China Panda Dog

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 Chinese pet pampering for quite some time. At last summer’s Pets Show in Taipei China, there was a fierce dog-dyeing competition.

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

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 the dog-owning culture with a vengeance. Dogs are brought into restaurants, fussed over in public, dressed up in ridiculous outfits and now dyed to look like ferocious tigers.

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files

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