June 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  3. lu2x4ah

    Holy smokes.. "In Taiwan, for example, just 10 years ago, dogs were still eaten in public restaurants and raised on farms for that purpose. "

    This article is making it sound like dog eating is such a common thing in Asian culture. This is one of the big issues with the media these days. Everyone thinks Asian people eat dog and cat meat all the time outside of the USA. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ. It is sad that this is happening. I have been visiting Taiwan and Asia since I was little (about once a year for many years). I would've been traumatized and disgusted if I had seen any of this going on! They make it sound like 10 years ago you can walk into any part of Taiwan and there are dog meat farms and restaurants serving dog meat. NOT TRUE!!! I never saw one morsel of dog meat in my days there. I stayed in the big cities, so I cannot say this is NOT true of tiny little towns, but I did pass through many of them to sightsee and NEVER ONCE did I see dog meat or a DOG MEAT farm! Please, do not judge based on this type of influential biased media.

    In fact, I have a VERY large extended family all over Taiwan (and HK and China too) and the MAJORITY of them had beloved canine pets ever since I was as young as 10 years old. I loved visiting all the different pets my relatives had at their homes, first this dog, then that dog, then this cat.. but usually always dogs. They were deeply loved, treated like kings and queens, and NEVER COOKED OR EATEN. Not even considered.. I'm pretty sure all my relatives in Asia would've balked and been horrified at the thought of eating the creatures. We loved those dogs. They were great companions. Some were cute little lapdogs.. even a family of cute Maltese named after anime characters of which one was a teacup that got a concussion just trying to climb down 2 little steps. Adorable. They were healthy and happy. So were we. Dog meat and dog farms everywhere BS!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  4. Thomas

    It's funny how you guys grill China, but did you know that a majority of house pets in China are mutts. Domestic animals are passed around family members, instead of the LARGE BREEDING FARMS THAT FEED THE AMERICAN APETITE FOR DOMESTIC ANIMALS. When those DOMESTIC ANIMALS THAT AREN'T SOLD, THEY ARE KILLED OFF. Take your blinders off AMERICA. Those that live in glass huts... The Pot calling the Kettle... I have more if you want them...

    June 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  5. Sumiko

    I just saw the other day that US has the similar show, too. They dyeing their pet like a differnt animals.
    Therefore dyeing as Panda is not so surprising.
    And it is so strange because of "Panda" they used sounded like having a gelous to me.
    I think any "Dog Show" is abusing animals.
    Those animals are not even animal treated. They are treated as money producing.

    June 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  6. Angela

    Hey, dog-eating wasn't that rampant ten years ago in Taiwan already.
    In fact, I never recall seeing any dish associating with 'fragrant meat' in any restaurant since I was born.
    This kind of dish has only been served in remote areas here.
    But, if anyone dares to do this and gets caught, there will immediately be waves of unbearable criticism from animal lovers and the person who does this inevitably has to face charges.

    June 25, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  7. Danny

    Is it camouflage? to protect the dogs from getting eaten?

    June 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  8. rhumba

    Probably not nearly as harmful as the poor little dogs that are used as fashion accessories and spend their days in purses.

    June 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  9. Moudo

    Dogs are beautiful Al natural without added color, if you want a panda, buy one. The reason you don't becouse a panda is a stupid bear and is unable to walk around on a leash. Years ago people colored rabbits, ducks for Easter, it was just a trend. This Chinese trend will go away too. Stupid is as Stupid does.

    June 26, 2011 at 7:14 am |
    • Fox

      The reason you don't buy a Panda is because it's an endangered and wild animal and you can't. Who cares if they dye their pets, it's definitely a step up from them eating them.

      June 27, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  10. yuliang

    compared to their companions on the claypots and dishes, i say they are pretty lucky being a dog

    June 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  11. ugly

    That's so cute! 🙂

    June 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  12. YoMama

    Its better for them to dye their dogs and eat them later than to dye their pandas like dog and eat them later... they dinna have enough pandas to go around wif.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  13. Zelda

    Seriously, it's always better if humans leave the creation alone. Wealthy and bored humans are pests.

    June 27, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  14. ok

    i think the saddest part about this article is that the Chinese will soon not know the difference between a Giant panda and a dog painted like one. look how happy that first kid is looking at a Giant panda sprawled on the floor like that... im sure Giant pandas eat kibbles and bits and are incapable of climbing bamboo trees and eating their rare and nutritious meal

    June 27, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  15. Fox

    At least they're not eating them as much anymore. I'm much prefer them dyeing their pets than making them dinner.

    June 27, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  16. Mamilu

    🙁 no gusta!!!

    June 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  17. Roni

    SO wrong on so many levels.....not cool at all. Those poor animals.

    June 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Rickster

    poeple STOP IT! these dogs are adorable. Panda chows brilliant! My dogs love attention. When I take them to the park people always want to pet them. Dogs love the attention. That dye will either grow out or wash off. I love my dogs and if I colored them for that much attention, if they could talk they would say, "were do we sign!"

    June 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Bradamant

    Regardless of the very disturbing undercurrent of racism in many of these comments, the fact is that this practice – while producing adorable pictures – is not, absolutely NOT healthy and good for the animals. Even in humans, hair dye is toxic and can cause serious problems for people with many medical conditions. For instance, one of the ingredients common in dye is a trigger for Lupus disease activity and must be avoided. Also keep in mind that even as humans can have serious adverse reactions to hair dye that only comes in contact with a very small area of their skin, these dogs have dye contacting the entirety of the skin area. This is NOT good and NOT healthy, I don't care if it is Chinese, Irish, or Canadians doing it. It, simply, should not be done.

    June 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  20. Rick Springfield

    Do that to every pound dog in the USA and there would be no pound dogs. Turn cats into linxes,etc and they will go fast.

    June 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  21. ketchupisfun

    Has anybody here eatten a dog yet? As an American, I tried it in Korea...not bad. Taste more like pork than chicken

    June 28, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  22. Observer

    So long they have very little harm they are safe when you look at these celebrities who have every things fakes from hair, facial features, enlarge breasts, JLo's hips etc, etc. these are in human and are more harmful than the colourings ...

    June 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
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