You no longer need to go to a zoo or deep into the forest to catch a glimpse of a tiger in China nowadays, you may come across one while walking down the street itself! But there is no need to be afraid; it is only a dog that has been dyed to look exactly like a tiger!
Dog dyeing which already exists in Korea and Japan is now turning the Chinese crazy, who are fast to catch up. Nevertheless this business is reserved mostly for the rich who can afford to dye their dogs wholly at a price of $300. The dogs are taken to spas alongside their masters and while these get a tan, the dogs are dyed and pampered to look like any creature that their masters may want: tigers, pandas, turtles. In a downtown spa in Beijing, there is even a turtle looking dog called Raphael after one of the lead characters in the ninja turtles cartoon!
Many people are for this business because they believe that their dogs should be treated and pampered just as them. The dye job is supposed to be done using natural dyes that do not endanger the animal’s health in any way. People like it when heads turn around when they are walking their tiger dogs down the road or when crowds gather around the animal to pet and cuddle it. Some even say that this new attention has boosted the confidence of their animals.
Animal lovers conversely are outraged by this behaviour. It seems like the dogs are just creatures that do not deserve respect and can be treated as we humans want. While some people say that their dogs will not stay still for simple nail cutting it must be hell to endure trimming and dyeing, that would seem to stretch on forever for the poor animals. Others still say that the world is turning natural creatures into human made clowns. It is questionable whether these practices affect the mental and physical health of the animals also.
The tiger dogs are so popular in China today because it is the year of the tiger and also based on the Chinese’s horoscope, dogs and tigers are very compatible in the sense that the tiger appreciates the dog’s loyalty and that the dog understands the tiger’s impatience. So next year get ready to see rabbits swarming around the roads in China which will be the year of the rabbit!